Junk Parlor
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Junk Parlor

Oakland, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Oakland, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
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"Press Play: Gypsy crooner punk band Junk Parlor finds voice with ‘Melusina"

With “Melusina,” the so-called “gypsy crooner punk band” Junk Parlor has found its voice, solidifying its place as an up-and-comer to watch in Bay Area world music circles.

Spurred by the positive response from its fans to a couple of tunes on its debut album, “Wild Tones,” the Fairfax-based quartet has decided, in their words, “to venture further down the path of Eastern European, gypsy and vintage belly dance melodies along with our own brand of moody, haunting originals ...”

Good thinking. “Melusina,” showcasing six fine originals by former punk rocker Jason Vanderford, takes flight on the wings of the Vanderford instrumentals “Loverfish,” featuring a swirling violin chorus by Hanna Mignano, and the irresistible “Treehouse,” a rocking tune driven by the rhythm section of drummer Robin Goodrich, formerly of Beso Negro and bassist Tim Bush, a Fairfax fixture who’s played with Chuck Day and the band Sweetie Pie. The tune’s laced with the precise electric guitar work of guest musician Jonathan Burnside of Faith No More fame.

Vanderford, who plays acoustic and electric guitars as well as banjo, lends his sturdy baritone to the title track, an amusing number that asks the musical question, “Mama, what have you done?” and the strangely atonal “Into Dust,” written by David Roback and Hope Sandoval of the alternative rock band Mazzy Star.

For this album, Junk Parlor’s sound is enlivened by Kami Liddle, playing frame drum and finger cymbals, and clarinetist Clint Baker.

Formed in 2013, Junk Parlor has found its voice with this vibrant, innovative sophomore album, recorded at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati.

This may sound a bit over the top, but the Recording Academy has an outpost in San Francisco that would do well to consider nominating “Melusina” for a world music Grammy.

Paul Liberatore - Marin Independent Journal


"Junk Parlor's Mutant Musical Review"

This is an auspicious debut album from one of the more refreshingly ingenious bands to arrive on the Marin scene since Radio Fantastique and Beso Negro.

Fronted by former punk rocker turned gypsy jazz singer-guitarist-songwriter Jason Vanderford, Junk Parlor combines those two genres — rock and Django Reinhart-style acoustic swing — into a mutant musical form the band calls gypsy junk rock.

The nine songs on "Wild Tones" include a handful of instrumentals, among them the Croatian gypsy tune "Cojek Majstore," and a half dozen originals by Vanderford with driving acoustic grooves, ear-snagging hooks and strangely innovative lyrics like "I'm just a pocket full of dreams on my way back to you." Vanderford piles onto the horror film trend with "Vampires Never Die," a catchy single with a video shot among the lurid neon of North Beach.

Lead guitarist Jimmy Grant studied with gypsy jazz master Angelo Debarre and learned his lessons well. Drummer RT Goodrich played for a couple of years with Beso Negro and bassist Tim Bush is a Fairfax stalwart, a veteran of Chuck Day and Sweetie Pie. For these sessions, Jeff Mehl fills out the sound on keyboards and J. Loyal Tarbet adds some world music flavor on clarinet.

The finely funky CD was produced by Jonathan Burnside of Faith No More and Easy Leaves fame at Faultline Studios in San Francisco.

Listening to "Wild Tones" is as pleasantly surprising as finding a rough diamond in a pile of gypsy junk.

Buy it: "Wild Tones," Junk Parlor, independent, Amazon.com, $8.91

Paul Liberatore - Marin Independent Journal


"Junk Parlor Caps Night of Wild Music at Wtizend Live for Valentine’s"

Junk Parlor, the gypsy funk pop band from Northern California, topped off one of the most incredible evenings I have spent at a club or listening room. Wild music and total fun only begins to describe what went on inside the Venice club’s brick walls on Valentine’s Night.

Everyone who stayed was very glad they did. Jason Vanderford and his band of seasoned Cajun, gypsy, R&B and punk rock veterans lowered the energy level but upped the smiles. The opened with a classical banjo instrumental done R&B style with a rock beat. Then they shifted to “Strange man” a song from their new album, Wild Tones, and Vanderford’s growl/howl voice began its seduction of the audience. The funky, catchy beat was just right for a tired crowd, fun and foot-tapping, but smooth enough to encourage you to listen. And of course, there were the lyrics, which brought grins and laughs all around. In between songs, you could see the twinkle in Vanderford’s eyes as he courted the audience with jokes and stories
Junk Parlor played cuts from the album, including his famous escape from suburbia song, “Vampires Never Die”, covered “Whiskey Bar”, and played another European banjo instrumental – something Vanderford is known for. RT. Goodrich, an outstanding drummer with years of experience in a variety of bands, most recently Besso Negro, kept the music in line with a perfectly pitched level of very complex drumming. Jimmy Grant livened things up even more with his electric acoustic guitar riffs and solos, and Tim Bush played the fastest bass I have ever seen – something he told me afterward was necessary in Junk Parlor’s music.

Junk Parlor wrapped up their SoCal tour Sunday night at the Trip in Santa Monica and is headed back to Marin County. I certainly hope to see them again soon, maybe on a bill with Doña Oxford and Scarlet Roads, for another night of wild music and total fun.
Patrick O’Heffernan
Host Music Friday - Hollywood Progressive


"Wild Tones, debut album by Junk Parlor. "Wild" is the right word!"

Junk Parlor’s debut album Wild Tones is like taking a drug – a big rush, continuing high, then addiction, often accompanied by dancing.

Gypsy junk rock and roll. Sounds dangerous, but it’s actually really fun. Whether you are dancing or head-bobbing in your chair at a club, or bopping with your ear buds in, the music of Junk Parlor is like taking a drug – a big rush, continuing high, then addiction, often accompanied by dancing. Founder Jason Vanderford has incorporated his ramblings, both physical and mental, into a unique music form that I just can’t get out of my head without the help of a psychiatrist. And who would want to anyway?

Seriously, whether he is singing in a shuffle beat about “how we became you and me” in a kind of not-quite-love song, or trying breathlessly to keep up with a frantic guitar riff while he extols escape from suburbia by becoming a vampire, there is nothing Jason Vanderford and his band of incredibly talented can’t do, or won’t do. They are truly music geniuses and so, so much fun to listen to.

