From shuffling west coast pop and crashing electronica to alt-country and delicate ballads, Denver's The Czars sound like no other band. Built around John Grant's vocals and song writing, The Czars reflect his eclectic tastes as diverse as Kraftwerk, Patsy Cline, Tom Waits and Nina Simone. Their haunting yet rousing live performances are more than a match for their acclaimed albums like The Ugly People Vs. The Beautiful People, and Goodbye, the latter of which was in Uncut magazine's Top 50 albums of 2004. After 10 years, 3 full-length releases on Bella Union, 4 EPs, countless tours, and a few member changes, the strength and vitality of John's music continues to grow.
"songs to break your heart and make you feel great about it... If Harry Nilsson was produced by Brian Eno it might sound almost as heavenly as this."
- MOJO - 4 Stars *
Kurt Wolf's Lapis Lazuli is a neo-noir landscape that might have existed in the present day if Mancini, Mingus, and Morricone had ruled the world instead of the Beatles. If the blues had a baby and they named it Elmer Bernstein. A planet of apes vs. hippies and beatniks. A lost chapter in the history of prehistoric rock. Moody not morose. Hard boiled with out being bitter. Lapis Lazuli is Antony and the Johnson's nick name for Wolf. Not one to second guess, it was adopted as a brand name for the latest sounds from coming out of his cave like studio on Avenue B. In 1987, Wolf dropped out of art school to join fellow drop-out Jon Spencer's band, Pussy Galore. Saying Pussy Galore failed to put to rest the rotting corpse of 80's rock is like saying Rodney Dangerfield can't get no respect. "I've never heard Jon use the word deconstruct...ever". One hour later, he would also tour and record with John and Christina Martinez in Boss Hog. Two nude album covers later... the eighties were over. In 1995 He joined Jim Thirwell's Foetus Inc. for the European leg of the Gash tour and in 96 recorded with Jim, Lydia Lunch and the Foetus Symphony Orchestra. Kurt also appeared on the new Foetus album earlier this year. "If you look at rock bands as being democratic in much the same way that the US is still a democracy, then you can say I've been in exile."
Visit the The Czars / Kurt Wolf's Lapis Lazuli website: