Pan Am Down
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Pan Am Down


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"Pan Am Down -Three Songs"

Review by: Wildy's World

Pan Am Down is the musical nom de plume of Joshua Kraemer, a singer/songwriter who pays his bills courtesy of the New York City Transit (NYCT) System. Previously a member of Earthling Records recording artist Ultra Cindy (Norfolk, VA), Kraemer has spent the last four years keeping residents, commuters and tourists moving around the great city of New York. His experiences and relationships there (including not a few stories from co-workers) have infused and inspired his songwriting. On February 17, 2009, Pan Am Down will release their as-yet-unnamed debut album. In the mean time, we have a delightful little nugget entitled Three Songs EP.

Pan Am Down is not derivative, but don't be surprised if comparisons to bands like Wilco or Son Volt keep coming up in your mind. The sound is a blend of Americana, Rock and singer-songwriter sensibility that leads to the creation of smart and intricate story songs. Kraemer has a pleasant voice to listen to as well, which is always a bonus. Boise is a celebration-in-advance of a home coming full of expectations of love. The song wraps up a regret for lost time and a hope for love recaptured that is surprisingly poignant considering how common the theme is in popular music. Kraemer's honest and open vocal performance and heartfelt lyrics turn what could be a cliche love song into something special that listeners will respond to. I Know You Realize is a straight ahead Americana/Rock tune that is a pleasant listen but doesn't really stand out. Tomorrow's Silence bookends the EP steeped in angst and loneliness. It's a well-written tune that gets mired in its own delivery; lacking the energy seen and heard on the first two songs. A pretty melody, but just a bit deflated in the end.

Pan Am Down is the latest output of expression for singer/songwriter Paul Kraemer. Kraemer shows a maturity and lyrical grace that you might not expect from an NYCT employee if you had to take the Subway every day. This EP shows great promise for the upcoming full length release and for whatever lay beyond that. Pan Am Down may not be the most popular of name choices, but expect the band to garner a lot of attention over the next few years. The Three Songs E.P. is a great start.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5) - Wildy's World -

"Pan Am Down,"

Guitarist/singer JOSHUA KRAEMER was previously in Virginia shoegazers ULTRA CINDY, who released an LP called Mermaid's Parade, and appeared on Brilliant/Spin Art's Wyatt's Torch compilation in 1994. After stints with DAMIEN JURADO, SUPERCHUNK, and THE WEDDING PRESENT, the now Brooklyn-based Kraemer returns with this new project. Here he plays more stripped-down, introspective acoustic (and occasional electric) folk-pop, handling virtually all the instruments, even doing his own harmonizing. The ominous moniker (referencing the now-defunct airline where my uncle coincidentally worked for many years) is perhaps an allegory for the despondent subject matter, in which Kraemer addresses themes of lost love, regret, and missed opportunities. But it's Kraemer's graceful, comforting croon, a genuine willingness to bare his soul, and his attractive, resonant playing, that will keep you absorbed throughout. ( - The Big Takeover #64, by Mark Suppanz

"Do It / Pan Am Down"

As Joshua Kraemer, he’s a New York City Transit employee living in
Brooklyn and a former member of Norfolk-based ’90s shoegazers Ultra
Cindy. As Pan Am Down, he’s a singer-songwriter touring his acoustic
indie-pop down the East Coast, stopping in Richmond on March 22.

After the Ultra Cindy years and later playing with numerous acts
such as Damien Jurado and Superchunk, Kraemer took several years off
from music. Pan Am Down is the project that brought him back to writing
and performing after his sabbatical, and he hasn’t wasted any time
getting back into the thick of it. He’s already released a full-length
album, titled One, which was preceded by the aptly named Three Songs
EP, and is touring in support of the album.

Spending four years working in a big city transit system may have
had some effect on Kraemer’s return to music, for who could spend that
much time surrounded by the masses of humanity and not find the
inspiration for a few songs? The songs on One seem to show some
influence from the stories and experiences one is bound to gather in
such a diverse working environment. One of the songs, “Tomorrow’s
Silence,” even includes a mention of Richmond. Hey, that’s us!

Though Pan Am Down’s music is acoustic, there’s a distinct influence
from Kramer’s shoegazer past. The tracks on his new album feature a
band, with smart, subtle arrangements accompanying Kraemer’s guitar and
plaintive, atmospheric vocals, giving his simple but solidly written
songs an orchestral yet dreamy air. Though he tours solo, I can imagine
these songs translating well to the guy-and-a-guitar aesthetic. - Brick Weekly, 18 March 2009, by Sarah Shay


"The Orange Avenue Sessions EP", July 2009.

"One," debut LP, released February 17, 2009 on Imperfect Smile Records, Brooklyn, NY.

Joshua Kraemer's Releases:

With Ultra Cindy:

"Roller Coaster/Whirlwind," 7 inch, Praha/Mary Ellen Records, 1992.
"Handprints II: A Compilation," Wax Puppy Records, 1993.
"Ten Cent Fix," compilation, Jiffy Boy Records, 1993.
"Something Pretty Beautiful," compilation, Brilliant Records, 1993.
"Wyatt's Torch," compilation, Brilliant Records, 1993.
"Mermaid's Parade," full length, Earthling Records, 1994.
"Lemon Lime Vol. I," compilation, Spin Art Records, 1994.



Pan Am Down started as a solo project by Joshua Kraemer (Ultra Cindy/Collider/Her Sparkle Dims) in Brooklyn, NY while he was a NYC Transit Worker. He recorded "One" which was released 2/17/09 on Imperfect Smile Records. After a short solo tour of the Northeast, the decision was made to move back to Norfolk, VA and build a band around what he had started. As things always seem to find a way of coming together, the new Pan Am Down line up is right where it needs to be with the addition of Ralph Bautista (Collider & Her Sparkle Dims), Tiffany Riley (No Flowers for Him) and Justin Trauger.

The band has just finished recording "The Orange Avenue Sessions EP". They are also looking forward to getting back into the studio this Fall to record their next full length, slated to be released early in 2010 on Imperfect Smile Records.