Darling New Neighbors

Darling New Neighbors

BandRockPop

Combining hints of punk, disco, Tejano, and country into a rough-hewn indie-pop rubric, the Darling New Neighbors are a highly entertaining trio of fun-loving eclectics with a category-defying sound all their own.

Biography

Comparisons fall fast and loose with the Darling New Neighbors, who play upon a soft-hard smash like The Breeders and lo-fi predecessors, the Raincoats. They're eclectic without being diluted, genre-mixing without getting lost.

The Neighbors (DNN) were born in 2004, when Elizabeth, a classically trained violinist with roots in the Dirty South, met bluegrasser with a heart of rock-and-roll, Amy Moreland. Drummer Karl Lundin, who teaches the children with an actual music degree (a.k.a. license to kill the skins), recently became the band's magical third element.

Since then, DNN has built up a reputation for a gripping and ever-unique stage-show, over the years hitting up some Black Eyed Peas or the occasional male chorus line. A typical set jumps from accordion disco, to a 60s-era crooner, to full-on, growling punk-- reeling in a stylistic frenzy that teeters on the edge of collapse. One blogger compares DNN's sometimes-manic tendency to "if Sleater-Kinney played gypsy folk" (Cows Are Just Food). Apropos, DNN recently won the bloodsport "Monitor Mix" song competition, curated by Sleater-Kinney's guitarist, Carrie Brownstein, for NPR.

Their first full-length, "Every Day Is Saturday Night" debuted nationally in 2006 on I Eat Records to critical acclaim. Best-of-the-year lists at "The Austin Chronicle" and "The Big Takeover" respectively proclaimed the album a "sharp-witted folk-punk-disco bouillabaisse" (Greg Beets) and "like a laidback but constantly surprising sort of party" (Dave Heaton). At "Amplifier Magazine", Brian Baker captured DNN's death-defying genre-bending by declaring them "impossible to pigeonhole musically. . . . If you're trolling around Austin for Daniel Johnston, you'll be pleasantly tweaked by 'Every Day Is Saturday Night'."

In 2009, Darling New Neighbors followed up with their second full-length, "Rocket", which is gaining notice on the heels of its October release. With "Rocket", DNN steps up both its production quality and its stylistic tenacity, exploring a healthy range of nodding, accordion folk, lyrical wise-assness (a la Vic Chesnutt), and poignant moments, culminating in a Caribbean take on Neil Young's dirge, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". Lauded by Austin Sound for its "eclectic prowess, trading in everything from whimsical pop to quirky cabaretish accordion, to driving guitar fuzz," the album appeals to both indie pop auteurs and anointed practitioners of Rock. As "Ghettoblaster Magazine" approaches it: "Although every member of the trio is classically-trained, the group really hits its stride on distortion-drenched rockers that connect the dots between today’s lo-fi heroines the Vivian Girls and their alt-rock forebearers the Breeders."

Never lulling into a melodic complacency, DNN happily confronts its punk, feminist progenitors: the X-Ray Specs, the Raincoats, Patti Smith, and Bikini Kill. For example, DNN's trash-punk "Take It" offers a primal female version of sexual aggression. Other highlights of the album include the masochistic, Latin-flavored "Tango", the love as flash-burning resource, "Gasoline", and the psychedelic, girl-group layers of "Stars". Former drummer, Reid Faist, penned the pop-gem cum addict's-lament, "Sydney."

Lyrics

Gasoline

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

You’re like gasoline.
You burn up quick and you smell like shit,
You’re like gasoline.
Ari Fleischer says no, it’s a big big no,
But Jimmy Carter says yes,
You’re like gasoline.

You cost 1.95, then you go sky-high
Like gasoline.

You set the ocean on fire, you’re dirty fuel,
You’re like gasoline.
You leave me stranded, you can’t save the past,
So let’s burn up the future—
Like gasoline.

You lie under my feet, then you’re up to my neck.
And everything you touch is like a rainbow,
Like gasoline.

And when I fly by in Air Force One,
And look down from far above,
As the waters rise & catch fire,
It’s almost like I care.

Tango

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

I would cut off my arm
If I thought it would bring you to me.
I would pull out my eyeballs
If then you would see.
I would go on a killing spree
For as long as took,
Till the only one left on Earth for you is me.

My scalp is dispensable
When it comes to your love.
My sense of smell & touch
I can live without.
I would gladly give 90% of my looks
For your breath on my cheek,
‘Cause babe, even without ears,
I can hear your name.

If all I could do to cross a room
Was crawl on my knees.
If you wanted me to smash the bones in my feet,
Then I would—
All for a glimpse of your precious heart
And family jewels.
My love you already know I’m the one for you.

I would give you my fingers & toes in a box
If it makes you smile.
I’d remove a kidney, my liver or more,
Don’t you see.
I’d gladly run over all of your ex's
And anyone at all attractive,
If it narrowed the odds even slightly
That you’d take my hand.

