Langhorne Slim TV TREAT

Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles made their Television debut on David Letterman. Wow and what a fine job they did! While this footage is very formal their live shows are anything but.

So for now just enjoy this TV TREAT and make plans to see them on the road. Spring tour dates on MySpace.


Langhorne Slim On Letterman

Happy News for Langhorne Slim! I'm crazy about this band!

The band Langhorne Slim is a rockin folk/blues/rock/outfit that has been wowing crowds across the US and Europe with their exuberant stage presence and rollicking sound. Stirring audiences to stomp, clap, dance, and sing along in a frenzy of glee.

Langhorne Slim has now found a home with the label Kemado Records and will unleash a self-titled full-length album with bonus tracks on April 29th, 2008. The recordings reflect the live rip-roaring high-spirited feel and acoustic gems that warm the heart.

For other articles about Langhorne Slim (press labels).


Jukebox the Ghost / Wows @ Piano’s

Jukebox has the have factor. What takes other bands years to develop they already have. The learning curve for this band has been working at mock speed. A full house of enthusiastic fans came out on a Thursday night to see this lively trio work their intuitive magic. The audience clapped, sang, smiled, and moved happily, soaking in the spirited set.

Ben Thornewill on Keys/vocals, Tommy Seigel on guitar/vocals, and Jessie Kristen on drums exude warmth, connectedness, and unpretentious ease of performance. They take their music seriously but don’t burden the audience with insecurity. They can enjoy a good flub of a lyric; laugh, shrug and continue to play.

The incredibly catchy mix of dance/ rock/pop/ compositions is integrated live with smart lyrics to match.
Ben Thornewill’s music conservatory background is apparent. He has serious chops without an attitude, but his facial expression is Oscar-worthy. Like Freddie Mercury of Queen, his vocal range can be smooth like butter or ecstatically charged. While rocking with his guitar, Tommy Seigel gawkily jerked and one-footed the stage with innate charm, devoid of pomposity. His lead vocals added a welcome diversity to the overall gestalt. Jessie Kristin’s drumming was impressive, holding together the changing rhythms that are a complex part of the Jukebox sound.

They went through much of their new recording Let Live and Let Ghosts, including the three-part "Fire in the Sky"/ "Where Are All The Scientists Now" / "A Matter of Time” that feature Siegel’s quirky vocals with Thornewill doing back up. Crowd favorites: "Good Day," "Hold it in," and "Victoria" were also in the mix and wonderful live.

Building on the party atmosphere, Ben introduced a cover song as an Indie guilty pleasure. Pleasure, it was, but I was too enthralled to remember the name.

When the set was over, the audience begged for an encore, some screaming suggestions. They chose the last grouping of songs on The Beatles Abbey Road. Easing into the beautiful "Golden Slumbers," the audience swayed and cooed. “Carry That Weight” was an awesome sing-along. “End” was the closing, and Tommy moved to stage left, leaving Jesse Kristin in full view for a great drum solo moment. This just killed.

Tides in music have a way of changing fast. Jukebox The Ghost’s refreshing personalities, undeniable musicianship, and dynamic pop and roll will sustain them. Making a buzz a breakthrough. They have it!
Jukebox The Ghost


Deer Tick, War Elephant; hard to forget /review

Deer Tick’s debut release War Elephant on Feow Records, is hard to forget. The melodies are countrified confessionals reflecting the lineage of legendary folk, alt-country, grunge, and blues. War Elephant respectively pays homage to the styles and songwriting of yesteryear; Nirvana, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and in the vein of Tom Petty, Bright Eyes (alt-country) Two Gallants, to name a few.

The songs feature the stellar songwriting and vocals of John McCauley. With lyrics worth remembering concerning unreciprocated love, romantic notions, self-reflection, self-doubt, and religious reference that bridge a broader discourse. In the songs “Not So Dense,” / now the kids are making models of god in papier mache / and “Christ Jesus,” / its your face I don’t see / he opens the discussion.

McCauley’s worn weathered tobacco-laden voice blends in perfect tandem with his smart lyrical notations. The tone, rawness, and delivery are likened to Kurt Cobain. His words defy his age and are indicative of an old soul.

