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Onelinedrawing - The Volunteers (Cover Artwork)

Onelinedrawing

Onelinedrawing: The VolunteersThe Volunteers (2004)
Jade Tree Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Onelinedrawing is a tricky beast. It's basically one guy, Jonah Matranga. His popularity, while not on the level of similarly-minded semi-acoustic troubadours, grows with each passing day and each MP3 passed through instant message. Kids go to Onelinedrawing shows for the experience of participat.
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Onelinedrawing is a tricky beast. It's basically one guy, Jonah Matranga. His popularity, while not on the level of similarly-minded semi-acoustic troubadours, grows with each passing day and each MP3 passed through instant message. Kids go to Onelinedrawing shows for the experience of participation - Jonah stops mid-song to explain things, combats and even seems to encourage heckling, and always allows his little R2D2 to make an appearance to make every member of the audience feel special.

The thing is, every show is the same. Every single one. Jonah plays the same Onelinedrawing songs every night, interspersed with the same New End Original, Far, and Deftones songs worked into the set as well. He stops at the same points in each song and says the same things. His interaction is reproduced night in and night out, in dingy clubs across America. He talks a lot of talk about how he doesn't neccessarily want success; then he signs a million-dollar recording deal with his new band Gratitude. He talks a lot about the "sliding scale" of his merchandise, letting kids "pay what you want" for an item. But one look at his webstore shows that the cheapest you can pay for a t-shirt or a full-length is 10 dollars - the price one would generally normally pay anyway from any other band at a show or through mail-order. Jonah has formed a guise of childlike innocense over something he surely knows is a career, not an art.

The Volunteers continues down the faux-confessional path that Jonah has been wandering for a number of years. You have the "rock" song in "We Had A Deal" [which sounds identical to New End Original, frankly]. You have the "funny" song in "Oh, Boys." You have the "bearing my soul for inspection" song in "Stay." You have the "quirky drum-machine" song in "Over It." And that's all you need to know, because odds are these are the only songs he'll ever play off this record live [and "Stay" might actually be pushing it].

The masquerade of the fan-artist relationship continues on this disc with Jonah actually recording a number of fans for the chorus of "Over It" - what better way to guarantee at least a few hundred copies sold, right? He also includes numerous raw demos of a number of these songs on the enhanced CD portion, if that is your thing. The extensive liner notes from both himself and Geoff Rickly of Thursday seem hell-bent on convincing people of just how good of a dude Jonah is. Now I'm not trying to convince you otherwise - I am sure he is an inherently good person with a number of redeeming characteristics. I just don't find the constant duping of an impressionable fanbase the way to go about acheiving popularity. Kids view Jonah as their triumphant underdog, when he represents "the man" just as much as anyone else. It's the ultimate in irony when he sings on "Livin' Small":

"Yea, but business is a lot like love and
business is a lot like friendship isn't it?
Yea, well either way, if you just go out
looking for what's rich and hot
You'll end up with a piece of shit."


I listen to this CD and enjoy it, but I also understand that the majority of what Jonah sings about just is not true. If you go into it with the mindset of "this is a pop record," you'll be fine. If you're looking for anything more life-changing than that, you're in the wrong place.

MP3s
We Had A Deal
Over It [clip]

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
iamfuckyou (January 12, 2006)

nail on the head. dude huffs mad non-spontaneous dork and he's a pussy.

Pun182rock (May 31, 2004)

now when i heard this cd i wanted to take a gun to my head b/c it is so depressing, i mean i was in a happy mood before i listen to it but then when i put it on it went all down hill from there

Anonymous (May 29, 2004)

your comment about him using a crowd's voice on "over it" to ensure a few 100 copies sold, you know that's the most absurd accusation ever, right? there is absolutely no backing for that. just one example of the completely absurd and unnecesary things said in this review. a pure character attack with no real substance to it.

