Cliff Livingston and Kara Thrasher-Livingston [stage name: Ivy Silence] have been making music together for forty years. First in the 80s New Brunswick punk scene with bands Warm Love, Lesser Koodoo, Moby Dick and others, and for the past ten-plus years as the goth rock duo of Cliff and Ivy. They’ve lived in Alaska since 1993. Earlier this summer, they made their annual trip back east for a regional tour and for some recording sessions. Music reporter Bennett Kelly caught up with Cliff and Ivy over the phone in early June.

Ivy: Hey, how are you Ben?

BK: Hey, Ivy. Good, how are you?

Ivy: Good. Good. We had a gig this afternoon, which was pretty super fun. Outdoors, but it wasn’t raging hot, so that was nice. It was at the Cryptids Festival, so it was cool. We had a good time in Perth Amboy.

BK: Perth Amboy, right. And you were in Baltimore yesterday?

Ivy: Yeah, we were in Baltimore at the Depot. And it was Batz over Baltimore night [pictured above; photo by Bob Planck]. And that was a really fun gig. Super fun. Everybody went bonkers, a lot of people dancing and just really having a good time. It was the first day of the 25th anniversary of the Depot. They’re having a three day party, so it was super duper. Yeah.

BK: Nice. I saw you two perform on June 1, in Hightstown [at Randy Now’s Man Cave]. Today is June 3, and where are you now? You’re back in Jersey?

In Hightstown, June 2023

Cliff: Yeah, we’re in Jersey. We’re staying at our family’s house, and we’re going to get ready to do some recording tomorrow. We’re actually recording in the studio.

BK: How long have you lived full time in Alaska for? And you’re back in on a little East Coast tour for a little while?

Cliff: Since 1993. So it’s like 30 years. And we’re doing a couple of dates on the East Coast, and then we’re going to record for a couple of days. We got a new Cliff and Ivy single we’re working on, and then I have a side project that I’m working on, too. And we’re going to be visiting some family and all that kind of stuff. All the good, fun stuff.

Ivy: We’re going out to L.A. area to tour in September and record. We have another recording session out there. And those are our dates right now for ‘23, and we’re putting together some plans, possible plans for 2024. 

But we really need to get new music made, so that’s kind of our priority. And we usually come out here about once a year and do a tour. It’s usually a medium to short tour that we do in this area. But we have family here. We can usually build a tour around a festival or something like that. So we do come back to Jersey and the East Coast quite often.

BK: Nice. So I want to start back a little ways. When and where was your first New Brunswick performance?

Cliff: That’s a good question. Our first performance was actually, Halloween 1984, in Rahway. Paul Decolator from Pleased Youth put on these punk rock shows. It was an all-ages punk show. And that would be our first concert that we ever played together. That was in Rahway, New Jersey. Halloween, 1984 [laughs].

But New Brunswick, I don’t know, what was our first New Brunswick show? That’s a good question. It may have been even ‘85. It might have been our apartheid, our anti-apartheid rally. We played right in front of the student center, right in front of WRSU, right on the street. And that was our band, a hardcore punk band called Warm Love. It might have been 1985, actually, at that point. So it would be right on College Avenue, right in front of the student center, playing for the anti-apartheid rally with a hardcore punk band called Warm Love. There’s your answer. I don’t remember the date, but it was 1985. 

BK: After all this time, do you consider yourselves more of Alaskans now, or are you still Court Tavern Gypsies?

Cliff: Yeah, we’re both. Definitely both. 

Ivy: Hybrid.

Cliff: Yeah it’s a hybrid [laughs]. We’ve come back and played over the years, you know, at the Court Tavern in the 90’s and the 2000’s and stuff. So we’ve kind of stayed in touch with everybody. We love all our old friends and stuff and just kept in touch with people, and kept having a dual identity, I guess you could say.

BK: This new single, I’m a big fan of “Die Tonight.” It seems like you two have been writing music together for about 40 years now. What’s your songwriting process look like at this point? How do you collaborate together?

