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hotel lights



In the summer of 2001 I was poking around in the basement of an East Village record story during my lunch break when I bumped into Darren Jessee. I was holding "Green Album" by Weezer and "Amnesiac" by Radiohead, which I'd just found in the used cd section. He was holding a couple of Violent Femmes records (the story was selling of their entire vinyl collection at ridiculously low prices). I'm normally reluctant to say anything to musicians, actors, and other celebrities or quasi celebrities that I see around town. But I felt like Darren Jessee probably never gets recognized in New York City, and I really did genuinally love Ben Folds Five. So I cleared my throat and said "Hey I just wanted to let you know that I really like your music". He thanked me and didn't seem too irritated so I ask him what he was up to now. "Oh I'm just living up here in New York, playing a few shows trying out some songs," he said. I told him, "I'd keep my eyes out for one of his shows". I bought my weezer and radiohead cds and he bought his violent femmes records and we went our seperate ways. A year or so later I saw something about about Darren Jessee playing a solo show in Chapel Hill, but I had class so I couldn't go. That was the last I heard of Darren Jessee until recently, when thanks to my friend Jonny Gillette, I came across Jessee's last project, Hotel Lights. A band Jessee formed with Archers of Loaf drummer Mark Price among others. Jessee writes the songs and plays guitar. The sound is much different than Ben Folds Five. Much sparer, much nearer to Alt Country. They released their self titled debut last fall, although they seem to be without a label presently. Which seems a tad unjust as it feels much more worthy of an audience than Ben Folds saccharine "Songs For Silverman. Click below to visit the Hotel Lights website, or preview the album at cdbaby.com.

hotel lights
preview the album
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