No. 1, “Good Day,” which fuses Ben Folds-style pop-rock with Queen-ish vaudeville. Over a simple piano hook, singer-pianist Ben Thornewill expresses his desire “to invite everyone I know/Dead and alive, to a street where we can be/Home free.” After drummer Jesse Kristin busts into a lively two-step, the song repeatedly launches into its circular-logic chorus: “Did everybody say what a good day that it was for/Everybody who said what a good day that it was?”
“Good Day” maps a “kind of fantasy street,” says singer-guitarist Tommy Siegel. “It’s trying to capture a sort of childlike wonder in song.” The three band members, who got to know one another in the practice rooms of George Washington University’s music program, pictured an imaginary stretch of road that didn’t have much room for strangers. “[The song is] supposed to be about ‘everyone I’ve known,’ friends and family,” Siegel says. “Well, maybe there would be a couple of famous composers to hang out with.”
Before he moved from D.C. to Philadelphia last summer to take advantage of lower rents, Siegel worked as a historical reenactor for National Park Service cruises on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Georgetown. “I was named Redbeard…your typical 1870s canal boatman,” says Siegel, who’d play traditional American folk tunes on guitar and banjo onboard. Unfortunately, Siegel’s hopes for exciting employment in the City of Brotherly Love have been, er, tabled. “I had a great job [on the canal],” Siegel says. “Now I work in a furniture store.”
Jukebox the Ghost plays the Black Cat Saturday, Jan. 26.