Endless Boogie live up to their name

Endless Boogie jamming…and jamming some more…at Nublu, from left, Jesper Eklow, Mike Bones, Paul Major and Matt Sweeney, with Harry Druzd on drums, hidden behind Major. (Photo by Bob Krasner)

BY BOB KRASNER | Imagine that the Velvet Underground and Iggy and the Stooges had a kid who had a habit of eating lead paint when no one was looking and you might begin to understand the musical experience that is Endless Boogie.

There’s really no point in analyzing or intellectualizing the band. Attempts by fans to describe their sound usually start with, “Wow, I don’t know… .”

The group, formed in 1997 by a combo of Matador Records employees and record collectors, is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. The full house at Nublu, at 151 Avenue C, on a recent Sunday night loved it.

It’s all about immersing yourself in the guitars. Jesper Eklow cranks out a riff that Ted Nugent would kill for. (Don’t get any ideas, Ted.) Paul Major solos inventively and relentlessly, while rocking to the hypnotic rhythm section — Harry Druzd and Mike Bones — for as long as the band feels like going on.

And they do go on. The first song — which comprised the entire first set — was an hour-long improvisation.

“It was ‘Sister Ray,’ sort of,” said third guitarist Matt Sweeney after the show. Singer/lead guitarist Major confirmed that, adding, “It was all one chord — we just improvised in the key of G.”

The tempo changes , the volume rises and falls — mostly rises — while Major pours out notes worthy of the man who wrote the book on psychedelic outsider music, literally. Check out his “Feel The Music” from Anthology.

A few fans noted that there was a fair amount of Creedence Clearwater Revival “chooglin’ ” in the mix, but there was also a whole lot more. AC/DC, John Lee Hooker (where they got their name), NEU!, Canned Heat, Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, Acid Psychedelia, ZZ Top, Can, Lamonte Young, Kraftwerk, Blues, Boogie… . The list stretches on longer than some of their songs.

The second set was more of the same perfect hypnotic jamming — but with shorter, original songs — punctuated by bursts of Eklow’s wah-wah pedal and Major’s yowling vocals.

“I wanted to be a poet but it took too much finesse,” Major said from the stage, before going into “Vibe Killer,” played in tribute to the band Suicide. “One of our heroes,” Eklow noted, of one of the most notoriously noncommercial bands to come out of the city.

Endless Boogie carries their stubborn aesthetic into the present, doing exactly what they want to with little regard for current trends — or hairstyles.

“They are,” said musician/fan Matt Mottel, “one of the last remnants of the New York sound.”

 

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