Cliff: Well, at this point, a lot of the music is made by me. I create a lot of the tunes, and then Ivy pens all the lyrics and the vocals. She does mostly all the vocals. Sometimes we’ve had guest vocalists, but mostly it’s Ivy. And she does all the lyrics. Do you want to explain the lyrics too? That would be really interesting.

Ivy: Yeah. I’ve written some of our songs, too, and nowadays it’s mostly Cliff with his riffs and stuff. And the songwriting process is, a lot of times what I’ll do with our lyrics is to catch a theme out of it. I have synesthesia, which is where you mix up your senses. So when I see words, they also appear as colors, and letters appear to me as colors inside my mind. And I try to make a picture or progression that matches the music with the words in that way. Sometimes I will have a dictionary that I’ll hold my hand over, and I’ll just kind of feel the colors off words in the dictionary, and take that as part of the theme. And try to knit that all together in a sound painting, if you will. 

That’s what a lot of our lyrics come out as. Some of them are mixed with regular poetry that I write, and thoughts that I just have about everyday things, and some of them are pure synesthesia. So it’s just a different way of getting the words, and I hope that the words speak to folks on different levels.

With our collaboration, I will do different arrangements or maybe add some riffs, or if I hear a certain thing, to add the hook and things. The both of us are really into hooks. So we’ll just kind of riff off of each other. And I can play keyboard and I do that sometimes. I play percussion, I play drums. And the vocals, we’ll just come up with hook ideas and just say, Well let’s have this and do this as a hook. Or we’ll get inspired by something else and music from any era of history at all, whatever we’re into at the time. And just work off of each other until it feels right.

BK: Ivy, does the synesthesia have any effect while you’re performing or singing?

Ivy: I can always feel that. It’s always there. It does, it does when I have a color in my mind that I’m trying to throw out to the audience. And I just try to get in touch with that all the time. It’s a comfortable place for me to be. It’s very much of a disappear-fear type of thing. Sometimes I’m not comfortable in front of an audience, but the more I think about that kind of meaning inside of what I’m singing and doing, the more comfortable I get, and it tends to be the way through it for me. So, yeah, it does. That’s a great question. I never really thought of that, but, yeah, it does.

BK: Cool. And I hadn’t seen you perform live until this week. It’s a duo with kind of the backing track of bass and the drums, and is that the standard, typical performance set up for you two?

Ivy: Yeah, it is. We use our backing track, and Cliff plays guitar and I sing, and the backing tracks are played by us, recorded by us. We separate them out of the songs that we record. Go ahead Cliff.

Cliff: Yeah, I can elaborate on that. I can track stuff and produce. The songs that are the most recent, I produced in our studio in Alaska. But we’ve worked with some really great producers over the years. We’ve had live drummers play on top of electronic drums, mixed together, and many sessions in L.A. with different people, famous people. Producer Paul Roessler has worked on a lot of our stuff and collaborated. He’s great. He’s from the 70s L.A. punk scene. He was in one of the first L.A. punk bands The Screamers, and he was in 45 Grave and like a million other bands. Rikk Agnew worked with us and he’s been in The Adolescents, and 45 Grave, and Christian Death. Gitane DeMone, she’s done the backup singing with us and she’s collaborated. She’s another great singer from Christian Death and a bunch of other bands, Gitane DeMone Quartet, Deb Venom. 

And on the East Coast we’ve had collaborators. One of my best friends and collaborators is Brian Troisi from New Jersey. And we were friends from high school. And he still plays music. So every time I get a chance to work with him, I always say, Hey, send me some tracks. And so we’ll dub his tracks into the mix, as you say.

BK: With “Die Tonight,” I feel like there’s almost a Cure-like bass line or drum track to it. I was wondering what type of bands you were into back in the 80s. I know The Clash was big for you. Were there any more punk or new wave bands that you were fond of?

