Irresistible Charm of Peasant; On The Ground

The irresistible charm of the arrangements and vocals on Peasant's full-length On The Ground, released by Paper Garden Records, has folk-pop elegance and unexpected detailing. The songs of love and loss are genuinely stated. Warm and dreamy vocal harmonies are delicately entwined with inventive composition. It is seductive and, yes, beautiful.

Peasant’s music is like the Sirens persuasively calling from the distance. The sounds are muted as if to hold in feelings. And so Peasant takes us on his odyssey appropriately, starting with the beautiful “The Wind” / I am speaking for the wind / blowing on my door / and it’s saying words I know / but in a different order /. The harmonica breathes in between verses as if to pause and think. Ending with stunning harmonies of / I am you / I am you…...

The random movements of the wind are unpredictable, and so are Peasant’s recording sensibilities. The guitar leads that glisten, snapping, organ, haunting lead-in harpsichord in “Birds”, the offbeat clanking of percussion in the song “Missing All Of You,” or the thump-strum of the guitar in “On The Ground.”

Peasant articulates the stages of falling in love, breaking up, confusion, loss, and the reassessment of moving on. The words expressed in the song “On The Ground” sum it up / Actually, I don’t believe a word I tell myself / we woke up / and we broke up / thinking all the time that it was easy…. Well it’s not.

In the gorg
eous “Not Your Savior” the continuous guitar strums stop to exhale / where do we go from here / and where are we now /. The added pulsating heartbeat of the soft bass spaced in a loop, is striking in the song “Raise Today.” The lyrics linger and question/everything’s dancing around / a circle that I cannot see / what is there missing from me / that I see in you / and ending with / just trying to stay on the ground /.

The yearning for lost love in the song “Those Days” expresses the enduring seduction of imagination. His voice cries out / you were my lover, for now, just another / those days are gone /. The killer chorus rises with assertion / I don’t know who you think we are / you can miss this nearly healing scar /…and ends with a lingering note like a foghorn in the distance.

All fourteen tracks are created as a self-catharsis of sorts. Peasant might be hurt but not ready to drown in his tears. Through his songs, he will sort everything out and come back standing.

And stand he does, as a singer-songwriter, Damien DeRose's phrasing, and recordings are deliberate and skillfully directed. With On the Ground, Peasant has seamlessly assembled a collection of songs with the enduring quality of giving.

Exposure MP3


Drink Up Buttercup; Piano's Residency

Drink Up Buttercup’s spirited residency at Piano’s began last night. I had to be there. I love this band. What struck me is the gloriously jam-packed uproar they create. Extraordinary harmonies, lyrics, and instrumentation are audible simultaneously. Nothing is sacrificed. Edgy disorder gone right!

I am not the only New Yorker taken with Drink Up. One fan came alone for the sole purpose of embracing the music. She danced, smiled, clapped, and when the band asked if anyone wanted to join in for the song “Gods and Gentleman,” she willingly volunteered. With a trashcan in one hand and a shaker in the other, she banged with complete abandon. I love her!

Others took notice! Go to earfarm for review, pictures, and two uploaded videos and dates.

Catch the Contagious Delight of Drink Up Buttercup! Scroll and view all related posts here!
Flickr Set


Jukebox The Ghost; Let Live and Let Ghosts / Review

Jukebox The Ghost’s Let Live and Let Ghosts full-length debut is lyrically smart piano pop with equally compelling vocals. This three-piece outfit of piano/keys /, guitar, and drums blend catchy hooks with over-the-top bounce. While the compositional shape of the music holds comparisons to Queen, it has an original sensibility.

Ben Thornwill’s piano/keys are the standout that combines classical vignettes, show tune swagger, dance punk edginess, and pop/rock styling. Tommy Siegel’s funk guitar grooves in the mix and Jesse Kristin’s rhythmic drumming drives the bass line. The great vocals of Ben Thornhill and sing-along hook-bait harmonies are no rest stop. This shit compels you to move.

Soaring with a wink are Ben Thornwill’s tenor vocals that take off in unexpected ways. While his voice can reach levels compared to Freddy Mercury and Jeff Buckley, they are uninhibited and wildly witty with a hint of Kentucky drawl. ”My Heart’s The Same,” a moving epic love song, shows the emotional range his voice can carry.

Jukebox presents our world's massive dilemmas like a black comedy.
The impending doom runs through a three-part grouping of deceivingly up-tempo songs. "Fire in the Sky,"/ "Where Are All The Scientists Now," / "A Matter of Time.” The song “Where Are All The Scientists Now” applies phrasing like, / It’s the end of the world la, da de da / da da de da /. Employing dramatic crashing piano segments to emphasize gloom with a capital G, reminiscent of cheesy old movie soundtracks. With "In Your Face" and "Wordplay," they have updated the sentiment found in the 1956 hit "Que Sera Sera" (Whatever Will Be Will Be).

