Litman, on guitar, keyboards and vocals, is backed by Matt Basile (bass), Mason Ingram (drums), Nathan Rosenberg (piano) and Misty Boyce (background vocals). His new song “Debutante” is “a sarcastic, political rant aimed at the empty suit on the political stage who feigns sincerity and riles up the mob in service to the wealthy and powerful interests that control him.”
Litman was inspired to write the tune while watching the 2012 presidential campaign. He states:”’Debutante' is my first overtly political song. I wrote it immediately after watching Paul Ryan give his horrendous speech at the Republican National Convention.”
Litman elaborates: “It is from the point of view of his corporate and political handlers as they shove the charismatic young politician onto the stage to whip the mob into a frenzy of paranoid self-delusion, imploring him to dismiss the truth and any semblance of altruism--all in the service of protecting the political and economic comfort that they have grown accustomed to.”
When asked if he worried about offending folks who might one day possibly buy his CDs or offending those who are already fans Litman responded: “Yeah, I did think about that, but decided that ultimately, as an artist--indie or otherwise--one has to speak his mind. Of course, I have no desire to alienate people (some of my best friends are Republicans! well, not really...but that they could be), but there's nothing worse than an ‘artist’ that has no point of view, trying to be all things to all people.”
Litman explained: “In today's environment especially, the Biebers and Rihannas of the world have a lock on the bland, mass-marketed musical white bread market. The only hope an indie artist has is to speak his mind, sharpen his edges, define his own personality in a genuine and concrete way, and hope that it resonates with a sizable enough niche of people to allow him to keep making music. If you lose some people along the way that don't like you, there are plenty of other artists out there for them to support.”
When queried about the performance of the song and music video Litman brightly responded: “So far, so good! Got a bunch of hits on the lyric video on YouTube--lyric videos seem to be a cool new way people are releasing music, and YouTube seems to be the big national streaming machine. I was influenced to do it in part by Prince's new single/video, ‘Screwdriver’. “
He adds: “’Debutante’ is pay-what-you-wish on my Bandcamp or pay-what-you-must on iTunes and its humming along. The most important thing for me is not to make money off the tune, but to get the music out there to the people, keep building the fan base, and move on to the next tune!”
So what is next for Litman? He smiles: “Started work on another single this morning! It is called ‘Nothing’, is not at all political, and will be out hopefully by April. I have some basic tracks recorded, but have lots of overdubs and mixing/mastering to get to."
But what about a new album? Litman comments: "I'll always love the album format, but the plan for this year is a series of singles. It is more manageable for me in terms of both time and money, it will allow me to keep putting stuff out on a regular basis instead of waiting 2 years between albums, and I think singles are more easily digestible for the casual fan.”
One this is certain, Litman remains the indie everyman, artistically telling tuneful tales of love lost and the assorted uncertainties of life. If you’re looking for something new, check out Litman’s latest single and music video available at all major online outlets and the pay-what-you-choose download at http://jefflitman.bandcamp.com/ . . . unless, of course, you’re too much of a “Debutante”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that's the bottom line.