Kenny Young and the Eggplants
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Kenny Young and the Eggplants

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

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


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"****Edinburgh Fringe Festival Review"



CARVING their singular niche somewhere between whimsy, psychedelia and classic lo-fi pop, this endearingly oddball Brooklyn trio first played the Fringe in the early 1990s, back at the old Acoustic Music Centre on Chambers Street. The Eggplants' withdrawal from the August festival fray some years back mean these return shows by singer/guitarist Young, bassist Gil Shuster and percussionist Eddie Logue thus have something of a homecoming flavour.

There was a nearly full house in attendance on opening night, and several fans had submitted requests long in advance.

For those new to the experience, though, the very first number provided a pretty good introduction. Entitled Eggplantis, it describes the band's spiritual home as a lost undersea city inhabited by animated vegetables, a story narrated via as many terrible puns as possible. The second proceeds from the viewpoint of "five innocent T-shirts", trapped in a broken washing machine, while the next begins with the line "Curtis Mayfield's on the moon".

A subsequent enquiry as to whether we're "ready for some arena rock" leads into a song about a six-foot squirrel (named Earl, because it nearly rhymes, in a Brooklyn accent), complete with random musical allusions to the Rolling Stones. Also on an animal theme, the brilliant Lushy the Grouse, featuring a children's cartoon character with a drinking problem, surely has its origins in a certain famous whisky advert.

If such glimpses into the Eggplants' world are leaving you cold, they're probably not a taste you're likely to acquire.

Those tickled by the humour, however, may be further tempted by the threesome's impressively taut though understated musicianship, deftly weaving in strands of blues, soul, funk and folk, and setting Young's gently catchy melodies against sharp, punchy rhythm work.

August 24, 2007 - The Scotsman

"****Edinburgh Fringe Festival Review 2"

Kenny Young and the Eggplants
Acoustic Music Centre @ St Bride’s
by ROB ADAMS, The Herald
August 23 2007
Star rating: ****

A Fringe star receives a lovely e-mail from a female admirer, requesting that when he gets to Edinburgh, he sings her favourite song especially for her. The star feels flattered, senses promise and then discovers that the fan is six years old and she's here with her parents.

Cue much hilarity, or as it's known on the planet Eggplant, business as usual. Kenny Young is a singer-guitarist-songwriter who can't help having innocent fun with words and creating kooky situations, and he delights in sharing them with a self-deprecating, natural storyteller's flair.

So we have T-shirts trying to keep their necks above water in Rage Against the Washing Machine, an alcoholic grouse whose best pal is a worm that lives in a tequila bottle, and a gregarious squirrel called Earl who sings - all together now - "Squirrels just want to have fun".

With the Eggplants variously playing bass guitar and multifarious electronic and acoustic percussion and having Star Wars sword fights with the audience, it's like a kids' party that's continued for the grown-ups and possibly the most charmingly diverting hour on the Fringe. - The Herald

"Alexander McCall Smith on the Eggplants"

"The amazing Kenny Young and the Eggplants are a very well kept secret. But now the time has come for everybody to know the Eggplants are the most amusing, wonderful, whacky band in this or any other town." - Alexander McCall Smith (author of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"). - Alexander McCall Smith

""Arrr!" Review 1"

Finally, the world has been blessed by another installment in the pantheon of goofy but lovable character studies from our own beloved Kenny Young and the Eggplants. The latest trip from the purple trio takes the form of a missive from a pirate radio station, emphasis on the "pirate" part (hence the album title "Arrr!"). The radio thing is simply a clever device by which our vegetated friends introduce us to winsome and winning songs about "Curtis Mayfield on the Moon", "Double Bubble Day", "Rage against the Washing Machine", "Lushy the Grouse", "Plants on Film" and many more. Fanciful, fun, chockablock with puns and gentle pathos,
"Arrr!" is a sure-fire delight for kids and adults of all shapes and sizes.
Charmingly indispensable.
***** 5 out of 5 - Rich Kaminsky, WPKN Radio

""Arrr!" Review 2"