The lyrics in th
e song “Static” provoke social and political examination. The followers and believers fall lockstep with a hypnotic leader and…. / 10,000 strong / shouting in unison / and then Thornwill’s impassioned chorus frenetically sings…. / Mom and Dad wake up, wake up from your slumber / because where going to burn this mother fucker down / sometimes we burn and steal and rape and kill and sacrifice / just to remind ourselves that we’re still alive /.

Other songs like “Hold It In,” “Good Day,” and “Under My Skin” are so memorable that they might be considered dangerous to one's health. Ever heard of earworms? Hold it in oooohhhh / Hold it in ooohhhhh /.

Jukebox The Ghost’s songs unpredictably develop, leaving the listener thoroughly engaged. They joyfully create a complex compositional dialogue with a quirk, perk and bounce. Wow! Plus I have heard a must see live.

“Hold It In” MP3


Cake Shop, Chris Archibald One-Man Band Wonder

I don’t wear a watch, own a cell phone, or look at a calendar. Shit, I was at the wrong venue. Happily, I realized I could see Peasant and Chris Archibald of Illinois at Cake Shop. So over the bridge, I drove.

Opening at the last minute was Mike Sanders of the band Abigail Warchild. He was a sweet trooper with a deep resonating voice, similar to Jim Morrison. With his full-bodied band via MySpace, his songs translate! It is hard to convey rock-oriented music acoustically.

Peasant is always solo. His songwriting and soothing vocals warm the heart. I’ll write more later this month when I publish my review of his album “On the Ground.” ..........Dreamy!
Nice words from Brooklyn Vegan
Spin.com filmed Peasant's Subway Series

Chris Archibald was a one-man band wonder. Tapping the
bass drum with one foot and the cymbals with another while strum-plucking his guitar. What a surprisingly big sound he produced. He parodied David Letterman’s Top Ten List. About six glorious songs in, he turned to the keyboard and played a moving love song.

He has a full range when it comes to songwriting. We were treated to songs of depth, hilarious road trip band tunes, and funky, saloon-folk ballads in the vein of “Nosebleed.” A song was recorded with his band Illinois and featured on the HBO show Weeds.

Flickr Set


Novice Theory, Extrodinary Emerging Talent

Geo Wyeth, AKA Novice Theory, is a musical force driven by the vision of possibilities.

The music and per
formance are gaudy, ballsy, and emotional, with a vengeance and a slight wink. With street performer creds, this multi-instrumental musician and composer have chops and a performance flare in the vein of music heavyweights. Think Gerry Lee Lewis and Rufus infused with Jazz arrangements. Novice Theory’s talent dazzles, it moved me to tears.

It is a rare occurrence to witness a musician with intrinsic musical talent. On Wednesday night at the Trash Bar, Geo Wyeth appeared below the stage with a small accordion acoustic style, stomping a foot and singing a song. With gutsy panache, he dove right in. After about six minutes, Geo slowly walked to the stage and took a seat in front of the keyboard.

Without hesitation, he launched into a fluid set combining jazzy vignettes, classical styling, and cabaret punk-like keyboarding. The broad strokes of composition were united into the confessional song structure.

Songs that depict G
eo Wyeths’ journey to claim his core gender identity. He sings in the song “Coming of Age” / Mama I’ll grow up to be a man / and references / my scars will be my tassels / and in “There is an Order” to his father, he claims, / you never had a daughter you had me your infamy /. The lyrics lend authenticity to the urgent vocals.

He closed with “At the End We Listen In” / I walk into the fire with a razor in my left hand / cutting across the sand / concluding with a frenetic chant / in the fire in the fire in the fire…Wow!

Music theory can be stale and restricting. A novice can explore the process without constraints. Novice Theory reaches beyond the boundaries of theory and em
braces music with a spirit of abandon.

Brought to you by Blip tv
Set aside April 5th to see Novice Theory at Joe’s Pub work the baby grand!! For other events in the works, Bed Stuy Art Jam is on March 8th.
Check Novice Theory myspace.
Flickr Set


Lower East Side Art; Cake Shop Not Just Music

Cake Shop is now displaying monthly art exhibits on the upper floor curated by Ben Furgal. The show in January featured the work of artist Evie Falci. A closing reception will be tonight.

Evie Falci's medium of choice is playful childhood craft items like googly eyes, pom poms, studs, rhinestones, and glitter. These materials are meticulously assembled to form repetitive surface transformations on various shaped mounts.

The formal compositions create a visual dialogue between perception and reference. Masterfully assembling visual juxtapositions. The googly eyes form an industrial metal-like surface, while the soft, colorful pom poms yield the desire to touch. Simplicity meets complexity, creating a minimal stoic effect.

Dina Kelberman of Important Comics and Wham City notoriety will present new works from February 1st to March 1st. Opening reception on the 1st with The Creepers, Mason Ross, and Santa Dads.


Hold Your Nose and VOTE. Don’t stand on principle

Register Now Young People, wake up Please!!

Another four to eight years of Republican rule. Believe me the country will do it again. Swift boat ads, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Just remember, Bush’s
misuse of the "bully pulpit" to advance his agenda. Do you recall the orange alerts in NYC timed before major legislation and elections? They will do anything to win.

