Jonny Lives! “Get Steady”

Jonny Lives!Artist:
Adam Neustadter
Add Date:
May 30, 2006


Greetings and salutations! It’s Andy Gesner and the staff here at HIP Video Promo, giving you an excellent chance to catch a skyrocket just before it takes flight. If you’ve been around the Lower East Side of Manhattan, you’ve seen the name – wheat-paste plastered on walls, stuck to lampposts, or written on chalkboards outside crowded clubs. If you were lucky enough to squeeze your way into Lit, the painfully cool basement dive on Second Avenue this winter, you might have even caught a glimpse of them stalking the tiny stage like rock royalty. Yes, New York City knows Jonny Lives!, and their upcoming release with Eleven/Seven Music (distributed through ADA, A Warner Music Group Company) seems to guarantee that the rest of the world will follow suit. The Downtown revivalist spirit that began with The Strokes and continued with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Mooney Suzuki now finds its voice in this stylish quartet from the East Village with dynamite threads and charisma to burn.

But although the project is a new one, the members of Jonny Lives! have a long rock and roll pedigree. Guitarist Christian Langdon (whose brother started Spacehog) is the youngest brother from a family that has established itself as Lower East Side royalty, and bassist Tommy USA played on Liz Phair’s classicWhitechocolatespaceegg. But above all, Jonny Lives! is connected – to the streets they walk, to the tradition of NYC garage punk, and to the people who keep the style vital. “Cliché”, a standout cut from their debut album Get Steady, features guest performances from Nick Valensi of the Strokes, Mooney frontman Sammy James Jr., and Jodi Porter of Fountains Of Wayne. That red “NY” at the tail end of the first word of the band’s handle isn’t just for show – these four guys are steeped in the glorious grime of Lower Manhattan.

Credit singer and songwriter Jonny Dubowsky for keeping the band’s focus on the things he sees when he stalks the East Village sidewalks. Dubowsky, who played in NYC stalwarts Vespertine and Elwood along with the Sean Lennon band, writes big-city character sketches and tales of late-night debauchery. Only a veteran Downtown scenester – and an articulate one, at that – could have chronicled NYC nightlife with such unerring skill. “Get Steady”, the raucous lead single from the band’s debut CD that shares the same name, is such a song: written at the conclusion of a highly successful Jonny Lives! tour of the UK (where the band won over the notoriously fickle arbiters of rock greatness at the NME), it perfectly captures that middle ground between exhilaration and exhaustion that party kids know all too well.

Two other longstanding rock and roll traditions are defiance of parental authority and girls in tight T-shirts. Johnny Lives! understands both of these, too. In the clip for “Get Steady”, we follow a uniformed, braces-wearing young teenager home from school and up to his bedroom. There, behind a closed bedroom door, he spins his Johnny Lives! record, and invites the band into his world. The walls part, a dancer gyrates in front of the boy’s eyes, and the members of Johnny Lives! slink offstage and (to the horror of his parents) make themselves comfortable in the suburban home. Meanwhile, as a bandmember horrifies the matron of the house by passing out on the kitchen floor, the protagonist of the clip wanders into the smoky club, and is rewarded with a pretty glorious piece of eye candy: a genuine NYC rock chick, getting down to the song. The camera even freezes for a “money shot”, as the bandmembers suggestively spray champagne all over the dancer’s top.

Here at HIP, it is our greatest pleasure to be working with Jason Spies and all the good folks at Eleven/Seven Music to bring you this explosive new buzz band. Be sure to catch Jonny Lives! this summer in support of their new CD Get Steady. You can count on us here at HIP to keep you informed as to when the band will be visiting your market. We will have plenty of copies of Get Steady for all of your on-air giveaway needs, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at You can also visit to find out more about Jonny Lives!

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