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New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Carlon is the beer drinker's indie band."

March 8, 2007

Carlon is the beer drinker's indie band. This four piece alt-folk-rock band from Jersey has a sound that would be welcome in any bar across America - - vocals are strong, music is simple and catchy. Make sure to check out their tune Ferris Wheel. It's short, but effective. -

"LISTEN UP: Kanye Hear Me Now?"

March 8, 2007

(See last bullet for text on CARLON)

* Stereogum gives you what you want: A new track off of the upcoming Bright Eyes album, that talks about war and stuff.
* We’ve been known to refer to Aqualung as the Poor Man’s Coldplay that we somehow liked more than Coldplay. That being said, here are some live in-studio tracks, courtesy of My Old Kentucky Blog.
* You’re not gonna believe us, but this mash-up of summer-hit band Len and Kanye West is really good. Seriously! Go to Death From Below and see if it doesn’t make you want to quit your job and substitute teach like Mark Harmon in Summer School.
* John Lithgow sings. He’s no Kelsey Grammar, but he’s decidedly better than Alan Thicke (we think). Head over to The Late Greats to feel like you’re 45 again.
* Are you a beer drinking indie fan? Well, then, the Free Indie blog recommends Carlon. Crack open a PBR and check them out. - VH1 Best Week Ever.TV

"That Good Ol' Born By The River Sound"

April 7, 2007

I would like to publicly declare my love for Free Indie dot com. I should go ahead and declare my love for Carlon, too. A couple weeks ago I downloaded Free Indie's Carlon webmix, and I've been listening to it daily ever since.

"Carlon is the beer drinker's indie band."

Say no more.

I'd also like to point out that "Ferris Wheel" is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time. If you listen to nothing else in this post, listen to "Ferris Wheel." Please.

Enjoy. - Born By the River: An MP3 Blog

"Jersey Beat Album Review: Johari Window"

Carlon - Johari Window

Carlon features the acerbic lyrics and the sometimes sweet vocals of Mike McWilliams. The band at times displays old-school pop jangle like The Who or The Hollies, but also infuses modern riffs and rage like The White Stripes or Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s. But Carlon thankfully plays down the stylistic cloning, and replaces it with more than sufficient original and substantial music.

Songs like “Red Rover,” “Learn From Your Friends,” and “Caution Rosie” feature sharp hooks inside alluring bait. Building on sharp layers of organ and relaxed dance beats, while still utilizing guitars (but without aggression), the band come up with anthemic tunes with dead-on reference points. Every song sounds like a single, with inventive melodies, relaxed grooves, and a feel for commercial appeal that never sacrifices subtlety. Johari Window makes it clear that Carlon has ample pop sense, and at times pure venom to keep their unique act going for quite a while. - Jersey Beat

"CNET Editor’s Review of single, 'Cantaloupe'"

Sometimes, a band will record in a warehouse so they can tell people they recorded in a warehouse. And sometimes, they’ll do it to sound like this. No strangers to the post-industrial motif–they’re from Jersey–Carlon drop a swoony stunner that makes full use of its cavernous space. - CNET's

"Skope Magazine Album Review: Johari Window"

Recorded in their warehouse rehearsal space, the four-piece band from New Jersey has set out to establish its place in the national music community. The group combines the now popular “Irish Drinking” song-along style, with some Beatlesque/Floyd vibes. The overall production value of the release conjures up Kurt Weill playing a calliope at a perpetual carnival, while George Martin rides a Merry-Go-Round in the background trying to figure out how to mix Sergeant Pepper’s. Where The Driveway Ends has an echo vocal on vocal play, and Rosie sounds like Tom Waits on a synthesized pump organ thing, backing Eddie Vedder.

Red Rover evokes spacey drums, echo vocals, and a swirling key driven backdrop. Noel and The Haunt made me dizzyingly think of Freddy Mercury’s operatic The Pretender phase. Murder The Night is an acoustic sing along style ditty, appropriate for drinking along while either listening to it or singing it.

To tell you the truth, this disc conjures up deep dark song comparisons that I had stored away in the long term, and didn’t even realize I had a use for, ever. Spooky!

You can’t define em, can’t exactly put a handle on em. Original they are. I bet they are first in line at the premiere of Tim Burton, and Steven King movies. With all of this being said, you have to check them out. One thing is for sure; you can’t say they are a ripoff/sound alike pop band. Now I’ve done it, after writing this, I have to listen to this again. Maybe it contained a subliminal cut! - Skope Magazine

"Live Review: Carlon at Arlene's Grocery"

New Jersey based Carlon played the second night of their residency at Arlene's Grocery on the Lower East Side in front of a packed house. The band seems to have a strong local following of friends and committed fans. I almost felt like I was one of the only people who didn't know the band personally. However, that would soon change.