Their debut album, Wild Tones, produced by Jonathan Burnside at Faultline Studios in San Francisco, is a rich mixture of gypsy, Cajun, funk, pop, jazz and rock with stories and themes that are deliciously evil and music that is just plain delicious. The nine songs on the album start with the hooky, funky tale of woe, ”Strange Man”, and end with a rollicking banjo-led instrumental, the Croatian tune, “Cojek Majstore”.

The title song , “Wild Tones” wails about sex and anguish with fast-paced acoustic groves. We “Vampires Never Die”, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the chance to escape from Suburbia by becoming a vampire – just pure fun while you rock out on the dance floor, jumping to the “hut!”, “hut!” “hut!” in the middle of the song. “My Kind of Pain” tells a pop-grove infused story of a smitten boy used by a female friend for sex.

“Pocketful of Dreams” is about sex, plain and simple. Vanderford told me on my radio show that the song started with a woman asking him to write a song about sex and another older woman telling him the first draft was not sexy enough. You decide…while you grin and tap your fingers.

The remainder of the album explores sex and love from various angles with various arrangements reflecting the gypsy rock roots of Junk Parlor with Vanderford’s growl/howl of a voice coursing throughout except on the two banjo-led instrumentals.

Junk Parlor is led by founder Jason Vanderford, who also appears in two other bands – or “projects”- he has formed, the Americano Social Club and The Little Charlie Caravan. A former punk rocker, Vanderford sings, writes songs, plays banjo and rhythm guitar. Rt. Goodrich, formerly of Besso Negro, masters the complex, layered drumming required by Vanderford’s songs. Jimmy Grant, a former student of Romani gypsy jazz guitarist Angelo Debarre, puts that experience to work on electric guitar. Tim Bush backs on the fretless bass. The album also features Jeff Mehl on keyboards and Justin Loyal Tarbet on clarinet.

Junk Parlor’s debut album Wild Tones is like taking a drug – a big rush, continuing high, then addiction, often accompanied by dancing. - Music Junkie Press


"Paul Liberatore’s Lib at Large: Press Play’s 10 best Marin records of 2015"

• “Mulusina,” Junk Parlor — Spurred by the positive response to a couple of tracks on its debut album, “Wild Tones,” this Fairfax-based quartet has decided, in their words, “to venture further down the path of Eastern European, gypsy and vintage belly dance melodies along with our own brand of moody, haunting originals.” Good thinking. “Melusina” showcases six fine originals by former punk rocker Jason Vanderford, including the instrumentals “Loverfish,” featuring a swirling violin chorus by Hanna Mignano, and the irresistible “Treehouse,” a rocking tune driven by the rhythm section of drummer Robin Goodrich, formerly of Beso Negro, and bassist Tim Bush. This sophomore album includes guests Jonathan Burnside of Faith No More fame on electric guitar, clarinetist Clint Baker and Kami Liddle, playing frame drum and finger cymbals. In European folklore, Melusina is a fairy tale figure usually depicted as a mermaid. With this album of the same name, Junk Parlor does her proud. - Marin Independent Journal


"Junk Parlor’s new Melusina album: dangerous, wild, and fun (Los Angeles)"

Los Angeles). Gypsy rock and roll; sounds dangerous. Actually it is dangerous, but a lot of fun. And no one does it better than Junk Parlor, as their latest album, Melusina, demonstrates. Melusina is like taking a drug – a big rush, continuing high, then addiction, often accompanied by dancing. True to its Melusina namesake, the twin-tailed mermaid long used as a symbol in alchemy to represent female sexuality and the dual nature of humanity, the album is a combination of wild abandon, joyful cavorting and dark tales.

Junk Parlor’s founder and leader, Jason Vanderford, has conjured a gypsy-cadenced album that recalls the classic belly dance LP’s of Ala Turk or Radio Bastet and mixed them with instrumental gypsy folk melodies and a touch of rock. He weaves this bubbling concoction together with his howling, haunting voice and cinematic lyrics. The result is a unique music form that you just can’t get out of you head. But then, why would you want to?

Melusina unfurls in ten songs, some instrumental and some lyrical. Opening with the high octane Macedonia gypsy traditional dance tune “Majstore Majstore,” it flows naturally into a second instrumental, the Vanderford-written traditional sounding song, “Loverfish.” The notes of “Loverfish” roll out, painting a picture of women dancing by firelight on the beach as the Melusina watches from her perch on a rock offshore, illuminated by the flickering firelight.

The title song “Melusina” rises full length from the sea as Vanderford tells the story in his spookiest voice, while drummer R.T. Goodrich’s snare drum and Tim Bush’s bass propels us forward. “Melusina” also introduces the violin of Hanna Mignano, a welcome new addition to the band. She is a classical violinist with a ring in her nose that tells you she is not quite what her 12 years of study with a Romanian master violinist would lead you to expect. Mignano adds a color and depth and a jazz-like quality that moves the already high altitude talent of Junk Parlor into the stratosphere. - Shutter 16 Magazine


"Junk Parlor Releases First Single "Mick Jagger's Heart" From Upcoming Album"

Junk Parlor has been considered a galvanizing force on the Bay Area indie rock scene ever since it was launched serendipitously in 2013. The sound was born from the wild musical wanderings of Jason Vanderford, who is renowned for his five years of recording and touring with gypsy jazz sensation, The Hot Club of San Francisco. Junk Parlor's energizing musical collage includes 50’s rock and roll rumbling atop gypsy rhythms, a bit of Gipsy Rhumba, tango, Eastern Euro/Hungarian music, belly dance, and punk.

Based on their two earlier releases (their 2013 debut Wild Tones and its 2015 follow-up Melusina), Junk Parlor has been compared to such diverse acts as Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Gogol Bordello, the Dead Kennedys and Tom Waits. Vanderford was raised on “rock and roll and punk and everything under the sun,” so other sounds are certain to appear as the gypsy junk rockers continue their jam.

Vanderford also plays acoustic banjo and rhythm guitar, and is joined by the group's co-founder, RT Goodrich, on drums and cajon, Laela Peterson-Stolen on violin and viola and Tim Bush on fretless bass.

