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New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

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


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"Thomas Simon Brings His Kaleidoscopic, Psychedelic Sounds to the Gershwin Hotel (January 13th, 2011)"

Thursday night Thomas Simon brought his swirling, psychedelic, cinematic sounds to the lowlit stage at the Gershwin Hotel. What he really needs for his live show is a big stadium and a bank of smoke machines. Although most of his compositions segued from one into the other, this was as close to a set of separate, clearly defined songs as Simon has done lately. Typically, he'll lay down a series of simple, catchy guitar loops, or a hypnotic drone and then add layers on top of it, sometimes going on for half an hour or more. It's virtually impossible to tell how much of this is actually composed, and how much he's making up on the spot, but either way, it's hypnotic and often mesmerizing. Backed only by a terrific percussionist who ran his djembe through a series of trance-inducing echo effects, Simon opened with Up Against the Wall, the centerpiece from most recent album Moncao (ranked in the top twenty on our Best Albums of 2010 list). Building with stately, ominous guitar fragments that evoked peak-era Syd Barrett, it grew to a percussive gallop. "Stop this bloody war," Simon whispered at one point: his lyrics have an improvisatory feel that seems to follow the mood of the music, or vice versa. Toward the end, they took the song down to an echoey thicket of fingertapping on the djembe before picking it up again: "There's no more time," Simon intoned against the distant, desolate grandeur of the atmospherics behind him. Although there were only two musicians onstage, they sounded like an entire guitar orchestra.

Much of the rest of the set evoked Bauhaus at their peak in the mid-80s, simple ascending progressions on the guitar, or brief series of chords that finally took on the shape of a distinct verse/chorus pattern on the evening's last song. At one point, the djembe player - who was using a wireless mic - took an extended walk through the audience, one of the concertgoers responding with some wildly ecstatic dance moves, adding some unexpected but welcome drama. Occasionally, Thomas would augment the ringing, reverb-drenched overtones with some rapidfire lead guitar flourishes that moved rapidly through the mix. A trip-hop beat slowly made its way into a couple of later songs before oscillating out with a rapidfire "whoosh;" on one occasion, the djembe was processed to the point of sounding almost like a wood flute. Ringing tritones dominated torward the end. "It's dark down here," Thomas announced at one point with a half-snarled, half-spoken murmur, which pretty much summed up the night. - Lucid Culture, NYC


"Their band is like a fusion of Screaming Trees and Sophie B Hawkins. They have a slightly grungy psychedelic sound, and Jill M. [Simon] has a sensuous stage presence and breathy vocals that seem to owe a bit to performance art. It's an intriguing and original sound that is often riveting." - NY NEWSDAY


"...a rock musical featuring Thomas Simon has made this town take notice. Clever, moving performances have made this show a huge success and a hot ticket not to miss. "
- Village Voice (Camel Page)


Take Pat Benatar, cross her with Souxie Souix, dress her in a thrift shop burial gown, and the result might look and sound something like Jill [Simon], Love Alien's resident goth/goddess. [Jill] has been garnering rave reviews ( and probably more than her share of stalkers) as front-person for this busy NYC combo. The band itself musically quotes everyone from Echo & the Bunnymen to Love & Rockets, filtering it all through a Bauhausian psychedelic vibe.
[Jill's] voice would sound right at home at the bottom of some trip-hop groove or even (if produced properly) in the Top 40 dance-pop arena. Together, these two disparate elements - band and vocalist - combine to create a sound all their own; call it trip -grunge or maybe, grunge-hop. Whatever the label... if this wiry ensemble can capitalize on their own strengths, they might just escape the gravitational pull of New York's dark underbelly and explode into the limelight." - Greg Correo
- CMJ New Music Report


Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Multi-instrumentalist Thomas Simon has been there, done that, and recorded the experience for proof. Austrian born, Simon relocated to New York City to further his musical career – a move which saw him gain experience in the oft-traveled indie-rock live circuit, score composition and the ever-expanding multimedia sector. So with film scores, live drama production and numerous independently released rock albums under his belt, there was only one thing left to do: travel the world armed with a camera, sound recording equipment and vague idea about a film and soundtrack release.

Documenting his trips to Nepal, India, Brazil and back home to Austria, Simon invited musicians from the area to record with him. The sounds were then taken back to NYC, manipulated and fused together. As such the list of musicians and the instruments played read is a veritable tome of street-performers and spontaneous artists.
Sonically, it all comes together in an unusual mix of Dead Can Dance tribalism, Nine Inch Nails darkness, Moby funk,...and Ennio Morricone squalls. Extensive tribal ‘jams’ are fused with big rock beats and sournote vocals, with dashes of industrialized rhythms.

‘Music is the Cure’ reminds this listener of the few Shihad b-sides that droned in lo-fi post-rock, while ‘Rock Jog’ comes off as a mid-eastern Led Zeppelin with it’s 70’s prog guitar tones and it’s tabla, flute and myriad of other instruments, while album closer ‘Wo Kann Mann Noch Leben’ further explores lo-fi post-rock with Brazilian percussion and dark vocals.

