CMJ 2010 Artist Spotlight: Jukebox the Ghost

In the days leading up to the 2010 CMJ Music Marathon, we’re giving you a preview of some of this year’s anticipated showcasing artists.
Next up: Philly indie-power-sunshiney-pop trio Jukebox the Ghost.

There’s a long list of things to love about Philly-by-way-of-D.C. indie-pop trio Jukebox the Ghost, even before you get to two albums worth of punch-packing hooks and piano-backed bon mots. For starters, their name is a mashup of references to Captain Beefheart and Nabokov. They occasionally record covers of kitschy ’90s hits. They have a Tumblr entirely devoted to Pitchfork-style reviews of different flavors of chewing gum. (“My throat is a luge and arctic vikings are entertaining them selves with a new luge track and a number of large icelandic women are playing a rousing game of curling on the back of my tongue,” pianist Ben Thornewill writes of Dentyne Arctic Chill.)

Oh, and did we mention their music is awesome too?

The trio’s Peter Katis-produced (The National, Interpol) second album, Everything Under the Sun, is melody-driven, hook-heavy and full on wordplay, weaving entertaining tales of aged groupies, schizophrenics and celestial bodies. The infectious first single, “Empire,” is the kind of song that invites sunny-day driving and dance moves that are heavy on gleeful flailing, if you’re into that.

Check it:

Jukebox The Ghost – Empire by Aesthetes Anonymous

And if you’re not convinced by their original material to catch their set at CMJ, we should probably inform you that THIS! is a regular part of their live repertoire:

Jukebox the Ghost will make their CMJ appearance on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the Bowery Electric. If you can’t make it to CMJ, they’ve got a pretty extensive U.S. tour going through November, including dates with Guster and Barenaked Ladies and a online show. So really, you have no excuse.

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Lindsay Eanet

Lindsay Eanet (@lindsayeanet) is a Chicago-based writer, editor and performer. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Paste, Howler, Chicago Magazine and others. She is the host & producer of I’ll Be There for You, a biweekly podcast about pop culture and coping. But enough about her, let’s talk about you.

Lindsay has written 34 articles for us.


  1. YES!! ive been in love with these guys ever since driving to work one dark, cold morning in Baltimore, “Hold it In” came on 89.7 and i literally stopped at a light and thought, what IS this?!? it literally made me giddy.

    if youve ever been in love or infatuated or just overwhelmed with lady boner emotion, it’s the song you will want to sing from rooftops! so glad the band is finally getting some recognition and great to see it’s here on a/s!

  2. You should go see OK SWEETHEART during CMJ. I saw them at SXSW and they are awesome. Just saying.

  3. saw them play a free outdoor concert series in DC two or three years ago and they were the best act of the summer.

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