Anonymous (May 29, 2004)

scores foir elitists

insinceredave (May 29, 2004)

I think hes a swell guy!

-insincere dave being sincere

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

He does a lot more then bitch about other people on a stupid punk site all day to a bunch of 14 year olds. Im sure someone could pick out all your lousy flaws you've got, and make you look a dumbass. Dumbass.

Way to go Holden.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

why review the person, or his live performance when it should be about the album. I think you are way off base on this one:
http://www.herohill.com/index.htm

feel free to comment Scott, I am a fan of this site, and think you guys do a hell of a job. This isn't a post about saying the site sucks, like half the people that read your reviews every day seem to write back. This is just an opinion.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

this score is for jonah. i don't know him personally, but i have conversed with him a couple of times. he sang his own happy birthday song for my friend at a show last year-and we didn't have to pay him. when the venue closed, he took a pocket-sized amp outside and played some cool tunes. he did this pseudo jeremy engik [sp] thing. sure, his sets do seem similar, but you could say that about most bands. look at what rancid plays, nofx, dashboard confessional, the get up kids, and mainstream pop acts. who besides the grateful dead had a unique setlist every night?

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

Nice way to playa hate, Scott

johnnydanger (May 28, 2004)

Scott loses.

Score is for your lame cynicism

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

Jonah is a very honest and sincere person. I don't care much for his newer music, but he is a great person. He comes off in a negative light in this review, even bordering libel.

Far ruled, I wish they were still together.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

i've never heard of this guy before but after reading this review and hearing the Mp3's he sounds like a total dipshit, I want to kick this guy's ass.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

Jade Tree needs to reinvent themselves a little I think. They need to stop putting out stupid records by guys with stupid names that are really solo artists but hid behind fake bands. It may have been a good little novety in the start but then it got old. This album is not special, don't bother with it. Go buy a book, a one on dinosaurs or Bosch or someithing. Stop listening to this pseudo-intellectual bullshit.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

while i agree that you certainly cannot base a score for a band based on their character, and scott seems to fueled by personal politics in this review.... the score is pretty much right. this album is just very generic. it doesnt stand out in anyway really. i listened to it once all the way through and never again.

-benz

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

i hate to break it to you, but those are live drums in "over it".

as for this review...did jonah do something to personally offend you? do you know him very well? i want to know how you feel you can say what his motives are. i've seen OLD 9 or 10 times, and yes, sometimes he plays the same songs with the same explanations in them. news flash, dude: EVERY BAND DOES THAT. how are you going to fault the man for having a few staples in his set? ive also seen him say some very different things about songs, and pull some out that he rarely ever does. and i have yet to meet a person who doesnt leave one of his shows in a good mood. you cant fake that. jonah will be the first to admit that he does things that contradict themselves...thats part of being a human being. his songs are about being confused, not having all the answers. his songs are about what its like to be human. sorry if youve grown so cynical and jaded that you cant appreciate that just because he sells a t-shirt for $10.

soulbleed (May 27, 2004)

although i disagree with your score, i just wanted to say that this is probably the best you've ever written. kudos.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

"Questionable ethics or not, the album is just rather bland when examined against Jonah's past works. "

See, in my view point, that doesn't come across in the review. You don't like the album? Great, give it a low score. You think the songs aren't honest? Great, give it a low score, and a BRIEF explaination as to why. I think that's my problem with the review. You spent most of the review attacking the person rather than the music, an ad hominem argument, and poor persuasion technique (and reviews are suppposed to persuade a person to buy the album or not).

From the little blurbs you actually wrote about the album, I had gathered that you had thought it was pretty decent record, if a tiny a bit repetitive. It seemed like if Jonah hadn't wrote the album, you would have enjoed it much more. The fact that you just stated that you found the album weak and bland came as a bit of a surprise to me. If you had just said that outright in the review, and critiqued the music to back up the statement, I would have felt it was a good review, even if I disagreed. I still think you're a great reviewer, just felt this one was a mis-step. Oh well, right?

