Peaches and Crime are tapping into a new genre that might be called “dark Americana.” On their new CD, “Do Bad Things,” they take us back to Victorian and Edwardian Vaudeville to celebrate some dark and funny territory.
The CD is structured like a turn of the 20th century vaudeville show, complete with introductions by master of ceremonies Daniel Z. Black (real name: Daniel Schwartz) and vocals by the mysterious Angie Diamond (in real life, Schwartz’ wife Angela) and Ms. Abigail Pins.(Julia Adams,) along with Young Catherine (Cat Macdonald), who also plays clarinet. The other members of the band are bassist”Honest” Stephen Longfield and pianist Mike Sclafani (aka former boxer Mikey the Fist0, and drummer Ross Bennett. Writing and performing in skits is Charles Berman (The Professor.)
Now that you’ve met the group, what should you expect? Nothing like you’ve ever encountered before.
Musically, it’s a wild mix of blues, jazz, klezmer and polka. Thematically..well, there’s a prison work song called “Death Row Swing,” a klezmer tune that is highly danceable about a violent enforcer in Eastern Europe called “Herschel Ganev.” the very literal “You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down,” and the run for the border tune, “”Cuando Yo Escapo.” Add to that the secretive relationship saga of “Alibi Dancer,” and the aptly named “Bringing Hell to Brooklyn” and you get the dark part of things. As for the skits, take “Matchmaker,”about a woman who knows what she wants and has a unique plan to get it..even if its one piece at a time.
But what is not so easy to explain is that this stuff is funny. Very, very funny. It’s like Nick Cage with a wicked sense of humor. The closest I can think of to this type of music is Voltaire. It’s that kind of sense of humor.
And it’s very, very well done.
This is an extraordinary mix of musical skill, theater, and sheer lunacy and it’s brilliant. Just listen to it. You will love it or hate it, but I guarantee you will not be indifferent to it.