Ed's Redeeming Qualities

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Ed's Redeeming Qualities was an alternative folk group that was founded in 1988 and originally consisted of Dani Leone, Dom Leone, Carrie Bradley (who also performed with The Breeders), and Neno Perrotta. Jonah Winter joined the band for the albums Big Grapefruit Cleanup Job and At The Fish And Game Club. Dom Leone died of cancer in 1989.

The quirky Boston band consisted of a ukulele player, a guitarist/violinist, and a percussionist. The Boston Globe said of the band: "Ed’s was the prototype for the little indie band that could."[1] After playing in the Boston area for two years, the band moved to San Francisco. Of their album, "More Bad Times," Chicago Times critic Bill Wyman said, "I have a feeling More Bad Times is going to be one of those records I get obsessive about." [2]

Their songs were often funny and strange story-songs or character sketches, compared to the style of the Modern Lovers' Jonathan Richman. Some highlights include Neno's "Lawyers and Truckers" and "Lawn Dart", and Leone's "Spoken Word."The band received some mainstream exposure when The Breeders covered their song "Drivin' On 9" on the album Last Splash. Kim Deal of the Breeders said, “They were really good at what they were doing, but there was a really cool amateur quality that was truly amateur. They were fun, too, sort of like the Pogues — but with more teeth.’’[3]

In 1996 the band provided the soundtrack to the indie movie, "Ed's Next Move." Scriptwriter John. C Walsh said, "A friend of mine was in this band called Ed’s Redeeming Qualities and I just thought they were hilarious. I’d see them perform at the Mercury Lounge in New York and found myself playing their music fairly frequently during the first draft of the script." It led to Walsh writing the band into the movie, and creating the lead female character of Lee (played by Callie Thorne) as a member of in the band. "There was something about the tone of their music that was wry, offbeat, and slightly bent, but also deeply romantic ultimately," Walsh said. He originally wanted to call the movie "Ed's Redeeming Qualities," but the band asked him not to use their name for the title of the film.[4]

After the band's breakup, Carrie Bradley went on to form the band 100 Watt Smile, which released two albums in the late 1990s. Dani Leone and Jonah Winter went on to writing careers, and Neno Perrotta published a book of poetry.

The Presidents of the United States of America, in their 2008 release These Are the Good Times People borrowed the lyrics and title of the ERQ song "More Bad Times," adding a few additional quips and a new musical feel.

Reunion 2011[edit]

On January 22, 2011, Ed's Redeeming Qualities played a reunion show at TT the Bear's Place in Cambridge, MA, and recreated the atmosphere of Ed's Basement variety shows that occurred at The Rathskeller in the late 1980s.[5]

Discography[edit]

  • Ed's Redeeming Qualities (tape)
  • Ed's Kitchen (tape) (1988)
  • Ed's Day (EP) (1989)
  • More Bad Times (1990)
  • It's All Good News (1991)
  • Safe World Record (EP) (1992)
  • Static & Weak Tea (tape) (1993)
  • Big Grapefruit Clean-Up Job (live) (1995)
  • Ed's Next Move (1996)
  • At the Fish and Game Club (1996)
  • Guess Who This Is (tribute album to Dom Leone with covers of various ERQ songs)

References[edit]

Interview: John C. Walsh and Matt Ross Revisit the Romantic ’90s Gem “Ed’s Next Move." Moveable Feast, August 14, 2013

"A Redemption of Sorts," The Boston Globe via boston.com, January 21, 2011

IMDB, "Ed's Next Move."

External links[edit]