February 20th, 2010 · 17 Comments

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Download: John Carpenter “Nothing Is Wasted”

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(from Fairy Tales Forgotten available now from Lost Industry)

A brief bio of John Carpenter describes his music as “Nightclub Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which could be misleading if you don’t picture the right kind of nightclub. Listening to his unsettling new album, Fairy Tales Forgotten, the setting unfolds like so: you see a seedy dive tucked away in some industrial part of town. It’s dimly lit, with chain-smoked Camels doing the job of a fog machine. The patrons are a rough lot, mostly interested in when their next ice-cold domestic is coming. But on a tiny stage in the back corner, John Carpenter and his drummer, who humbly goes by the name J. Explosive, are brewing something sinister. The songs are bleak and even spooky at times. What keeps it all intriguing is Carpenter’s voice—theatrical without being over-the-top, sometimes a menacing baritone, other times a soaring falsetto. Carpenter occasionally engages his guitar in bouts of wild shredding, notably toward the end of the slow-burn blues epic “The Captain.” The overall sound is something like a down-tempo Gun Club or an off-kilter Jeff Buckley. Perhaps the biggest surprise on the album is in the title track. After a typically creepy opening, the song sweeps you into a tender, almost-triumphant chorus that recalls the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” Then it suddenly spits you back into the shadows.

—Thomas McMahon

Category: Album reviews
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  • 1 Staci E // Feb 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    The John Carpenter Band is simply amazing. I can’t help but listen to their albums on repeat, which is something I haven’t done in well over a decade. I now try to not miss a show — while I can still afford the admission. :)

    Nice write up.

  • 2 Eddie Angel // Feb 23, 2010 at 10:15 am

    True! His stuff really rocks and makes you wonder…don’t think, dive in.And thanks John and J Explosive for our continued friendship.

  • 3 Eddie Angel // Feb 23, 2010 at 10:28 am

    True! Their music leaves you wondering…but don’t think just dive in. Real rock n roll is still around with John Carpenter! -Eddie Angel

  • 4 Eva N // Mar 2, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Lately, I always complaint that nowadays new musicians and their music all sound pretty much the same…. I definitely was wrong. The music of John Carpenter not only is unique and very different, but also has a high level of recognizability. Love to listen to their tracks.

  • 5 Fallon. // Mar 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I love him, so much. I’ve sang with him before.. his guitar is pure magic,

  • 6 Carmela Albanese // Mar 18, 2010 at 9:53 am

    John carpenter music is wonderful,I enjoy listening to him.His drummer is great also

  • 7 Sinthia Maher // May 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    There’s something very magical and mysterious about John’s voice and guitar playing! I think he’s the next David Bowie! I look forward to the day that I can see him LIVE!

  • 8 Wilted Chamberlain // May 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Not to cast aspersions on this guy’s music, but every time I see his name listed I expect to see an incredibly rare performance by filmmaker and sometime musician John Carpenter. Change the name!

  • 9 don rickles // May 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Change yours!!, sounds like a Medieval term for Erectile Dysfunction

  • 10 Eddie Giacomo // May 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Hey the guy is alright. But doesn’t it seem like some of these comments are written by the same person? like maybe someone in the band or a friend of John’s?

  • 11 Ruff Tuff Creampuff // May 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    “Don Rickles” sounds like a Spanish bone disease!

  • 12 Dan // May 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    “Don Rickles” is a snack chip mafioso.

  • 13 Geoff // May 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

    That’s “Don Ruffles,” Dan.

  • 14 Dan // May 12, 2010 at 11:04 am

    You hockey puck!

  • 15 Geoff // May 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

    That’s “hockey mom,” Dan.

  • 16 Sinthia Maher // May 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Mr. Giacomo, I think you’re just jealous!
    You know, I’ve never met John, but I do love his music! I learned about his band on MySpace. I would love to consider him my friend. I’ve never even seen him live (yet), but I truly believe he is an extremely talented vocalist, and I wish him and his band lots of success. Have a listen Mr. Giacomo http://www.myspace.com/johnnycarpenter

  • 17 martine // Jul 6, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Damn good vocals…

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