The new single, "Mick Jagger's Heart" was inspired by the Rolling Stone's "Dear Doctor." Vanderford described it as “when the heartache of Leonard Cohen decides to lament under the sun amidst the California surf." The video for the single, both of which are being released on May 27, is skillfully directed by Jeannie Jo, using scenes of San Francisco cityscapes as a metaphor for heartbreak. Click on the links to check them out.

As Vanderford tells it, Junk Parlor began almost by accident. Vanderford had emerged as one of the Bay area's "go-to" musicians in the years following his time with The Hot Club of San Francisco. Bush, his uncle, asked him to play an acoustic gig but Vanderford would only agree if Bush played bass for him. Shortly thereafter, they were joined by Goodrich, who wanted to create a group with Vanderford and Bush. Vanderford explained, “I was hesitant but asked him to sit in with me for a few months. Then he shows up one day saying he booked the band. I told him we didn’t have a name and he said we better get one. So then I took it seriously.”

The clever band name came from his younger days, when his bedroom stored his collection of vintage furniture and pictures he’d bought at antique stores. He vowed then that if he ever had a band of his own, he would call it what he called that space: Junk Parlor.

Junk Parlor's members have played the gamut of festivals and prestigious venues including Outside Lands, Kate Wolfe Fest, Djangofest, Gaia Fest and SXSW. Vanderford has played, recorded and toured with the Americano Social Club, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Clint Baker's New Orleans Jazz Band, Little Charlie's Caravan, Avatar Ensemble and Seth Ford Young Quartet, while Goodrich has laid down rhythms and toured with Staggerwing, Beso Negro and Standing Room Only. Meanwhile, Bush has played extensively with Danny Montana, Sweetie Pie and the Doughboys, Chuck Day, Sam Andrew, Jim Martin, and Freddie Roulette.

Looking ahead, Vanderford says that the new album, which will include “Mick Jagger’s Heart,” will build upon what Junk Parlor has been doing since day one. “Our first two records are simply two sides of the same coin,” he says. “I am looking forward to our next project as we already have all the songs and have been playing them out and getting a wonderful response. This one will include a few instrumentals, but have more of an emphasis on vocals.

“What I’m learning through all of these recording and performing experiences is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a jazz musician, singer or dancer, the goal is always telling a great story. I love getting out there and hearing people’s stories and then transforming those into songs that can be interpreted in unique ways by the band, dancers and everyone in the audience that it touches.”

For more info, check out their website and Facebook pages, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. - No Depression


"Single Review: Mick Jagger's Heart - Junk Parlor"

A 2010s reminder of how fun and feel-good gypsy rock music can be. That is how I would summarize the latest single, from San Francisco gypsy junk rock band Junk Parlor, interestingly titled “Mick Jagger’s Heart”. After putting out their debut album titled “Wild Tones”, a record ripe with gypsy jazz rhythms driving a 50s inspired rock theme, the eclectic group has added a slightly country-influenced song here in this new single, in my primary opinion. A quite magical tune that mixes these different, aged genres really smoothly, and it definitely oozes out nostalgia for fans of this musical style, as well as expose it to the newer generation of American listeners.

The first question that may pop into your head would probably be; what does Mick Jagger’s heart have to do with this tune? It is indeed an eye-catching name for a song, and it is apparently a song about metaphorical heartbreak and the classic theme of lost love. It’s a clear step away from their earlier wandering themes of wily satisfaction and late night betrayal. More on the song’s meaning later on.

Musically, “Mick Jagger’s Heart” kicks off with an upbeat snare drum driven beat that works with the bouncy twang of guitarist Jimmy Grant’s country/bluesy introduction riff to bring the energy as it invites leading man Jason Vanderford to begin crooning about how he is dealing with his special someone leaving, in a humorously visual way; “My monkey brain it just wants to believe”.

The chorus/hook is as simple as choruses and hooks come and at the same time, it does not lack any substance at all. “Doctor won’t you please tear it out, and place it in a jar next to Mick Jagger’s Heart”. This seemly hook line perfectly sums up what the song is all about. The protagonist is ready to accept his romance tragedy as he compares his heart to that of one of rock and roll’s biggest icons, The Rolling Stones’ very own Mick Jagger, who would probably have his own fair share of heartbreaks. The harmonizing female vocal part also lends some depth to the song as it suggests the idea that the protagonist’s other half might also be going through the same experience. And I emphasize on “might”, I don’t want to try digging too much out of this straightforward song.

The fun part of “Mick Jagger’s Heart” surely comes in the call-and answer section after the second chorus where Vanderford questions himself if he is crazy. And the guitar solo that comes after is brilliantly fitting of the song as Grant’s inspiring solo gives some musicianship to this already catchy song. And the song appropriately approaches the finale with more of that calling-and-answering, before it finally ends off how it began with the bobbing guitar riff.

Junk Parlor definitely have a name made for themselves already in their Californian regions, and especially after their Pacific Northwest tour. If the band is looking to spread their name further, “Mick Jagger’s Heart” is a decent enough single for the younger generation of listeners to relate to.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JunkParlor

Review by Cyrus Rhodes - No Depression


"Junk Parlor - Mick Jagger's Heart"

Bay area gypsy roots rockers Junk Parlor have released a new single and video from their upcoming album. The title of Mick Jagger’s Heart hearkens back to the Rolling Stones track Dear Doctor, in which the venerable frontman is so heartbroken that he takes drastic action- removing his heart and putting it in a jar.

Musically the new song takes you back to the same era, mixing 60’s rock and roll with a bit of San Francisco surfer cool and the theatrical flair of Leonard Cohen. The mix of different influences from years gone by and Jason Vanderford’s bluesy, croaking vocals ensure that Mick Jagger’s Heart retains the same ramshackle old-school charm the band are becoming known for.

The tune opens with with a nonchalant surf rock riff that instantly tunes your ears back to the golden age of rock n roll. The winding verse has a distinctly British flavour, with its jazzy guitar licks and whistling organ calling to mind the madcap pop of Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd.

Vanderford sings his tales of heartache and woe with a suitably sullen, downcast delivery which offsets the jauntiness of the music, giving it a melancholic feel that’s very evocative when paired with the black and white visuals of the video.

