Child Ballads

November 29, 2007


Photo: Piper Ferguson

It’s been nearly ten years since Stuart Lupton and the other members of Jonathan Fire*Eater released the miraculous Wolf Songs For Lambs, a feat so awesome it could only be betrayed by their subsequent implosion and fall from Dreamworks.

While the rest of the Fire*Eaters re-emerged with a newly furbished studio called Mercata, and a band called The Walkmen, (you may have heard of them) rumors of Lupton’s musical activity began to circulate about folksy watering holes. The original version of “Cheekbone Hollows” (or “White Chocolate Tea”) was a catchy acoustic-style sing-along with former member, Betsey Wright, and marked a significant departure from the dark, carnivalesque characters who inhabited the likes of Jonathan Fire*Eater’s Tremble Under Boom Lights.

The Child Ballads’ EP was released in the UK over a year ago on Loog Records, but only made it to the US in the form of random blog posts. During the past year, the band has completely changed members, with the exception of Lupton, of course. The tone of the current line up is slightly different, (see the “Cheekbone Hollows” video for comparison) and Wright’s presence is definitely missed.

Still, Stuart Lupton is one handsome devil. (And the songs remain excellent.) See for yourself. Child Ballads play Luna Lounge on December 7, in Brooklyn.

“Cheekbone Hollows”

Listen: “Cheekbone Hollows” and “Laughter From the Rafters” from their forthcoming EP, available from Gypsy Eyes Records.

See the previous Ask Me About My Invisible Friends’ Child Ballads post here.

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4 Responses to “Child Ballads”

  1. pauly Says:

    i dig it. i used to play jonathan fire eater on my radio show a lot back in ’96-’97…

  2. samsara Says:

    lupton is a genius.

  3. joe frazier Says:

    THE CHILD BALLADS WERE THE MOST COMPELLING PHENOMENA I HAVE SEEN SINCE GIVING BIRTH. IF THERE IS ANYONE ALIVE TODAY ON THIS COLD ROCK HURLING THROUGH SPACE THAT HAS INHERITED THE MANTLE OF LORD BYRON ( COMPLETE WITH THE GLORY, HUMOUR , SUFFERING, HUMOUR MADE FROM SAID SUFFERING, AND HEART STOPPING-SHOW STOPPING, GOD GIVEN TALENT, AS WELL AS INNER SENSE OF DAMNATION AND A FACE SO BEAUTIFUL TO BLOCK OUT THE SUN) IT IS STEWART LUPTON. SURE, HE’S AN EASY TARGET. A HISTORY OF SELF DESTRUCTION, POETRY AWARDS AND A CERTAIN, INIMITABLE ‘ TOUCHED’ WAY ABOUT HIM , COMBINED WITH HIT OR MISS SHOWS, HAVE MADE HIM A POPULAR CHAT ROOM RELIGIOUS FIGURE /PUNCHLINE. NEVERTHELESS, THE MAN HAS “IT.” WATCHING LUPTON ON A BAD NIGHT IS LIKE WATCHING ALI LOOSE A FIGHT. IT STILL BEATS THE LIVING S H I Tut OF 80% OF THE PROPHETS OF MEDIOCRITY THAT ARE CLOGGING THE ARTERIES OF ROCK AND ROLL. SCREW ALL THE NAYSAYERS, THEY ARE LOWERE THAN THE PEPPER SPRAY LISTON PUT ON HIS GLOVES TO BLIND HIS OPPONENTS. THEY FORGET THAT LUPTON CAN DANCE. THE MAN CAN DANCE MOST FRONTMEN IN CIRCLES WHILE RECITING ‘CHILDE HAROLDE’ PT.S 3 AND 4. HE TRULY TRULY HAS IT. ALL HE WANTS TO DO IS PASS IT ON, GIVE IT TO YOU, GIVE YOU A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. HE IS BACK. MANY HAVE FELT A RECENT DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE. THE MAN IS BACK AND HIS DANCING SHOES ARE SHINED. I THINK HE MIGHT LOVE US. LET HIM
    JOE FRAZIER | 05.05.08 – 1:28 am

  4. brantonio caja Says:

    Stewballs rides again…..and again…..and again. Mad love journal boy!!


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