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"Music that matters can still be fun."

 

This is what Too Hip For The Room (THFTR) is all about. Fun music with something to say. Not formless Top 40 drivel, but not boring folkie rants and raves either.

Somewhere between the world of vacuous teen idols lip-syncing to digital robots and computers at fluorescent dance clubs and the "serious musician" strumming guitar in a coffeehouse singing about saving the South American yam is the world of Too Hip For The Room and their Digicoustic music. Simultaneously thoughtful and playful, dark and flippant, they sing about the dangers of not knowing our past, wonder why God lets bad things happen to innocent bystanders, and brag that they are "so cool that we got penguins for friends."

 


The New CD

"What Am I Doing On the Moon?", THFTR's new CD, opens with a question - "If I was a cyclops, what if I needed glasses?" They continue with tongues planted firmly in cheek with "Bring Me His Head," a battlecry against all those musicians who have tried to make us think, from Dylan to Bono to Springsteen. By the time they sing "Here's to no more English homework when it's time to run and play" in "Toast," THFTR will have entertained you with the 100 mph rhymes of "Scapegoat," begged you for one more chance in "Hello To You," kept you awake at night "Waiting For the Big One," and told you a tale of a defeated killer in "Blood On The Moon." Throw in a few choice covers, such as John Lennon's "Imagine" and Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper", featuring Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult on vocals with them, and you have an album that can make you laugh, make you cry, and even <shudder> make you think.

If this sounds intense, keep in mind that THFTR plays these songs with the same attitude they put forth in what they call their "Anthem for the American Male" - "I will never let you down, just as long as you don't expect that much."


The Original Lineup At A Party

A little history...
Tony (guitars, vocals) and Paul (Zendrum percussion) are brothers, and therefore have known each other for as long as one of them has been alive. The third original member of THFTR is Alan Fleishman, who was their high school history teacher. They share a love for thoughtful music, and played in various bands together before forming Too Hip For The Room. Alan has moved to warmer climates and Eric has taken up the bass in his place.

THFTR has been playing together since 1998, specializing in eclectic originals and uniquely rearranged cover songs (a polka version of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog,” and a slow blues U2 medley are typical highlights). When Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult heard THFTR's rockabilly-blues-shuffle rendition of "Don't Fear The Reaper" and got together with the band to record a guest vocal on that track. For several years, THFTR released limited edition CDs which they sold online and at performances along the East Coast. They became a regular contributor to WNEW-FM in New York’s morning show and received rave reviews from audiophile magazines such as FI.

Evolving from the band's folk rock roots, THFTR is now firmly "Digicoustic," with all percussion being provided by a Zendrum, an electronic drumset worn like a guitar. The instrument can be seen at www.zendrum.com, an official endorser of THFTR, and Paul is considered worldwide to be one of the most knowledgeable pioneers of the instrument.

Playing originals from all of their releases and uniquely styled covers of songs by The Beatles, The Eagles, U2, Genesis and hundreds of other recognizable artists, THFTR always causes a stir. The originals are recognizable, yet different. The sound intimate, but studio-like. The crowd always wants to stay for just "one more song".

They sing about nuclear war and Redd Foxx. In the same song. What more could you want?


Tony And Paul Getting Ready For A Gig

 

 

 

 

 

Badges of Honor

• “Warren Zevon’s Gonna Die,” a tribute to a dying hero, got rave reviews on numerous websites in the summer of 2003, and reaches #1 on the worldwide folk charts on MP3.com, prompting a letter of congratulations from Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, whose song was #2 at the time.

• “Iron Gates (Bulletproof Billy),” a song about Bill Gates, was the #1 worldwide folk song on MP3.com for several weeks.

• THFTR gains local notoriety for their original songs and parodies written for The Radio Chick Show on WNEW-Fm in New York.

• THFTR plays a very special show in Baltimore, Maryland, in which Buck Dharma and Danny Miranda of Blue Oyster Cult jam for over an hour with them, playing Blue Oyster Cult songs, Beatles songs, “Stand By Me,” “Soul Man” and others. Bootleg videos of this show are still traded by both THFTR and BOC fans over the internet.

• Ben Stein lets THFTR know that he plays their song “I Wanna Be Ben Stein” at the taping of every episode of “Win Ben Stein’s Money.”

• THFTR appears on folk legend Oscar Brand’s radio syndicated radio show to discuss a few of their songs.