The chorus, in which Vanderford requests his own heart be torn from his chest and enshrined next to Jagger’s (which has presumably started to rot quite badly by now) has a macabre weirdness to it much like some of The Who’s best work, and the folky group harmonies give the song a strong pop sensibility that ensures the melody will be winding its way round your head for days to come.

Junk Parlor’s sound has at times cobbled together everything from punk to folk and gypsy influences but on Mick Jagger’s Heart they keep things purely old time rock n roll, resulting in a straightforward, accessible single.

The accompanying video directed by Jeanne Jo features some great shots of the band in action, as well as some interesting views of San Francisco from different angles and perspectives.

It’s a well enough put together video but it does feel a bit aimless at times. Far too much of it is just people wandering around, or sitting talking, or Vanderford looking brooding. There’s also a whole random section of a bunch of people swimming, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The video never has the same energy or sense of momentum as the song, nor any of the quirky imagery of Vanderford’s lyrics. A purely performance based video might have served Junk Parlor better as they do have a sense of chemistry and charisma as a band that makes them very watchable.

Despite the slightly dull video Mick Jagger’s Heart is a finely written dose of retro boogie with enough wry style and offbeat melody to make it more than just a rote rehash of tired 60’s tropes. Here’s hoping the band’s heart stays beating long enough for us to hear a few more of the oddball gems they’ve got hidden away amongst all the junk. - Indie Music Review


"Junk Parlor - Mick Jagger's Heart"

Oakland, CA based band Junk Parlor is certainly hard to pin down; there’s a heap of influences rolled into their sound, yet they are splendidly unique. At heart they are a gypsy band with all the diminished guitar voicings and “boom-chick” that implies. Add in some blues and indie sounds, some Beatles-esque songwriting and frontman Jason Vanderford’s subtly delivered and distorted vocals and you’ve got Junk Parlor. They came on the scene in 2013 with their debut album “Wild Tones”, which features several songs with lyrics and a few instrumentals. Their 2015 release “Melusina” takes the opposite approach, focusing more on the Eastern European instrumental dance forms that ground their gypsy sound with a few lyrics peppered in throughout. Released in May of 2016, their new single Mick Jagger’s Heart branches out a bit, but retains everything that makes this band great.

Mick Jagger’s Heart plays off the 1968 Rolling Stones tune Dear Doctor. That song takes on a satirical hillbilly style and tells the story of a man who is at first heartbroken at the prospect of marrying a “sow” of a girl, and begs the doctor to cut out his heart. By the end of the song his heart beats in relief that she’s left him at the altar to marry his cousin, Lou.

The Junk Parlor version keeps the joke from the chorus about cutting out the protagonist’s heart and the theme of getting spurned, but beyond that the song is wholly its own. The narrator spends the verses pining for a lover, his feelings apparently unrequited, then delivers the namesake punchline in the chorus: “Doctor won’t you please tear it out and put it in a jar next to Mick Jagger’s heart”.

The track opens with a heavy, uptempo rock beat and a surfer rock guitar riff. Having the electric guitar come right out of the gate this way signals a return to some of the sounds from their first album, but it is also novel. “Wild Tones” features a significant amount electric guitar providing bluesy fills and solos, “Melusina” opts more for the folk feel of the acoustic ensemble. In this new single, the electric guitar is back to the same bluesy material, but it is more present in the mix and the acoustic guitar is more in the background. An organ, also playing riffs reminiscent of surfer rock, supplements the noodling of the electric guitar. I could have used more organ; the dance of accompaniments between it and the electric guitar is really fun and I thought the organ got a bit lost sometimes. This changed-up instrumental texture and the rock beat in place of jazzier and folkier rhythms from the earlier albums gives Mick Jagger’s Heart its distinctive sound.

Vanderford’s lead vocal is notably more lively in this song than in both of the preceding albums. After two rounds of verse/chorus we break into the more jazz-infused bridge that’s high-energy and tons of fun. The eighths stay straight but we get a ride cymbal bell and walking bass line. Both here and in the chorus we have another feature that is fairly unusual for Junk Parlor: background vocals. The chorus is punched up by some gang vocals, the extra voices and especially the female tone of fiddle player Laela Peterson-Stolen really brighten up the track. The band shouts an echo to the first line of the bridge, and then the vocals spread out for a rich harmonic turnaround on “when you look at me that way” that leads into an electric guitar solo over the verse chords; the solo is standard bluesy fare from their earlier work (not that that’s a bad thing).

One other staple this track leaves behind is the more lo-fi production of the earlier releases, sounding both tighter and bigger with more low end (electric bass is new), reverb and compression. In some bands, especially ones with this level of musicality this might be a bad thing, but in this case I felt it represented a continued refining of their great sound. I’m excited about the prospect of a whole album with this vibe.

After the solo we get a third verse about our spurned lover (“I have to pretend that it’s ok that I’m not him”), another chorus, and then the bridge comes back. This time the bridge is kicked up a notch, the electric guitar maxes out the riffing and an extra couple lines of lyrics are inserted as the band hammers away. This is a fun “shout” section of the track before we return from whence we came with the rock beat and surfer guitar to close out the song.

This track sounds fantastic, it’s a really wry, fun take on an already funny song, and hints at a superb upcoming third release for Junk Parlor with clean production, a slightly new sound and great songwriting.

MJ Mohns - Indiemunity


"CD REVIEW: Mick Jagger's Heart by Junk Parlor"

Junk Parlor’s strength is in their unique sound – once you hear their music, you’ll surely remember their style and recognize them. This is one of the most important qualities these days, when identity’s lost in the abundance of music. Junk Parlor describe their genre as Rock and Junk, however their fans have named their style as “Gypsy Crooner Punk”, because of the low range vocals of the lead singer Jason Vanderford. Junk Parlor get their inspiration from unexpected places like eastern European and belly dance melodies, shaping and twisting them until they get that unique Junk Parlor vibe. If you’re a fan of Tom Waits, Django Reinhardt, Nick Cave, Louis Armstrong, Gogol Bordello, Dead Kennedys or Leonard Cohen, make sure to check out Junk Parlor!

