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August 31st, 2010

Jukebox The Ghost, We Hardly Knew Ye


Sigh, we feel so used. Washington D.C.-bred indie-pop trio Jukebox the Ghost only moved to Philly for the cheap rent, and now two-thirds of the band has already relocated to New York City — the place they probably really wanted to be in the first place. Frontman Tommy Siegel tells the Washington Post:

It’s funny because we moved to Philadelphia and we lived there for a while. Now I actually live in New York. So does [drummer] Jesse [Kristin]. [Pianist] Ben [Thornewill] still lives in Philadelphia. But we’re all from DC, so I don’t know what our bio is supposed to say now. Now we definitely do not have a hometown. It was really just for kicks. We moved to Philadelphia after college just to get a fresh start, and also because Philadelphia is the East Coast’s dirty little secret in that it is unbelievably cheap. As a result, we could tour all the time and actually pay the rent while we’re gone and not have to hold down jobs. Which was amazing. We could not have done that in DC. And then eventually, I found a cheap place in New York. We’d been in Philadelphia for a while and I needed a chance of pace.

Oh well. We’ll still be nice to Ben, anyway.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Jukebox The Ghost, We Hardly Knew Ye”

  2. By Tommy on Aug 31, 2010

    So, our manager/friend Seth just emailed a link to the “Jukebox the Ghost, we hardly knew ye” column and I felt a burning, overpowering need to respond to anyone questioning my love for Philly.

    To give a little context, the Washington Post asked why we moved to Philadelphia, so I told them our initial reasoning: Cheap rent (note: we lived in Philly for three years so this was obviously not always the basis for us living there). The three of us were complete strangers to Philly, and it took a long time to meet people and develop a network of people we knew and to feel “at home.” At the time, we were a DC band at heart with a lot of deep roots in the District — And we still are, in a lot of ways. It was a pretty lonely first year.

    But after moving to Northern Liberties, life got immeasurably better. We started meeting some awesome people, made friends with some great Philly bands (Man Man, the Armchairs, Hop Along, Norwegian Arms, Dragonzord, Free Energy, Drink Up Buttercup, etc), and I ate a shit-load of steaks and water ice. I fell in love with the house show/warehouse scene. Paesano’s. North Bowl. Standard Tap. Johnny Brenda’s. The El Bar. Kung Fu Necktie. The Fire. Going on daily runs across the Ben Franklin bridge. The Philadelphia Record Exchange.

    The bottom line is that I love Philadelphia. But having been afflicted with vocal nodules during most of my time there (and finally getting vocal surgery in Philadelphia from the incredible Venu Divi at Philadelphia Ear Nose and Throat), I felt the need for a fresh start after getting back to normal life. I could finally talk and sing painlessly again, and was eager to turn the page.

    Also, in an effort to displace my own guilt for leaving, I’m going to place most of the blame on North Bowl. They jumped the shark when they got rid of $2 bowling night on Wednesdays and Sundays. A brutal blow to my spirit and my wallet.

    Since I was the one passionately defending Philly to my NYC/DC friends for years, it’s funny to be on the other end of things. So let it be known that I love Philly and miss it dearly. And judging by our upcoming fall tour, saying I “live” anywhere is a bit of a stretch in itself.

    Tommy Siegel
    Jukebox the Ghost (who loves Philly)

  3. By Michael Alan Goldberg on Aug 31, 2010

    Ahh, no need for all of that, Tommy, we were just pokin’ ya in the ribs a bit (and shamelessly wallowing in that whole Philly/NYC underdog thing). You know we love you.

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