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

"To The Jackass below:

Your disagreement with a certain review does not make your viewpoint correct. In your opinion, this record might be a classic, in Scott's opinion, it's under par.

Maybe you should go back to that whole not seen not heard deal you've been using thus far."

Yeah, I agree my opinions of the CD are not neccessarily right, and Scott's could be right, but my issue was with the obvious bias Scott has against Onelinedrawing. Surely if he's entitled to post his opinion on the CD, I'm entitled to post mine and therefore you're not really making any points.

All I was saying is that the review, contrary to many other reviews here, is a bad one. It's propaghanda for the most part and doesn't really say much about the CD.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

OK, all these people are saying how every time they've seen Jonah, it's been amazingly different; well personally, every time I've seen him (4 times over the past 3 years) things have been pretty much the same. I don't have a problem with that, but after seeing that at multiple shows, it just seems less sincere and spontaneous.

I don't have a problem with Jonah signing record deals for big money, hell, if I did I never would've listened to Onelinedrawing in the first place because Far was on a major first, but I agree that the whole Gratitude deal contradicts what I thought were his platforms in the past.

Anyhow, now that I've taken this way too seriously, I'd just like to say listen to the music and enjoy it, but don't depend too much on his whole diy schtick.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

Score is for the character assasination.

I find it hypocritical for you to condemn all of these teenage people dropping f bombs on bands who actually put some passion and thought into their music. The fact that people don't like the end-product is fine, but to rattle off accusations is way too easy...

If you knew Jonah then maybe you would have some substance to your views. Even then, exercise some tact and know your influence over the audience of this site. If you have something negative to say, keep it inside. You are just perpetuating all the mindless insults that show up here. Way to go...

C

maverick (May 26, 2004)

Reviewing something is not the same as reporting news on something. My skills in journalism are applied for news reporting. My skills in creative writing are applied for reviewing.

This review is simply my opinion. I'm not making any of you agree with me at gunpoint or anything. Either you agree or you disagree. Doesn't matter to me either way.

Questionable ethics or not, the album is just rather bland when examined against Jonah's past works.

-Scott

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

To The Jackass below:

Your disagreement with a certain review does not make your viewpoint correct. In your opinion, this record might be a classic, in Scott's opinion, it's under par.

Maybe you should go back to that whole not seen not heard deal you've been using thus far.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

I often read reviews here and this is the first time I've felt compelled to post. This review was, without question, a bad review. It was biased, innaccurate and wildly off-target in many of it's statements. You have absolutely no proof of any of the accusations you make yet you post it in a review, which may be regarded by some to be the outright truth. If any of you unbiased folk are looking for a good review, head to Pitchfork: http://pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/o/onelinedrawing/volunte ers.shtml

I like the site and the reviews (usually) but really that was uncalled for. As for the actual CD, it's slow and it's emotional. If that kind of music 'bores' you then stay away from this CD, but if you appreciate quirky, sincere pop-rock then you could do worse than to check this out.

daegan (May 26, 2004)

I just don't feel like this guy is honest.

Too bad Carrabba decided to head back down the slippery slope of suck. He really should've stuck it out alone.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

real journalism isn't supposed to be biased. i sure as hell hope you're not majoring in journalism, because this piece is a little off and could use some edits.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

Now I see why you still let Jesse put up some god-awful review. Way to go douche.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

After a streak of stellar reviews, Scott reverts to his Mad Caddies/Bracket/JTB style, where the actual music is overshadowed by his opinion.

sciulli (May 26, 2004)

what a terrible review. You spent half the time talking about his image than the actual music.

Boo.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

"I have no problem with people making money, as long as that is their intent. But Jonah is playing people for fools, making them think they're part of some big community when all he's doing is assuring that Gratitude will sell some more copies when it comes out. "

way to make completely off-base accusations with NO evidence to back them up. good job, captain.

