2.28.2008

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 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 of a 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 ending 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 that have the enduring quality of giving.

Exposure MP3

2.20.2008

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”, willingly volunteered. With trashcan in one hand and 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

2.17.2008

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 is the standout that combines classical vignettes, show tune swagger, dance punk edginess and pop / rock styling. In the mix is Tommy Siegel’s funk guitar grooves and Jesse Kristin’s rhythmic drumming that drives the bass line. The great vocals of Ben Thornwill, 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 worlds 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 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 ones 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 that has quirk, perk and bounce. Wow! Plus I have heard a must see live.


“Hold It In” MP3

woxy.com presents Jukebox the Ghost from Soft City Lights on Vimeo.

2.03.2008

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 and has 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 on foot, the cymbals with another, while strum-plucking his guitar. What a surprisingly big sound he produced. He parodied David Letterman’s Top Ten List, read and chuck to sing and chuck. 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 vain of “Nosebleed”. A song recorded with his band Illinois and also featured on the HBO show Weeds.

Flickr Set

2.02.2008

Novice Theory, Extrodinary Emerging Talent

Geo Wyeth AKA Novice Theory is a musical force that is driven with the vision of possibilities.


The music and per
formance is gaudy, ballsy and emotional with a vengeance and a slight wink. With street performer creds this multi-instrumental musician and composer, has chops and the 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 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 sang 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 March 8th.
Check Novice Theory myspace.
Flickr Set