Cliff: Oh, yeah, there’s like a million bands. Yeah, of course. I mean, The Cure’s Pornography” record is really great. The early Cure music is really influential. Siouxsie and the Banshees. There’s just like a ton of bands. Killing Joke is really a big one for me. I love that music. 

And those are all English bands. This is the kind of stuff we were listening to. We weren’t really listening to only American bands. We listened to a lot of European music. A lot of bands coming out of England and Australia. We listened to a lot of American punk music. East Coast, West Coast. Just all the bands, D.C. bands and Detroit and just all those West Coast, the San Francisco bands. It’s just all that American hardcore music and punk music. Really into all that stuff and the different kinds of stuff too. Not just only hardcore. We like the avant noise music. And New York had a new wave scene, so it was very artsy. And is that music or is it noise? Experimental stuff like that. And they had synth punk stuff happening out in L.A that was pretty cool. 

Lots of different styles of things coming around, and then that kind of progressed into the industrial scene too. So, the punk and all that started getting a little bit more electro and mixing it with a lot of things, meshing together. And then punk and metal sort of meshed together too. So there were all those elements happening. There’s so many bands, I mean, we could go on for hours talking about bands for sure.

BK: Did you ever play any Sunday matinees at the Court Tavern, when they used to have some punk rock Sunday shows?

Cliff: We definitely went to a lot of them. We went to a lot. Sluggo [Doug Vizthum] and Paul Decolator, they put on those shows. I really went to a lot of them. I don’t think we played any of them. Well we might have played some later. Maybe later in like ‘86, we might have played there with a band called the Dolphin Room. It was a garage-punk sort of band. And we definitely played a bunch of shows around town, so we may have played some of those. But the earlier hardcore shows, probably not. We probably went to them though. I know I definitely went to a bunch of those.

BK: Yeah, you mentioned Pleased Youth. I know that was Doug and Paul’s band.

Cliff: Yeah, we used to hang out with those guys. They were our pals, really influential for us. We definitely liked going to see their shows. They were a lot of fun and they were always cutting up and telling jokes and all kinds of stuff. But they were great. And really, there was a bunch of great bands in New Brunswick too. In that scene. You had TMA, you had Detention, Cyanamid and there’s like a cast of other bands. There’s so many other local bands from all around the New Brunswick area.

BK: When you left New Brunswick and ventured into other states and other music scenes, did New Brunswick have that reputation for being a punk rock hub at the time?

Cliff: You know, it does, and I didn’t really realize how much it was. It was very much a hub for touring acts. So bands could play City Gardens. That was another place for bands coming through Philly and heading to New York. They could play a City Gardens date and then they would head up to New York, or someplace in New Brunswick. That was another place. Paul Decolator and Doug would put on shows. There were shows happening at lots of places. 

At the time it was sort of a CBGB fever. And there was a lot of people interested in putting on small shows and having that scene vibe, that Sunday matinee scene thing. Everybody wanted that feeling in their town, which was really cool. Like a real DIY, let’s make it happen kind of thing.

BK: And then Lesser Koodoo, was that your primary band in New Brunswick?

Cliff: Well, we had The Gout, which was our first punk band. Then we had Warm Love, and those both very short lived bands. We were like teenagers and then a little bit older. We were in The Dolphin Room and then we had Moby Dick, which is a short lived band, but it had Paul Decolator and Doug Vizthum. Doug Vizthum was on guitar and Paul on bass, and myself and Kara. And then we only did a couple of dates, mostly around New Brunswick. And then we had Lesser Koodoo after that. And that was for a few years. So The Dolphin Room was around for a few years. Then there was, like, Moby Dick, and then it was Lesser Koodoo from, like, maybe late ‘87 to 1990.

BK: And there’s one show I want to ask about. There’s a newspaper article about your wedding because it was on the notable date of August 8, ‘88. Congratulations, by the way. Thirty-five coming up, that’s a big one.

Ivy: Yeah, thank you [laughing].

BK: And there’s a great photo in there, too. 

Cliff: Thank you. Yeah, Ivy made most of the costumes, and I put together some things for my outfit.