Jesse (May 26, 2004)

I think we're all just straying too far from the real point, which obviously is that Jonah's music has, and always will, suck.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

the reviews on this site are gravitating more and more towards complete crap. review the music, jackasses!

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

it is almost laughable.

scott, i've named all of these things he does, and you think it is part of some grand scheme.

i do believe your suspiscion to be a zealous reaction to a multi-million dollar contract.

he does have to make money, and the more money he makes from someone else's pocket, perhaps the more i can save when wanting to buy something from his merch table @ a show.

do you know where lock haven is?

-adam franz

aubin (May 26, 2004)

I saw Jonah play with the Weakerthans and Motion City Soundtrack in Toronto, and I have to admit that if it's an act, it's delivered with some sincerity.

I wasn't a huge fan of this record - he's too precious for me - but he was a lot of fun live; big on crowd participation and completely ignored the "wall" between musician and audience and I liked that.

Hell, after the show, he asked if he could just play his acoustic guitar for kids on the street. At what point do you you start questioning his motives more than his actions?

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

so what if he does the same show every night (which i don't really find true from my own experiences). how many bands out there really vary their show that much? i'm pretty sure most bands don't change it up too much. and i bet that if a joke is succesful they'll pull it out again.

when i saw onelinedrawing he had a constant banter back and forth with the crowd and he was still his witty self. oh and his cd's didn't start at 10 bucks. from what i remember, they started at 1.

Allular (May 26, 2004)

Scott, honestly, I think you're thinkin' way too deep into this. Seriously.

Of course I think it's ok he "stumbled" he got offered a deal. He had been getting offers for years now and just FINALLY took one.

Look at it this way... Far had a pretty decent following. Onelinedrawing I doubt, had at least 30% of that following when he started doing that. He didn't have the promotion, label, booking agent to get high profile stuff. This was probably back in 1997. If you're suggesting to us is that it's all been a huge elaborate scheme from way back in 1997 (or at any time) to get this fanbase and then exploit it for what its worth from Onelinedrawing, I personally think you're wrong.

I do know he has quite a following right now, but I guarantee you that there's a good portion of that fanbase that doesn't even know about Gratitude. They would have to

A) Read sites like this.
B) Be a constant visitor of his website and receive his newsletter.

So, with that in mind this is my conclusion of Jonah's motives. He put together a band with his friends, he got a really nice opprotunity by Atlantic/Velvet Hammer to invest a lot of money into what his band is doing. Most of the people that the label is going to market to, isn't even going to know about Onelinedrawing. But you can bet those songs are catchy and good enough to get people into what they are doing regardless of any cred they have amongst the band members (the band even has a member of Texas Is The Reason...)

Most of his diehard fans understand he's been through the ring with Far. That's why they're cool with it. Casual fans, I can understand the beef. But he did what he had to do with Onelinedrawing out of necessity, to keep being creative. Not to gain all of these fans to exploit them with his next BIG project. If it was really that important to him, he would've took the plunge with New End Original a couple of years ago because I'm sure he got offers for them as well (he did say he's been consistantly getting offers from the big leagues in the Punk Planet article).

I really hate to argue. I really do. But I just think you're reading too deeply into it, Scott. I don't think there's anything more to it than getting a really good opprotunity (a second chance perhaps?). Not many bands/artists get second chances in this industry. I applaud him for having the balls to do something like this knowing that he would get responses to his decision like this review. If I had something like that come my way, I'd be indecisive too.

maverick (May 26, 2004)

Don't you see? By doing all of that, he makes you think that it's okay that he just *happened* to stumble into a million dollar record deal.

Doesn't it just seem the slightest bit suspicious?

I have no problem with people making money, as long as that is their intent. But Jonah is playing people for fools, making them think they're part of some big community when all he's doing is assuring that Gratitude will sell some more copies when it comes out.

