Clem Snide: Concert Review, Exclusive Interview

I’d say it was about five years ago when I first heard Clem Snide. It was on a former girlfriend’s iPod. Well, she’s long gone but Clem Snide remains. However, it didn’t always look that way — I thought I lost them both.

Clem Snide went through a significant rough patch and eventually broke up. But they got back together (they say the first one never sticks, you know?) So now they are touring on a new record, Meat of Life.

We spoke prior to the show with a rabid Clem Snide fan — he traveled to Chicago explicitly to see the band and, apparently, to razz me about the Cubs (he’s a Cardinal fan — if you want to haze him, he’s the one in the white shirt in the front row seen in the video). Anyway, Meat of Life isn’t his favorite Clem Snide record. He’s having a hard time warming up to it because it’s so different than their earlier work.

I have to agree, on the “different” part.

I guess that’s to be expected when a band goes through sweeping changes, especially the front man. Eef Barzelay has gone through several challenges between earlier records and Meat of Life. Some good — like starting a family — and some not so good, like losing his mother. In all, such events will change anyone. And, as an artist, it’s impossible to separate oneself from the art produced.

It’s good to hear Clem Snide again. Meat of Life will come as a surprise to some fans but that’s not a bad thing. We had a great time at the show. Eef sounded good and the band was great. I felt like they might still be working out a few kinks with the new material, but the tour is just getting started and you can be sure they will be in full stride down the stretch. Oh, and pay close attention to Ben Martin on drums — dude is a beast.

Below you will find some video from the show. The song is “Denise” and after that you’ll see our interview with Eef. Below that is another interview with Ben Martin. And finally, you’ll find current tour dates at the bottom.

Enjoy.

May 20 2010 8:00P Humboldt Brews ARCATA, CA
May 21 2010 8:00P Bottom Of The Hill SAN FRANCISCO, CA
May 22 2010 8:00P Spaceland LOS ANGELES, CA
May 23 2010 8:00P PLUSH TUCSON, AZ
May 25 2010 8:00P Mohawk AUSTIN, TX
May 26 2010 8:00P Doublewide DALLAS, TX
May 27 2010 8:00P Hi Tone MEMPHIS, TN
Jul 14 2010 8:00P Cosmic Charlie’s Lexington-Fayette, KY
Jul 15 2010 8:00P Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 16 2010 9:00P City Winery New York, New York
Jul 17 2010 8:00P Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub Cambridge, MA
Jul 18 2010 8:00P Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, MA
Jul 20 2010 8:00P IOTA Club & Cafe Arlington, VA
Jul 21 2010 8:00P Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Asheville, NC
Jul 22 2010 8:00P The Earl Atlanta, GA