(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Schoemer Formation, an all-star trio featuring spoken word performer Karen Schoemer on lead vocals, “Wreckless” Eric Goulden on fuzz bass, and Amy Rigby on guitars and keyboards, will perform at the Half Moon on Friday, October 24, 2014, at 9pm. Also on the bill are the Jam Messengers from New York City.
The appearance by the Schoemer Formation comes on the heels of an “undeniably acceptable gig” at Albany’s Low Beat as the opening act for Il Sogno Del Marinaio, the new trio fronted by legendary punk icon and former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt.
At the Low Beat, the Schoemer Formation reportedly won over Watt fans, who stood nervously in the back in a muted rainbow of flannel colors at the start of the gig, but then tentatively moved forward and eventually applauded and hooted in a positive manner.
Watt himself, who has a long tradition of sleeping in his van during opening acts, roused and watched the performance from a spot on the floor in front of the soundboard.
In his tour diary, Mike Watt notes, “I like their gig, Eric’s got great tone and licks on the bass, his wife Amy does trippy guitar and keyboard while Karen does spiel, exploring her emotions and sharing them.”
After the show, the veteran touring heavyweight brought this group of eager upstarts backstage for some sage advice and sonic pointers. Watt encouraged them to put more sudden starts and stops into the music, shorten the songs to approximately a minute or less, wear more flannel and refer to their van as “the boat.”
The Schoemer Formation began when Karen spotted Amy on the Hudson Amtrak platform carrying an Andy Williams album. Karen said, “I have that album, it’s one of my favorites,” and Amy said, “Don’t you just love his ascot?” Before the downstate train had pulled into the station they had laid plans for a band. Karen said, “I know an English guy who plays a mean fuzz bass, and he has his own fuzz box so he won’t have to use one of ours.” Amy said, “That’s so funny, my husband Eric is an English guy who plays the fuzz bass,” and Karen said, “Yeah, that’s better.” Within no time the Schoemer Formation was playing shuffleboard bars and senior centers across the Twin County region, wowing and waking unsuspecting patrons with a combination of big riffs and poetic lyrics in the tradition of the Doors, Suicide and Two Lone Swordsmen.
The Jam Messengers play rock and soul music via the unlikely alliance of a Brazilian one-man band (Marco Butcher -The Butcher’s Orchestra) joined to a blues preacher from NYC (Rob K – Workdogs). Rob K’s rock pedigree is extensive: from pioneering the early DC punk scene with Da Chumps through his glory years in NYC as frontman for the legendary and highly influential Workdogs, he has brought The Word – hit records for In The Red and Sympathy For The Records Industry, not to mention a five year residency at Gotham’s hippest dive, MaxFish. The Workdogs famous “rhythm section for hire” were employed by Half Japanese, the Velvet Monkeys, and Maureen Tucker.