New York City seems like a much nicer place these days than it used to be. I am convinced that no small part of that has to do with Kenny Young and the Eggplants, who have been making music there for a bit over a decade now. The Eggplants mix brainy, funny lyrics with a fine sense of what makes pop music wonderful, and they are intensely dedicated to showing their audience a good time. They have become cult heroes (in a nice way) in England and Scotland, where they tour often.
"Double Bubble Day", which reminds me greatly of the sunnier varieties of late 60's British psychedelia, is from their 4th CD, "Arrr!", in which the Eggplants create an imaginary pirate radio station. - Doctor Demento

""Aubergenius" (BBC Radio Wales)"

I can’t remember the last time a band made me laugh, whilst still marveling at their ability to pen an interesting tune. Actually, I can. The band concerned was Kenny Young and the Eggplants, and I nearly wet myself drinking in their peculiarly surreal and litigiously funny show at Telford’s Warehouse in Chester last year … I love this band. I love to heckle this band, but sometimes that doesn’t work out so well. Other patrons of their gigs get a bit pissed off and think that I’m being disrespectful – but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m down with Kenny, Gil and Eddie. When they’re in town, the stars are smiling … See you soon, most egg-celent musical
auber-geniuses from Brooklyn.
- Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales

"Gig Review - Edinburgh, Scotland"

They don’t come much zanier than this New York trio. They sang goofy songs about partying worms with artistic temperaments and Rambo going on shopping sprees . . . But behind the surreal antics were technically proficient musicians who know how to write a good pop tune and work an audience. ‘Alien Love Song’ had a chorus so infectious I was humming it all the way home. There is genius among the Eggplants . . . Energetic, unpredictable and fun . . . if it’s surreal entertainment you are after then they’re your boys.

- The Sunday Mail (UK)

"Music? Comedy? Who cares when it's this entertaining? (BBC)"

The songs are quirky, yes, and funny, but they also stand up as songs in their own right. Even though they have whimsical lyrics about aliens, families comprised completely of lawyers, and things growing in the sink, the dry delivery and quick guitar playing mean that they don’t lose their appeal simply because you know the jokes … Kenny Young and the Eggplants would be a fun band to watch if they simply stuck to girls and cars, which is why they work – the jokes and surrealism are part of the act, rather than the act itself.

- BBC Collective

"CMJ Marathon - Honorable Mention"

PopMatters @ CMJ 2007
[24 October 2007]
Honorable Mentions
by PopMatters Staff

The following folks each turned in roundly exceptional performances.

When I was first perusing the CMJ Festival schedule, I made a mental note to see at least one band just because of their kick-ass/ridiculously absurd name. Kenny Young and the Eggplants presented insightful, funny lyrics in an unassuming and utterly unpretentious way. If the Mountain Goats and They Might Be Giants could somehow musically reproduce under another awesome moniker, this is what it would sound like. (Stephanie Butler)


"2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Review"

How many instruments can you name that resemble an aubergine? Kenny Young and his affable band have a whole bag of them, which they bring out for their hilarious finale, ‘The Savage Eggplant’. In between songs, this Brooklyn trio seem a bit bemused, and humble to the point of bashfulness, but when they start singing their laid-back acoustic pop and bizarre but witty lyrics, they take the audience into a world of talking alligators, aliens and pirates. It’s liberating, silly stuff, toe-tappingly cheerful, and I found myself joining in the several spontaneous sing-alongs that occurred. They evidently enjoy themselves on stage and have a great rapport with their audience, and Kenny’s soft but edgy voice is great for their kooky tunes.

Acoustic Music Centre @ St Brides, 18 – 24 Aug, 8.00pm (9.00pm)

published: Sep-2008

[Louise Ridley]

- Three Weeks


The Eggplants' brand new album (on Cheese Thing Records) is entitled, "The House at Creepy Lake." It is the considered opinion of numerous esteemed Aubergineologists that the new album is a magnificent musical milestone (as opposed to a millstone)
in the unpredictable evolution of Eggplants.

The band's previous CD, entitled, "Arrr!" (2006, Cheese Thing Records), was a (very loose) concept album about a pirate radio station run by actual pirates. According to the Planetary Group and other sources, songs from "Arrr!" have been played on well more than 200 college radio stations. Its highest chart position was # 9 on KDHX (St. Louis, MO).