I know that you see past my face & my figure
To what really counts.
I know that a few bones & organs are bonus
When it comes to love.
So that’s why you won’t mind if I shed
A few extra pounds like my hipjoint,
So that I will fit in smaller spaces at your side.

The fact is you already touch the nerve
At my spinal cord.
The sound of your voice causes pain
In my cerebellum.
Just thinking about you, I sacrifice
The soft spot right at my brainstem—
So a few puncture wounds would be
A walk in the park.

Take It

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

Take me in the bedroom, take me in the bedroom
Show me what you got, show me what you got,
Show me what you’re not.
Take me now on the floor, take me here on the floor,
Make me beg for it, make me beg for it,
Then give me some more.

You’re such a fking whore,
I know you got some more,
And I want it, gonna get it,
Come on & give it here,
& here & here now again.

Saw it just the other day,
How you make another play,
Rub me down with your eyes,
Think I’m gonna be the prize.

Now let’s go in the kitchen, now let's go in the kitchen—
Fry me up some eggs,
Then grab me by the legs.
I hear the neighbors from next door,
I hear ‘em talking next door—
Scream a little more,
Scream a little louder
Till they wonder what’s the story.

Let it in, let it out,
Let me grab you till you shout.
Now you never want out,
Baby send me throw me down.

In the kitchen on the floor,
All I ever want is more.
I’m gonna have you now for years—
You’re the greatest of my fears.

Gonna have you now for years,
On top the stove & in the yard.
I never had it so hard,
Just the way I like it best.
It wasn’t such a fking test,
A 20-minute marathon.
You’re still here, you’re not gone,
And I want it give me some.

Run run run run,
You gotta give it, gimme some.
I wanna lick it all up,
& I’m waiting for the rub.

Baby, gotta gimme some.
You’ve been holding out for me.
You make me shout, you make me scream.
Baby baby you’re a dream.

Just the thought it makes me sweat,
What you’d do to me upstairs.
Baby baby you’re the best;
Do more than looking if you dare.
Is it closer, is it closer.

Boys in Cars

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

Riding around in cars with boys,
In Sewanee, Tennessee— that’s where I’ll be.

In the morning it’s Beethoven,
At night the Doors.
Run out of Visine, smoking pot at sixteen.
Oh mama I’m gone— I’ll never come home.
Swim at night in just underwear
In cars with boys.

See how it glistens,
Some lukewarm Milwaukee’s Best,
Dipped into the water, in cars with boys.
Oh mama I’m gone—
There are so many stars
I see through the windshield
With boys in cars.

They’re all so pretty, with long blond hair
And shorts hung down low—
I’ll crawl inside.
The lake, the depth; floating on my back,
I’m inside the stars. Mama I’m gone.

All Over the Map

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

It only ended a month ago,
Said farewell after weeks of goodbye.
Narrowly avoided coming back again,
Saying hello on the next day.

Whole thing lasted a matter of weeks—
The dancing late nights, early morning,
And oh the sleep-deprived.

Starting sudden, dropping off as fast,
Like hazardous material, a chemical fire,
Oh the risks, the risks of experiment.

But I went all over the map with you, Mexico and Istanbul,
A matter of days, and I traveled the world in my mind.

Budapest and Tchoupitoulas,
Lafayette, and Pickens and Natchez.
Though we never, never left town,
Rarely left, hardly ever even left your bed.

Phnomh Pen and Costa Rica,
Buenos Aires and St. Louis,
Chicago and Belgrade,
And one island, tiny little island, Cycladean island
Called Syros.

Now I’m free to take off again,
No baggage, discount package—
To foreign tongues, water taxi, street café,
And beautiful, beautiful people.

Sit on the street, good life in my hands,
And I say:
Baby’s better than no baby,
Baby’s better than no baby—
One baby, fool little baby’s better than none.

You've Got an Ass That Just Won't Quit

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

Honey, you don’t need to buy my love.
That Caddy that you bought me just sits in the garage.
You’ve got a secret weapon, so no other man will do—
And wherever you go, my eyes will follow you.

Some people tell me: Find a man with cash.
Others say kindness is what makes it last.
But I don’t care about a house, a job, or any of that—
All I wanna have in my hands is that ass.

I don’t love you for how you buy me a lot of shit.
I don’t love you for how my folks thought you were a hit.
I don’t love you for how you dance like you’re having a fit—
No I love you ‘cause you’ve got an ass that just won’t quit.

Yesterday I went to get an MRI,
‘Cause lately I have pain in my backside.
The doctor said—Don’t shake so hard, don’t twist your thang & groove.
But I said—Man you don’t know how it is, my ass has to move.

Now I’ll tell you the story of how I hurt my back.
The truth is the way it happened was in the sack.
The lover I had, he hit it, & then we both heard a giant crack.
And that’s the price you pay when your booty is stacked.

