Josh Weinstein

Josh Weinstein

 New York City, New York, USA
BandRockSinger/Songwriter

Literate, off-center, and unique, with a reputation for memorable live appearances. Sound skews acoustic to "junkyard electric": Tom Waits meets Thelonius Monk. New album due in spring, 2009, to be titled "Love & Alcohol." Last album, "Brooklyn Is Sinking" listed at npr.org "Best CDs of 2006."

Biography

"Josh Weinstein is a philosopher/poet who happens to play amazing piano (plus whatever else he can get his hands on). With Love & Alcohol, Weinstein may fully establish himself in critical circles as one of the most talented songwriters the US has to offer. This is the sort of performance that gets considered for awards."
--”Wildy's World Reviews, February, 2009

Bukowski-esque lyrics evoke a a slide-show of anonymous strangers haunting the dark corners of a midnight city. Shades of front-porch-blues and field-gospel co-mingle with Waitsian jazz and folk harmonies. Rock guitar pulses over upright bass. A single voice calls out over slow-burn blues piano while a trumpet plays from the next room.

In intimate settings, Josh Weinstein often has his drummer show up empty-handed and "play the room”--use found objects to bring immediacy and unpredictability to the performance.

It's no wonder Weinstein's second release, 2006's Brooklyn Is Sinking, appears on "Best of..." lists at WFUV and npr.org. A scholar, educator, studio pianist and performing songwriter, Josh Weinstein has emerged as an important voice in contemporary pop composition.

Weinstein grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY, and spent childhood weekends in New York City, mostly in bars, with his father. His mother was a 60's folk singer/songwriter and recording artist, grandmother was a concert cellist who had a weekly radio performance program on the CBC in Canada.

An English major in college, Weinstein worked as bartender, jingle-writer and friday-night "Hey, how ya doing, thanks for listening" cocktail jazz piano player to pay for grad school in Literature.

He worked in the "real world" as a writer, editor, and advertising copywriter. Wrote music and played piano in a variety of bands at night, honing the bare-knuckle, blues-meets-whiskey-meets-street-corner-philosopher style that characterizes his sound.

Lived in Colorado, then California. Then Washington, DC and Maine. Moved back to New York City in late 1999. Lived two buildings south of the World Trade Center towers. Was there for the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Went underground. Reevaluated. Quit job in 2002 to return to music full-time.

Recorded first album, Petty Alchemy, in August, 2003. and second, Brooklyn Is Sinking, in 2006. Has since racked up numerous Honorable Mention-or-better song-contest finishes, spins on hundreds of radio stations throughout the country and appearances at innumerable festivals and venues, large and small.

After a one-year performing hiaitus to help raise his new son, Weinstein is back in force with his strongest album yet, Love & Alcohol, to be released in Spring 2009 on RandomLogo Records.

Love & Alcohol is a street's-eye view of love and everything after, written and edited in the late-night hours, fueled by too little of the former and too much of the latter.

Basic tracks were recorded on Valentine's Day, with an electro-acoustic four-piece ensemble that included journeyman "Roches" bassist Paul Ossola and "Songs from a Random House" drummer John Bollinger. Overdubs throughout the year when/wherever Weinstein could get a microphone in front of friends and colleagues--everyone from guitarist G.E. Smith to cellist Erik Friedlander to organist Clifford Carter.

The spare production incorporates found-object and non-trap-kit percussion, engineered soundscapes, and nontraditional, non-beginning-middle-end song structure.

Yet at its core, L & A is fundamentally a blues album--
an in-the-cracks, off-center, idiosyncratic look at life lived somewhere between Love & Alcohol.

Lyrics

One More Blues

Written By: Josh Weinstein

And if there's something I could say
I don't know
I don't know
If I'd say it anyway.

And if there's one thing I could do
I don't know
I don't Know
if I'd lay it down for you.

I strap my tired act together
And head out on the road
Light a light and write a letter
Play my show.

And if there's something we could be
I don't know
I don't know
That's just one more blues to me.

Man I go crazy just to be with you (x6)

I strap my tired act together
And take it on the road
Bum a light and write a letter
Play my show.

And if there's something more that we could be
I don't know
I don't know
That's just one more blues to me.

Fuck Is Fuck

Written By: Josh Weinstein

I get stoned instead of feel
Give it words so it’s not real
God and me we have a deal
I don’t tell that he don’t exist
And he don’t look when I’m like this
Fuck is fuck and kiss is kiss.

She blow up like jiffy pop
Bust wide open, do not stop
Time to time she leave a drop
I left cool in California
I can’t find it anymore
I can’t find it anymore.

We’re a gas ain’t we
Fools and narcissists
Let’s call it what it is.
We're some success
Ankle deep in hubris
Fuck is fuck and kiss is kiss

Lean your head back in your chair
Grab a hank of bobbing hair
Thank her and get out of there.
All the rest is high school sex
It’s stuff your pants with Kleenex
And hope she do and do not check.

We’re a gas ain’t we
Fools and narcissists
Let’s call it what it is.
We're some success
Ankle deep in hubris
Fuck is fuck and kiss is kiss

I am lonely by design
Love is love but wine is wine.
I watch the goosebumps sashay by
I get mine from time to time
I’m satisfied and doing fine.
Do you doubt it? Do I lie?
Don’t even try.

Song a Drunk Man Sings

Written By: Josh Weinstein

I love her I say
Drunk men say that too
She hates this she says
Thinks it's hers to choose
Drunk men think that too.

Night is a gangster
Rolls in like it owns the ground
Stands at the bar and runs its fat black mouth.

This is the coldest town I know
Hitmen everywhere you go
And a wasteland on the radio.

Midnight knows and I know:
Time is the cheap wine
that a stranger brings
Love is the old sad song a drunk man sings.

This is the coldest town I know
Snowmen everywhere you go.
And a junk yard on the radio.

She Do Not Listen

Written By: Josh Weinstein

The sun got drunk
Slept through Sunday
I carried on like I had something to say
But she don't listen to me

I am half child
I don't dispute that
"We lap the miles..."
Who was it wrote that?
It's wrong.

But she don't listen to me
She keep on moving
She do not listen
All day long with her head in the clouds
She just go
Till she's gone.

She is the one who likes it this way
Hides from the sun
And when there's no words to say
She do not say them to me.

The sun got drunk
Slept through Sunday
What's done is done
I'll see her someday
And she will not listen to me
She'll keep on moving
She do not listen to me
She keep on going
She do not listen
All day long with her head in the clouds
She just go
Till she's gone.

Discography

Petty Alchemy (album, 2003) (airplay: There Ain't Nothing Sadder Than a Saturday Night [Honorable Mention, 2004 Billboard Song Contest], Heart on the Line, Old School, I've Never Written a Love Song)

Brooklyn Is Sinking (album, 2006) (airplay: Stones, Brooklyn Is Sinking, Is and Should Have Been--streaming, public, satellite and commercial radio play.)

Set List

Set is almost exclusively original material and runs up to two hours as the venue allows.