The Eggplants have also released three CDs on Coney Island Records: “Even One is Quite a Few” (1996); “Toxic Swamp and Other Love Songs” (1998); and “The Search for Eggplantis … or Glam on the Half Shell” (2002). Songs from all three CDs have been played on hundreds of college and non-commercial radio stations over the years.

A purple vinyl single ("Eddie's Apartment" b/w "Randolph Got a Haircut") was released by Quixotic Records way back in 1994.

Other early Eggplants recordings appeared on compilation CDs released on the Brooklyn Beat label.



"The amazing Kenny Young and the Eggplants are a very well kept secret. But now the time has come for everybody to know the Eggplants are the most amusing, wonderful, whacky band in this or any other town."

- Alexander McCall Smith
(Edinburgh, Scotland)

Claiming to be from Brooklyn (but possibly from some other galaxy altogether), Kenny Young and the Eggplants are a not-easily-described semi-acoustic trio who perform songs about giant squirrels, scary bits of cheese, inebriated crime-solving birds, and malevolent washing machines, among other important rock and roll topics. Various attempts to define their music have been made, but perhaps the most entertaining quote comes from the New York Times, which said that the band gives “eloquent voice to the multifaceted neuroses of prolonged adolescence.” In the U.K., the Sunday Herald said the Eggplants “mix the wit of Jonathan Richman with the sound of the Nico-era Velvets to create a surreal and satirical gumbo.” They have also been called a “deeply eccentric pop band” (The Guardian), and a “wonderful weird band” (The Scotsman). The Village Voice said, “The naivete Kenny wears on his sleeve is genuine - think of an East Village Brian Wilson, without the money but still tilted in his own wacked-out way.”

At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the Eggplants won a coveted artistic award known as a Herald Angel. The Herald Angels, which span all the Edinburgh Festivals (International, Fringe, Film, Book, Jazz, etc.), are awarded to "celebrate excellence across the spectrum of artistic activity" and to recognize "outstanding contributions to the festival."

In addition to the award, the Eggplants received 4-star reviews from Scotland's most prestigious newspapers. The Scotsman called them an "endearingly oddball Brooklyn trio ... carving their singular niche somewhere between whimsy, psychedelia and classic lo-fi pop." The Herald said that the Eggplants' show was "like a kid's party that's continued for the grownups and possibly the most charmingly diverting hour on the Fringe."

Perhaps because no one can figure out exactly what the heck they are, the Eggplants get invited to play an intriguing variety of venues. In New York City, where they have performed at countless clubs (including the much-missed CBGB and its acoustic annex, The Record Canteen), they have recently become regulars at The Living Room on the Lower East Side. They played at BB King’s club on 42nd Street on an evening hosted by Dr. Demento, they performed during the New York City Marathon, and they were Tom Robinson’s back-up band at The Mercury Lounge. They have played at prestigious British venues like the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican, Ronnie Scott's, The 100 Club and the Burton Taylor Theatre. They have performed for college audiences, for children, and at science-fiction conventions. They have also played at a number of festivals, included CMJ, Clearwater, Planet Pop, and the International Pop Overthrow, in addition to the Edinburgh Fringe.

The Eggplants frequently stray from their Brooklyn vegetable patch to the UK, where there is an apparent need for more songs about 6-foot squirrels. They have performed live on numerous BBC radio shows, including The Tom Robinson Show, The Musical Mystery Tour, Kaleidescope, and The Phil Jupitus Show. Their UK tour stops have included such places as London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, Chester, York, Falkirk, East Kilbride, Penicuik, Kings Lynn and Bristol. Unfortunately, no matter what the destination, they always seem to get stuck in traffic somewhere around Wolverhampton.

Across North America, songs from the Eggplants’ five CDs have been played on hundreds of radio stations. Close to home, the band has enjoyed substantial airplay on a wide range of shows on WFMU, including Teenage Wasteland with Bill Kelly, Three Chord Monte with Joe Belock, Greasy Kid Stuff, and the Irene Trudel show.

The Eggplants say that the prevailing mood at their live shows is “cheerful chaos”. But it’s always good to hear what others think, so please take a look at the "Press Reviews" section.

CONTACT INFO - please email the band at