Central Jersey Home News, August 7, 1988

BK: Do you have the article still, by chance?

Ivy: Yeah, we have that. From the Home News, right?

BK: Yeah. And it mentioned that your 200-person reception would be at the Court Tavern, and you performed there with a couple of bands. So how was that show?

Ivy: Oh, that was fun. It was just so fun. I played in my wedding dress. At the time I played drums, and we had some wonderful musicians play with us, with some friends. Cliff tell him who.

Cliff: Yeah, it was a pretty cool star-studded event [laughing]. The wedding was at a separate location, but the reception party was at the Court Tavern. It was a lot of fun. We had like four bands or whatever. My sister’s band was the first one up. What was her band name? I’m going to have to remember it. I’m sorry. I was guest-playing on the guitar, so I was, like, dressed up in my outfit playing. Anyway, I can’t believe I don’t remember the name of it. Sorry, I’m kicking myself now. I don’t remember the name of my sister’s band that I played in at my wedding. I should probably ask her. She’s here.

Ivy: I think Spiral Jetty was one listed.

Cliff: Yeah, Spiral Jetty, exactly. Sorry, I’m hitting a wall here. Yes, Spiral Jetty played. They were great. And everyone was super excited. Yeah Spiral Jetty was playing, and then our band, Lesser Koodoo played a couple of songs. And then we had Lunar Bear Ensemble, which is very cool, New Brunswick, like, poetry. It was referred to as “Bangin’ and Mumblin’” [laughing]. It was like poetry and some really great music. And Martin Atkins was on drums. The famous Martin Atkins played our wedding, Martin Atkins from PIL [Public Image Ltd.], and Killing Joke and all these other great bands. He played in Ministry and just all these great bands from over the years. And he continues to play in Pigface. So that’s his band for years and years, probably since the early 90s, doing Pigface. But he’s just done so much stuff and just thrilled to be still in contact with Martin. He’s really great. And he’s written a ton of books about the music business and just all kinds of stuff. Very informative and entertaining person.

BK: Was Doug Vizthum in that group too? Lunar Bear.

Cliff: He was definitely in that group. Lunar Bear. Yeah. There was Doug and Tom Diello both from Bad Karma. And let’s see who else was in there that night? There was a couple of other guys. I’m forgetting people’s names, but definitely Doug and Tom and Martin Atkins and John Ritchie on the vocals doing the poetry, the famous poet.

Ivy: Yeah, it was awesome.

Cliff: We had a few people in the audience that were there. I remember William Tucker showed up and he was a music producer and was in just a ton of bands. The Scornflakes, Regressive Aid, and he played in Ministry for a while with Martin Atkins. And he passed away later. But, yeah, he was a super nice guy. 

And I remember, this story was so funny. My cousins were up on stage and they just decided to run up on stage and grab the microphone. And they decided to start telling horrible, dirty jokes or whatever. They were obnoxious. I don’t know what you call them. Just distasteful type jokes. And I remember, William Tucker, right, the guy, the guitar player I’m talking about, producer guy. Pretty sure I remember him screaming to the top of his lungs that he was saying, You suck! That was the best. That was so funny. But it was just really, an enthusiastic night. It was free Guinness on tap. Guinness on tap.

Ivy: We had Guinness on tap [laughing].

Cliff: It was, like, all you can drink Guinness on tap. And we had some horrible vegan food. It didn’t work out.

Ivy: It really, really sucked, but we tried. I just got all those vegan foods. It tasted so nasty [laughing]. But, yeah, it was almost like a free for all. It was a really fun gathering. That party was legendary. I’ll never forget it… He’s asking his sister the name of the band… Agita. Yeah. Okay. Agita was a two piece. And then Cliff did the guitar.

BK: One last question about that night. Do you recall if the late, great Marc Lanzoff was working the door?

Cliff: He probably was.

