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Getting in touch with The Feelies • Brooklyn Paper

Getting in touch with The Feelies

Doin’ it again: Acclaimed alt-rock pioneers The Feelies return to New York on April 27 for a show at the Bell House in Gowanus.
Photo by Doug Seymour

The Feelies are still rocking after more than 30 years, and shockingly, so too are their fans.

The founding fathers of alternative rock will return to the Bell House on April 27 for a one-night, two-set trip through their three decade-long discography — a show that will span the generations between shaggy-headed hipsters and the gray-haired rock lovers who raised them.

“There are people that are older, closer to our age, who probably knew the band when we were first touring — but there are a lot of people who are younger,” said singer, songwriter, and guitar player Bill Million, whose legendary band broke up in 1992, and only reunited in 2008 at the urging rock demigod Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth fame. “There are even some families that come out now, where some of the people who used to follow us when we first came out and have had kids.”

The Feelies have raised eyebrows since 1976, when they first formed in New Jersey and earned raves from the Manhattan music press for their Velvet Underground-inspired vocal deadpan and instrumental drone.

After their 1980 debut album “Crazy Rhythms,” the band got lots of love in the big city — but Million said they were never tempted to leave the Garden State for New York.

“We always kept New Jersey as our home base, we never had any yearning to move to New York,” said Million, who now lives in Florida. “Our friends and families were in New Jersey, and it was easy for us to book rehearsal space there.”

The Feelies never so much as strummed a chord on this side of the East River until 2011 — the same year they released their “Here Before,” their first album in 19 years — but co-vocalist, lyricist, and guitarist Glenn Mercer said that the group is excited to play its second gig at the Bell House.

“We’ve always had a good response in Brooklyn. The audiences are pretty energetic,” said Mercer. “It’s real devoted music fans.”

The Feelies at the Bell House [149 7th St. between Second and Third Avenues, Gowanus (718) 643-6510] April 27, 8 pm. $25. Visit www.ticketweb.com.

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