Jonah Matranga


Jonah Matranga – Psychic Friend

Jonah Matranga has spent the last decade in the music industry and has approached every step of the way by his own terms. After recording with FAR, NEW END ORIGINAL, ONELINEDRAWING and GRATITUDE, Jonah has taken it upon himself to release music for his diehard fans. His shows are super personal and very DIY complete with “name your own price” merchandice.

Will Schwartz and the piano go way back, to when he was nine. “I’ve been attracted to the C chord and to A minor since I was a kid,” he says. “I learned to play piano by ear, and it was always based on [starting with] a C major and going from there.”You could say Schwartz played his first gigs on the instrument. “We had this two-story living room in our house in New Jersey with a little balcony,” he remembers with a laugh. “I would imagine I was playing for people down below. I would put on shows for the living room furniture.”With My Rocks Are Dreams, the debut album by his new group Psychic Friend, Schwartz updates California chamber or piano pop, aided by drummers Patty Schemel and Tripp Beam and instrumentalist-coproducer Bo Boddie. The result is the freshest and most personal chapter in Schwartz’s musical story, one that has ranged from the guitar pop of Imperial Teen to the D.I.Y. dance music of Hey Willpower. “Literally, my life is in those lyrics,” he says of the propulsive “Quality Control.” “It covers my experience of being praised or shot down critically, of making music with or without an audience.”Clean and immediate, Psychic Friend’s debut sounds like the moment Schwartz has found his voice, or unknown heights or depths of it. A love song grounded in the experience of everyday work, the pounding lead single “Once a Servant” revives the spirit of Jobriath and classic Bowie. “Water Sign” has a Gallic Serge Gainsbourg undercurrent. “Shouldn’t Have Tried Again’s” rendering of repeated failure matches the plaintive sunshine-y yearning of Harry Nilsson’s sublime covers of songs by Randy Newman.”In a simple way,” Schwartz says of his album’s title, “it resonates for me as going through a difficult period but retaining a sense of wonder, or the sensation in dreams that there’s a better place. Over the course of making the album, that has come about. Things feel dreamier than they did when I started making it.”True to Psychic Friend’s name, My Rocks Are Dreams also has a sense of unity and connection that draws from longtime friendships and family bonds for inspiration. Expansive, with a keen sense of drama and dynamics, “Softer Side” peels away layers of character and personality. “Never Burn, Never Bruise” stares down the trials of adulthood and addiction with a sound that’s as sweet as Lennonesque milk and honey. “The Kids Are Ok” captures youthful indiscretion with an arrangement as bright and buoyant as vintage Van Dyke Parks.”The nature of playing a piano and writing melodic songs, it almost brings you back to a sense of ’70s songwriting,” Schwartz observes. Yet while Psychic Friend’ s piano-based immediacy sometimes has a kinship to Carole King’s early solo work, or Burt Bacharach’s hits for psychic and other friends, both the sound and the lyrical content is very contemporary. On tracks like “We Do Not Belong,” Schwartz’s voice possesses a free-ranging strength and flair it hasn’t been allowed before. The result is an album with a unique “I” that wrestles with love and autonomy and an open-hearted “we” that suits outsider and underdog anthems.”It may sound cliche,” Schwartz says, “but [making the album] was a journey of the self. It feels really good to have completed it. Sometimes people go on these kinds of journeys and get sidetracked. A lot of things don’t get finished. To have it all come together is very gratifying.”"I just found this place in my voice,” he adds, “that feels very connected, that comes from playing the piano. And it feels good.” On My Rocks Are Dreams, what feels good sounds even better.

For tickets click here

For further information click here

Jonah Matranga
Event Category: Live Music
When: September 22, 2013
Time: 8:30pm
Where: Mercury Lounge
Cost: $$10
More Info:


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.