20 Years Ago Yesterday

I wish I had gotten this e-mail from the Wrens a little sooner than 10:30 last night:

Sgt. Peppbla bla’d the bla to bla,

Howdy, it’s the wrens, and our apologies, by pundit law you just have
to use that Beatles line if you’re in a band that makes it to twenty.
Ditto if youre still at it when youre sixty-four, so look for more
big news from us in four or five years.

Besides, if we’d written the song, it’d have been more like "it was
20 years ago today, that time, a cruel task-hole if ever there was
one, taught the band to play". Covers mostly.

But yeah, we send these emails out barely annually, whenever
something of even tiny importance comes up. And in this case,
according to our best guesses, Kev’s Tawny-Kitaen-A-Day planner, and
a hurried but to-scale rebuild of Stonehenge, we’re able to verify
with almost penpoint accuracy that it was exactly twenty years ago
today, July 31st 1989, that we played our first show as a band. Sweet
holy crap.

Sure, there were a few rehearsals before that and sure, we weren’t
called the wrens then, and sure, it was performed on the then-popular
lutes with sackbut accompaniment, but it was our first show
nonetheless. And it probably sucked.

We won’t clutter your inbox with the even-longer version, but you can
read the rest of it – with photos – here:


And to better commemorate so auspicious an occasion in light,
wearable cottons, we’ve commissioned ourselves to make a new t-shirt,
this one emblazoned with our simple credo, "the wrens&keeping folks
waiting since 1989", and it’s available in our corner store, here:


Our apologies for the raw links. We’re updating our mailing list
capabilities and may even have ‘pictures’ soon. As always, there
should be an opt-out link at the bottom of this if you’re filled with
regret at mailing-list choices you’ve made.

And as always, we hope you’re well and thanks. As always.

the wrens

Yes, that’s right the Wrens have been around and playing for 20 years (and one day). In honor of their 20th anniversary I’ve decided to take another break from my Sonic Youth discography listen and do a full list of the Wrens albums in order. Of course when a catalogue only consists of 3 albums and an handful of 7" and an EP in 20 years it’s pretty easy to do a full listen in no time.

I love the Wrens. Meadowlands was a near perfect album and possibly the best of this decade. Secaucus is just a little behind that one and Silver is an incredible debut from these Jersey’s hardest working musicians/non-musicians. I remember the first time I saw the Wrens. It was at Bowery Ballroom right after Meadowlands came out. Travis Morrison and the Hold Steady opened. I went down to the merch table in between Travis and the Hold Steady and low and behold there was the band selling their stuff and talking to everyone who passed by. I somehow was able to wow them with my working knowledge of ebay and how much their albums were going for on it. We discussed the limited edition of Meadowlands that was circulating on ebay for loads of cash, which they said they wish they got some of the money from and had nothing to do with. I told them I had an original recording of Secaucus on Grass Records. They told me I could make a lot of money if I put that up on ebay. I told them I’d rather just hold onto the album. At which point they asked me what I was in line for. I didn’t have a copy of Silver or the Abbott 1135 (which they were selling along with Secaucus on CD-R because they were no longer in print) which they promptly handed to me. As I reached for my wallet they told me it was no charge and thanked me for being a fan. (I asked them to sign the inserts being the uber nerd I am) Fucking amazing. Fucking great guys. Fucking great band. Fucking great music. So listen along with me. I’m halfway done with my full discography listen and think I might do it again shortly. Sorry Sonic Youth (and Yo La Tengo), you’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.