Joel Streeter

 

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Joel Streeter is the rare troubadour who seems far more comfortable chatting about other topics -- especially his love for Oasis, TV on the Radio and classic Beach Boys -- than about himself. But there's plenty to talk about when it comes to Street, a first-rate pop musician who routinely draws comparisons to titans such as Neil Finn, XTC and even Sir Paul McCartney. Streeter honed his craft in the Bay Area, but recently has been lured to New York. He is touring in support of his latest pop gem, "Matador," and will return to his old stomping grounds to perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Cafe du Nord (2170 Market St., S.F.). Tickets are $10-$12 at 415-861-5016 or www.cafedunord.com.

 

With a touch of Neil Finn’s wry sensitivity, a hint of Britpop snarl, and some Revolver-era Beatles’ arrangements, Joel Streeter has written a collection of tunes worthy of the star-lineup that helped him record it. Players who are members of or worked with the likes of Counting Crows, Train, Mushroom, Sheryl Crow, Ben Folds, John Vanderslice, and Chuck Prophet lent their significant chops and sensibilities to the process, creating a classic-sounding pop album full of bounce, melodic arch, and lyrical substance. But Streeter is no aping Anglophile, either. Though his compositions confidently draw a lineage back to the British Invasion, he sings in an earnest and unmistakably American voice. It is this combination that gives his music a strong sense of uniqueness. “Matador” is introspective and connective, deep and bright, ambitious and comforting.

San Francisco singer-songwriter Joel Streeter might be one of pop's best-kept secrets. He debuted in 2005 with the excellent Hear Me Out (which predated this site by a year) and now is back five years later with Matador. Drawing on a variety of pop styles, Matdaor has something for just about everyone. The opening title track recalls Neil Finn and Crowded House; "Drive Away" is reminiscent of pre-Spain Josh Rouse, "Baby Your Time's Here Too" has a hint of Noel Gallagher, and "Man of the Hour" is punchy power pop a la Jim Boggia. With one pop gem after another, this Matador is no bull. Olé!

Bay Area singer-songwriter Joel Streeter is a true pop talent that continues his growth on the sophomore album "Matador." The sound is similar to Chris Stamey or Paul McCartney building classic pop compositions through a dense wall-of-sound approach. He is assisted by over a dozen players including producer Jerry Becker (Train) to make this a highly polished effort. The hooks are all over the title track and the use of horns to support "Drive Away" bring to mind Squeeze. The mid-tempo songs "Baby Your Time's Here Too" and "A Better Day" both have great Beatlesque melody and hooks in the chorus that don't quit. Another highlight here is the piano bounce on "Man Of The Hour" where the guitar rhythm mimics "It's Getting Better" prior to the rich chorus and the orchestral break in the songs middle. The multi-layered vocal harmonies on "Like A Bird In A Gilded Cage" recall early Crowded House. Fans of Jim Boggia, Marshall Crenshaw and the other artists mentioned will really enjoy this album. Not a bad track in the bunch, and plenty of memorable gems make it easy to recommend.

After living in San Francisco since 2003, local singer-songwriter Joel Streeter has decided to head back East to be closer to his family. But first he made sure to take full advantage of the Bay Area's crop of talented musicians, enlisting 13 players to help him make his sophomore album, Matador. Like his debut, 2005's Hear Me Out, Matador was produced by Jerry Becker, who is known for his work with Train. The album also finds people like Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios, Megan Slankard, Brad Brooks, and James DePrato from Chuck Prophet's Mission Express assisting with Streeter's classic-sounding pop songs. 

"There's a certain 'wall of sound' density to the album, and there's no doubt that partly stems from having so many people involved," Streeter says. "That's always been a sound I've really enjoyed on records, where you have your initial reaction to the top layer of the music the first time you hear it, but after that sinks in, you can continue to discover new melodic and sonic details on repeated listens." 

Streeter's show tonight is doubling as a going-away/record-release party, so it seems likely that plenty of his friends and acquaintances will be in the audience. At the very least, Slankard and Brooks will be there, since they're opening the show. "I'm really going to miss San Francisco, but I'm excited about what lies ahead, and will definitely be back to play shows in the Bay Area often," Streeter says. "I'll be living in New York City by the end of the year, and am eager to see what I can do there."

