Joel Streeter
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Joel Streeter

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Solo Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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Joel Streeter is the rare troubadour who seems far more comfortable chatting about other topics -- especially his love for Oasis, TV on the Radio and classic Beach Boys -- than about himself. But there's plenty to talk about when it comes to Street, a first-rate pop musician who routinely draws comparisons to titans such as Neil Finn, XTC and even Sir Paul McCartney. Streeter honed his craft in the Bay Area, but recently has been lured to New York. He is touring in support of his latest pop gem, "Matador," and will return to his old stomping grounds to perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Cafe du Nord (2170 Market St., S.F.). Tickets are $10-$12 at 415-861-5016 or www.cafedunord.com.
- San Jose Mercury News/Oakland Tribune


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39. Smash Palace-7
38. Butch Walker-I Liked it Better When You Had No Heart
37. Buva-Not Scary! Friendly
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33. The June Gloom-Wonderland
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1. The Autumn Defense-Once Around - Absolute Powerpop


After living in San Francisco since 2003, local singer-songwriter Joel Streeter has decided to head back East to be closer to his family. But first he made sure to take full advantage of the Bay Area's crop of talented musicians, enlisting 13 players to help him make his sophomore album, Matador. Like his debut, 2005's Hear Me Out, Matador was produced by Jerry Becker, who is known for his work with Train. The album also finds people like Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios, Megan Slankard, Brad Brooks, and James DePrato from Chuck Prophet's Mission Express assisting with Streeter's classic-sounding pop songs.

"There's a certain 'wall of sound' density to the album, and there's no doubt that partly stems from having so many people involved," Streeter says. "That's always been a sound I've really enjoyed on records, where you have your initial reaction to the top layer of the music the first time you hear it, but after that sinks in, you can continue to discover new melodic and sonic details on repeated listens."

Streeter's show tonight is doubling as a going-away/record-release party, so it seems likely that plenty of his friends and acquaintances will be in the audience. At the very least, Slankard and Brooks will be there, since they're opening the show. "I'm really going to miss San Francisco, but I'm excited about what lies ahead, and will definitely be back to play shows in the Bay Area often," Streeter says. "I'll be living in New York City by the end of the year, and am eager to see what I can do there." - SF Weekly


In his second album as a leader, San Francisco rocker Joel Streeter got more ambitious, commanding a large battery of instruments (Hammond, mellotron, strings, Liberty Carillon, horns) and some high-profile backup. His songs are tense, heavily orchestrated walls-of-sound. Streeter sings typical rock-crooner fare (love and love lost). "I'll Have You Back" and "Molly" are beautiful. - East Bay Express


Bay Area singer-songwriter Joel Streeter is a true pop talent that continues his growth on the sophomore album "Matador." The sound is similar to Chris Stamey or Paul McCartney building classic pop compositions through a dense wall-of-sound approach. He is assisted by over a dozen players including producer Jerry Becker (Train) to make this a highly polished effort. The hooks are all over the title track and the use of horns to support "Drive Away" bring to mind Squeeze. The mid-tempo songs "Baby Your Time's Here Too" and "A Better Day" both have great Beatlesque melody and hooks in the chorus that don't quit. Another highlight here is the piano bounce on "Man Of The Hour" where the guitar rhythm mimics "It's Getting Better" prior to the rich chorus and the orchestral break in the songs middle. The multi-layered vocal harmonies on "Like A Bird In A Gilded Cage" recall early Crowded House. Fans of Jim Boggia, Marshall Crenshaw and the other artists mentioned will really enjoy this album. Not a bad track in the bunch, and plenty of memorable gems make it easy to recommend. - Powerpopaholic


Seemingly all of America’s cherished 18-34 demographic is walking around with an entire catalog of CDs wired into it’s noggins by two tiny white buds. Every hipster in Christendom can now instantaneously to skip over those tired Beatles CDs they burned from their parents and cue up some rocking indie band they heard on last week’s One Tree Hill. In today’s disposable musical climate, Warhol’s 15-minutes has been scaled back to roughly the fraction-of-a-chorus length of an Ipod commercial.


Hear Me Out, the solo debut from San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Joel Streeter, just so happens to be the quintessential anti-disposable album. Like many of his less talented contemporaries, Streeter’s primarily interested in an exercise in a certain type of retro aesthetic. But, Hear Me Out’s vintage sensibilities extend to its sonic complexity and depth and a seemingly conscious return to the dogged studio mastery and songsmithing more common to late 60s and early 70s pop than to today’s latest retrofitted rehash acts.


Formerly of Gettysburg, PA’s Fizgigg and, more recently, of Washington, DC’s, Spy Cellar, Streeter is nothing less than an avowed melody junkie. Streeter has a keenness for the bittersweet and pathos-laden melodies practiced by McCartney and Badly Drawn Boy, the kind of humable tunes whose darker corners are covered in silky, professional pop.