In summary, WalkAbout is an interesting if not necessarily cohesive recording, at times rockin’, at others soothing, and others still noisily disturbing, It is an album that’ll have the listener dreaming of places never visited, inspiring a longing for long-distance travel. - Warren Wheeler

- Sound Monitor, Australia

"THOMAS SIMON: Sound Scape"

Thomas Simon is a New York City multi-media artist who has self-released several albums of stimulating soundtrack material that occupies an alternative space via an eerie progressive cross-breeding of goth and grunge. Born in Vienna, Austria, Simon embraces a world-beat approach to music by creating cinematically inspired compositions that know no bounds, even blending tabla and didgeridu into his darkly meditative concoctions.

Simon exhibits an excellent sense of building space and rhythm, performing in a noir-ish style that sometimes recalls Dead Can Dance and other 4AD artists. On the few vocal tracks, he seems inspired more by the darker work of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails).

The 14 tracks on Sound Scape represent a sampling of his spooky soundtrack work, mostly dark-wave instrumentals that have a generally nightmarish quality to them. His sonic images are usually quite evocative as he is quite adept at fusing strong tribal and industrial influences, triggering the imagination to his film-inspired delights.
-- Mark Newman - Progression Magazine


....The Thomas Simon MSF concert marks the first event by a New York cult band in Romania, bringing with it something of the old CBGB spirit, a New York club famous around the world.
... the “feel” of the place is being kept alive by the music of those who performed there, from the Ramones to Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Television, Blondie, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth or Thomas Simon. - MONITORUL DE CLUJ, Transilvania, Romania, May 2007

"How globalization can be anti-globalist"

-Thomas Simon - producer, film maker, musician and composer – toured the U.S., Canada, Europe, (and beyond)... and here he is now with his “Thomas Simon Musiciens sans Frontieres” formula playing in the Bucharest club Utopia. Would I offend any Americans if I said you can tell miles away he’s not American? He’s Austrian but he moved to New York, probably so that he and his French named band would have some place to take off into the world from. Either way, the band is a great indie rock traveler. On stage, Jillie Simon is the feminine voice that counterbalances Thomas Simon’s... I think she usually wears white -she is always almost painfully sensual and most of the reviews describe her as being “the light in the dark atmosphere” of the band’s music. She has a delicate voice that seems to penetrate dramatically... The band is more than just a geographical wanderer, they also stroll through different musical territories – critics mention the Dead Can Dance tribalism, the Nine Inch Nails twilight, Moby’s funk, etc....This means that, as their French name discloses, they are diligently tearing down frontiers; only that which they globalize is not commercial waste. .... - B24FUN Bucharest, Romania, May 2007

"An alternative to Bregovic"

...The band’s powerful recital started around 10pm and it lasted until midnight when the audience called them back on stage for an encore. For the audience this was an opportunity to sense the difference between Romanian and American bands and Thomas Simon’s sound was exceptional. Stage presence was also at the highest level as singer Jillie Simon has worked in television and is also an actress. - ZIARUL Clujeanului, Transilvania, Romania, May 2007


...The Vienna born New York Multi Media Artist has reached a lot of acclaim with his experimental progressive fusing of Goth and Grunge. By creating a sensitive web of space and rhythm, Simon leads his listeners, with a noir-ish style, through the myriad of his musical works. - ISCHLER WOCHE, St.Wolfgang, Austria, May 2006

"Concert Review: Thomas Simon at The Delancey, NYC 7/13/09 July 14, 2009"

Viennese expat Thomas Simon closed the night on a frequently mesmerizing note with a long, practically seamless, improvisational set, something akin to Bauhaus doing a sidelong Abbey Road-style suite, fragments of songs segueing into each other while he and his extraordinarily good djembe player (Alex Alexander) dug a murky sonic pit that swirled deeper and darker as the night went on with layers and layers of loops reverberating and pulsing throughout the mix. Simon’s guitar playing is very Daniel Ash – like the Bauhaus guitarist, he really has a handle how to build eerie tonalities using open strings. Frequently he’d start a segue with a single low, resonant bass note just as David J did on Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Simon moved to piano for a couple of interludes, using the same chordal voicings he’d been playing on the guitar for an intriguing textural contrast. At the end, they picked up the pace with an insistent, percussively hypnotic rhythm, then they took the drums completely out of the mix and Simon took all the effects off his guitar, letting the melody’s ominous, Syd Barrett-esque inflections speak for itself. - Lucid Culture


-'Picture This'
endorphin 011
released: April 2009.
Airplay - FM4, Austria - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
- UIC-Radio - "Ex - Insane", "The Question"
- WRUW - "Young Gods"
- Marijuana Music Radio - "Picture"
- HempRock Radio - "Picture"
- John Doe Radio - "Picture"

endorphin 010,
release date: April 30th, 2007
airplay: "Affection" - FM4 - Austria
Various radio stations in Romania and college/internet radio in the U.S also played "Affection"

More albums by Simon, including film soundtracks, and the airplay listings can be found at



Jillie and Thomas Simon are currently in pre-production with MSF's new 5 song EP, due to be released in the spring of 2011.
Their next music video, "Legalize" is slated for release in February 2011 as well as the single.

