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Next shows:
Saturday, August 26, 2017: Joe's Pub. Record release show for new album!

"We Already Have Birds That Sing" is our latest album. Listen and buy!

Rave reviews are pouring in!

All of our albums are available here for streaming and for purchase in digital and/or physical form. Most are also available at iTunes, if that's the way you like to do things.

RAVE reviews for
we Already Have
birds That Sing

"As a songwriter, Don Rauf is a manic combination of Alice Cooper and F. Scott Fitzgerald…The new album, “We Already Have Birds That Sing” mines new gold out of Rauf’s vein.” Gersh Kuntzman, New York Daily News

“True to its name, Brooklyn’s Life in a Blender funnels an impressively broad range of influences into its quirky rock, from Tom Waits to R.E.M.” Time Out New York

“This NYC-based 'chamber pop' band is aptly named: Their sound seems to blend vestiges of acts as diverse as Tom Waits, Cake, They Might Be Giants, Mojo Nixon and quite possibly Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. If that sounds like an odd mix, you’re right — but darned if it doesn’t work, as both eclectic oddball rock and winking satire.” Pete Chianca, Wicked Local, Boston

‘Fresh, bizarre, intricate, yet not afraid to be a little rude, Life In A Blender’s “We Already Have Birds That Sing” is a short, but punchy trip….The group, including Al Houghton and Dave Moody on guitars, Mark Lerner on bass, Ken Meyer on drums and Rebecca Weiner Tompkins on violin, is tight as a double-knot, even when Rauf’s singing is at its most enjoyably shambolic.” Dw. Dunphy, Popdose

“Headed by Poughkeepsie native Don Rauf, who has a knack for getting the most out of his voice while constantly altering its character, the gypsy deep-throat of the tune only hints at what is to come. Impressively birthed over one weekend with producer Kenny Siegal at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, the songs chug and slide through chamber punk and Brit pop with festive side trips to cowpoke, rockabilly, and funk. How about “Magnetic Fields getting it on with Soul Coughing while Captain Beefheart and Warren Zevon gaze through a heavenly peephole of the steam-and-bubble ejaculate of big-band horns, orchestral strings, and punky vocals elegantly lubricating distinct and compact Costello-like songs?” This is Life in a Blender’s 25th year and eighth record, and the experience of the members is palpable.” Jason Broome, Chronogram

“If Captain Beefheart teamed up with Modest Mouse, a little R.E.M. and Tom Waits in there…you’d have…our next band, Life in a Blender” Dave Leonard, Radio Unleashed

“With a David Byrne bravado he [Don Rauf] paints a detailed lyric landscape of the bits and pieces of our lives, and he delivers like a revered stage actor whose vocals are overlooked…This is serious music on the edge of fun.” Janet Goodman, Music News Nashville

Eric van Domburg Scipio of Popmagazine Heaven (The Netherlands) "Perhaps the best Life In A Blender release…a wonderful cabaret rock atmosphere somewhere between Tom Waits and Mano Negra.”

“If there’s one thing predictable about Life in a Blender’s Don Rauf, it’s that he will always be unpredictable, and on the group’s latest album, We Already Have Birds That Sing, he remains true to form….And I dare you to walk away from listening to these seven tracks without a) chanting GOOD ANSWER or b) Singing Mamanama over and over in your head. Yeah, these folks aren’t your average band.” Thomas Gerbasi, Examiner.com

“a dynamite release… flat-out terrific… It’s time you caught on to Life in a Blender.” Jeffrey Sisk, Pittsurgh In Tune

“The veteran band shows off all its varied strengths on this record and is absolutely firing on all cylinders.” Jack Silbert, Salt in Wound

“When people need a quick way to establish a territory for Life in a Blender, the names Waits and Beefheart offer themselves to help describe Don Rauf’s cultured, barking madness and the bawdy, egocentric Rococo of the band’s chamber-rock arrangements…Every line buzzes with meaning, specificity, evocation, implication, reference and raw, emotional purpose.” John Burdick, Almanac Weekly

“If Captain Beefheart and Modest Mouse could have a baby, you might be able to understand the vocal disposition coming from Life in a Blender. That’s really all I have to say about that and it’s a compliment on the deepest level.” Dingusonmusic

“A towering marching band a la “Tusk” dominates this mood-jumping, cabaret, Tom Waits-ian, carnival-hawking experience.” Stephen Carradini, Independent Clauses

“There’s a feeling of pure joy and devilishly playful aplomb evident in everything from the robust vocals to the gorgeously melodic and energetic arrangements – those lively horns are simply divine! — to the witty songwriting. Sure to put a smile on even the most jaded and bitter cynic’s face, it’s a total hale’n’hearty (and often hilarious) treat from start to finish.” Joe Wawrzyniak, Jersey Beat

“… vaudevillian pop with a jazz twist. Like They Might Be Giants they can spin a tune about almost anything.” Hans Werksman, Here Comes The Flood (The Netherlands)

“Don Rauf’s lyrics are wry, both raunchy and literate, and incisively relevant to the pathos of our daily existence; his vocals are eminently listenable, his screams a delight; oh, and this band also rocks like mad. The horn and string accompaniment is, as on LIAB’s other albums, joyful and wonderfully supportive; the guitar work superb; Life in a Blender is, simply, beyond category. BUY THIS ALBUM!” Kurt E. Ambruster, author of Before Seattle Rocked: A City and Its Music

“The main driving force are Don Rauf’s lyrics and vocals. The man has an instantly identifiable voice that is the obvious focal point of these songs. But the arrangements are also integral here, as each individual’s contribution to the overall sound is critical to the overall success. The album was recorded at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, New York, so you know they sound great. Seven well-executed cuts including “Tongue-Cut Sparrow,” “Frankenstein Cannot Be Stopped,” and “To Sea In A Sieve.” babysue

NY Daily News feature article.

