Posts Tagged Jukebox The Ghost

Video: Jukebox The Ghost — “Half Crazy”

Indie-pop gurus Jukebox The Ghost recently concluded their tour of Europe and the UK, and are getting ready to play a string of shows in the Northeast before taking a break until January, when they’ll play another slew of dates. Just today, they premiered an interesting video for the song “Half Crazy,” from the band’s most recent record Everything Under The Sun. Check out the RAC remix of the first JTG song I ever loved, “Good Day,” as well as another track from EUTS, “Schizophrenia,” below.

Jukebox The Ghost – Good Day (RAC Maury Mix) by RAC

Jukebox the Ghost – Schizophrenia by MCT MANAGEMENT

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Inside the Jukebox: Jukebox the Ghost

Every time I hear Jukebox The Ghost’s Everything Under The Sun, I wonder how I let it escape our Top 20 Albums of 2010. But I will take solace in the fact that I’ve seen the band kill it live, bought both their debut and sophomore albums after hearing just a couple of tracks, and placed the band’s song “Misteltoe” at No. 12 on my personal Top 60 of 2010. Why? Because this trio — Philadelphians Tommy Siegel (vocals, guitar), Jesse Willen (drums) and Ben Thornewill (piano, vocals) — designs infectious indie-pop tunes like architects design buildings. Ever since I first heard “Good Day” in the Spring of 2007, I’ve been hooked.

Jukebox the Ghost officially released EUTS in mainland Europe on September 26, will release the record in the UK on October 31, and they’ll be playing dates all over the UK and Europe this fall. Tommy Siegel was nice enough to answer some of our questions as the band was kicking things off in Germany this week. TWJ and JtG share a Jukebox, and as one of my favorite bands, they own a small piece of my heart. Questions and answers — and songs — are below.

A handful of songs that Tommy sings on both your albums tell these epic, apocalyptic tales. What draws him, or maybe all you guys to write songs around stories like that?

Ben and I both like to take inspiration from literature, and I had a period of about a year where the only creative source I was using was the Book of Revelation (for the curious, I’m not an evangelical or doomsday-believer — I was raised Jewish).  I really liked some the imagery in it and started writing a couple of songs around it which slowly turned into an album’s worth of material, some of which we didn’t use.  We ended up slicing pieces of it up and putting them on our first album, “Let Live and Let Ghosts,” in a somewhat disjointed format.  At some point, I think it might be cool to record the whole thing as a continuous piece of music.

Jukebox the Ghost – The Stars by Partisan PR

You guys have a real knack for crafting irresistibly catchy hooks. Do you typically start with what you think is the hook for a song? Or what’s the band’s songwriting process like?

Ben and I both write independently and then bring them to the band.  For both of us, a song usually starts with melody or rhythmic idea that we can’t shake and then grows from there.  Sometimes we bring songs to the band 100% written, and other times they’re much more skeletal.  Totally depends.  Jesse usually acts as the ‘producer’, making sure all the songs are as tight and reined in as they can be.

Having seen you in concert, I’d say you guys seem to be having an awful lot of fun doing what you’re doing. If that’s a fair statement, what is it about making music and performing that you guys enjoy most?

I think we all enjoy being on stage, which helps a lot.  Also, a lot of bands form for the sole purpose of touring, and our band runs a lot deeper than that — We were all great friends in college and we still are, so we usually have a pretty good time hanging out on the road (which I imagine is not the case for most bands).  Also, we all love crappy food and sleeping on the floor of a Motel 6.

You guys will be all over Europe touring in support of James Blunt very soon [Editor’s note: the tour is underway now]. What’re you looking forward to about that?

The cheese, the wine, and our first-ever arena tour.  It’s gonna be insane.

I first heard you guys in 2007 when I listened to “Good Day,” ahead of the release of Let Live And Let Ghosts. What’s changed
the most for you guys as a band since those days?

We recorded that album while we were will still in college, so we’re very different people.  As far as the songs go, we’re all still very proud of “Let Live” though — I’m glad that hasn’t changed.

Jukebox The Ghost – Good Day by fadedglamourblog 

You guys have covered both Ace of Base as well as Donna Lewis. Is there a song you guys have dreamed of covering but haven’t gotten to it yet?

Yes, a few.  But we can’t spill the beans.  We’ll get to ’em. 

Jukebox The Ghost – The Power of Love by The Wounded Jukebox

What’s one awesome thing about each of you that most people probably don’t know?

Jesse (drums) is also a singer-songwriter/guitarist in his own right, Ben has a third nipple, and I used to work as a historical re-enactor.

What do your families think of your music careers?

All of our parents have been very cool about the whole thing.  Luckily, the band has been (mildly) profitable since we all graduated college in 2007, so that’s certainly helped.  We haven’t been beggars, which I think is usually the parental fear of the music path…..

Where did the idea for the band name Jukebox The Ghost come from?

Hard drugs. 

Would it be fair to say that Jukebox The Ghost is perhaps a more highly-evolved version of The Wounded Jukebox? It’s ok, you can be honest.

You have every legal right to sue us.  The answer is yes!