The band plays a mixture of different rock elements. Their show packs a punch, especially in an intimate setting like Arlene's. I was particularly impressed with some of their blues tendencies. In talking with guitarist Ryan McGlynn after the show he explained the influence, "Milo (drums and keyboard) and I listen to Robert Johnson all the time." In addition, Ryan listens to Muddy Waters (especially Fathers and Sons) and John Lee Hooker. He also picked up the slide guitar from an unlikely source, "Songs like 'Crippled Inside' and 'I Don't Want to be a Soldier' by John Lennon, for example also inspired me to start playing the slide." Their inspiration certainly draws from a wider scope than just blues, and when I asked him how he balances all their different styles he said, "We try to let each song become its own thing. We don't force a particular style on each track." They pull it off surprisingly well.

Check out the last night of their residency at Arlene's Grocery on Monday, February 23rd before they head off to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. The drink specials are cheap, the music is good, and the band hangs out quite a bit before and after the show. By the end, you'll feel like you're drinking at a friend's house, and Carlon is the host. - Zoom IN Online

"Aquarian Weekly Album Review: Johari Window"

By Francesca Baratta

CARLON’s beginnings happened where any good Jersey story starts: At the Jersey shore. Lead guitarist Ryan McGlynn, rhythm
guitarist and lead vocalist Michael McWilliams, and bassist Jared Pollack met at their jobs at the Jersey shore. After a few years of that trio playing together, McGlynn found percussionist Milo Venter in the Raritan Valley Community College’s music classes and finally the band was complete. Catch them
at Arlene’s Grocery on Feb. 2, 16, & 23 at 9 p.m.

CARLON has Americana folk rock fusion down to a science. They’ll have heavy drum beat, rocking guitar solos, and harsh singing
in one song, and the next will sound like a Bob Dylan-meets-Tom Petty ballad. Although they have no direct influences, they sometimes unconsciously incorporate whatever they’re
listening to at the moment into their music. That may be why some of the vocals sound like Modest Mouse, but it’s definitely the reason why McWilliams’ vocals in their single, “Cantaloupe,” sound like The Hollies’ Clarke.

That single was taken from their first full-length album, Johari Window. It was recorded last year in the band’s 20,000 square foot
warehouse rehearsal space in Fairfield, NJ. The harmonies from the background vocals of Venter and McGlynn are just amplified and
made more striking by the empty space. The drumming vibrate off the walls and all of their music sounds mystical. Amazing what a
change in location can do, huh?

Arlene’s Grocery is at 95 Stanton St., NYC. Ages are 21-plus. For more info, go to
- The Aquarian Weekly

" Album Review: Johari Window"


Carlon, the name says it all. Never heard it before? Neither had I, but isn't that what we are looking for, something new? Something new it is, Johari Window has broken every cliché of the indie band scene. Carlon pulls from artists like Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, and My Morning Jacket. While also reminiscent of the new, trendy Fleet Foxes, Carlon has definitely hit a nerve in the contentious critical body with its 'reverbose' choruses of vocals and drums.

Breaking into the Austin scene, Carlon crosses Death Cab for Cutie with the vocals of Chris Cornell at times making for a treat of a listen. Mixed Messages kicks off this album with a deliberate attempt to strike up a conversation and drawing undivided attention from the listener. The album is mixed well and layered in many ways both musically and lyrically. Three songs to definitely download are Canteloupe, Caution, and Red Rover. Put them on repeat on your I-pod, turn up the volume, and veg out on the couch on a cold night of recovery from too much indulgence the night before.

“Ducks on the pond in the morning sun…”, the opening lyric to Where the Driveway Ends, is exactly where Carlon has placed themselves in the bulls eye of success, in my opinion. Stick to your guns Carlon, and you've got a lifelong fan. With Michael McWilliams and Ryan McGlynn taking turns on the lead mic, this four piece is one to watch. Carlon can indisputably write a song and remix the recipe to all your favorites. Watch out, for Carlon is on the rise. -

"Original Band 'Carlon' Returns to its Island Roots"

August 22, 2007

Rick's American Cafe in Barnegat Light has adjusted its summer entertainment schedule to make room for a special music performance this Friday night.

The band is Carlon, named in memory of front man Michael McWilliams' brother, Timothy ("Timbo") Carlon McWilliams, a member of Rick's security staff who died in March 2005 as a result of complications related to traumatic brain injury he had suffered in October 2001. He was 27 years old.

The McWilliams brothers spent many a summer at their family's vacation home in Loveladies, where Michael and his friend Ryan McGlynn would sit on the beach and play their guitars and sing for a gathering of listeners. Their friends would often tell them they should take their music to the next level - form a band, get a manager, get into a studio, develop a marketing plan, see where it might lead. Two years ago their friends' advice came to fruition.

As it turns out, those jam sessions on the beach were the genesis of what is today a successful original band project. Carlon - comprised of McWilliams and McGlynn, plus bass player Jared Pollack and drummer Milo Venter - keeps a busy schedule of show dates in the New York City area and released an EP called Suburban Heel last October. The first full-length album, tentatively titled Learn from Your Friends, is due out sometime around January.