I'm not trying to lambast the man here. I do not know him personally, and Jonah, if by the off-chance you are reading this and are offended, please email me [scott@punknews.org] and I'll remove it. But what I write is what I believe, and I believe what I write is true.

-Scott

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

jonahs shows have been the greatest shows i've been to. he played in lock haven, pa... where i live twice.

scott, do you know where lock haven is? doubtful, he didnt play it just once, but twice. and played for us UNDER the amount he charges, by a couple of hundred dollars.

and he talks about some of the same things for people who are new in the crowd. he talked about the far song "man overboard" at the shows in lock haven, and he said what the song was about. and he is witty, let him be witty.

i paid 3 bucks for sketchy ep.

i dont know, i'm either on target or way off. i know that jonah showed up for 25 kids, with nothing but a back pack full of merch, and a guitar and little 10 watt amp.

by the way, he's thirty something. he might want to make some money to live and be comfortable so he can still sell shirts for 5 bucks, and cds for 3. i know i would do that, thatd make me on top of the world.
i'd liken him to the johnny depp of the "indie scene", you dont hear too much about him and then bamm there he is doing things on his terms. i like that about both guys. and i know johnny depp is rich, and i consider him artist, that stays true to his ideals.

jonah does too.

i think if you talked to him, you'd see where he is coming from. and you'd see he's not the phony you accuse him to be.

-adam franz

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

yeah but he does have a pretty kick ass booking agent too.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

"Proof of exactly what Scott was talking about. You are the sterotype. Most bands will let people have a shirt for little to no money every once and a while because it makes them look like DIYers who are totally friendly good people. Just because a guy plays a lot of shows doesn't mean that this person is DIY. It just means he has a good booking agent. Onelinedrawing has, and always will be, boring and shitty."

wait, a guy does something nice, and you use this as proof that he's just doing it to get DIY cred? he does this shit (giving free shit and having low show prices) CONSTANTLY! i've seen it numerous times. so no, sorry. and i'm a stereotype for sticking up for jonah? way to resort to name calling.

Suge_Knight (May 25, 2004)

Revolutions Smile > One Line Drawing

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

scott, you're way way way off on this one...i dont know how many of his shows you've been to, but each and every one has been different, with different songs, different things said, etc

i think you're doing a hell of alot of assuming about the kind of person he is, because he's amazing to the kids that come to see him

RondoMondo (May 25, 2004)

Scott, I usually like your reviews, except that M.O.S. one...it was just a little too "fruity" for me, but this more or so focused on the guy himself.

What would you actually rate the cd if it wasn't for him being behind the music?

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

Dude, there was like nothing on the actual album in this review. Yes, you started to in the third paragraph, but you went right back to bashing him in the 4th! Oh yeah, there were one or two sentences in the las paragraph, as opposed to the gigundous list of offenses in the first couple. This review was more of a rant than an actual judge of the music. I don't care if you have a problem with the dude, and I get the fact that you gave it a low score because you don't think it's honest enough, but you should have edited it down a little so you could concentrate on the songs themselves. Somebody needs a big hug.

For the record, between the couple sets I saw him at (about a few months apart), the set was completely different each time, 'cause as stated before, he pretty much takes requests the whole time, save for Smile and Bitte Ein Kuss (sp?).

As for the album itself, it's damn good, as good as vistor if not better. Too many slow songs though. "We Had a Deal" is the best track on here.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

He seems like a real chill dude and all, but this album is pretty boring. The best tracks are the instrumentals really. Also, he and his overdubbed clones hit THE WORST note ever in that songs "Boys" when they all sing "boys will be boys will be boys" the first half a second of that harmony is cool, but god damn are they off key after that

-benz

sethcohen (May 25, 2004)

who wants to talk about death cab for cutie, because I do

Jesse (May 25, 2004)

"last time i saw jonah, he didn't play lukewarm, mother mary OR be quiet and drive. oh, and i've seen him 7 or 8 times, and he said different things between songs each times. and oh, last time i saw him play with the sliding scale, i got in for like $5. and oh, i saw him giving shirts to people for like $2 because they DIDN'T HAVE ANY MONEY! and oh, he talks about not selling out in terms of not changing his music to gain a wider audience, which he has continued to do. and oh, just because he has confessional and funny songs, doesn't mean it's a "token" type of song. it's called A STYLE.

maybe you should try to review the music instead of simply ragging on jonah (and isn't this coming from a guy who gives good reviews to midtown? i'm pretty sure everything coming out of their mouths is pure bullshit, especially way more than jonah)."