But who are the people behind it and what’s the background of the band? Junk Parlor was formed on 14 March 2013 in Oakland, CA. The main driving force behind the music is Jason Vanderford, known for his work with the famous jazz band The Hot Club of San Francisco, as well as his association with Americano Social Club, Seth Ford Young Quartet, Little Charlie’s Caravan, Clint Bakers New Orleans Jazz Band and Avatar Ensemble. His diverse taste in music includes punk, rock and roll, gipsy rumba and Hungarian melodies. This somewhat explains the interesting sound Junk Parlor have. Jason Vanderford is responsible for vocals, as well as banjo and rhythm guitar. On drums and cajón we hear Rt Goodrich, who’s also played with Beso Negro, Standing Room Only and Staggerwing. Laela Peterson-Stolen, known for composing The Space Between: The Making of First Breath – Last Breath, is responsible for the gorgeous violin melodies. Tim Bush, who’s played with Freddie Roulette, Danny Montana, Jim Martin, Sweetie Pie and the Doughboys, Sam Andrew and Chuck Day, is behind the fretless bass.

The new single, “Mick Jagger’s Heart”, was influenced by the famous ballad “Dear Doctor” by The Rolling Stones. It was recorded in San Rafael, California at the Allegiant Studio, mixed and mastered by Jonathan Burnside and engineered by Danny Uzilevsky. It’s a rhythmic piece, but despite it sounds happy and optimistic, its lyrics paint a different picture of heartbreak and pain. There are some hauntingly beautiful lines in “Mick Jagger’s Heart”, my favorite one being “I might be crazy…/A little bit insane/All I see is poetry when you/ look at me this way”.

This song already has a video that was directed by Jeanne Jo. Other people responsible for the creation are the cinematographer Sean McDaniel and the creative producer Roxanne Teti. In it we see Jason Vanderford and his beloved walk around the San Francisco streets. We also witness his pain after their breakup when she has found someone else. It’s a bittersweet video with beautiful scenes and acting.

After the great “Mick Jagger’s Heart”, all we can do is eagerly wait for the rest of the album and hope it’ll reach the bar that was set high with this single! - VENTS Magazine


"Junk Parlor - Mick Jagger's Heart"

The Bay Area’s, “Junk Parlor” have released two albums since their recent incarnation. “Wild Tones” in 2013 and “Melusina” in 2015. “Mick Jagger’s Heart “ is their most recent single to be released. Given Junk Parlor’s quick turnaround of albums, you can expect a possible release late this year. “Melusina” saw Junk Parlor expand their Gypsy influences even further. As said in 2015 Junk Parlor intended “to venture further down the path of Eastern European, gypsy and vintage belly dance melodies along with our own brand of moody, haunting originals …”

It is common practice for artist to release a different brand of music in-between albums. Junk Parlor are experimenting with “Mick Jagger’s Heart”. The European Gypsy sound is almost unrecognisable. In replacement we have “acoustic rock” as quoted by the artists themselves. This downscale of sound is not pretentious nor is it a pompous attempt at growing up as artists. It is an example of musicians exercising their talents in a way they simply want to.

A very brief surf rock into into “Mick Jagger’s Heart” sets the tone for the song. The rhythm is gains momentum early and carries that throughout the song. The consistent rockabilly flow structures the song to position the paramount lyrics. The vocal melody is strong and expressive. The fun concept of the song is well executed by Junk Parlor. Catchy lyrics hit the high points at all the right times and keep your head nodding throughout the song.

For all its simplicities there is still variety within the music. The arrangement of simple chords and tones create a shapely body of music. With a small amount of ingredients, Junk Parlor create a rich and full sound for “Mick Jagger’s Heart”. It is strongly possible that Junk Parlor want to move on from their Gypsy heritage and instead hone their skills and making a simple production that is greater than the sum of its parts,

The bands own description to the song said “When the heart ache of Leonard Cohen decides to lament under the sun amidst the California surf! The moment of goodbye… the lingering sigh that begs to turn back time…. Doctor won’t you please….. tear it out.” And I’m sure you can guess who’s heart they want to be next to. The lyrics aren’t emotional, not are you going to reflect on them but that is not the point. The lyrics are just fun and fit together perfectly with the music.

Mick Jagger once sang “Let me in your arms, angel in my heart”. Is this why Junk Parlor want to be next to his heart? Has the heat of the Californian surf proven to be too much from them that they simply want to rest at peace. Perhaps the Junk Parlor got over the Bay Area scene and want to be laid to rest alongside Mick Jagger when he was at his most naked, vulnerable point.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JunkParlor

Review by Cameron Thomson - Indie Artists Alliance


"Eclectic Bay Area Band Junk Parlor Finds Fresh Heartache In "Mick Jagger's Heart""

SAN FRANCISCO - May 27, 2016 -- A galvanizing force on the Bay Area indie rock scene since launching serendipitously in 2013, Junk Parlor's energizing musical collage includes 50's rock and roll rumbling atop gypsy rhythms, a bit of Gipsy Rhumba, tango, Eastern Euro/Hungarian music, bellydance and punk.

At the heart of the band's aim to get their audiences dancing and singing along is frontman Jason Vanderford's passion for storytelling, and he taps into an offbeat influence for their latest single, the haunting rockabilly heartbreak tune"Mick Jagger's Heart," set for release on May 27.

Drawing thematic inspiration from The Rolling Stones' countrified ballad "Dear Doctor" (which appeared on Beggar's Banquet), the band creates a fresh twist on the pain of lost love via the juxtaposition of dark lyrics and bouncy rhythms.

Vanderford, a longtime popular presence on the Bay Area gypsy jazz scene, artfully describes the piece as what happens "when the heartache of Leonard Cohen decides to lament under the sun amidst the California surf…The moment of goodbye…the lingering sigh that begs to turn back time…Doctor won't you please…tear it out." The compelling, gutpunchingly beautiful video for the track by Jeannie Jo uses scenes of San Francisco cityscapes as a metaphor for heartbreak.

The songs on their previous recordings, the mostly vocal 2013 debut Wild Tones and predominantly instrumental follow-up Melusina (2015), have earned them comparisons to Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Gogol Bordello, Dead Kennedys and Tom Waits. One fan called it "Crooner Punk" because of Vanderford's beckoning, low range vocals - but those are just the centerpiece of a vibe that includes the singer's acoustic banjo and rhythm guitar, the polyrhythmic grooves of drummer, cajon player and group cofounder Rt Goodrich, Laela Peterson-Stolen's soaring violin and viola and the growling electric fretless bass of Tim Bush.

