I was supposed to be working - in fact, I was on an epic IM work chat with 5 other people. I rarely get on the ole IM because more often that not, it gets in the way. But sometimes it's awfully fun.
Like the other day, when a friend of mine popped in and interrupted aforementioned epic work chat. I don't chat with him often, but it's always entertaining when he shows up.
"Mo!!!!!!!" he started. Then he lapsed into Rudy Ray Moore (that's Dolemite to you) speak. Which means the chat degenerated happily into raunchiness. He came up with many plays on my name, none of which I can remember because he called me Mo'No, and stated that was an illness I probably never wanted to get. I wrote that I wouldn't mind, because I could use a couple months in bed. He replied that I would get bedsores, to which I responded that I could hopefully find someone willing to flip me over from time to time. And then I challenged him to write a song (of course, he's a musician) using the word "bedsores."
"You mean it? I will! I'll send it to you tomorrow - I really will!"
And he did. With the warning that it was done with strep throat, I got a really gorgeous, kinda naughty and slightly silly tune called "Mo'No" that uses the phrase "and the bedsores make you twitch." I"d love to post it for you, but hey - it's my song now, ain't it?
Even with it was written totally on a whim and as a joke, it's still pretty awesome, which is a testament to the guy who wrote it, Jeff Klein. A smokey (or shall we say, strepped?) voiced vocalist with brooding, biting lyrics and a sharp sense of humor, the multi-instrumentalist put out a few of his own albums which evoke red velvet, cigarettes and smudged eyeliner (most likely on the girls, but occasionally on the boys too). It's definitely nighttime when you listen to Jeff Klein albums...
Over the years, he's been involved with lots of other bands (Twilight Singers/Gutter Twins, Ed Harcourt) and toured with many more. Over the course of that, as he got pulled into band activity, he figured out he wanted one of his own. Enter My Jerusalem.
This is Jeff, along with Dave Rosser (Twilight Singers/Gutter Twins), Ashley Dzerigan (Great Northern), Cully Symington (Bishop Allen), and Rick Nelson (Polyphonic Spree) as the core - although I think the band will expand and/or contract as the situation deems necessary. For now, this is what Jeff is focusing on, and it's fantastic. When my friends and I stumbled into their show at SXSW, they turned to me and said, "You know these guys? They fucking rock!"
With cred like that, of course they do. Their EP, Without Feathers, is out now. Imagine the National with grit, lots of grit - a beautiful and lush rock and roll record, which sounds simple despite the intricacies. Here is the dark loveliness, here is the yelping gasp, here is the bouncy smile - for a 5 track EP, My Jerusalem's got it all.
Check out some tracks here at their MySpace page. Or Facebook. And look forward to the full album - I sure as hell am!