I don’t love you for how you buy me a lot of shit.
I don’t love you for how my folks thought you were a hit.
I don’t love you for how you dance like you’re having a fit—
No I love you ‘cause you’ve got an ass that just won’t quit.

Overgrown

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

Felt like his love would choke me
And leave me to die.
It was summer & being with him
Changed my whole landscape.

It was lush and overgrown
And blindingly green.
It was thick and slow and hot
And loaded with meaning.

[Chorus]
Riotous and all overlain
With static, a distortion
In the music we listened to, in everything we heard,
In voices in our thoughts,
And in late humid evenings.

He was a small poor man
And lived in a backhouse.
Angry as sin, but then sweet
As honey on the vine.

Wrapped in a chain around his waist,
He crawled in my heart.
But then he was hot and cold and gone
Like I never knew him.

[Chorus]

Stars

Written By: Amy Moreland

"I don't mind," is what I said to you,
And we went inside.
I didn't lie when I said
We'd figure it out somehow.

And when I saw your eyes so blue,
Like the skies above.
That's when I fell in love.

And then I saw your smile so bright,
Like the stars above.
That's when I fell in love, in love.

Lilliput

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

Picture this, Lilliput: it’s raining, and won’t stop.
Everything is sleek as a tongue and blindingly, blindingly bright.
We send letters back and forth, back and so on, and drive between.
The distance is relative really, so landing on the road here is a manner of progress:
Seventy miles an hour then suddenly none.

Every inch of this pavement spreads out our pain, and grounds our expectations.
The sweat on the asphalt runs like the sweat on our chests, like the sweat that jolts from our hearts–
Like the sweat that jolts in heat like this.

[Chorus:]
Lilliput, it’s raining, and won’t stop.
Even when the sun glares with no cloud in the sky, it rains down on us.
Once on the ground it flows up & over our workboots, drenches with waterweight.
Driving to see you I felt the sky fall.

Three storms piled up over the highway, condensed with thunder, and dropped lightning.
Yesterday a man dozed off, drove into a ditch, never to wake again.
I know how it feels– every time I drive to you, part of me drops beside the road.
Lilliput it’s raining and won’t stop.

We’ll be working this stretch for months– months of the same horizon–
Same whistle of grit and tar, the same splits in the pavement, and trying to patch them together.
You’ll come on weekends, and I’ll leave during bad weather,
not including heat.

[Chorus]

Hometown 1988

Written By: Elizabeth Jackson

Freaks and fucks and stoners and hippies
In hometown 1988,
Freaks and fucks and stoners and hippies
And long-hairs alone in the street.

It doesn't take much-- the freaks & the fucks-- to stand out, 1988.

So we're freaks and fucks and stoners and hippies--
the hometown crew 1988.

And you know even at the private school,
And you know even among the Episcopalians,
You know even among the country club:

We're still freaks and fucks and stoners and hippies,
In alleys and attics and shitty sedans,
and 25-year-old losers' apartments.
Hometown 1988.

And I'd rather be there than anywhere.
I'd rather be there than any debutante ball.

So, they're sticking together, the freaks and the fucks,
They're nicer than most, and they don't ask much.
They're going nowhere and that's where I belong--
Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere.

Discography

1. Self-titled EP (2005, self-released)
2. "Appetizers and Leftovers" (2005 compilation by I Eat Records, with Okkervil River & Phosphorescent)
2. "Every Day is Saturday Night" (2006, I Eat Records)
3. "Rocket" (2009, self-released)

Radio airplay: KUT, KROX, KOOP, KVRX (Austin), KTRU (San Antonio), WXRT, WLUW (Chicago), KDHX (St. Louis), Aligre 91.3fm (France), CFRO (Canada), WMUL (West Va.), WUOG (Athens), WQFS (N.Carolina)
Streaming: NoLoveForNed.com, ChurchOfGirl.com, BagelRadio.com, C-89.5 (Seattle, WA), StraightUpQueer.com

Set List

Typical set time is 45 minutes (usually 9-10 originals, with 1 cover song). We often feature musical guests on brass or vocals; once we had a male chorus line and accordion orchestra.

1. All Over the Map
2. Tango
3. Mr. Ahmadinejad
4. Electrolux
5. Stars
6. Gasoline
7. a cover tune (examples: violin-lead, instrumental version of Led Zeppelin, or accordion-driven, calypso arrangement of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart")
8. Seven
9. Hate
10. Take It

Additional Repertoire:
(15 originals) The Time Is Come, Run Away, Lilliput, Indian Mounds, Hometown 1988, You've Got an Ass That Just Won't Quit, Grocery, PhD in Misery, Jesus, The Best You Can Do, Overgrown, Angel, Graveyard, Little Lies, Leadfoot
(12 cover-options) Black-Eyed Peas, Adam Ant, Vic Chesnutt, Rolling Stones, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Nazareth, White Snake, the Amps, Lionel Richie, Styx, Hank Williams