Building a solid, ever expanding West Coast fan base, Junk Parlor has played several hundred gigs these past few years. Beyond a batch of hotspots in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area, the band has headlined numerous times in Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Los Angeles and Reno. Aiming each time out to capture a room for a few hours, and aware of today's short musical attention spans, Vanderford always creates fresh set lists using previous tunes to frame or set the mood for the next, building waves of energy in an arc like fashion.

"Our first two records are simply two sides of the same coin," Vanderford says. "I am looking forward to our next project as we already have all the songs and have been playing them out and getting a wonderful response. This one will include a few instrumentals, but have more of an emphasis on vocals. What I'm learning through all of these recording and performing experiences is that it doesn't matter if you're a jazz musician, singer or dancer, the goal is always telling a great story. I love getting out there and hearing people's stories and then transforming those into songs that can be interpreted in unique ways by the band, dancers and everyone in the audience that it touches."

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/junkparlorband
iTunes Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/z8epr9u - Music Industry News Network


"Junk Parlor Drops New Single"

Junk Parlor has just released a new single, just in time for summer titled “Mick Jagger’s Heart”. It’s hard to tell from the title, but the song is about the hardships that come from being in a relationship. They go on to say that it is so terrible that even standing next to the person is becoming difficult. The song starts off with a groovy guitar riff that makes it suck the listener into their world. Things start to get graphic when the chorus chimes in saying “Doctor won’t you please tear it out and place it in a jar next to Mick Jagger’s Heart”. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. This song was refreshing to hear, in a world filled with pop music, it’s always nice to be exposed to a different sound. Junk Parlor is a great example of that

Another song from their previous work is “Melusina”. This is the title track to one of their previous compilations. This track starts off with a haunting string section, which makes it seem very dark and chilly. One thing I admire about Junk Parlor is that they remain true to themselves. All of their songs fall in line with their 1950’s theme, which makes it easy to know what to expect. This song tells the story of a medieval European tale, about the goddess named Melusina. As legend has it, she is a feminine spirit that resides in fresh water. Her appearance is that of a woman, with the body of a fish, hailing from France. She might have been one of the first mentions in writing about mermaids. I think Junk Parlor did a great job of putting their spin on European folklore, bringing a new sound to an old tale. According to the song, Junk Parlor believes that she was “awfully nice”. I’ll take their word for it.

I think Junk Parlor has a hit on their hands. They are a gypsy junk rock band, which allows them to be unique in nature. From just listening to a handful of songs I can hear influences from early boy bands, doo wop, swing and of course Mick Jagger. Junk Parlor’s cohesiveness with their sound also solidifies their brand, making them someone to watch out for. They’ve already had a bit of success, performing at many festivals across the U.S., including SXSW, Gaia Fest, Djangofest, Kate Wolfe fest, and outside lands to name a few. The lead singer is Jason Vanderford, who brings his intricate vocals to all of the songs. He’s accompanied by a wide range of instruments, including the guitar, banjo, percussion, cajón, and much more. Overall I’d give this song an 8/10, it was a solid track. I did enjoy its upbeat nature, however, it was a bit hard to understand the meaning of the song. People who are not familiar with 1950’s culture might not catch on right away. However, it still was an enjoyable experience and a great switch from traditional pop music. I look forward to hearing their work in the future.

Official Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0jzeaip5Co

Review by Abby Wright - Music Existence


"Junk Parlor"

I like the way some people are ironic about their lives, and I like the way some musicians can take absolutely depressing and dark lyrics and set them to antirely cheerful and careless music. I admire such a quality as the sense of humor and marvel at the ability of people to laugh at the whole existence and at themselves. To me, these people have figured it all out and know that nothing is really important, life is for living, and every experience just asserts that you are alive, which is a great blessing itself. When you come to this realization, every time you feel pain, you no longer try to fix it and find out what is wrong with you, but just exclaim: “WOW! I can feel pain! I am alive!” And it makes you happy instead. This is the first train of thought that arouse, when I had heard the single of Junk Parlor’s Mick Jagger’s Heart.
This gypsy punk/junk rock band, based in San Francisco, California, consists of the vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jason Vanderfold, who also plays the acoustic banjo; the lead guitarist Jimmy Grant; the drummer and cajon player Rt Goodrich and the bass player Tim Bush. The quartet blends a number of different and, at first sight, disjoint genres of music, producing unique and original tracks, which become manifestations of Junk Parlor’s vision of life.
“Doctor, won’t you, please, tear it out and place it in a jar next to Mick Jagger’s heart” – this sounds almost like a screenplay of a horror movie, where Freddy Krueger and Frankenstein are the main figures; but not in the song, where it comes out as a reassuring statement. This contrast makes this song so cool. Cool and laid back.
Light and organic instrumental, perfectly tight and all-sufficient, shows how true music is neither about noisiness and volume of sound, nor about excessive bells and whistles. All the band members have had an extensive experience in music and they are able to produce a remarkable song, which will be simple, facile and gentle, yet it will get ahold of you, and you’ll have a hard time figuring out what exactly made you so fascinated with it. But we all know, that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The best patterns and happy middle grounds were found out a long time back. All is left to do to create something of value is trying different variations and combinations of sounds and beats, which will only prove that you don’t have to shout to be heard. Junk Parlor have done it with their single Mick Jagger’s Heart, and they are heard perfectly well.
It’s a soft, unhackneyed song, which gives nimble-minded, genuine and creative musicians away. The upbeat and rhythmical melody is very catchy, Jason Vanderfold’s vocals are peculiar and rememberable, I can almost hear him smile, while he sings about his heartaches that make him want somebody to tear his heart out. Probably, this smile is that inscrutable thing that makes this track so appealing.
BANDCAMP: https://junkparlor.bandcamp.com/
Review by Anastasia Shanueva - Band Blurb


"Junk Parlor - Mick Jagger's Heart"

Junk Parlor’s Mick Jagger’s heart is very catchy and speaks a lot about the title itself. Well, it is about relating to someone named Mick Jagger. Maybe, let us start with understanding the title of the song. So, to start, who is Mick Jagger? Well, for those who doesn’t know, Mick Jagger is the renowned co-founder of The Rolling Stones. A rock-start God who is well, living a rock star life. Aside from being an icon in the rock and roll world, he also known for being the greatest heart-breaker of all time by being with different women in his life and all of those who had serious and long span relationship with him have actually ended their way in a quite tragic way. Very, very tragic ways.