Proof of exactly what Scott was talking about. You are the sterotype. Most bands will let people have a shirt for little to no money every once and a while because it makes them look like DIYers who are totally friendly good people. Just because a guy plays a lot of shows doesn't mean that this person is DIY. It just means he has a good booking agent. Onelinedrawing has, and always will be, boring and shitty.

maverick (May 25, 2004)

Alluar-

My review is 5 paragraphs, not counting the song quote. I began talking about the record specifically in the 3rd paragraph. That would roughly mean that 3/5s of the review was spent on the record itself, not 1/4 as you accused me of.

Just wanting to set the record straight, that's all.

-Scott

maverick (May 25, 2004)

I never ever said it was bad to take a million dollar record deal. You're 100% right that if someone offered me the same thing, I'd take it. But my problem comes in that Jonah prides himself on this whole DIY ethic publicly, but then behind-the-scenes is making major label deals like this. Shit, Gratitude's *never even played a show* and they already have a deal? And have you listened to the songs? They're built for modern rock radio. The band will be pretty huge.

I think he's just misleading his fans, that's all. I am a fan of his music, and think he has written some pretty nifty songs. Besides this album, I own Visitor and one of the Sketchy EPs, as well as his split with Rival Schools. The guy makes good music, no doubting that. It's just the motivation behind it that upsets me.

And this album is the worst thing I own by him, regardless. Visitor was ages better.

-Scott

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

R2D2 is dead.

sincerelyme (May 25, 2004)

Yes, good review. It's nice to see someone look at the wider picture rather than simply focusing on the sound.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

i'm sorry, but if someone dangled a million dollar contract in front of your face and you decide to take it to feed your family and be a provider, all while not changing your music or true fans over a "target audience", I'd say it is a pretty good move. And i'm sure you would do the same.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

last time i saw jonah, he didn't play lukewarm, mother mary OR be quiet and drive. oh, and i've seen him 7 or 8 times, and he said different things between songs each times. and oh, last time i saw him play with the sliding scale, i got in for like $5. and oh, i saw him giving shirts to people for like $2 because they DIDN'T HAVE ANY MONEY! and oh, he talks about not selling out in terms of not changing his music to gain a wider audience, which he has continued to do. and oh, just because he has confessional and funny songs, doesn't mean it's a "token" type of song. it's called A STYLE.

maybe you should try to review the music instead of simply ragging on jonah (and isn't this coming from a guy who gives good reviews to midtown? i'm pretty sure everything coming out of their mouths is pure bullshit, especially way more than jonah).

anyways, this is a really good album, though i honestly don't like it as much as visitor or the sketchy eps. as much as i LOVE far, i kind of don't like the "onelinedrawing with a band thing". i mean, i'm totally ok with him trying new stuff for his solo albums, but i do happen to enjoy his more minimalistic solo stuff better. but still a really good album. his song writing is strong as ever.

Jesse (May 25, 2004)

I never liked him.

Allular (May 25, 2004)

(edit: Staple/constants ARE the same thing. Fuckin' five hours of sleep)

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

To Scott:

The setlists each time were REALLY different. He does have is constants with the R2 (Smile, Bitte Ein Kuss) and then he does have his staples just like anyone else would in their set ("Better Than This, "Yr Letter") but all of the shows are REALLY different.