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Best Songs of 2010: Sean’s Top 60 (30-1)

These are my 30 favorite songs of 2010. It was a wonderful year in music, albeit somewhat overwhelming for the sheer volume of releases. But these songs received the most love from my ears, my brain and my heart this year. We here at The Wounded Jukebox want to thank you for reading and for listening, for helping inspire us to keep doing what we love: Sharing music with as many people as we can. Thanks, and enjoy the tunes.

Download Sean’s Top 30 in one zip folder

30. Apollo Ghosts – “Hub City” (May 10)

29. Gorillaz – “Stylo (Feat. Bobby Womack)”

28. Lupe Fiasco – “The Show Goes On”

This song borrows the hook from Modest Mouse’s “Float On”, and does it quite nicely. Looking forward to Mr. Fiasco’s new album in 2011.

27. Shark Speed – “Killing Kind” (March 10)

26. Broken Social Scene – “All to All” (April 5)

25. Sleigh Bells – “Riot Rhythm” (April 29)

24. Sun Airway – “Oh, Naoko”

23. Local Natives – “Wide Eyes” (Dec. 15)

22. The Head and The Heart – “Ghosts” (Sept. 30)

21. Joanna Newsom – “Good Intentions Paving Company” (May 31)

20. Hellogoodbye – “Finding Something To Do”

Hellogoodbye didn’t release an album for four years, went through some lineup changes and then, out of nowhere, released Would It Kill You? near the end of this year. That break made the band more diverse musically, gave them a tighter sound and resulted in one of my personal favorite albums of the year. This song is a gem.

19. The Heligoats – “Fish Sticks” (January 20, March 3)

18. Big Boi – “Shutterbug (Feat. Cutty)”

17. The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp” (Dec. 14)

16. Yeasayer – “O.N.E.” (Sept. 4)

15. Lykke Li – “Get Some”

14. The Lonely Forest – “Turn Off This Song and Go Outside” (Sept. 30)

13. TIE – LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrself Clean” and “Pow Pow” (May 31)

Okay, okay. I know it’s a copout. But I simply couldn’t choose between these two brilliant songs that emerged from James Murphy’s brain this year. The quirky, neurotic cleverness of “Pow Pow” is undeniable, and the buildup and release of “Dance Yrself Clean” is nearly perfect. My apologies.

12. Jukebox The Ghost – “Mistletoe” (Aug. 23)

11. Dr. Dog – “Jackie Wants A Black Eye” (April 5)

10. Twin Shadow – “I Can’t Wait” (Nov. 15)

9. Radical Face – “Doorways” (Oct. 7)

8. Kanye West – “Monster (Featuring Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver)” (Dec. 17)

From the beat that rattles your teeth throughout and sounds as if it could be the literal heartbeat of some awesome hip-hop monster, to some of Kanye’s best lines on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, to the best guest appearance I heard all year delivered courtesy a schizophrenic-but-incredible 90-second rant by (huh?) Nicki Minaj, this song made me smirk every time I heard it.

7. Vampire Weekend – “Run” (Dec. 15)

Awesome remix as well, just for kicks.

6. Pepper Rabbit – “Older Brother” (Nov. 2)

5. Laura Marling – “Rambling Man” (May 31)

4. Arcade Fire – “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) (Aug. 4, Dec. 17)

3. The National – “Conversation 16” (May 31)

2. The Naked And Famous – “Young Blood” (Nov. 21)

1. Morning Benders – “Excuses” (Feb. 15, May 31)

This song is about young lust, lasting love and growing old with someone you care about. I was in love with this song more than any other this year, and perhaps it’s because the band captures the fear and whimsy of realizing you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. The strings swell, the drums pound and tap, and the vocal harmonies are delightful. It is, in short, my favorite song of this year.

Watch the video — it made me fall in love with this song all over again.

Download Sean’s Top 30 in one zip folder


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Jukebox The Ghost: Empire (Freelance Whales remix)

Jukebox the Ghost have been on my radar for quite awhile now.  A friend introduced them to me in 2007, and I’ve kept an eye on them ever since. Their album Live and Let Ghosts is excellent musically — with its buoyant keyboards, delicious guitar riffs and general indie-pop goodness — and lyrically. This Philadelphia trio knows how to put together a catchy and introspective tune. They can also relate everyday experiences to the bigger life picture.

When I saw JTG live in April, with Skybox, it was a delight. They are energetic and friendly onstage, and really talented musicians as well. So when I spoke with them briefly after the show and found out they have a new record on the way, I was super-pumped. Particularly because they played a few cuts from it during their show that night, and all sounded wonderful. And they were such nice guys to boot!

“Empire” is the first single from that new record, titled Everything Under The Sun. It’s the same kind of toe-tapping tune I fell in love with them for. And then, upon visiting the wonderful Tympanogram, I found that another one of my favorite bands — Freelance Whales — had remixed “Empire”! Needless to say I was stoked. Freelance Whales, who hails from New York, put a real trippy spin on an already-wonderful track. Put them together, and that’s two awesome tunes we can share with you (maybe more, huh?). Enjoy!

Pre-order Everything Under The Sun here.

Empire” By Jukebox The Ghost (From Everything Under The Sun, out September 7 on Yep Roc)

Empire (Freelance Whales Remix)

Schizophrenia” By Jukebox The Ghost (From Everything Under The Sun, out September 7 on Yep Roc)

The band performs “Good Day” on April 8 in Columbus, Ohio.


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