Ivy: I’m sure he was. He was always there. Oh my God. We wouldn’t have had that party without him. It was like everyone who goes to the Court was there, so he was definitely there. I don’t know about working the door because it wasn’t really like a door per se. It was just a private event. But we didn’t throw anybody out.

Cliff: It was like a regular day there. It was a private party, but it was a lot like a regular night at Court in a lot of ways. That’s what I’ve heard from other people

Ivy: I mean there could have been strangers there, and I wouldn’t have known. It could have been anybody from the public there. It was just a freaking free for all, right?

Cliff: It was a free for all. It was fun.

Ivy: It was a drink for all. It was fun. We had a good time.

BK: I’m looking at the calendar, in the news article. I guess it was actually a Monday, August 8.

Cliff: It was.

Ivy: Yeah. Well, it didn’t seem to matter at the time [laughing].

Cliff: The date was really important. It was a really, magical important day for a lot of cultures. In Chinese culture it was really important. And prosperous.

Ivy: It was like, eternity, man. 

Cliff: Immortal, man. Come on, man [both laughing].

Ivy: Immortal eternity, immortal beloved.

Cliff: Anyway, the eight is a symbol of prosperity. So four eights, it’s even more.

BK: Cool. So let’s see, just a couple more then. I think, Cliff, you teased that you might be working with someone big on this next single. Is that the case?

Cliff: Yeah, we have a new single we’re working on. It’s called “We Ignite.” Ignite, like light something on fire, We Ignite. And we wrote the tune in Alaska. I produced guitars and bass and drums and stuff, and Ivy’s vocals, and then I brought the tracks with me. So we’re going to be heading into the studio, and they’re going to be adding to them tomorrow. 

Brian Troisi is going to add drums to it, live drums. And then we’re going to be working with the great Jim Babjak from The Smithereens. He’s going to be playing lead guitar on it.

BK: Wow. 

Ivy: He’s really great. 

Cliff: So yeah. So that’s top secret news. You got it first, baby. We got it right here.

BK: That’s amazing.

Cliff: Yeah. So that’s what’s happening tomorrow [June 4]. We’re going to be in the studio, and we’re recording with Kurt Reil at House of Vibes [Production, in Highland Park]. He plays drums with The Grip Weeds and he’s got his own studio, he’s a producer, and he’s worked with Jim before. Real cool guy. 

And Jim is an old friend of ours, so we’re really really lucky. We just saw them recently. We saw The Smithereens in San Juan Capistrano, California, like an hour south of L.A. Or two hours or whatever it was. We saw The Smithereens with our sons. Our sons really love The Smithereens. 

We’re old friends of theirs from New Brunswick. They used to have a record store and a video store, and when I was a young teen, I used to go in there and hang around a lot and ask them questions, just being annoying and whatever.

Ivy: Hey guys, hey guys, what are you doing? [Laughs]

BK: Yeah, Flamin’ Groovies.

Cliff: Yup, Flamin’ Groovies. Used to hang out there, and a lot of people from the scene used to go there. We’d meet people there back in the day. It was a very social thing. You go to the record store, you meet your friends and bump into people and talk about music and whatever else, connect with folks. It was sort of a hub. 

So it was Flamin’ Groovies, and Cheap Thrills was another one, just great, great records, and the people that worked there were really cool, very knowledgeable. Music in a Different Kitchen. And then later Flamin’ Groovies turned into Captain Video. Judy from Music in a Different Kitchen moved into Captain Video. Flamin’ Groovies record store also was a video store, and there was also Music in a Different Kitchen. So it was like two record stores and a video store all in one. Pretty cool.

But, yep still in contact with Jim Babjak, a really cool guy. And we’re going to mix the music tomorrow. He’s going to come in and do his lead guitar on top of this brand new song we wrote. We’re co producing it with Kurt Reil from the studio. So he’s going to mix it and there’ll be a Kurt Reil mix and it’s going to be awesome.

BK: Last month, or actually in April now, was Record Store Day. And I did a little feature on New Brunswick record store history, and Jim was kind enough to send an email about Flamin’ Groovies and all that, just hanging out in the store. People come in, smoking cigarettes, talking music, that kind of thing.