One of his famous hits in 1965 was Paint it Black that talks about a love story of two people who wants everything to be dark just to set a mood as they disillusioned their selves in the world. Everyone is into his music especially the groupies. You know rock and roll fan girls lurking around the fandom rock and rolls tars.

According to reports, Mick was never been in love. Not once, even after sleeping with 4000 women all of his life. He basically sleep with anyone. Well, any women who is available and willing. Because, he simply can. But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have serious relationship. He did. But there are also a lot of girls on the side. Due to depression, His partners that were drastically left behind were involved with drugs, overdoses and alcoholism. Even those he married were left penniless. Although many have tried to settle him down. No woman succeeded in doing do. Not even his longest partner who tried to accept his womanizing.

Now, going back to the song, the message of a song is about a guy who was so hurt in love and wanted to end his suffering from heart break from a true love by getting his heart out and place it near actually with Mick Jagger’s heart which by now we presumed to be, numb and technically feeling less. From all of the woman and relationship he has been, he never seemed to have suffered from any kind of heart break which is kind of a good thing for those who experienced disastrous ones. Now, that is tough call for someone who is so broken hearted asking to feel nothing, not even compassion.

The lyrics of the song is quite easy to relate to and it can easily stuck in your head after a few plays, especially the chorus. The rhythm was a mix of country and pop music which any ages can easily relate into. If you’ve met anything like Mick Jagger, this is appropriate song to listen to, as you move on from them. Or you can also see it as a reference, just like what the singer is trying to do. I rate this song

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/junkparlor

10 out of 10.

Review by Crystal Ross Jimeno - GASHOUSE Radio


"Junk Parlor - Mick Jagger's Heart"

Bay Area indie rockers Junk Parlor – vocalist, rhythm guitarist and acoustic banjo-playing Jason Vanderford, drummer and cajon-player RT Goodrich, violinist Laela Peterson-Stolen, and bassist Tim Bush – have followed up on their 2013 debut Wild Tones and sophomore effort Melusina (2015) with the release of “Mick Jagger’s Heart”, a single from their forthcoming third album.

The track has been described as ‘Acoustic Bohemian Crooner Punk’, and features Leonard Cohen-esque vocals and lyricism against an energetic, eclectic instrumentation (violin, cajon, percussion, drums, electric bass, banjo, and electric guitar) that faithfully recreates “Junk Parlor’s energizing musical collage [which] includes 50’s rock and roll rumbling atop gypsy rhythms, a bit of Gipsy Rhumba, tango, Eastern Euro/Hungarian music, belly dance, and punk” (NoDepression.com, 2016). Vanderford, who claims to have been raised on “rock and roll and punk and everything under the sun”, spent five years recording and touring with gypsy jazz revue The Hot Club of San Francisco – thus amassing an appetite and aptitude for eclecticism that shows through in the band’s name (which was inspired by Vanderford’s collection of vintage furniture and antique pictures during his younger years) and musical output.

Vanderford has noted that “Mick Jagger’s Heart” was inspired by the Rolling Stone’s “Dear Doctor” in its equivocation of heartache and heartbreak with clinical disease: “when the heartache of Leonard Cohen decides to lament under the sun amidst the California surf”. With a backdrop of sunny, upbeat bass line and drum beats, Vanderford walks the listener through the disorientation, anxiety and emotional instability induced by love: ‘Whoa, I might be crazy/ I wish that you could see/ Nothing in this world matters/ When you stand next to me/ I might be crazy/ A little bit insane’.

The chorus calls for respite from all this insanity – ‘Doctor won’t you please tear it out/ And place it in a jar/ Next to Mick Jagger’s heart’, but it appears that Vanderford’s lyrical persona can’t really let go of love’s neurochemical rush: ‘Lover can you, end this charade?/ Cause I’m addicted and I can’t break away/ When our stars, refuse to align/ I’ll linger on until the end of our time’. In true-blue romantic fashion, the song ends with an ode to love’s enduring appeal: ‘All I see is poetry when you / Look at me this way’.

“Mick Jagger’s Heart’s” lyricism and poetry may not be particularly inspired or original, but you don’t need to be a die-hard romantic to appreciate how the vibrant instrumentation which backs the track’s melodies creates a soothing yet unpredictable sonic tapestry that echoes love’s emotional roulette. Vanderford has noted that Junk Parlor’s third album will place more emphasis on vocals and storytelling (“[…] the goal is always telling a great story. I love getting out there and hearing people’s stories and then transforming those into songs that can be interpreted in unique ways by the band, dancers and everyone in the audience that it touches”) – it remains to be seen, however, if they can genuinely match the uniqueness of their eclectic instrumentation in this domain.

SPOTIFY: https://play.spotify.com/artist/0l4EtqtkkfhbMIzFsO6877?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open

By Gus Xie - Indie Music Reviews


"Single Review: Junk Parlor - Vultures and Weasels"

Three words associated with this band are bohemian crooner punk. Those words are now buried deep in this psyche of mine. I envision a guy on a hill wearing dungarees and supporting an impressive beard belting out songs of the past. But what we have is Leonard Cohen-esque poetic vocals together with a violin solo that’ll take your breath away.
Say hello to Junk Parlor, a band who’ve been together since 2013 in the Bay area. A band likened to Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello, an interesting infrastructure.
Their single “Vultures and Weasels” released on 6th August starts the journey of this travelling sound of Jason Vanderford vocals and acoustic guitar, with Calvin Lai’s ripping clarinet, Tim Bush’s growling bass and Robin Goodrich’s swaggering beat… this is Junk Parlor.
“Vultures and Weasels” is an attention seeker, and Laela Peterson’s beautiful viola solo within is exactly that. Her sound is one that may make Melody Berger of the Berger sisters and Gangstagrass proud of the instrument they both perform. It adds to Jason Vaderford’s crooner folk vocals and penetrates Robin Goodrich’s atmospheric drum beat – astonishing.
It’s on repeat, it’s on a loop, it’s a mother nature track of shamanic creation. Let’s hope the album offers more emotion to this crooner punk genre.
Junk Parlor are here in the UK touring soon. So, why don’t we all just go and see them play? - The Moshville Times


"Junk Parlor at the Ivy Room"

I first saw Junk Parlor at the Uptown in Oakland some months back. Performing as part of a cabaret, Junk seemed very at home being surrounded by go-go dancers and other variety acts. There are some people who feel comfortable vacationing on the fringe, and then there are those folks who use their sustainable strangeness as collateral to take out a mortgage and set up residence there. Junk Parlor, with songs like, "Dance with Me, Bela Lugosi," is firmly the latter.