Still, all the while the band has been getting established, writing, recording and building a following in northern locales, the musicians have "always wanted to come back to LBI for a show," according to band manager Anthony D'Avella, who was Timbo's best friend.

D'Avella said the band's sound and style trend toward "indie jam rock," rooted in classic rock and blues but influenced by the much wider variety of music the band members listened to as they were growing up: everything from the Beatles to the White Stripes and Radiohead, D'Avella said.

As the band spreads the love and perpetuates Tim McWilliams' spirit through its original music, the Timothy C. McWilliams, Jr. Foundation continues to support charitable initiatives that reflect Timbo's interests and life experiences, with a special focus on research and rehabilitation for victims of traumatic brain injury and support for their families. Additionally, the foundation supports a Morristown based service and assistance dog organization and awards a scholarship in Timbo's name to a student of West Essex High School.

For further Carlon news, plus music, photos, forums and tour dates, visit To learn more about the foundation and how to help, visit

-Victoria Ford - The Sandpaper


1. Johari Window (LP) - March 17, 2009 (Ropeadope Records)
2. Suburban Heel (EP) - October 2006 (Self-released)
3. Day Two (4-track Demo) - August 2005 (Self-released)



Carlon is a band built on relationships, both present and past, and the result is deliberate American rock music that strives to explore them. With a resonant, classic sound, Carlon creates heartfelt and haunting moments that are somehow familiar to all of us. On March 17, 2009, fans and newcomers alike heard the results of the band's honest exploration with the release of Johari Window (Ropeadope Records), a 12-track LP that clearly demonstrates the breadth of the band's vision, musical drive and talent.

Produced by Carlon and Ross Petersen (engineer for Bruce Springsteen, Muse, John Mayer) and Executive Produced by Pete Francis (bass player of Universal recording artist Dispatch), Johari Window was recorded in the band's 20,000 square foot warehouse rehearsal space in Fairfield, New Jersey. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Mike McWilliams notes that the band's approach in recording the album reflects a maturity the group worked hard to develop: �We�re proud that we recorded the album ourselves in our own rehearsal space - we didn�t go into a sterile studio, we did it in a place that we made our home. On earlier records, it seems like we just made individual tracks and hoped that they would come out okay. But on this record, we set out to create a specific atmosphere - we learned how to do that in the warehouse better than ever before - and as a result, the music we wanted to create just seemed much more possible than ever before.'

While the material for Johari Window is drawn directly from the experiences of all four band members, the album is just as much about Carlon learning how to communicate with one another and reflecting on what they went through while working to record the album. Bassist Jared Pollack recalls, 'Something we asked ourselves from the very beginning wasn't 'How can we learn to make new music with one another' but, more importantly, 'How can we communicate with one another during the creative process, learn to try different things and make personal compromises for the collective good.' Drummer Milo Venter adds, 'During recording, we lost our minds. But, our minds came back. We got our vision across and we achieved what we set out accomplish: to just make real music in a real environment. We're proud of what the last year has taught us.'

When asked what Carlon sounds like, the band can become pretty uncomfortable. Lead singer and guitarist Ryan McGlynn explains: 'I don't know that there has been much of anything that we have listened to that hasn't influenced the songs that we have written in some way. If we hear country in what we're writing, we'll add a bit of country. If we hear something new or old, we won't hesitate to quote it in our music. For us, it's never been about trying to sound like anyone or anything in particular, just creating something that sounds good to us. Johari Window was the chance to share a dream of ours to create a whole album that was a piece of art to us, with each song depending on the next. We thought, 'Maybe then other people will like the music, too.''

Although Carlon was officially founded in the spring of 2005, the beginnings of the band go back several years. McGlynn first met McWilliams down at the Jersey shore back in the summer of 1998. The two started playing and writing together almost immediately and continue to co-write most of the band's songs and lyrics.

Around 2002, Pollack, a friend of both McWilliams and McGlynn, had been working summer jobs down at the Jersey shore. Jared soon joined the other two playing bass and the three eventually began playing together whenever they could. It was clear to them that it was time to start a band; all that was left was to find a drummer. A few years later, McGlynn started music classes at Raritan Valley Community College, where he met Venter. The two hit it off and, after Venter played a rehearsal with the others, Carlon was finally complete. The band self-released a 4-track demo, Day Two, in October 2005 and a 7-track EP, Suburban Heel, in October 2006.

In looking back at the past few years, the present with Johari Window and the future of the band, McGlynn assures us that Carlon will always seek to achieve more in its music: 'As long as we continue to challenge ourselves, we've learned through this album to appreciate and enjoy our work, especially if its flawed and reflective of the change we went through while recording. There is an overall lesson in the process: not everything turns out the way you may have wanted it to turn out, but, when you start to appreciate that, you just want to do it again and better the next time. Maybe that's why I can actually listen to this album.'