An Absurdist sensibility and oddball, prop-laden spectacle…..Small bows and duelling scars…. set to music from Brooklyn, New York.
The critics rave with insanity bordering on dementia:
“Rich and complex, wry and witty, done with a great deal of astonishing stylistic panache and consummate musicianship, this album sparkles with a verve and melodicism that’s a true startling wonder to hear. The incredible howled anguished vocals, the wickedly funny bitter humor of the pungent lyrics, the sprightly tunefulness of the gorgeously intricate harmonic arrangements, the inspired use of stirring weeping strings, the sense of underlying resigned humanity lurking behind the prevalent sardonic sensibility – all are 100% on the money excellent and impressive. A terrifically dark and despairing work of beautifully bleak and burnt-out oddball art.” — Joe Wawyrzniak, Jersey Beat
Like the Cyclone, Life In A Blender is a long-time Brooklyn institution that has been exhilarating–and possibly nauseating–audiences for years. Singer Don Ralph belts out his off-kilter musings backed by cellist Dave Moody, guitarist Al Houghton, bassist Mark Lerner, violinist Rebecca Weiner, drummer Ken Meyer, and horn player Mel Melon.
Having toured from Toronto to Berlin to Chicago to Seattle and back to New York, Life In A Blender has developed a devout fan base that is as broad and fat as the underbelly of the U.S. and Europe combined. Over the course of four albums, this orchestra of the bizarre and melodic has collaborated with the likes of John Linnell (They Might Be Giants), Ralph Carney (Tom Waits band), James Mastro (The Bongos), and sitarist Chris Rael (Church of Betty). Life In A Blender has played on bills with NRBQ, Camper Van Beethoven, the Buzzcocks, Scrawl, and even Billy Idol, who sucks.
“For nearly forever, Life in a Blender has been the secret jewel of New York City; their shows always frantic and feisty without being venomous, their songs merry and melodic without being vapid. Their newest CD, “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” is their best yet. Still as inventive, intelligent, and invigorating as ever, Life In A Blender has a new warmth, an immense and soulful complexity of sound. Highly recommended.” –Camden Joy, author of “Lost Joy” and contributor to Village Voice and Spin.
“Shows by local quirk rock favorites Life In A Blender showcase the band’s absurdist sensibility and oddball, prop-laden spectacles.” –The New Yorker
“An alternative five-piece with a curious sense of humor and a knack for the catchy pop song.” –Billboard
“The band’s orchestrated music is a covert beauty….Titled “The Heart Is A Small Balloon,” the album is packed with cleverly disturbing lyrics and askew music…….an event worth cheering.”–Jim Farber, The New York Daily News
“I’ve heard nothing like it. It is complex, rich, surprising, sweet, cheats at noting, utterly mind-blowing….I SO appreciate the abandon in every aspect of it, fusing form and content. Everyone is playing their hearts out.” –Anne Scatto
“A hot steaming melting pot of unique creations and unexpected twists. The sound always sticks to the “true” underground ethic. I’m totally blown away. A record to keep forever and listen to..ah yes…forever!! Life in a Blender, a band that proves is is possible to keep pushing the boundaries of music. If you’re interested in the adventure of music and only want to buy one record this year, buy this one.“–Lord Litter, DJ, Germany
Life In a Blender has been a Brooklyn favorite for one dozen years. They make noises just like the Cyclone and induce screaming in all who ride them. They have four albums out on Fang Records. Go their immediately and purchase them–www.fangrecords.com.
Isn’t It Time You Accepted Life in a Blender Into Your Life? Here’s What the World is Saying About Life in a Blender and Their New Album “Tell Me I’m Pretty” on Fang Records.
