John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders is a variety show with celebrated musicians, writers and comedians. Past performers in this incredible musical experience include Graham Parker, Fred Armisen, Fountains of Wayne, John Roderick, John Oliver, Ron Sexsmith, Rosanne Cash, Ted Leo, Josh Ritter, Nicole Atkins, Edie Brickell band members from The Decemberists and R.E.M; readings from authors John Hodgman, Colson Whitehead, Sarah Vowell and Rick Moody; and acts from comedians Eugene Mirman and Janeane Garofalo.
NPR joined together with Cabinet of Wonders to record, broadcast and exclusively distribute the radio show, making its engaging dialogue and eclectic performances available to audiences nationwide.
We are thrilled to announce that our debut album “The Universal Thump” has just been nominated for the Independent Music Awards 2012, in two categories: BEST CONCEPT ALBUM and BEST MUSIC PRODUCERS for Adam D Goldand Greta Gertler.We are extremely honored and grateful to you our Kickstarter Backers for allowing us to make this record, and to all of the incredible musicians and creative talents involved.
Judges include Tom Waits, Suzanne Vega, Meshell Ndegeocello, Judy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Alan Light (Live From The Artists Den), Terry McBride (Nettwerk Music Group), Jason Olaine (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone) and others. If you’d like to take a minute, you can explore lots of great music on the IMA website and also VOTE FOR THE UNIVERSAL THUMP in the Vox Populi section of the Awards for those two categories.
Happy new year! Well, it is March already. But we have been hiding lately. We are currently in Sydney, Australia working on some secret new recording projects. We also just released this home-made music video for Honey Beat, the third single from our album “The Universal Thump”. We filmed it one beautiful day in Prague, after we missed our flight back to NYC. It features cameo appearances by a live duck, two horses, a dead duck, Barney McAll‘s keyboard flight case and Miss Czech Republic. Please also visit the Press Page for Beppe Colli’s new review of the album in Italian blog, Clouds & Clocks. Enjoy, y’all!
“The Universal Thump may be one of the most intriguing albums released all year, and at any rate, one that ought to be explored.” – Read full review by Lee Zimmermanhere.
“(T)his beautifully sprawling double disc calls on more than five dozen musicians to carry out the gorgeous orchestral sweep of the 18 songs. Piano based, the settings embrace everything from chamber-like portraiture to cabaret, from the gusto of a small-town parade to the undulating seas of a modernist philharmonic. There are passages that vividly set scenes for a film that builds itself in your mind”. – Read full review by David Greenberger (The Duplex Planet, NPR, Metroland) here.
NPR ‘Song of the Day’, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, Sydney Morning Herald, Elmore Magazine, Baby Sue and others write about the “Thump” here.
Meet many of the incredible artists who contributed to “The Universal Thump” and take a listen to the song, “Swimming” – it is the first track on the album and an introduction to the sonic palette of the album as a whole…
We were thrilled about this review (below) of the new album in the Sydney Morning Herald‘s ‘Spectrum’ section on November 3. Thank you, Kate Hennessy and Bernard Zuel, for your support.
Meanwhile, the band is currently on tour in Southern USA. They had a great day performing in Knoxville on “First Friday” (November 1) on WDVX Blue Plate Special and at a lovely musical instrument store, Morelock Music.
Continuing further South, they will be in New Orleans tomorrow (Monday, Nov 5) for a radio interview at 2.30pm EST on WTUL and a show at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 10pm. Follow their Southern adventures via their TOUR BLAWGhere.
Greta and Adam will also be interviewed by Nick Swainson (from their hotel room in Mobile, Alabama!) on Radio Port Douglas 107.1FM (Australia) on Monday, November 5 at 1pm. Listen online live here for their latest reports on fried green tomatoes, smokehouse BBQ and their musical endeavours. Nick will also be spinning their ENTIRE double-album on his show on Monday!
“The Universal Thump” also received this national USA print review by Kay Cordtz in ELMORE MAGAZINE which hit the newstands across America in early November. We are so grateful!