The last time I saw him (SLC on Father's Day last year) he played "Merkat" and "Barrier" and he RARELY plays those songs. The first time I saw him (with Coheed and Cambria, January '03) he played "Tricky" off of his split with Sense Field and Juliana Theory. Again, RARELY plays that song. And out of the three times I've seen him, he's only played the Deftones cover once and "Mother Mary" only once as well.

Whatever you think about Jonah, that's great, you are entitled to that. But I just don't like how you bashed Jonah on 3/4's of the review and then, lo and behold, get to the last paragraph, you finally review the album. I just think for a website that prides itself on being as journalistic as possible (which I really do appreaciate, don't get me wrong here, I enjoy this site 100000000 x more than absolutepunk.net), that review was just not tasteful.

I really do appreaciate your work around here, but I felt it was necessary to point out some things about your article.

- Allular

sloppyblake (May 25, 2004)

i thought this was an album review? it sounds more like a grudge towards someone. scott may have a couple valid ideas but he is DIY. you don't have to like him, but he is quite the honest guy. he works his ass off to tour as much as he can, playing to whoever he can. one night he may be doing sold out shows with thursday and the next he is in a coffee shop in lawrence, ks playing to 19 people who came to see him do his thing. you wonder why those particular songs are on the setlist every night? it's because there is no setlist to a onelinedrawing show. he takes requests. sure he will play a few songs off his new album or to open the show but 75% of his shows are request. fans want to hear him do their favorite far and new end original songs.
jonah isn't living 'large'. he has an apartment. i've seen it. that's it. the day i see jonah on mtv cribs is the day i will look back at this and go 'maybe scott can see the future' but currently half of the statements you made are false.
he plays anything you want him to that he can remember. he plays the covers to songs he loves and if he can't play it, he will try or tell people he just doesn't know it. try giving the music a listen for what it is, rather than for who it is. you of all people should know that.i've seen a lot of terrible things in the music industry lately, but jonah isn't one of them.

blakeyoung

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

Excellent review. This album is like a really good popcorn flick. Track 3 is the highlight for me.

maverick (May 25, 2004)

Honestly, how different were they? The setlist might have been longer due to set times/headlining or what not, but odds are he played "Lukewarm," "Mother Mary," "Be Quiet And Drive," as well as the song he sings in Icelandic or something, the "her hips are like seashells" song, and the R2D2 song off Visitor. I'm sure there's even more stuff, but that's just off the top of my head.

And I never said I have an issue with someone making money, or being confused. What I have a problem with is someone saying one thing and doing another. Jonah is projecting this almost-deified image of himself onto kids, and they're buying it - literally. I don't like it at all.

-Scott

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

I will say this...

No matter what Jonah does, he will do no wrong. He's been in the major label game before, so I trust he knows what he's doing with Gratitude. He's never said one thing and done the other. He's ADMITTED he's confused about things, and it's apparent in his songs. (To quote "Livin' Small", "Maybe I'll make a million dollars/Who knows MAYBE if I return those calls." It's not saying that he doesn't want to do all of that at all. He's just indecisive, just like some of us out there. Read his article in Punk Planet a few months back.

Another way I see it is that hey, he's in his mid-30's. He doesn't need to explain to anyone about anything he does. And like I said, he's never been quite as vocal in being "indie" as say someone like Ian McKaye. People just put him as a voice of DIY just because he was living proof of that and how it can actually work.

And another thing about his shows, I've seen him three times in a period of 4 months, every show was different and he talked about different things, so I really don't know where you are basing your logic from.

Anyways, I really like this album.. Jonah writes great pop songs that really don't get the attention they deserve.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

next!

captaincrunch (May 25, 2004)

Scott, I have to say in the few years I have been frequenting this site, your reviews have dramatically improved. Great review.

I thought this guy was a tool when i saw him. If everything the review says is true, then he really is a big phony. Actually, it sounds like thats what you were saying in the first place.

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