ONE REMARKABLE NIGHT IN AUGUST BRINGS BRIT NEW WAVE LEGENDS AND “BROOKLYN’S AMBASSADORS OF LOVE” TO THE STONE PONY SUMMER STAGE
BY JON DOMENICK
Until it relocates elsewhere in Asbury Park (the lot it occupies is scheduled for redevelopment), the Stone Pony Summer Stage remains one of the hottest spots for outdoor musical experiences on the East Coast. One of many nights to look forward to is August 22, when “The Squeeze Songbook Tour” brings the award-winning UK band’s danceable hits, along with special guests They Might Be Giants.
In addition to showcasing mega-tracks like “Tempted by the Fruit of Another,” “Black Coffee in Bed,” and the sea shore-appropriate “Pulling Mussels from a Shell,” the revamped band (seen here) will offer new tunes. And, as demonstrated by recent tour dates (including appearances at Coachella), fans still turn out and rock out to their indelible sounds.
Founded in 1973 in London by friends Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, Squeeze became a fixture of the New Wave movement, and it was none other than The Velvet Underground’s John Cale who offered to produce its debut EP, Packet Of Three. A second disc, Cool For Cats, secured a place on the worldwide music scene, and subsequent work has been produced by Elvis Costello and emulated by the likes of Mark Ronson.
Difford and Tillbrook continued making music after the band took a break in 1999. Squeeze reformed in 2007, and has since been performing variously-sized gigs and festival dates in the U.S., U.K., and around the globe. The subject of an in-the-works BBC documentary, the founding members are also creating the first new Squeeze material in more than 15 years.
That same August night will feature “Brooklyn’s Ambassadors of Love,” They Might be Giants, an alternative rock band formed in 1982 by John Flansburgh and John Linnell childhood friends in their native Lincoln, Massachusetts, who moved to Brooklyn in 1981 and founded the band there. The group has an unconventional and experimental style, and has found success on modern rock and college radio charts, as well as in children’s music and writing themes for television programs like Malcolm in the Middle, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Higglytown Heroes.
The band has released 22 studio albums and sold four million records. Flood (1990), TMBG’s third studio release, was certified platinum, and their children’s music albums Here Come the ABCs, Here Come the 123s, and Here Comes Science have all been certified gold. The band has won two Grammy Awards, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre for SpongeBob Square Pants: The Broadway Musical.