Not Waving But Drowning
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Not Waving But Drowning

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Rock Cabaret


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Any Old Iron review"

Flogging Molly and Luminescent Orchestrii had a baby—it’s a member of MENSA named Not Waving But Drowning. Grab their first album (just released October 18th) as a lifesaver, and you will never let it go. Any Old Iron will rescue you from the musical doldrums. Pinky Weitzman, Mason Brown, John Frazier, and Jeremy Forbis are a dynamic quartet so in touch with America’s musical past yet so far ahead of their time, you will not know what setting to put the Dolorean on. Past, Present and Future, simultaneously the group combines sensationally morbid lyrics with up-beat, gypsy-punk melodies. Weitzman’s voice is haunting and beautifully contrasts with her three male counterparts. The array of instruments the band utilizes from pots and pans to piano innards is intriguing on its own but to hear all this wild instrumentation masterfully comprised into Any Old Iron is absolute aural bliss. Guest musicians include Brad Roberts from the Crash Test Dummies and Mason Brown’s dad Herschel Lee Brown, a talented singer-songwriter from the great state of South Carolina. In a lifetime of buying an entire CD to hear maybe two decent tracks, Not Waving But Drowning’s first album is a welcome reprieve—you will repeat the entire album ad nauseum. New York City has a jewel in the form of iron—Any Old Iron, and it’s time for it to be appreciated. - The Coalyard

"Not Waving But Drowning Play What Is Perhaps the Nuttiest Loft Show We're Ever Seen"

We were proffered, and accepted, a pot-laced Rice Krispies treat at some point during Not Waving But Drowning's album-release show at this woman's nutty Williamsburg loft on Saturday, but this story's better told by an unreliable narrator anyhow. Let's go back to the invitation, a letter from "Leopold" to "Ferdinand," which began this way:

You slatternly syphilitic blackguard, you whoremonger of faithless livestock, you cancerous disordered wretch! I read your latest piece of correspondence with the growing conviction that, not only did you leave behind any remaining shred of Christian decency when you fled my arms those many years ago, but that now you have lost your ever-slim and tenuous grip on sanity as well.

And then there was the venue, stuffed to the beams with all manner of carefully curated weird stuff: fancy ashtrays, melted candles, old editions of good books, lengths of rope. One wall was exclusively decorated with rusty farm implements. All that was missing was a fetus preserved in a jar, although there might've been one of those in the bedroom. Entry was half-off for people in costume, and folks came like it was Halloween; flappers consorted with men in top hats, or wearing suspenders. The band — Pinky Weitzman, Mason Brown, John Frazier, Jeremy Forbis, and on one song, Mason Brown's dad — hauled their banjo, violin, musical saw, and the like out in front of an expanse of windows overlooking the Williamsburg Bridge. It was a rollicking steampunk hoedown, and it climaxed with a burlesque dancer getting completely naked — no pasties! We left in a daze. - New York Magazine

"The ABCs of Buzz"

This past Tuesday, Roaring Brook Press turned up the volume to celebrate the release of ABC3D, a new alphabet pop-up book by Marion Bataille. The publisher hosted a lunchtime concert outside its new digs at the Flatiron Building in Manhattan featuring local band Not Waving But Drowning, which performed an original song they wrote about the book. As passersby got into the groove, Roaring Brook and other Macmillan employees, dressed in black, red and white (ABC3D’s color scheme), passed out promotional cards about the title.

The gig was the culmination of a viral marketing campaign that started last February when Colleen Venable, Roaring Brook’s associate marketing manager, created a catchy YouTube video for the book that got people buzzing and landed ABC3D on the top tier of’s bestseller list. Venable chose a favorite tune, “Roll On� by ’30s singing group the Boswell sisters, as the background music. She had been in touch with representatives from the Boswell estate and the Boswell Museum who were keen on the idea of getting attention for the 78-year-old song. But after further research, Venable feared there might be some permissions issues (the song is technically owned by Sony) and decided to remove “Roll On� from the video and find a replacement.

That’s where Not Waving But Drowning came in. “I have some friends in the band,� Venable says. “They wrote a song after sitting down for a while with the book and they coordinated it really well with the video. For instance, there’s a lyric in the song—‘oh gee’— when the ‘G’ page appears.� Venable is pleased with the latest evolution of the project; click here to see the updated video. “It has a ’30s style and sounds cheery and fast,� she says of the new tune. “I like it better than ‘Roll On’ now.�

She’s not alone. “Every day I get comments about it,� Venable says. “Altogether it’s had about a million views and there have been at least 10 copycats. It’s just crazy!� Though the video campaign is the splashiest, Roaring Brook used other viral techniques to get the word out as well. “Neal Porter [who acquired the title for Roaring Brook] had the book with him and was showing it to a friend at the theater one night several months ago,� Venable explains. “Everyone around him was curious about it.� Venable had a similar experience. “I was looking at it on the subway and people around me just stopped.� Taking that “caught reading� idea one step further, Venable says that many Macmillan employees have been asking for copies of the book. “We’ve been giving them out, but anyone who gets one had to promise to read it somewhere in public on the publication date.�

So far, so good. “It’s living up to its potential,� Venable says of ABC3D. The planned first printing, announced last spring, was 100,000 copies. “The pre-orders have been amazing and we’ve been back to press three times; we don’t want it to go out of stock,� Venable says, adding that ABC3D is the “most anticipated release� Roaring Brook has ever had.

And the concert was icing on the cake. “You don’t usually get to celebrate the day a book comes out,� she says. “With the stress of getting a book out there, the day goes by. For this one we really wanted to stop and enjoy it.� - Publisher's Weekly


Their debut album, Any Old Iron, incorporates elements from gypsy punk to Weimar torch songs to old-time sea shanties, while remaining tightly wedded to its song-driven pop sensibility. Any Old Iron was produced and mixed by Stewart Lerman (Laurie Anderson, Dar Williams, Loudon Wainright) and features guest vocals by Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies).

Tracks from Any Old Iron are available for TV and film licensing through WacBiz (



Pinky, Mason, John, and Jeremy have played in a variety of bands together over the past few years and immediately recognized kindred musical spirits in one another. Pinky has also recorded and toured with international indie rock luminaries such as Belle and Sebastian, The Hold Steady, The Magnetic Fields, Crash Test Dummies, Shudder to Think, and The Living End. All four members of NWBD have toured in the US and Europe at festivals and clubs.

The band recorded its debut album with renowned producer Stewart Lerman at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ. The 10 song album was released on October 18th at a sold-out event, and showcased their accessible pop eclecticism.

NWBD has also been busy at work on supporting projects. They wrote an original song for a viral YouTube video in support of a major children's book release, as well as working with a New Orleans Fringe Festival performance piece. Not Waving But Drowning has played at top New York City venues such as Joe's Pub, The Living Room, and P.S. 122. They have played to near capacity at every performance, and have a proven and consistent draw.