Earl the Squirrel 3:390:00/3:39
186,000 Miles Second 2:280:00/2:28
Lushy the Grouse 2:150:00/2:15
Alien Love Song 4:000:00/4:00
Double Bubble Day 3:310:00/3:31
Monster Hit Record 3:300:00/3:30
Ruff Justice 0:550:00/0:55
Savage Eggplant 2:480:00/2:48
The Kebab Shop 3:120:00/3:12
SO, YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE EGGPLANTS
“From out of left field comes Kenny Young and the Eggplants. This brilliant, whimsical Brooklyn band
always leaves me with a lightened heart and a spring in my step.”
Tom Robinson, BBC
“The Eggplants mix brainy, funny lyrics with a fine sense of what makes pop music wonderful.”
"The amazing Kenny Young and the Eggplants are a very well kept secret. But now the time has come for everybody to know the Eggplants are the most amusing, wonderful, whacky band in this or any other town."
Alexander McCall Smith
Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales
Claiming to be from Brooklyn (but possibly from another galaxy altogether), Kenny Young and the Eggplants perform folk-and-roll songs about giant squirrels, aliens, scary bits of cheese, malevolent washing machines and other important topics. Various attempts to define their music have been made, but perhaps the most entertaining quote comes from the New York Times, which said that the band gives “eloquent voice to the multifaceted neuroses of prolonged adolescence.” In the U.K., the Sunday Herald said the Eggplants “mix the wit of Jonathan Richman with the sound of the Nico-era Velvets to create a surreal and satirical gumbo.” They have also been called a “deeply eccentric pop band” (The Guardian), and a “wonderful weird band” (The Scotsman). The Village Voice said, “The naivete Kenny wears on his sleeve is genuine - think of an East Village Brian Wilson, without the money but still tilted in his own wacked-out way.”
At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the Eggplants won a coveted artistic award known as a Herald Angel. The Herald's website explained that the award was given out to "celebrate excellence across the spectrum of artistic activity" and to recognize "outstanding contributions to the festival."
Over the years, the Eggplants have performed numerous times at the Edinburgh Fringe, and they have received many glowing reviews from Scotland's most prestigious newspapers. The Scotsman called them an "endearingly oddball Brooklyn trio ... carving their singular niche somewhere between whimsy, psychedelia and classic lo-fi pop." The Herald described an Eggplants show as “gentle insanity with irresistable tunes … It’s like a kid's party that's continued for the grownups and possibly the most charmingly diverting hour on the Fringe."
Perhaps because no one can figure out exactly what the heck they are, the Eggplants get invited to play an intriguing variety of venues. In New York City, where they have performed at countless clubs (including the much-missed CBGB and its acoustic annex, The Record Canteen), they were regulars at The Living Room on the Lower East Side. They played at BB King’s club on 42nd Street on an evening hosted by Dr. Demento, they performed during the New York City Marathon, and they were Tom Robinson’s back-up band at The Mercury Lounge. They have played at prestigious British venues like the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican, Ronnie Scott's, The 100 Club and the Burton Taylor Theatre. They have performed for college audiences, for children, and at science-fiction conventions. They have also played at a number of festivals, included CMJ, Clearwater, Planet Pop (UK), BunkFest (UK), and the International Pop Overthrow, in addition to the Edinburgh Fringe.
As already noted, the Eggplants’ spaceship has frequently landed in the UK, where there is an apparent need for more songs about 6-foot squirrels. They have performed live on numerous BBC radio shows, including The Tom Robinson Show (6 Music), The Musical Mystery Tour (Radio Wales), Kaleidescope (Radio 4), and The Phil Jupitus Show (Radio London). Their UK tour stops have included London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, Greater Manchester, Chester, York, Falkirk, East Kilbride, Penicuik, Kings Lynn, Bristol, Ashburton, East Farndon, and Rhos-on-Sea. Unfortunately, no matter what the destination, they always seem to get stuck in traffic somewhere around Wolverhampton.
The Eggplants were honored when one of their London radio sessions was chosen by Tom Robinson for the Best of the BBC Live Radio series, which presented “gems from the vast BBC sound archive.” The broadcast paired a 2002 performance by the Eggplants with a 1969 Led Zeppelin concert. A BBC press release for the show described the Eggplants as “a band capable of lifting the heaviest of souls.”
In between their tours and space adventures, the Eggplants have managed to record six albums, and each one has cracked the Top Ten at college and noncommercial radio stations across the USA. Plantastic Voyage, their most recent album – which features songs for TV and film from a parallel universe – rocketed all the way to # 1 at WDCV-FM (Carlisle, PA). The album also won Philby Awards (recognizing “Outstanding Musical Achievement”) at WHFR-FM (Detroit, MI) in three special categories: Best Intergalactic Album, Best Pop/Rock Comedy Album, and Best Animated Cover.
Radio stations in the New York City listening area have been especially kind to the band. Songs by the Eggplants have been played on a wide variety of shows on WFMU-FM (Jersey City, NJ), and “Monster Hit Record” was an NY Slice selection on WFUV-FM (Bronx, NY). The Eggplants are also thrilled by the incredible amount of airplay they have received from the legendary Uncle Floyd on WFDU-FM (Teaneck, NJ).
The band members, who insist that they first met while training to be astronauts at an undisclosed, top-secret location near the New Jersey Meadowlands, are as follows:
Eddie Logue (percussion of various sorts and background vocals)
Gil Shuster (bass, screaming, and role model for children)
Kenny Young (guitars and vocals)
The Eggplants say that the prevailing mood at their shows is 'cheerful chaos.' But it's always good to hear what others think. Reviewing a show in Edinburgh, the Sunday Mail said: 'They don't come much zanier than this New York trio. They sang goofy songs about partying worms with artistic temperaments and Rambo going on shopping sprees . . . But behind the surreal antics were technically proficient musicians who know how to write a good pop tune and work an audience. Alien Love Song had a chorus so infectious I was humming it all the way home. There is genius among the Eggplants . . . Energetic, unpredictable and fun . . . if its surreal entertainment you are after then they're your boys.'
The BBC Collective website had this to say about the Eggplants: 'The songs are quirky, yes, and funny, but they also stand up as songs in their own right. Even though they have whimsical lyrics about aliens, families comprised completely of lawyers, and things growing in the sink, the dry delivery and quick guitar playing mean that they don't lose their appeal simply because you know the jokes ... Kenny Young and the Eggplants would be a fun band to watch if they simply stuck to girls and cars, which is why they work - the jokes and surrealism are part of the act, rather than the act itself.'
For now, the final word on Kenny Young and the Eggplants will go to DJ Adam Walton, host of the Musical Mystery Tour on BBC Radio Wales. Adam wrote the following musings on the Eggplants:
'I can't remember the last time a band made me laugh, whilst still marveling at their ability to pen an interesting tune. Actually, I can. The band concerned was Kenny Young and the Eggplants, and I nearly wet myself drinking in their peculiarly surreal and litigiously funny show at Telfords Warehouse in Chester last year ... I love this band. I love to heckle this band, but sometimes that doesn't work out so well. Other patrons of their gigs get a bit pissed off and think that I'm being disrespectful - but nothing could be further from the truth. I'm down with Kenny, Gil and Eddie. When they're in town, the stars are smiling ... See you soon, most egg-celent musical auber-geniuses from Brooklyn.'