Cliff: That was what happened, yeah. That wasn’t the only thing that people smoked there [laughs]. Na you know, it was cool. It was a great record store, and lots of good memories. And later on, Captain Video was owned by Ethan Stein. Originally it was owned by Jim Babjak and Dennis Diken from The Smithereens, the guitar player and the drummer. And then they got really busy. The Smithereens started blowing up, they were getting really popular in the late 80s, so I guess they were just so busy they couldn’t keep up with the store’s needs. So they sold it to Ethan and then he had it for a number of years.

BK: Yeah and I know he was a prominent member of the scene and unfortunately passed away, I think, about ‘95.

Cliff: We were actually in a band with Ethan called Moby Dick.

Ivy: We shared a house with them. We lived in a Gothic Revival, a Victorian Gothic Revival home in Highland Park. It was an old home, and we shared it with him.

Cliff: Now it’s a parking lot.

Ivy: It’s a parking lot now. But it was a f—ing great house. We used to have people come over, like on Sundays. We’d have like a mimosa brunch and cook, and all the scene people would come and just chill out on the porch and listen to music. We’d listen to punk or goth or whatever.

Cliff: It got to be very social. It was John A Lot. His last name is not A Lot, but all the girls would say, I like John A Lot [laughs]. He was a bartender at the Court Tavern. And he was in a band, I think Outdoor Miner was the band he was in with Ethan. And then Greg Di Gesu from The Wooden Soldiers. He was there.

Ivy: Don’t forget the mighty Leather Studded Diaphragm.

Cliff: Yeah, Ethan was in Leather Studded Diaphragm as well as Moby Dick. Yeah, that’s right. And then later on in the same place, Dave Dreiwitz from Ween lived there. And that was after we moved out. We moved to California in 1990. Dave Dreiwitz lived there. And also Matt Pinfield. The great Matt Pinfield. He lived there for a while.

Ivy: But we started it because we rented the house first [laughs].

Cliff: Yeah, we did. We rented the house. We actually rented the carriage house that was behind it in, like, 1987. And then the lady was moving out, she had the main house, and she was like, Well, do you want to rent it? We said sure, and we got all of our friends to move in, and we had lots of parties [laughs].

Ivy: Totally fun.

BK: And where is that now? It’s a parking lot on, what was the intersection?

Ivy: Oh, my God. It was beautiful.

Cliff: A beautiful Victorian house. But yeah, they have, like, a stone in front of it, where you would step off the carriage. It was that old. It was from the 1800s. It was very cool. But it was donated to the temple.

Ivy: There was a temple there, and so the temple chose to tear it down and make it a parking lot for a temple that they built. That’s life.

Cliff: Yeah, it is what it is. So it’s a parking lot now, but that’s where it was. It was one of the first streets, like, Second Street, Highland Park. Which is a cool place, too. We stayed there for a bit. And New Brunswick, we lived in Martin Atkins’ old warehouse in New Brunswick as well, for a while, and that was pretty cool.

Ivy: That got passed on to Bouncing Souls. Martin’s place. It was on Sandford Street?

Cliff: It might have been on Sandford Street. Yeah, it was a warehouse space. It was like the birthplace of Invisible Records [record label], basically.

Ivy: Right. And Martin left and he left it to us and we rented it. And then we left it to somebody else. And I can’t remember exactly what happened, but eventually Bouncing Souls got it and it was like a well-known rehearsal studio, live-work, funky weird, just a crazy-ass living space that you could play in, too.

Cliff: Yeah, it was across the street from Feaster Park, I believe.

BK: That might be the place, there was a memoir of the ‘95 ish to 2000 scene. And that place got talked about a lot because of the Bouncing Souls.

Ivy: Yeah. Yep we lived there before the Bouncing Souls and after Martin Atkins. Martin bequeathed it to us with all of the s— he built in there. Like the platform and the telephone shower.

