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Jon Lindsay

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Jon Lindsay has been on a pretty incredible tear since emerging on the national indie rock scene in 2010. After going solo in 2009 from prominent roles in several well known bands (most notably Benji Hughes and The Young Sons), the Oregon-born, North Carolina raised singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist released 2 critically acclaimed EP's, a stunning debut LP (2010's "Escape From Plaza-Midwood"), AND a debut LP "Rumormill" for his side band, The Catch Fire, all while playing upwards of 150 national shows between 2010 and 2011.

Due this spring is Lindsay's highly anticipated LP #2, entitled "Summer Wilderness Program". Lindsay is known for his fearless and often highly theatrical live performances, which find him playing many different instruments (on records he plays ALL the instruments) to accompany his unmistakable signature tenor croon, and depending on the tour, he can be found with wide-ranging configurations of his backing band, at times a boy/girl power duo, to a five or six piece rock band juggernaut, often featuring guest horn players. He is a very engaging performer and often incorporates improv and wry humor into his on-stage banter between songs.

In addition to a hectic life at the helm of records and tours under his own name, Lindsay is also a highly sought-after record producer and player. He has written original scores to several original absurdist musicals, which he also directed, and he has written and continues to compose copious amounts of music for film and television.

“One of the best records to come out of the Southeast over the course of the decade” -Performer Magazine, December 2010

“Coming off like a synthed-out version of the DBs, this is weird, wonderful stuff. A keep! And a treasure” -Ken Stringfellow (REM, The Posies, Big Star, Minus 5, The Disciplines)

"What Sufjan Stevens did for Chicago, Jon Lindsay just might pull off for Charlotte." - Charlotte Magazine

“Though Escape From Plaza-Midwood is the first full-length from 29-year-old Charlotte bandleader Jon Lindsay, it’s hardly his first foray into music, which is apparent in the kaleidoscopic LP’s remarkable cohesiveness. A songwriter since age 3, Lindsay fronted power pop units Carlisle, The Young Sons and The Catch Fire and has performed or recorded with neo-soul crooner Benji Hughes, indie folk singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and former bandmate Justin Williams’ vintage pop project Twelve Thousand Armies. The shimmering, dreamy tunes on last year’s self-released solo EP, Magic Winter & The Dirty South, hinted at Lindsay’s savvy craft. But on Plaza-Midwood, Lindsay finally folds those myriad experiences into a sprawling opus of pop-rock splendor. Other than the lush orchestration, rich textures and offbeat lyrical fragments, few threads tie these 15 eclectic tracks together. “Indie Prince Paul” is a Hughes-style, soul-pop number drenched in organ and synths, while Beach Boys-inspired harmonies, sputtering drumbeats, swinging horns and soaring solos splash the record elsewhere. “If I could rewind, I would storm your castle/ I would Bernie Makeoff with your heart today,” Lindsay offers during the stream-of consciousness ramble that accompanies the nonchalant, string-abetted jangle of “These Are The End Times.” It’s clear that Lindsay is having a blast on this record, though never at the expense of the song. To wit, it’s not all smiles and winking lyricism. On the frenetic power pop anthem “My Blue Angels,” Lindsay contemplates choosing the church of rock ‘n’ roll—complete with archangel Randy Rhoads—rather than following in the footsteps of his preacher father. The jazzy, piano-led ballad “I Take Care Of You Now” has a tender core of devotion amid its down-and-out love story.” -Indy Weekly

“Like Zach Condon of the eclectic chamber pop band Beirut, Jon Lindsay of Charlotte looks a bit like a precocious kid—fair-faced, solemn, maybe a tad self-serious—but he arranges like a wizened master. While Condon favors international and classical flourishes, Lindsay appears to be an egalitarian pop music junkie, with shared love for Burt Bacharach and The Beatles, John Vanderslice and pop-punk. His latest, Escape From Plaza-Midwood, decorates winking lyrical recollections with broken textures that make a wonderful, unlikely whole.” – Grayson Currin for Indy Weekly

“Jon sings like the lost Everly Brother” -Carol Anshaw (author of “Aquamarine”, “Lucky in the Corner”, and “Seven Moves”)

“Lindsay treads somewhere between the Beatles’ sweeter pop side, the dramatic cabaret of Rufus Wainwright, and the full-band folk-rock of Ben Kweller” -The Charlotte Observer

“On this album – his debut – Lindsay demonstrates that he doesn’t care about being hip and cool, all he cares about is the music. And how! The fifteen songs on his impressive debut not only display a wide range of classic pop and rock inspirations but in addition, reek of the blood, sweat and tears of a songwriter who gives a damn! I know when I’ve run across a keeper, it takes me a couple of listens to get into the head space of an album – so to speak. The songs are simple, the melodies are memorable and the words are clever, you know, like early Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Grandaddy, Weezer and Fountains of Wayne. Pointless to highlight any particular song as every single one hits the sweet spot. You know there’ll be a tune, lyric or arrangement that makes me go – “Wow! Cool!” – and I hit repeat again when the album ends. Yes, boys and girls, Escape From Plaza-Midwood is one of those complete album experiences that we’re getting less and less of in recent times. Hold on tight and don’t let go, babes…”-The Power of Pop

of “Magic Winter & the Dirty South”:“Judging by his 5-song solo EP, Jon Lindsay’s tenure as Benji Hughes’ keys player is paying songwriting dividends. It’s a familiar refrain from those who’ve worked with Hughes and praise his exacting craftsmanship. “The Sideman” continues that disc’s [Lindsay's former band The Young Sons] power-pop vibe, Teenage Fanclub being a worthy reference point. But things take a SoCal turn with the minor-key twang and stacked vocals of “Not Trying”, Topanga Canyon summer pop re-imagined by The Shins, as well as the Spector/Beach Boys textures of “Ryan on the Runway”. Yet it’s “Red Dawn Soon” that plays like an exile from Hughes’ “A Love Extreme”, Patrick Swayze and Charlie Manson name-dropped amid the burbling synths and keyboards of an unstoppable melody” -Shuffle Magazine

of “Magic Winter & the Dirty South”:“Timeless all-analog indie-pop, self-recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina by one of the most exciting artists we’ve seen come out of the burgeoning southeastern lo-fi revival scene” -Paste Magazine

