jukebox the ghost

Concert Review: The Family Crest, Jukebox The Ghost, February 13, The Crocodile

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts | Leave a comment

What’s more impressive than an indie band with an explosive sound, a huge string section, and a lead singer with the voice of a songbird? One with the dedication to haul around a cello and a stand up bass in Seattle weather. “We feel a really strong connection to Seattle,” explained the flautist of San Francisco based baroque pop band The Family Crest. “We spent a month in Seattle where we played a show a day. And this was during the snowpocalypse. So every day we would hitch our instruments onto our backs and wander to whatever neighborhood bar was in our vicinity so that we could play for whatever patrons were there and get our daily show in.” The group started things off Saturday night at the Crocodile in dramatic fashion with the beautiful and cinematic “Beneath the Brine” and moved through crowd favorites “Howl,” “Love Don’t Go,” “Make me a Boat,” and “The World” as well as trying out some newer pieces from an upcoming album. The San Franciscans joked about their tour mates: “Jukebox the Ghost has been just great, and they gave us the greatest gift of all – their colds.” In a music landscape where walking onto a stage and hitting a button on your mac has started to become something of the norm, The Family Crest with their multitude of instruments and their indie/swing/orchestral mashup is a true delight to watch.

Next up, Jukebox the Ghost. The DC threesome never fails to bring a smile to the face of everyone who sees them (and every time I see them I’m surprised to see how many tall and skinny men are bopping along to their glossy and bubblegum sweet tunes along with their female counterparts.) I always think of Jukebox the Ghost as being like candy – bad for your teeth but absolutely irresistible. I think it’s fair to say they’re like the pop rocks of indie pop. The threesome worked their way through their big hits – “Schizophrenia,” “Postcard,” “Sound of a Broken Heart,” “Girl,” “Made for Ending,” “Hollywood,” as well as a new one about keys in a car that’s just as addictive and poppy as all their other hits (that band is nothing if not consistent.) They also played “Oh, Emily” prefaced by Tommy explaining that “some bands are stoner bands, some are alcoholic bands. We’re a caffeinated band. So I had just broken up with this girl and I got super caffeinated and decided to write the world’s happiest breakup song.”

Later in the night Ben popped offstage for a second to bring out what he called “the wheel of torture.” Giving the handwritten wheel a spin he explained, “This wheel is full of old cuts and b-sides, we’ll play whatever it lands on. You’ll notice ‘Hold It In supreme version’ is listed four times – it’s a version of ‘Hold It In’ where we all switch instruments. The other exciting choice on here is ‘Steve.’ Are there any Steve’s in the audience?” One exclamation from the audience. “Great. If it lands on Steve, it’s Steve’s choice. It’s only happened once before, and that Steve didn’t know any of our songs, so it was a huge failure.” The wheel landed on “Under My Skin” and the band launched in, but two songs later Ben gave the wheel another spin. As the audience started up a chant of “Steve. Steve. Steve. Steve,” the wheel did indeed land on Steve who requested “The Popular Thing,” giving JTG the most successful Steve moment of their career, and giving the audience what JTG always delivers on – pure unadulterated joy.

SXSW Preview: Jukebox the Ghost – “The Great Unknown”

Posted on by Gary in Everything, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

So it’s been 4 years since I moved down to Baltimore from the Center of the Universe (Toronto). Surely I’m now qualified to introduce the “power”-pop act Jukebox the Ghost as a local band. I first heard them in 2012 via their third album Safe Travels, and saw them at Mt. Royal station in Baltimore during ArtScape in 2013. Their set was well controlled and well-received, though I think the crowd reaction didn’t match the potential energy in their music – too bad the set wasn’t at Foggy-Bottom. They won’t be short on the right audience at SxSW, though. Their new single The Great Unknown is a fairly accurate representation: simple and effective delivery of solid music. Our DC correspondent Halley agrees – see this glowing review of Jukebox’s recent show at 9:30 Club. I expect good things from them in Austin.

Jukebox the Ghost will play several showcases, starting at the Bungalow at 9:50pm on March 17.

