The first thing you notice about Jason Vieaux, right arm outstretched for a handshake, are his...
Published: 07/01/2013 | 0 Comments Posted
John Terlesky doesn’t usually come from an upbeat place.
The Easton native, known to lo-fi indie listeners as Brother JT, may have spiritualism in his lyrical kit bag, but the overall effect of his psychedelicized music has been notably dark, even foreboding. Few would expect then, after 26 years of making records — his debut album with his first band Original Sins came out in 1987 — that Terlesky’s new album would be so pop-timistic. Yet, here’s The Svelteness of Boogietude (Thrill Jockey), its weirdly humorous lyrics, its sudden burst of strings and a deliciously melodic T. Rex-like swagger.
“Ultimately, I’m a pop guy,” says Terlesky, considering new songs such as the bop-rocking “Celebrate Your Face.”
“I love the science of melody, to affect the listener emotionally. Though I’m influenced by diverse kinds of music, my instinct is always to compress it all into pop structure. The trick, though, is to make it deep and transcendent.” Buoyed by more good reviews than he’s ever received, Terlesky is notably proud of having gone this chipper route for Boogietude, especially when it came to recording strings for the first time in his career, as on quiet songs like “Gliding” and “Mourning Dove.”
“I wasn’t sure how it would go, using one violinist and overdubbing the parts in my living room, but it made me want to do more elaborate things next time.”
The main challenge of Boogietude for Terlesky was not to go for the more obvious dusky psychedelic options, to try to make something layered “that will have a longer shelf life.” Yet for all his talk of pop and shelf lives, don’t think he’s given up his ghosts. “My garage-music background is the opposite ethic of all this, so I’m trying,” he says. “People have commented that a lot of the lyrics are ‘funny’. I like the idea of people laughing with the songs, but at the same time sensing the darkness underneath."
Same old JT.
Sat., July 6, 9:15 p.m., $10, with Photon Band, JJL and DJs Jeremy Grites and Mike Kennedy, Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.
Behind the scenes with Trophy Wife, Philly's fiercest, funnest punk duo
Backstage at Union Transfer, Trophy Wife guitarist Diane Foglizzo combs through her bag and smiles...
Why brainy rapper Ryshon Jones is never satisfied
It’s an old rap brag; Ryshon Jones has forgotten more rhymes than most MCs have thought of. In...