Laptop Presents: The Old Me vs. The New You
The press kit was helpful in that it mentioned that Jesse Hartman played in a reformed version of Richard Hell and the Voidoids a few years back. Not only is that factoid pretty cool, but it added another wrinkle to my brain. The press kit was unhelpful in that it included tons of press clippings by hacks and non-hacks breathlessly likening Hartman’s Laptop to classic Gary Numan. Howdy, I’d just like to remind everyone who the last hotly-tipped “New” Numan was — The Rentals!?!? Blechhh. Do you really wanna saddle our boy Hartman with that albatross? Do you really want people digging out their old copies of “Telekon” and “Down in the Park” and grooving on the cold physicality of Numan’s analog keyboards, and his dead whisper of a voice? No, no, no. That would distract from the fact that Hartman is doing something pretty goddamn enjoyable on his own terms, and just because he’s bringing some affected poise and razor-sharp synths into the mix, well• you know the rest. Jesse Hartman’s a sarcastic bitch as well, which is one quality I really admire — he turns his scathing sneer on “new” music trends (read somewhere that he’s written a song bashing The Strokes, heh heh), lovers past and future, New York City, and even (in the spirit of true enlightenment), himself. All of this acerbic commentary is delivered in a deadpanned sigh that does at times, maybe, call to mind Gary Numan, but it also calls to mind Bryan Ferry and even Drake Sather, so there. The music is quite well-cultivated, sounding deceptively immediate and analog even though it was assembled in the hated digital, pulling all of the right poses and knowing the importance of a well-timed keyboard chime. But is he really Phil Hartman’s brother, or is that just a right good put-on?
Trust Me Records, http://www.trustmerecords.com