“Life In A Blender have a bizarrely theatrical show (often involving tirades from a sheep-headed hand puppet named Rugged Rick) and lighthearted surreal sensibility that’s capable of amusing even the surliest indie rocker.” —The New Yorker
“Tell Me I’m Pretty was easily one of the best records I received in the mail in 2004….from Life In A Blender, a great band that puts out catchy and corrosive rock albums.” —J.R. Taylor, The NY Press
“Life In A Blender is basically two parts cleverness, one part Stan Ridgeway’s dead-end gumshoe, and a pinch of Tom Waits’ grimy barker.” —Timeout New York
If They Might Be Giants got hammered and picked a fight in a bar with Tom Waits, if carnivals didn’t suck, if dancing were permitted on your boss’s desk, if Mark E. Smith were articulate and friendly, if instead of “mosh pits” rebellious teenagers congregated in “swoon pits” at rock concerts, if if if — then a brief glimpse of something akin to the experience of hearing Life in a Blender might be achieved. They are a band that is passionate about finding the absurdity that lurks within the marginalia of mundane everyday existence. And also rocking out. They make me feel like transcendence is constantly achievable.” —Francis Heaney, musical producer and DJLunchboy
“An American Robyn Hitchcock” —The Big Takeover
“Tell Me I’m Pretty, the band’s fourth album, paints a landscape with strange, sad, and at times funny images. From the opening track, “Something Must Break,” very reminiscent of Cake, with its la la la’s and slinky trumpet, to the silly “Mobile Wash Unit,” to the sad finale, “Party Time,” the tunes offer a welcome peek into Ralph’s fascinating off-kilter mind. The album’s strongest piece, “Dead Get Down,” is sure to become a Halloween classic, with its spooky horns, cymbals, and killer percussion. This song sounds like an outtake from a Danny Elfman soundtrack. I’m also fond of Ralph’s gravely vocals on “Prize on the Bottom,” as well as Houghton’s guitar work.” —Delusions of Adequacy online magazine
“Life in a Blender is the secret jewel of New York City. Their shows are always frantic and feisty without being venomous, their songs merry and melodic without being vapid. Their newest CD, “Tell Me I’m Pretty” is their best yet. Still as inventive, intelligent, and invigorating as ever, Life in a Blender has a new warmth, an immense and soulful complexity of sound. Highly recommended.” —Camden Joy, critic for the Village Voice and Spin
“Like Haley’s coment, a Life In A Blender album only comes along very rarely and Tell Me I’m Pretty should not be missed.” -Splendid magazine
“I just latched onto this CD as a result of playing a couple tracks on my radio program. I am surprised that more spot reviews have not been written on this group. In fact, a search of the web will find nothing but discounts on household appliances. On the subject of originality- to me there are two gigantic, but pleasing similarities. Vocalist Don Ralph must be holding a very large torch for David Byrne (Talking Heads), and to a lesser degree Fred Schneider (B-52’s). Ralph possesses that dark, keening vocal style reminiscent of Byrne, and perhaps even uses a few of the other expected stylistic tricks. Other times, his natural voice comes very close to the plaintive barking of Schneider. A bit darker than much of the Heads or B-52’s material, but these factors alone make this band in instant must have for any fan of those seminal 80’s groups, The Talking Heads, or the B-52’s. Enjoy it.” From Amazon.com— A Pleasantly Dark and Strange Surprise…, November 18, 2002 Reviewer: Jonathan Colcord from Concord, NH USA
“Life In A Blender was hands down the most entertaining, surprising showcase we took in over the week.” —Ezra Thomas at South x Southwest Austin, 2003
“It’s a wig…! After a solid 5-4 days of music at the ’03 SxSW it all ended on a positive note after catching the Life In a Blender set to close out the weekend. The band set itself apart as one of the tightest and most talented bands I saw all week. Further setting Life in a blender apart from the pack were the lyrics, delivery and theatrics of the lead singer that would please fans ranging from Eno and the T-heads to Ween and Beck.” —Matt Zdinak Nimbi
Band Members: Mark Lerner, Ken Meyer, Dave Moody, Don Rauf, Rebecca Weiner, Al Houghton, Brian Culver