One of the highlights of 2010 for MSF was to opened the show for Polish Rock Legends 'Czerwone Gitary' , Friday, March 12th at one of Brooklyn's premiere venues WARSAW, playing to a capacity crowd (1100).

Thomas Simon's solo experimental atmospheric album "Monção" is available on CD Baby & I-Tunes (March 2010):
The album also features Alex Alexander (also drummer in MSF) on electric djembe and Universal Recording Artist Dave Eggar on cello.
Monção was voted one of the best albums of 2010 by Lucid Culture.

more news:
MSF's music video 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' (from the 2009 album 'Picture This') is making the global film festival rounds:

*Winner of the Aloha Accolade Award for Excellence in Filmmaking, Honolulu International Film Festival 2010, Hawaii, USA;
*Award of Excellence in Filmmaking, Canada International Film Festival 2010, Vancouver, Canada;
*Best Music Video, Los Angeles Global Film Festival 2010

-Official Selection:
*Queens International Film Festival 2009, New York, USA;
*ION International Film Festival 2009; Port Harcourt, Nigeria;
*Garden State Film Festival 2010, Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA;
*Delray Beach Film Festival 2010, Florida, USA;
*Sunscreen Film Festival 2010, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;
*On Location: MEMPHIS International Film & Music Festival 2010, Tennessee, USA;
*Cannes Independent Film Festival 2010, Cannes, France;
*Toronto Independent Film Festival 2010, Ontario, Canada
*Victoria Independent Film Festival 2010, Australia;

Thomas Simon performed solo, as part of the CMJ '10 Music Marathon at The Delancey, NYC.

MUSICIENS SANS FRONTIÉRES last album "Picture This" was released April 09, and has already received commercial radio airplay in Europe and college radio and community radio airplay in the U.S., as well as internet radio-play in the U.S. and Australia.
"Ex-Insane" is the first music video (release date: 5/22/09) of the disc.

MSF was created in 2005 by NYC - based musician-composer-filmmaker Thomas Simon, who, as Ischler Woche (Austria) says "has reached a lot of acclaim with his experimental progressive fusing of Goth and Grunge." MSF is co-fronted by singer-songwriter-actress Jillie Simon who "has been garnering rave reviews and probably more than her share of stalkers..." said CMJ New Music Report.

Thomas has been reaching out worldwide (Thomas Simon Walkabout), recording with local musicians in Indonesia, Brazil, India, Middle East, etc., and weaving those tracks through the live set of alternative rock to create the blend of MUSICIENS SANS FRONTIÉRES Alternative::Rock::World::Pop::
The powerful rhythm section of Alex Alexander (who's performed and recorded with artists such as Dido, Sophie B. Hawkins and Youssou N'Dour) on drums and Keith Golden on bass (who's recorded and performed with Dido, Enrique Iglesias, Jeru tha Damaja, among others) completes the sound w/ infectiously danceable grooves.

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Committee placed Thomas Simon Musiciens Sans Frontieres on the Official Ballot for the 2008 Grammy Awards in the following categories:

Category 1 - Record of the Year
Thomas Simon Musiciens Sans Frontieres - Affection

Category 7 - Best Pop Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocal
Thomas Simon Musiciens Sans Frontieres - Affection

MUSICIENS SANS FRONTIÉRES are working on shedding geographical and musical boundaries.

- Last European appearances included a performance with KUMM at the Festivalul Rock Top T in Buzau, Romania. - see website for more reviews from that tour.

Thomas Simon had previously founded alt-rock band LOVE ALIEN with Jillie.
In 2008, Spike TV used the track 'Dark, Darker' for their TV Show 'Joes Vs Pros.
Four records, eight tours (US, Canada, Europe, Middle East), glowing reviews (and a marriage) followed.
"LOVE THAT FUSION: Their band is like a fusion of Screaming Trees and Sophie B. Hawkins. They have a slightly grungy psychedelic sound, and Jillie has a sensuous stage presence and breathy vocals that seem to owe a bit to performance art. It's an intriguing and original sound that is often riveting." -NY NEWSDAY
- - "one of the most promising up-&-comers in the N.Y. scene" - said Network of the World (NOW)

They've opened for Deodato, Missing Persons & SpaceHog, and played on the bill w/ Marky Ramone & the Intruders, Ricanstruction, Hansyl und Gretel and Country Joe.
They've also played numerous benefits, including for firefighter's families after 9-11, Benefits for Hurricane Katrina victims (including the Salvation Army Benefit at Pier 66), Benefit for IndyMedia at Walker Stage, Protest Rally Concert on the steps of the Capitol in Washington DC, 2001, and a Be