“Rarely is the union of electronic and acoustic as cordial as in Lindsay’s deft hands, and for all that these songs move, diverge, and reach, they remain American at their core. Past, future…who cares. The music is lovely.” -Kyle Beachy (author of “The Slide”)

on Jon Lindsay solo performances:“Being that he’s playing at a piano bar and all, Lindsay’s regular residency at Petra’s is a solo affair, heavy on Wainwright-style (don’t really matter which one) balladry shot through with a really dry sense of humor and an admirable flair for the dramatic (it is a cabaret, after all). Lindsay, who’s done time with the late The Young Sons and sang for any number of folk (Benji Hughes, Nicole Atkins) has a new one set for early next year, a 20-track effort entitled “Escape From Plaza-Midwood.” And here I thought you just headed down Pecan.” -Creative Loafing

“Jon reminds of Peter Morén (from Peter, Bjorn & John) for some reason – maybe the perfectly-pitched croon.” -Juan Manuel Freire (Spanish author, “Teen Spirit: De viaje por el pop independiente”)

“I’ve spent the last few weeks falling deeply for “Escape from Plaza-Midwood.” Jon delivers this record in a voice that’s pitch perfect, lovely, and utterly captivating, but he never comes off as “singerly.” He refers to some of your favorite ’70s guilty pleasures without ever seeming derivative, and the songs are so charming and literate that you wish you could join him at a cocktail party–but only the one that would precede him taking the stage. The songs are great and so are his sounds. And I’m WAY not in the habit of blowing sunshine. Each listen to Escape From Plaza-Midwood yields more in return. And you can quote me on that” -Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown, Small Ponds)

“Jon Lindsay’s angelic voice and catchy melodies cover a dark pop sensibility; his tunes work their way in to your brain like hookworms and are just as painful to get out.” -Django Haskins (The Old Ceremony, International Orange)

“Jon Lindsay is the genuine article; the consummate bandleader, singer, songwriter and producer, as well as a sought-after multi-instrumentalist/sideman. Lindsay’s widely known for his work with his former band, the Young Sons, and as a member of Benji Hughes (New West) on keyboards and vocals, in addition to fronting the Catch Fire with Mike Mitschele (Jolene, Alternative Champs). He’s stepping out on his own with the release of his solo debut, Escape From Plaza-Midwood (August 17) on Chocolate Lab Records. A limited edition 7″ Coping Strategies will be released on the same day, featuring four songs from the full-length. Escape From Plaza-Midwood is a brazen, 15-track indie pop gem, layered with vivid narratives and intricate musical craftsmanship, while retaining the intimacy and pathos to which Lindsay’s fans are accustomed. Whether wielding an acoustic guitar and balladeering fearlessly about the world outside his window (“These Are the End Times”), plugging in to bring a Thin Lizzy-esque power chord romp (“My Blue Angels”), or coaxing a serenade out of a Wurlitzer (“I Take Care of You Now”), Lindsay’s powerful and distinct voice shines through. Early notices are in from Lindsay’s heroes and peers, and the verdict: Escape From Plaza-Midwood is a singular, captivating debut destined to age beautifully like a fine wine or that one Jonas brother (Groucho?).” -Fuse.TV

“It’s the songs. The varied production of Plaza-Midwood keeps my complete attention, but the lyrics and gorgeous melodies are what it breaks down to for me. Jon is a great and unpredictable songwriter and I was sold within the first moments of hearing his music.” -Britt Harper Uzzell (Ben Folds, Snuzz)

“Jon’s music is a dear, comforting friend” -Stuart McLamb (The Love Language)

“Escape From Plaza-Midwood comes as close as any regional record in recent memory to rendering what it means to be alive” -Tim Davis for Shuffle Magazine

“Jon Lindsay doesn’t just write good songs–he tells great stories wreathed in memorable hooks, marinated in the tradition of literary rock and pop, inhabiting the same realm as Warren Zevon, Randy Newman, and Lou Reed. But perhaps what is more thrilling than his melodic tapestries is the way Lindsay evokes the landscape and sensibilities of Charlotte, North Carolina, irrevocably putting his own musical stamp on the hipster promised land of the New South. Just as Kurt Cobain is Seattle’s grunge God, Jon Lindsay is Charlotte’s reigning rock and roll poet”-Kevin Keck (author of Oedipus Wrecked)

“Jon Lindsay has no shortage of artistic credibility. He continues to entice with this ["My Blue Angels" single] lo-fi, country-twisted tale of understated elegance and left-of-center wit that’s already earned comparisons to Rufus Wainwright.”

“Lindsay’s folky side comes off like a less depressed Elliott Smith, but it’s his wondrous pop sensibilities, which have drawn comparisons to pop rockers old and modern (from Warren Zevon and Elvis Costello to Guided By Voices and Rufus Wainwright) that have the critics going ga-ga over his work. And why not? As if it wasn’t already evident given his prior history, Jon Lindsay proves on Escape From Plaza-Midwood he was born to rock, and in his own clever, creative and dynamic ways. Be sure to pick up a copy of his debut record when it comes out later this month, as you’ll be spinning it a great while.” –

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