Cliff: Yeah, it had a telephone booth like the old Superman cartoons where you go in the telephone booth and you could take a shower. And the telephone booth was sitting on top of a drain so all the water would go into this drain. But it was pretty cool. It was really cold in there in the wintertime, I can tell you that.

Ivy: Yeah, the shower was like, bitching cold in the winter [laughs]. But yeah, the old place, pretty cool.

BK: What’s it look like for the rest of 2023? You’ve got this tour, you’ve got new music coming out, a few more shows here.

Cliff: Well we’re doing shows in L.A. In September. We’re doing some shows and then we’re going to be recording some more music. We’re making an album. And we’re going to kind of see how it goes. We’re also working on a family art show, and it’s going to be at Alaska’s only record store, Obsession Records. And it’s going to be our family art show. Our sons both experience autism, and we’re going to be working on a group show and we’re going to have a lot of fun doing that. It’s going to be around the holiday season.

And on Monday I’m recording a different project. It’s going to be a punk project, working with the vocalist and guitar player of Cyanamid, and Toby Record. He was in Lesser Koodoo and Flood Room and a bunch of other bands from New Brunswick. And who else? Brian Troisi. He was in Stampede and a bunch of metal bands. Anyway, it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s kind of just a side project. We’re just gonna freestyle in the studio and see what we come up with. And just hit the one day in the studio. I’m basically producing it and so we’ll see what comes out, what it turns out like, but should be fun.

So, two days in the studio. One with Jim Babjak and Brian, and then Brian the next day with the guys from Cyanamid, half of Cyanamid and Toby and myself. So, Lesser Koodoo and Brian. Should be fun.

BK: Great. Yeah. I can’t wait to hear what you guys come up with with Jim Babjak. That’ll be a lot of fun.

Cliff: It’s a really cool song. It’s called “We Ignite.” And he’s great. We saw him in California. He’s super awesome and just a great guitar player. He really does great leads. So it’ll be perfect for this song. I’m just not even going to describe it because it’s really cool, and it’s a sing-along.

BK: Ooh nice. I like it. I’ll take it.

Cliff: Yeah it’ll be really cool.

BK: Did you happen to see the Screaming Females? They played in Alaska, I think in March. They’re New Brunswickers.

Ivy: Yes they did a tour. We did not see them on that tour, but I was so glad that they were there. We did see them out in California, in L.A. with a friend of ours. We did meet them, but I didn’t get to see them on that Alaska tour. But I thought it was awesome that they showed up, and the Alaskan folks were psyched. So yeah, that was great. Super great.

Return to the main music recap here, or skip to another interview: The Cynz – Pillowinde – Gary Kaplan/RGD – Eric Harrison – Dinosaur Eyelids – Tula Vera – San TropezSuper Jack

BK: Alright, well, I think I’ve kind of come to the end of my road here. Thank you for your time. Is there anything you would want to say to your friends or fans out here? Anything additional?

Cliff: Yeah, thank you. We love all of our Court Tavern friends and people from the scene, and Sluggo and all the guys from Pleased Youth and all the bands, and the Court Tavern. Bobby Albert, rest in peace. And just all the good people that we met over the years, and so many great bands we’ve seen. It’s really a blessing to have seen all those really cool bands. Because I don’t really know that… the scene has transformed quite a bit, from being like this club scene to more of like a private party scene, which is really cool that people still do stuff.

Ivy: Yeah. It’s awesome. We love our East Coast freaky family. We’ll be back always and forever. Immortally yours, Cliff and Ivy.

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Bennett Kelly reports on music for New Brunswick Today. He is a two-time winner of the Best Arts & Entertainment Coverage award from the NJ Society of Professional Journalists, for his features on the New Brunswick music scene in 2021 and 2022.

Bennett Kelly reports on music for New Brunswick Today. He is a two-time winner of the Best Arts & Entertainment Coverage award from the NJ Society of Professional Journalists, for his features on the New Brunswick music scene in 2021 and 2022.