The album’s ascendant opener, “All or Nothing,” cuts expertly with Spectorish glockenspiel and multi-layered five-part harmony vocals by producer Jerry Becker, perfects this formula by sounding simultaneously mournful and triumphant. Becker, who’s worked with former Train guitarist Rob Hotchkiss and veteran drummer Eric Kurtzrock (who’s backed David Byrne among others), seems to have developed the ideal support system for Streeter’s rare pop sensibilities. At various times surrounded by upright piano, acoustic and electric guitars, and accordion, Streeter comfortably updates everything from the darker tones of Wilco to the lighter moods of Elliot Smith.


On the mid-tempo shuffle of “One More Reason” or the breezy modern lament of “Stay Living,” Streeter’s uncannily successful at creating contagiously singable power-pop with purpose. On the eminently catchy “Stay Living,” Streeter, quite slyly, could be commenting on either on his song’s political pundit or the state of pop itself, “Another Monday on cable now, the capital brigade / Whoah, I think I know him / Like I know my cereal, my clothing brand, myself on a bad day.”


Streeter’s melodic gifts seem to always be intermingled with the emotional maturity of his songs. Sure, he wants us to Hear Him Out. But Streeter’s rightly got no easy sonic or lyrical answers, and he is intent on escaping pitfall of countless debuts that usually succeed in doing only one thing really well. Hear Me Out seems to do everything really well – from the acoustic intimacy of “One More Reason” to the offhanded OK Computer reference on the album’s closing track, to the anthemic, zero-irony buoyancy of “Pavement (Everything is Alright)" and “Always So.” Clear evidence of an indispensable songwriting talent, Streeter’s debut is as likely to propel Streeter into the O.C. soundtrack category as it is to win over a sizable cadre of grizzled indie-pop fanatics.

- Ryan McCarthy - Delusions of Adequacy - www.adequacy.net


With a touch of Neil Finn’s wry sensitivity, a hint of Britpop snarl, and some Revolver-era Beatles’ arrangements, Joel Streeter has written a collection of tunes worthy of the star-lineup that helped him record it. Players who are members of or worked with the likes of Counting Crows, Train, Mushroom, Sheryl Crow, Ben Folds, John Vanderslice, and Chuck Prophet lent their significant chops and sensibilities to the process, creating a classic-sounding pop album full of bounce, melodic arch, and lyrical substance. But Streeter is no aping Anglophile, either. Though his compositions confidently draw a lineage back to the British Invasion, he sings in an earnest and unmistakably American voice. It is this combination that gives his music a strong sense of uniqueness. “Matador” is introspective and connective, deep and bright, ambitious and comforting. - CD Baby


Joel Streeter-Matador. San Francisco singer-songwriter Joel Streeter might be one of pop's best-kept secrets. He debuted in 2005 with the excellent Hear Me Out (which predated this site by a year) and now is back five years later with Matador. Drawing on a variety of pop styles, Matdaor has something for just about everyone. The opening title track recalls Neil Finn and Crowded House; "Drive Away" is reminiscent of pre-Spain Josh Rouse, "Baby Your Time's Here Too" has a hint of Noel Gallagher, and "Man of the Hour" is punchy power pop a la Jim Boggia. With one pop gem after another, this Matador is no bull. Olé! - Absolute Power Pop


As the influx of singer/songwriters continues to flow, one might start to ignore whomever comes along next. This reviewer has yet to tire of these performers and their style of music, even though it's been exhausted through hours and hours of teen dramas on TV, which play a song every five minutes. It's puzzling, though, as to how these shows work as a launching pad for the independent/upcoming artist. These shows play them faster than they come, and maybe that's why you never hear of some of the artists ever again. So imagine the overlook: a possible blessing in disguise for a local and fantastic artist named Joel Streeter, but a huge travesty all at the same time. On his latest album Hear Me Out, which is an eclectic blend of everything you could ever dream of, he's an artist that comes out of right field with another sound that is just waiting to be discovered, soundtrack to a TV show or not.

One could consider him to be a part of the growing movement over the past couple of years of the singer/songwriter first known to local audiences (Jason Mraz and countless others come to mind), yet eventually bridging out to find that bigger audience elsewhere. On Hear Me Out, Streeter is able to bridge the gap with a sound that fuses Brit-pop melodies to modern day indie-rock. He names his influences from The Beatles to Elliott Smith, and you can almost hear all of their styles in every single song. Most vivid is the sublime title track "Hear Me Out" and the Lennon-esque vocals on "Pavement (Everything Is Alright)." Not to be ignored is the piano/guitar grandiose meld on "Don't Go Away," a jam of a love song with a catchy hook that will have you tapping your foot along to a song that is not only thunderous, but pleasant. The stripped down intro of "And I Think You Know It" reminds the listener of the roots of the singer/songwriter genre, then launches into a gorgeous arrangement that'll have you swaying along with lyrics that are universal in every way. One after the other, each song packs a different punch, and that's what Joel Streeter was going for.