The quality of Deer Tick's musicianship gives the songs tang and a homespun sound of familiarity. Strongly melding melody-driven finger picking on acoustic guitar, throwback electric (John McCauley), drum brushed snare shuffle and clanging cymbals (Dennis Ryan), dramatic double bass (Chris Ryan), and the violin for romantic and aggressive treatments (Sine Jensen).

Opening with the beautiful “Ashamed,” a classic folk ballad that conjures social commentary; / the eternal testament to how your so animalistic / and / you should have seen how the arches tumbled / they are golden no more / the beguiling chorus rise in angelic contrast as they join McCauley singing / oh oh oh / oh oh oh / oh oh / what a crying shame / what we became /.

The full jug band glory and a two-step rhythm in the songs “Art Isn’t Real (City Of Sin)," “Diamond Rings 2007,” and “These Old Shoes” bring the melody to fruition. Making the upbeat tempo of songs about unrequited love a welcome dichotomy. He declares his lovelorn circumstances inventively… / I know of a city of sin / and that’s the place I want to see you in / romancing, go back to the beginning / and / I’ll stay the whole night through / and I’ll turn from black to blue / I’m choking after you /.
“Standing in the threshold” comes on like a grunge storm, building intensity with the bass and electric guitar and plowing through the song's entirety. / you and me / created something special / oh you and me / oh we’re standing at the threshold /. The anguished screams and strained vocals provoke the finality / I fall apart from the inside out / and die…..

“Nevada” is a soft, bittersweet love declaration as
violin heart strings accompany McCauley’s voice imploring his love to / stay here and wander beside me / and ending on a sour note. / I spill my gut / if I had your trust / oh, believe me but you leave me crushed /. The haunting “Christ Jesus” is forbidding. The bass, crashing cymbals, and McCauley’s impassioned voice are equally pronounced, creating a jolting resonance.

McCauley shows off his phrasing abilities in a campy cover of an old standard “What Kind Of Fool Am I.” Beginning with a clank snare and cymbal that leads into a Bossa Nova arrangement. It emphasizes the sad but comedic self-deprecating lyrics. / What kind of clown am I / what do I know of life /. The song ends on an optimistic note, cleverly kicking in piano and violins to bring home the ultimate sappy true romantic within. Appropriately closing War Elephant with a hoot.

With not one misstep, all 14 tracks on War Elephant display their influences proudly and lovingly. It is a music assemblage of caliber and a rewarding listening experience.

Music Blogger reviewer rant…

I love writing reviews and giving them my all! Of course, I write about music I love, so that part is easy. Reviewers on staff often have too much that they are required to listen to. I don't have to endure listening to mediocre music for the sake of review. I think that might just ruin music for me. I would become jaded.

In that regard, being a paid reviewer must be complicated and almost impossible not to be subjective.
The controversy surrounding the reviewer for Maxim, who rated the Black Crowes’ forthcoming album Warpaint without really listening, is disturbing. I’m sure it is a common occurrence.

Bloggers also have their own set of difficulties. Posting regularly keeps a Blog viable and maintains reader interest and loyalty. I have read many reviews lately that are of the cut-and-paste variety.
Part of the problem is the promotional material and goodies sent as bait to peak Blogger's interest.

The written promotional resources sent to me are helpful but from the viewpoint of another writer or publicist. Often it is misleading and not about the music. Mainly, it contains buzzwords to encourage interest. That is why reviews often have similar keywords and phrases written out of context.

Lately, I’ve been receiving music online. Having done several favorable reviews of Peasant, one might think that I might have received his recording as a present with a ribbon or via e-mail. Well, I didn’t, and like most music I love, I gladly pay for it. Some music I have received is already on my radar, either I have purchased the EP or have seen the group live. I also write about groups that are not on anyone’s radar. That is something I take pride in.

So why read my reviews? I believe I have a point of view. I trust my instincts. I guarantee my readers that I really listen before writing. I listen (obsessively), absorb, and write. I will not write about music I don't love. I will write about music that has a point of view or has the potential to move music culture forward.

Listen to Diamond Rings 2007 from
Deer Tick! my latest obsession! War Elephant review, to post very soon! I paid for this one!!


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