Concert Review: Jukebox the Ghost, Little Daylight, March 10, 9:30 Club

Posted on by halley in Concerts | Leave a comment


There is a time and place for gravitas. There is a time and place for profundity. Then, there is a time and place for toe tapping indie anthems. Enter Little Daylight and Jukebox the Ghost, who rocked the 9:30 Club on March 10th to a crowd of delighted fans.

Little Daylight, a super punctual quartet (usually a core trio of Nikki Taylor, Matt Lewkowicz, and Eric Zeiler) hailing from Brooklyn, lit up the stage first with catchy tracks from their 2014 album Hello Memory. While youthful, energetic, and infectious describe all the band’s work, their range of style is impressive. “Be Long” instills listeners with a steady and hypnotic beat while “My Life” evokes a fist-pumping instinct with its almost-protest-style chanting of: “It’s my life… It’s our time!” The band has also delved into the remix world, recently creating a mash up of Jukebox the Ghost’s Postcard which is absolutely awesome. Both for their original sound and their remix ability, this band is absolutely one to keep your eye on. Although the big crowd pleaser in the set seemed to be “Mona Lisa,” “My Life” is my go-to track from the band’s repertoire.

Jukebox the Ghost, a longtime DC favorite formed at George Washington University, took the stage next to a bevy of loyal fans screaming their love. Ben, Tommy, and Jesse needed no introduction as they launched into their large repertoire of tracks dating from their first album, Let Live and Let Ghosts, in 2008 to 2012’s hits off their cover LP I Love You Always Forever. Opening with their new song “Postcard,” the band also hit on favorites such as the ever-silly ever-delightful “Hold it in.” For a trio that must weigh-in at 300 pounds maximum, the group has amazing stage presence – flawlessly bantering, joking, laughing, and playing without any sign of effort. (Shout out to Ben’s first line to the crowd which was an amazingly awkward: “Hello DC! You smell delicious!”) And the smiles on those guys – it’s so fun to watch performers enjoying their craft. And they really do come off as artists. Ben on the keyboard is unbelievable. You have to see him to believe his effortless skill. Jukebox the Ghost never ceases to please and the tireless group is always on tour. Look them up! And try to feed them if you can sneak a snack their way….

Concert Review: Jukebox The Ghost, Matt Pond PA, The Horseshoe, Monday March 11th

Posted on by lauren in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment

I must be getting old. It seemed everyone in the crowd at this show was about 15 years old. They weren’t checking ID’s, so maybe? Matt Pond PA was the opening band to Jukebox The Ghost, which also made me feel old, because dude’s been around forever!

Matt Pond PA

I came in to the last two songs of his set. His voice is crystal clear, and pitch perfect. Matt Pond PA has been around since 1998, and has cranked out 8 LPs and 8 EPs, it was a little bit confusing to see him opening for a newbie on the scene like Jukebox the Ghost, but since both bands emerged originally from Philadelphia, it could be that they’re buds. Both immensely talented bands. Matt Pond finished off with his new single Love to get Used, which certainly sounds like a bitter break up song, with lyrics like “let’s hang on to abandon,” and “I give my love to get used,” Pond sings it with such a lullaby inspiring voice that it sounds like you could place it in a vintage Disney cartoon like Sleeping Beauty, with the cartoon animals fluttering around.


Jukebox the Ghost

I previously wrote about how surprised I was by the insane talent this band boasts. Their live show is interactive, fun, and full of cabaret style musicals and power-pop ballads, and each song showcased the bands talent, each member getting their own respective solos, in pretty much every track played. Already with a cult following in Toronto, their first headlining tour throughout Canada, wasn’t sold out, but the front was packed full with youngsters (as I see them), fist-pumping and singing along. A three-piece, Jukebox the Ghost’s sound is so big you would expect to see five or six members on stage. Prior to 2012, most of JTG’s songs had thematically revolved around sci-fi, however, with the release of Safe Travels, however, the band focused on writing more personal lyrics, inspired by actual life happenings. You can notice a difference as they become more involved in tracks played off of Safe Travels, as do the fans, who love relating to lyrics about life and love (I prefer the science fiction spin on things).  Either way, this band has the talent, stage presence and writing skills to create a long and large venue headlining career.