The outfit includes a violinist and accordionist in addition to your standard setup for a rock and roll band. The ambiance at the Ivy Room seemed to fit the band's aesthetic: mostly normal and safe, with a little twist of sideshow and some of the darker elements of traveling life. They're the type of band you'd be equally likely to expect to roll up to the place in a vardo or a somewhat-out-of-commission, reasonably-priced Honda. They're of this world, but trying hard to evoke that otherworldly spirit.

And it works! I was completely charmed by them. Every song was like a spooky lullaby for my soul, drifting me emotionally off to a region of swampy, moss-covered graveyards and eerie juke joints in the middle of the woods. Each song painted a visual so specific for me. For example, if ever there is a movie made where the temporary occupants of a funeral home are having some sort of necromancy ball, I need the music director to use Junk's song, "Ragged Hearts," as the fresh corpses foxtrot with one and other. It's the only song that will fit that moment so squarely without being too on-the-nose.

Lead vocalist Jason Vanderford has a voice like molasses. I could listen to him sing the phone book, so clear and shiny but with a body — a heft — to it. However, I did not miss the vocals in other standouts from the night that happened to be instrumentals: a traditional instrumental about a "strong man," and "Midnight in Oakland."

Junk Parlor bring the forgotten, more homespun aspects of rock back to the stage, placing the dust-covered, rustic relics of live music of people who dance with death on display — and it's a beautiful sight to see. - The Bay Bridged


Discography

"Wild Tones" released Oct. 2013
"Melusina" released May 2015

Photos

Bio

A galvanizing force on the Bay Area indie rock scene since launching serendipitously in 2013, Junk Parlor is that crazy-rare band whose vibe is so driven by joyful schizophrenia that it transcends easy genre trappings.

Born from the wild musical wanderings of Jason Vanderford, renowned for his five years recording and touring with gypsy jazz sensation The Hot Club of San Francisco, their energizing musical collage includes 50’s rock and roll rumbling atop gypsy rhythms, a bit of Gipsy Rhumba, tango, Eastern Euro/Hungarian music, bellydance, punk…Vanderford was raised on “rock and roll and punk and everything under the sun,” so other sounds are certain to appear as the gypsy junk rockers continue their jam.

The songs on their mostly vocal 2013 debut Wild Tones and predominantly instrumental follow-up Melusina (2015) have earned them comparisons to Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Gogol Bordello, Dead Kennedys and Tom Waits. One fan called it “Crooner Punk” because of Vanderford’s beckoning, low range vocals – but those are just the centerpiece of a vibe that includes the singer’s acoustic banjo and rhythm guitar, the polyrhythmic grooves of drummer, cajon player and group cofounder Rt Goodrich, Laela Peterson-Stolen’s soaring violin and viola and the growling electric fretless bass of Tim Bush.

At the heart of Junk Parlor’s desire to get their audiences dancing and singing along is  Vanderford’s passion for storytelling. He taps into an offbeat influence for their latest single, the haunting rockabilly heartbreak tune “Mick Jagger’s Heart.” Drawing thematic inspiration from The Rolling Stones’ countrified ballad “Dear Doctor” (which appeared on Beggar’s Banquet), the band creates a fresh twist on the pain of lost love via the juxtaposition of dark lyrics and bouncy rhythms. ​

As Vanderford tells it, Junk Parlor began almost by accident. In the years since his stint with The Hot Club of San Francisco, he had emerged as one of the region’s “go-to” musicians for his rhythm guitar and gypsy jazz expertise. In early 2013, his uncle, Tim Bush, asked him to come play his acoustic at a wine bar in Petaluma that he tended bar at. Vanderford agreed, but only if Bush played bass. “He’s been a professional bassist for 30 years and took me to buy my first guitar when I was 14,” says the singer. As he got into his once a month residency, Robin Goodrich showed up, telling Vanderford he wanted to put a group together. “I had never met him before, but he said he knew who I was,” Vanderford says. “I was hesitant but asked him to sit in with me for a few months. Then he shows up one day saying he booked the band. I told him we didn’t have a name and he said we better get one. So then I took it seriously.”

Adding Bush on bass, the band played their first gig that May and five months later they made their debut album Wild Tones and started touring. While the singer writes all the original songs, the band works together on the arrangements and each member writes their own parts. Vanderford and Goodrich are financial partners in the band who do everything DIY, including booking, social media, poster making and promotion.

Junk Parlor's members have played the gamut of festivals and prestigious venues including Outside Lands, Kate Wolfe Fest, Djangofest, Gaia Fest andVanderford has played, recorded and toured with the Americano Social Club, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Clint Bakers New Orleans Jazz Band, Little Charlie's Caravan, Avatar Ensemble and Seth Ford Young Quartet. Rt Goodrich has laid down rhythms and toured with Staggerwing, Beso Negro and Standing Room Only. Bush has played extensively with Danny Montana, Sweetie Pie and the Doughboys, Chuck Day, Sam Andrew, Jim Martin, and Freddie Roulette.

Looking ahead, Vanderford says that the new album, which will include “Mick Jagger’s Heart,” will build upon what Junk Parlor has been doing since day one. “Our first two records are simply two sides of the same coin,” he says. “I am looking forward to our next project as we already have all the songs and have been playing them out and getting a wonderful response. This one will include a few instrumentals, but have more of an emphasis on vocals. 

“What I’m learning through all of these recording and performing experiences is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a jazz musician, singer or dancer, the goal is always telling a great story. I love getting out there and hearing people’s stories and then transforming those into songs that can be interpreted in unique ways by the band, dancers and everyone in the audience that it touches.

Band Members