The Universal Thump were thrilled to perform on DJ IRENE TRUDEL‘s show on WFMU 91.1fm in New York City/Jersey City this week. Greta Gertler (keys/vocals), Adam D Gold (drums/vocals/toy piano), Barney McAll (keys/vocals) and Ben Campbell (double bass) premiered new songs including ‘Walking the Cat’, ‘Cockatoos’ and ‘Sunset Park’, as well as songs from the new album. Stream the show in its entirety here.
This week, ‘The Universal Thump’ also received a wonderful 4 star review in Heaven Magazine (Netherlands). This is an early European review – the album will be released there in early 2013. Stay tuned for European Tour announcement soon! Excerpt from review (courtesy of the ever-entertaining Google Translate): “Orchestral popmeesterwerk. Behind the name The Universal Thump going Greta Gertler and Adam D. Gold hides, two artists in the New York indie scene every proper name for themselves and now join forces have beaten for this as ambitious as successful orchestral popproject…It translates into a beautiful, four chapters divided double CD where eighteen (mostly) beautiful pop songs (some short instrumental pieces) a particularly ingenious love story is told in orchestral pop who also designed perfectly…a nice selection from the cream of New York indie-pop and jazz scene, including Tanya Donelly, Oren Bloedow and Roy Nathanson. It makes the sweetly about upcoming Gertler and ditto her pop songs are nicely balanced by exciting arrangements, which sometimes even towards avant-classical and free jazz going, making the whole is never too saccharine and just continuously manages to intrigue. In a splendid case of the hand of our own Sonja van Hamel, The Universal Thump a true popmeesterwerkje that not only deserves a wide audience, but with tracks like Flora and Grasshoppers even possesses several songs that have absolutely hit potential.” Eric van Domburg Scipio ****
Released today, we hope you will enjoy our second music video. (It’s quite different in mood to our first one, ‘Flora’). Thanks to Branden Poe (Astropictures.net) for his beautiful work on both videos:
We performed a rare ‘whale-of-sound’ mini-orchestral show for ‘Chapter Two’ of our month-long USA album release residency, OctoberTHUMP!, at The Living Room (NYC).
Pictured here from L-R: Ken Thomson (baritone sax), Alden Banta (bassoon), Maria Jeffers (cello), Dana Lyn (violin), Jonathan Maron (bass), Adam Gold (drums), Greta Gertler (keyboard/vocals), Robert Di Pietro (drums, behind Greta), Deidre Rodman (vocals), Allyssa Lamb (vocals), Serena Jost (vocals), Emily Hurst (vocals), Barney McAll (piano/keys, behind the vocalists), Pete Galub (guitar). More pictures on Facebook here.
We still have ‘Chapters Three’ and ‘Four’ to celebrate with our OctoberTHUMP shows at the Living Room on Mondays October 22 & 29, plus a CMJ showcase on Thursday, October 18 (also at The Living Room).
Please visit our Press Page to read the latest blogs and reviews of the new album. We are also excited to report that our first single and music video, ‘FLORA’ is currently charting at NUMBER 1 on the SoundsLikeCafe National Charts in Australia. We like coffee!
We are thrilled and grateful to be joined by special guests throughout the month – Dana Lyn (violin), Maria Jeffers (cello), Rick Moody (reading), Alden Banta (bassoon/clarinet), Max Seigel (bass trombone), Noam Weinstein (guitar), Allyssa Lamb (vocals), Emily Hurst (vocals), Alice Bierhorst (vocals), Carol Lipnik (vocals), Pete Galub (guitar), Serena Jost (vocals), Clare Muldaur Manchon (vocals), Tom Gavin (guitar), Ty Citerman (guitar), Lee Feldman (vocals), Matt Stauffer (tuba) and others to be announced.
Speaking of The Living Room, Greta Gertler, Pete Galub (pictured) and Adam D Gold had the great pleasure of meeting NEIL FINN (Crowded House, Split Enz) there last night, after his Q&A about the film ‘Rain’ for which he wrote the soundtrack – an inspiring event, which warmed up the room for OctoberTHUMP!