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Sugar-coated pop, anyone?

Jonas Dream's merry melodies
By CHRIS CONTI  |  April 28, 2009

PALPABLE CHEMISTRY Things are looking up for Jonas Dream. 

I was already skeptical while perusing the press release that accompanied the three-track EP, It Could Happen to You, submitted by Jonas Dream ( lead singer/guitarist Jonathan Sigman. With lines such as "chock-full of sunny melodies and intimate, introspective lyrics with bright, polished production," I clearly didn't stumble onto the next Jesus Lizard here. Boston music e-zine The Noise referred to the lyrical content on the EP (also available on iTunes) as 
JONAS DREAM + APOLLO'S PROPHETS | The Blackstone, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket | Thursday, April 30 @ 9 pm | No cover | 401.726.2181
"pretentious and coy, but works well with the melodies and arrangements." But since Sigman cites the Posies, Snow Patrol, and Jeff Buckley as influences (the first single, "Breathless At the Record Store," is an ode to Buckley), those descriptions are more than apt. "New Life In the Dogwood Fires" is a song about "burning hurtful letters using flaming branches from a dogwood tree." Though the debut EP should be declared unabashed, sugar-coated pop-rock, it's the third track, "Like Air," that shows the most promise. Inspired by the Matthew Sweet School of Alt-Pop Hooks, this one could fit in seamlessly on Altered Beast or Girlfriend. You could also file it next to Boston acts Gigolo Aunts and Fly Upright Kite.

As for the band name, Kingston resident (via Los Angeles) Sigman assured me he was writing music and adopted the moniker long before the Jonas Brothers hit puberty. Check the pic, folks — I assure you these guys are not affiliated with the teenybopper heartthrobs.

"I always envisioned Jonas Dream as a mythical character living somewhere behind the stars, some sort of shadowy muse who inspires the songs and propels the music forward."

I don't know if he's serious or a borderline nutjob, but at least there's no correlation with Mickey Mouse. And they're good guys to boot: Jonas Dream donates 10 percent of profits from CD sales, shows, and digital downloads to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Crossroads RI.

It Could Happen to You was recorded at Triad Recording Complex in Pawtucket with Tony Ricci behind the boards and released in the summer of '08 before Sigman's rhythm section abandoned him in favor of fatherhood and multiple jobs. Sigman picked up bassist Chris King of Pawtucket and, after a long process of auditioning drummers, came across Amit Kaplish from Coventry. The show tonight at the Blackstone will be the first with his newly solidified lineup.

"With Chris, nothing escapes his ear and his instincts are second to none, and Amit has a huge dynamic range," Sigman told me. "There's a palpable chemistry now between the three of us, and we can't wait to hit the stage and test out some new stuff."

The 'Mericans + more at the Beer Fest

Many thanks, Rhody music fans, for the incredible turnout for the triple-bill last Friday at Lupo's. The Low Anthem, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, and Deer Tick killed, clearly fueled by an enthusiastic crowd for close to four hours. Be on the lookout for our Deer Tick feature when the new album drops in late June.

Look for IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES to debut some new stuff TONIGHT (the 30th) when the Hope Valley quartet open for Kentucky's CAGE THE ELEPHANT at Jerky's. Tickets are $8 at the door, call 401.621.2244 for more. At AS220 (401.831.9327) it's an all-local affair with rockers THE JESSE MINUTE, BRUNT OF IT, JOHNNY CLOTHESHANGER & THE ANTI-BABIES, and PHIL N CREW for only $6 at the door. A handful of freebie shows as well on Thursday: Heather Rose and fellow female vocalist Keturah join forces as SERIOUSLY FIERCE at Doherty's East Avenue Pub (401.725.9520) on the Pawtucket/Providence line, MARK CUTLER & FRIENDS take over at Nick-a-Nee's (401.861.7290) all night, and GREG BURGESS & JOHNNY CARLEVALE fire up some acoustic country-blues at the Greenwich Hotel. And head back there FRIDAY (the 1st) for local singers DANIEL CHASE and KRISTEN GRAVES with Warren's GAMBLIN' HANDS, call 401.884.4200 for info on both shows. Can't wait till AC/DC hits Gillette in late July and/or not willing to spend a C-note on 'em? Spend the weekend with AC/DC tribute band DIRTY DEEDS (straight outta Assonet, Mass.) at Newport Blues Cafe (401.841.5510) for only $10 on Friday before heading to Mardi Gras (401.463.3080) in Cranston on SATURDAY (the 2nd). THE 'MERICANS will play the day session of the Great International Beer Fest at the Convention Center, and Warwick-based ska kids LEMON LIME TENNIS SHOES tackle the nighttime slot. A busy Saturday continues with THE KILLDEVILS at Nick-a-Nee's, and BAYLOCK and the JOHNNY LINGO BAND at Jerky's (401.621.2244), and Brooklyn alt-pop trio GOVERNOURS appear with DOMINIC & THE LUCID (Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll nominees) at the Wheelhouse Tavern (adjacent to the Block Island Ferry), call 401.284.0246. Looking ahead to Tuesday (the 5th), POORLY DRAWN PEOPLE open for the Cali rap pack of SHWAYZE, CISCO ADLER, and MICKEY AVALON at Lupo's (401.331.5876); scoop the new PDP disc, Motion Not Emotion, ASAP. And what better way to follow up Cinco de Mayo than with some Japanese hardcore? Head to AS220 on WEDNESDAY (the 6th) for CRUDE, Texas thrashers UNIT 21, and locals NEON BITCHES.

  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Music, THE JESSE MINUTE,  More more >
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 See all articles by: CHRIS CONTI

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