Feature about "Tongue-Cut Sparrow" on Popdose.

 

Rave reviews for
HOMEWRECKER SPOON

"Homewrecker Spoon is easily one of my favorite albums of 2011." JR Taylor

"Led by the singer and songwriter Don Ralph, the satirical chamber-pop group Life in a Blender plays literate songs featuring tasteful string arrangements. The album is strongest in songs like the title track, where angular guitar parts and sardonic lyrics create a gritty ambience." The New Yorker

"Although it sounds like the blender they're in may also contain some potent cocktails, this is some surprisingly sober sounding quirk-core oddball musical melange story-song wit rock. Bonus: Sammy Davis, Jr cameo in a song about a Sean Connery that's really about a picture of Sean Connery. Holding a picture of Sammy." Rocktober

"True to its name, Brooklyn's Life in a Blender funnels an impressively broad range of influences into its quirky rock, from Tom Waits to R.E.M." Time Out New York

"Ralph has the quality of not being right on the note, but close enough, being in the ballpark musically to sell the song and be unique all at once, much like David Byrne and Isaac Brock. Ralph is the primary songwriter but is backed by an impressive group of musicians bringing very un-pop-conventional tones to the mix. You have at any given moment a horn section, banjo and mandolin, violin/viola/cello, and a nicely skewed musical perception throwing them into the figurative blender (pun intended) with the guitar/drum/bass standard." D.W. Dunphy, Popdose

"Life in a Blender is The Brooklyn Paper's official house band. Whether singing about alcoholic desperation or gentrification on Smith Street, leader Don Ralph always seems to know exactly what we're thinking (though he says it a lot better than we do). And the 'Sean Connery' song is in my head all the time." Gersh Kuntzman, The Brooklyn Paper

"'What Happened to Smith' remains the best gentrification song ever." New York Post

"Life in a Blender have been around for twenty-five years, creating their unique blend of vaudeville, rock and Americana.... Songwriter Don Ralph has a sardonic outlook on life, creating vignettes and stories about hustlers ('Go To Man'), troublesome drug-stained cutlery ('Homewrecker Spoon'), and a great Scotsman ('Sean Connery')." Hans Werksman, Here Comes The Flood

"A brand of sophisticated pop that, while still firmly rooted left of center, is surprisingly rich in its depth and wit... a perfectly realized slice of shimmering pop genius." Alex Smith, Flaming Pablum

"Different and catchy... Ralph's music has a clear acoustic, rootsy base, but follows a course which is more difficult to pin down and also incorporates elements of indie rock and orchestral pop. That this music never goes off the rails is due not only to the merit of Ralph's strong, catchy songs, but also to the sublime production by multi-instrumentalist Al Houghton, who keeps a tight rein on the abundance of ideas. For an album with such a different, not very polished sound, Homewrecker Spoon is a remarkably captivating listen." Eric Van Domburg Scipio, Heaven Magazine

"Don Ralph is an illustrator who uses music in place of paint to reveal elusive nuances of thought, emotion and life... The band has a bizarre sense of humor, whimsical outlook on life, and charm.... Pop underground music that is melodic, inventive and clever." Joe Ross,
Roots Music Report

"An old soul of an album, and that's a compliment. There's wisdom to be received here. Just settle into your favorite chair and all will be revealed." Jon Worley, Aiding and Abetting

"A key word here seems to be blender, as these musicians seem to enjoy blending various sounds and styles, allowing them to all merge into one intoxicating mix. We can hear traces of a variety of artists here including Tom Waits, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. The intricately arranged tunes on this album feature complex melodies and an overall inventive sound. Twelve classy cuts ... Intriguing stuff." Baby Sue

"Off-kilter pop nuggets with a dark streak reign supreme here." Stephen Haag, popmatters

"FOUR-STARS: I knew nothing about chamber-pop outfit Life in a Blender until landing a copy of Homewrecker Spoon. The Don Ralph-fronted collective has been around since the late 1980s, but this 12-track delight is just their seventh full-length release since 1988. Maybe that's why they stayed outside my radar. Whatever the reason, I'm now squarely aboard the Life in Blender bandwagon. The horns (and Ralph's gravelly vocals) lure you in on "Go to Man," and LIAB continue to impress with the title track, "Kill the Bottle," "Sean Connery," "The Juiciest Plum," "The Rain Makes Me Thirsty," "Summer Goes Too Fast" and "Does the Lady." An ideal listen for those who like their music a little different." Jeffrey Sisk, IN TUNE, The Daily News, PA

"Life in a Blender is simply one of those bands that make me realise that today we're able to find the most interesting/ inspiring music if we don't look for 'the' radio song (hit single) but for truly independent experienced unique quality in music.... Vive La Difference!" Lord Litter, deejay, Magic Musicbox, Berlin, Germany

"Right-on, baby! It's time to get groovy and swing!.... Sharp and thoughtful songwriting certainly wouldn't hurt in the least as well. Blend all this cool stuff together, shake it up with a bracing dash of fiercely caustic wit, sprinkle a dab of quirkiness for extra tasty flavor, and the net result will be one immensely nifty and distinctive delight." Joe Wawyrzniak, Jersey Beat