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We have spent a lot of ink over the last couple of years about Jukebox the Ghost’s melodic, piano and vocals going hand in hand, everything-is-just-peachy-keen (but NOT sickeningly sweet) music and now that they are coming back to town, brand new record in hand and about to play a homecoming show at the Black Cat this Saturday we figured: it must be time to see how they’re doing.
Elizabeth and the Catapult are rounding out the crystal clear voiced, quirky line-up for the show so we asked them to join in on the listening party fun.

Get your fingers ready to do some serious tapping:

This song is an extended metaphor of the heart as a castle – and some invading love forces that are making that heart go to war. Wow, that was lame. Also – it was sort of my attempt to write another song like “Good Day” (off our first record) except reverse the parts. The verses have descending musical motifs (verses ascending in Good Day) and in the chorus I tried to write a part on the piano that sounded like the guitar parts in Good Day….

Fun with words! The chorus lyrics change around various interpretations and lyrical playings with the words “nobody” and “no body”. Also, while it sounds a bit like a McCartney tune I wasn’t listening to any Paul or The Beatles when I wrote it and only after the fact realized it sounded like a throw back. So we went with it – and did our best 60’s arrangement of the tune…

For a year or so, I was listening to a lot of Yes, the criminally-underrated masters of 70s prog-rock. Tom, the guitarist of Via Audio, was the first person who was able to convince me that Yes was worth listening to, despite
their reputation for long-winded, self-indulgent epics (all accurate accusations, admittedly). Once I got over that stigma, I realized Yes was an unbelievably awesome, ground-breaking band that doesn’t really get its
due. The sequence of “The Sun”/”The Sun (Interlude)”/”The Stars” on our new record was my attempt to integrate some synth-heavy prog-rock but still make it work within the confines of pop. The lyrics are based on a dream I had about tidal waves after a nasty breakup. The chorus melody is deliberately based on ‘ring around the rosey’. Hopefully that’s not totally apparent….

Originally, this song was called “You’re Dead”, and was a very They Might Be Giants-influenced joke of a song that I originally played with some members of Exit Clov at a couple of shows in DC (Exit Clov is an excellent band of DC-ers if you haven’t checked them out). The basic message of the original (up on http://www.myspace.com/thisghostplaysbanjos) was “Don’t be sad, you’re already dead.” Ben and Jesse liked some parts of the song, but
ultimately didn’t like the message, which in hindsight is very, very understandable. I spent some time rewriting it, thought of a catchier chorus, spun the lyrics towards normalcy a bit, and Half Crazy was the result. Originally, Ben and Jesse were forceful about turning it into a prettier, low-key song but I stood my ground and it eventually turned into the new-wave keytar dance song that I wanted it to be. I can’t tell you who the song is about because they probably have google alerts attached to their name.

and now, for…….Elizabeth + the Catapult

Danny Molad: I wanted to call this song “zach and kelly” in honor of my favorite mid 90’s sex symbols zach morris and kelly kapowski. but it only got as far as the secret name…that only i knew…until now.

Eilizabeth Ziman: two lovers come back together for one night to try and rekindle an old romance, as is usually the case, their efforts are doomed- but at least they get a good poppy song out if it.

Danny Moland: is probably one of my favorite tracks on the record because it digs into a darker side of elizabeth’s writing persona…which is something i am happy we got to see some more of on this record.

Elizabeth Ziman: was an ode to a friend of mine who wouldn’t leave his house for months after a break up- i imagined it as if the entire city was slowly bending towards him like a magnet, trying to lure him out of the house- but unfortunately he just wouldn’t listen. So in the song the skyscrapers bend, the Hudson river rises, girl scouts line up at his doorstep, robynes circle overhead- all for the love of Julian. If we get the funding I’m thinking this song should make one hell of a music video!robynes circle overhead- all for the love of Julian. If we get the funding I’m thinking this song should make one hell of a music video!

Want more: Follow Jukebox The Ghost (facebook/twitter)+ Elizabeth and the Catapult (facebook) and catch them live on Saturday @ The Black cat.