In his second album as a leader, San Francisco rocker Joel Streeter got more ambitious, commanding a large battery of instruments (Hammond, mellotron, strings, Liberty Carillon, horns) and some high-profile backup. His songs are tense, heavily orchestrated walls-of-sound. Streeter sings typical rock-crooner fare (love and love lost). "I'll Have You Back" and "Molly" are beautiful.

YES!! Fans of Neil Finn, Crowded House, Michael Penn, Wilco, later era Squeeze and Jim Boggia need to embrace "Matador" and look it straight in the eye. Matador is an ambitious pop record in the style of the previously mentioned artists, and it fuses classic 70s singer/songwriter sophistication with modern and adventurous production. "Vintage sensibilities extend to its sonic complexity and depth and a seemingly conscious return to the dogged studio mastery and songsmithing more common to late 60`s and early 70`s pop than to today`s latest retrofitted rehash acts. Streeter is nothing less that an avowed melody junkie." - Adequency.com. There`s a rich, warm space that breathes over all the songs. Every single one. I`m on my third listen in the last few days and it`s clear, this CD has many layers to peel back and savor and will grow in almost every listeners` esteem.

"San Francisco singer-songwriter Joel Streeter might be one of pop`s best-kept secrets. He debuted in 2005 with the excellent Hear Me Out (which predated this site by a year) and now is back five years later with Matador. Drawing on a variety of pop styles, Matdaor has something for just about everyone. The opening title track recalls Neil Finn and Crowded House; "Drive Away" is reminiscent of pre-Spain Josh Rouse, "Baby Your Time`s Here Too" has a hint of Noel Gallagher, and "Man of the Hour" is punchy power pop a la Jim Boggia. With one pop gem after another, this Matador is no bull. Ole`" - Absolute Power Pop Blog. You got it - Extremely Highly Recommended!

Singer-songwriter Joel Streeter cleverly fuses Britpop melodies with mid-tempo indie rock while navigating his songs away from many of the traditional pitfalls of generic pop songwriting.

“Hear Me Out, the solo debut from San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Joel Streeter, just so happens to be the quintessential anti-disposable album. … Hear Me Out’s vintage sensibilities extend to its sonic complexity and depth and a seemingly conscious return to the dogged studio mastery and songsmithing more common to late 60s and early 70s pop than to today’s latest retrofitted rehash acts. … Streeter is nothing less than an avowed melody junkie.

… [Jerry Becker, the album's producer], who’s worked with former Train guitarist Rob Hotchkiss and veteran drummer Eric Kurtzrock (who’s backed David Byrne among others), seems to have developed the ideal support system for Streeter’s rare pop sensibilities. At various times surrounded by upright piano, acoustic and electric guitars, and accordion, Streeter comfortably updates everything from the darker tones of Wilco to the lighter moods of Elliot Smith. Streeter’s melodic gifts seem to always be intermingled with the emotional maturity of his songs. Sure, he wants us to Hear Him Out. But Streeter’s rightly got no easy sonic or lyrical answers, and he is intent on escaping pitfall of countless debuts that usually succeed in doing only one thing really well.

Hear Me Out seems to do everything really well – from the acoustic intimacy of ‘One More Reason’ to the offhanded OK Computer reference on the album’s closing track, to the anthemic, zero-irony buoyancy of ‘Pavement (Everything is Alright)’ and ‘Always So.’ Clear evidence of an indispensable songwriting talent, Streeter’s debut is as likely to propel Streeter into the O.C. soundtrack category as it is to win over a sizable cadre of grizzled indie-pop fanatics.”

“… [ Hear Me Out is ] fantastic! Trying to pin down a favorite track & keep bouncing around.”

“A pop classic … an artist that comes out of right field with another sound that is just waiting to be discovered. Streeter’s refreshing sound shows that he has what it takes to define a genre ….”

“Joel Streeter is truly one of the best undiscovered musicians around. He is bound to be a household name within a very short period of time.”