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Archive for July 21st, 2012

Saturday Spotlight: From Eelwax Jesus to Declan’s Well

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming…

Another Saturday night and you ain’t got nobody?  Well, it has been called the loneliest night of the week.  It’s also been said that S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night is alright for fighting.  But here at Second Disc HQ, this evening will hardly be lonely, because Mike and I will be indulging in some of our favorite new music.  Yup, that’s right!  For this special weekend update, if you will, we’re turning the spotlight from back-catalogue favorites to all-new tunes.  After all, today’s talents are making for tomorrow’s reissues, and it’s in that spirit that we’re spinning “future classics” from two singular artists, Eelwax Jesus and Declan’s Well!

The genre-defying brainchild of Max Baker (soon to be seen on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac) and Lee Sellars (Broadway’s West Side Story, television’s ER), Eelwax Jesus has been making music since 2000.  All the while, Eelwax has blurred the lines between rock and theatre.  Call it alternative, call it post-punk, call it art-rock, but no matter what you call it, it’s defiantly original.  Just last month, Eelwax unleashed its latest work onto an unsuspecting public, following Origami Monkeys, Naptime for the Gurus and Three.  The new Welcome to Greenland offers six tracks, including (as befits The Second Disc!) a remastered version of “The Bavarian Weatherman.”  Imagine if DNA samples of David Bowie, The Smiths, The Flaming Lips and Ben Folds were somehow combined into one test tube, and you’ll have a small if insufficient idea of what Eelwax Jesus is all about.  The music is just one part of the whole experience, though; The Eelwax Jesus Show was developed in 2009 with The Eelwax Jesus 3-D Pop Music Show (complete with a tap-dancing vagina…seriously!) following in 2010.  Guests such as Michelle Federer (Wicked), Euan Morton (Taboo) and Tony Award nominee Cristin Milioti (Once) have all taken the stage alongside Sellars and Baker, and you can hear Milioti on this track:


The band’s music on Welcome to Greenland is mordant and keenly observed, as on the acerbic, piano-led “Born in the 21st Century” (“born with a corporate logo on my head,” natch).  It’s also frequently satirical and always intriguing.  “Flavor of the Day” is a dark, cabaret-style excursion with offbeat humor and spoken-word interludes; at one point, the vocals even veer into Neil Young territory!  The band’s theatrical bent extends to the driving, up-tempo (and instantly catchy) “Watch Me Dance” but the guitars are a-blazing with a forceful attack on “London.”  Capping it all off is “The Bavarian Weatherman,” a kooky monologue delivered over an oom-pah beat.  Greenland – the album, not the place – is daffy, ironic, off-kilter, aggressive, and never, ever boring.  It’s a good place to start exploring the smart, fun and utterly uninhibited music of Eelwax Jesus!  Here’s a little taste of Welcome to Greenland!  Like what you hear?  You can order the full EP here!  Visit the band on Facebook!


After the jump, Mike takes you down to Declan’s Well! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 21, 2012 at 13:42