Issues such as gay marriage, “don’t ask don’t tell", abortion are unmentionable hot button issues.

I have to admit I get annoyed with the Democratic field. No one has any balls or ballets. Unfortunately pandering is a necessary part of being elected. Even now, I am certain that the Republicans will win especially if Obama or Hillary are to rely on young people to vote. Many are not registered and don’t even bother. Remember the last presidential election?

Click Rock the Vote to register now....


kimya Dawson; Deserving of Recognition

The music world is upside down and inside out. The soundtrack for the movie Juno featuring seven tracks by a little-known DIY songstress, is at the top of the Billboard charts. Through subliminal exposure, Kimya Dawson’s recordings are featured predominately on the soundtrack. Kimya Dawson is in a unique position.

She has been creating great music for years with her first band, The Moldy Peaches, her solo projects on K Records, and a new side projec
t, Antsy Pants released on Plan-it x Records.

About seven year
s ago, I remembered a family car trip listening to the Moldy Peaches. We are an open-minded lot, and we sang along to “Whose Got The Crack” from the Moldy peaches 2001 release with giddy delight. Not to worry, anyone listening to the Juno soundtrack is not savvy enough to find this little-known gem, and what would they think of it?

Kimya Dawso
n is well-known in DIY circles. It is great to see a talented, hardworking musician songwriter like Kimya gain deserving recognition. She has given and shared with her fans and other musicians and will not take her success lightly. She will bring others along.

It is out of the ordinary when DIY culture meets the mainstream. When music artists, directors, screenwriters, and filmmakers on the fringe meet the mainstream culture. What happens? People like the movie and the soundtrack. Exposure is an interesting concept!

Non-commercial entities are now being positioned next to commercial properties. The Placement for Indie bands on commercials, TV placement in dramas and movies.

Listeners who think they hear all the latest in Indie music by tuning into college radio or hearing a playlist from KCRW would not have been familiar with Kimya Dawson’s music. To know about Kimya and the many musicians she tours and collaborates with, you must be a proactive music listener, familiar with the DIY culture, a Web board surfer, and a house show participant.

Web boards like Plan-it X, Absolute Punk.net, and Punk News.org support local DIY scenes all over the country. Word-of-mouth mixed tapes and house shows, doing it DIY style in full. This does not mean just booking and arranging shows. It is about communities where music is the focus, and everything else revolves around it.

Music is about sharing. If your only sharing with a chosen few, that is OK, but reaching the broader culture is a more interesting scenario.

Kimya Dawson MySpace


Fun Sound of Contagious Delight

Drink up Buttercup does something few bands know how to do. They put on a great show. Headlining at the Cake Shop only makes it better. Their insanely zany acrobatic stage antics mixed with a full-bodied sound of harmonic delight, produced an atmosphere of sensory overdrive.

The garbage can and auxiliary percussion were banged and harmonies fully intact. Involuntary operatic passages and rough bawdy instrumentation all came into play. What emerged is a band worthy of praise.

The crowd was deep in the dank basement of the Cake Shop, comprised of new and recent converts. After the show one newbie on vacation from Dublin, enthusiastically rattled off a list of influences that she felt comprise their sound. She sited, The Beatles (Sgt Pepper), Beach Boys (circa Pet Sounds), The Kinks and punk influence The Clash. It was nice to hear a fresh point of view and one that was so acute.

Drink Up Buttercup’s sound is an experimental melding of the best of various styles. Unbridled and openly, unchecked.

I derive pleasure from content driven songs and music that enhances lyrics. It is very unusual for me to LOVE a band like Drink Up Buttercup. I don’t give a shit about their lyrics. “Sosey and Dosey”, who are they, who cares. They played that song with a one two beat adding the crashing drunken keyboard. The sound broadly grew when the harmonies reached an explosive volume, singing / he held her mittens in his HAND......Every song in their set was delivered with that kind of gusto and bravado.

Accompanying them on stage for their last song “Gods and Gentleman” was the ramshackle audience orchestra, beating any form of percussion they could find. That was the clincher. The crowd craved more and Drink Up abandoned their mics and delivered an acoustic rendition of “The Lovers Play Dead” in the middle of the venue. With their shakers in hand, they included us in their energetic music circle of warmth.

For me, the only downer of the night is when a very beautiful young woman asked me quite sweetly, if I was one of the band members mother. Damn, I might be old but life is short, seeing Drink Up Buttercup is worth my time and yours.

: Trtl soup
Trtl soup combine cool geeky tech mixed with a DIY low-fi attitude that is refreshing. Bass, guitar and drums are interspersed with an audio system of spliced sound frequencies. The bands occasional ranting vocals, stood out in a funny way / girls go to college to gain more knowledge / boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider /. United with the light moments is a socio political edginess and sound assemblages that reflect our subliminal communal consciousness. Interesting Group!

Flickr Set Drink Up
Flickr Set Trtl soup