But whether you're a fan of indie-rock, Brit-pop, or a fan of music in general, one listen to Joel Streeter is enough to show that he's got the right stuff. Streeter's refreshing sound shows that he has what it takes to define a genre, and maybe even create a new one. It wouldn't hurt to go out and get Streeter's album, or better yet, if you're in or around San Francisco, go see one of his shows. There's nothing better than seeing an artist at their best live, and you never know: it might be your last chance to see them up close before "the big time." Streeter is definitely headed in that direction, so go get the album, and get yourself to a show before you've been left behind.

Written By: Caroline Leonardo - Evolution of Media


Discography

Album - "Matador" (2010)

1. Matador
2. Make a Wish
3. Drive Away (featuring Megan Slankard)
4. Baby Your Time's Here Too (featuring Brad Brooks)
5. Close Your Eyes
6. Man of the Hour
7. Molly (featured on 90210)
8. Father's Son
9. Like a Bird in Its Gilded Cage
10. Bad Example (All Hail the Lost)
11. Better Day
12. I'll Have You Back

Album - "Hear Me Out" (2006)

1. All or Nothing
2. Hear Me Out
3. One More Reason
4. Stay Living (featured on KFOG)
5. Permanent Release
6. Further Away
7. Don't Go Away
8. And I Think You Know It
9. Always So
10. Pavement (Everything is Alright)
11. All That You Wanted

Photos

Bio

Joel Streeter has been hailed as "one of pop's best kept secrets", as "a true pop talent", as "an indispensable songwriting talent", and as an "avowed melody junkie" drawing comparisons to Neil Finn, XTC, Elliott Smith, Paul McCartney and Badly Drawn Boy among others. Having just followed-up his debut album, Hear Me Out, with his second effort, Matador, he continues to draw praise and attention from music lovers everywhere. Matador is a CD Baby's Editor's Pick and was r named #34 on Absolute Powerpop's Top 100 albums of 2010.

Growing up in the historic town of Gettysburg, PA, Joel began playing guitar and writing music at an early age, releasing a 4-song EP with his High School band, Automatic Badger. Attending Gettysburg College for 1-year, he continued writing and released a second EP, with his band FizGigg quickly becoming a regional favorite. Joel then moved on to Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, studying guitar, preforming in classical ensembles, and forming the band Since Then featuring Bill Sherman (In the Heights, The Electric Company) on saxophone.

After college, Joel moved to Washington, DC starting the band Spy Cellar. Spy Cellar was a local favorite, playing to packed crowds in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. After a year, Joel moved to San Francisco in 2003 to pursue a solo music career.

Arriving in San Francisco, Streeter quickly established himself as a gifted performer and remarkable songwriting talent. After a few months of gigs as a sideman in a bluegrass group, as a bassist, and as a host of a popular San Francisco open mic, Joel teamed up with Jerry Becker (multi-instrumentalist for Train) to produce his debut, Hear Me Out (released in 2006). Hear Me Out attracted immediate attention from the legendary KFOG radio, earning him radio play, multiple morning show appearances, and a track (Stay Living) on KFOG's Local Scene Volume 4 CD. Streeter was also a founding member of the San Francisco Songwriters Coalition and helped start the "Conversations with Renee Richardson" podcast series featuring top-notch Bay Area singer/songwriters in a performance/interview session with KFOG Morning Show Host, Renee Richardson. The Joel Streeter Band has performed at the top venues in the Bay Area including The Great American Music Hall, Slim's, Cafe du Nord, The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and The Rickshaw Stop among others. Joel and his band had the privilege of opening for Phil Lesh and Friends at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium in 2007.

In 2008, Joel began work on his sophomore effort, Matador, again teaming with producer Jerry Becker. His reputation having grown considerably since landing in San Francisco 5 years before, Streeter attracted the best and brightest Bay Area musicians to lend their considerable talents including Jim Bogios on drums (Counting Crows, Sheryl Crow, Ben Folds), James Deprato on electric guitar (Chuck Prophet's Mission Express, Pat Monahan of Train), Matthew Henry Cunitz (John Vanderslice, Mushroom) and guest vocal appearances from Megan Slankard and Brad Brooks. The result is what CD Baby hailed as "a classic sounding pop album full of bounce, melodic arch, and lyrical substance" and as "introspective and connective, deep and bright, ambitious and comforting." Powerpopaholic gave the Matador an 8/10, saying that there is "not a bad track in the bunch and plenty of memorable gems making it easy to recommend." The Joel Streeter Band played its San Francisco CD Release Party on September 8, 2010 featuring Jim Bogios on drums, James Deprato on electric guitar, Max Delaney on electric guitar, Matthew Henry Cunitz on keyboards, and Jeff Symonds on bass.

In 2011, Joel is hitting the road to promote Matador, including appearances at The Living Room in New York City and in Austin during SXSW.

Band Members