" I Don't Love My Guru Anymore" is the first of three Kristian Hoffman solo CDs available on CD baby. Dedicated popsters' zine "Yellow Pills" says," Hoffman's is a clever, concise collection of left field folk/pop songs. It boasts the perfect union of good songwriting, clever production, and unexpected depth!" while "Genre" says "Kristian's left-field lyrics and splendid classic pop style will remind you of a very bohemian Elvis Costello!"
Extensive biographical information on Kristian Hoffman is available right here on CDBaby at his other two solo cd's: "&" and "Earthquake Weather".
Briefly, he has led the pop/rock bands ( and NYC cult sensations) the Mumps ("Fatal Charm", a comprehensive career retrospective CD is also available at CDBaby) and the Swinging Madisons; has toured as keyboardist and musical director for Rufus Wainwright and Ann Magnuson, also doing extensive tours and recording with Dave Davies of the Kinks and El Vez. He wrote signature songs for 80's new wave legend Klaus Nomi, and appears on records by Lydia Lunch, James White and the Blacks , Gary Valentine (of Blondie), Ann (Bongwater) Magnuson, Congo Norvell, the Jigsaw Seen, and Andrew Sandoval.
"I Don't Love My Guru Anymore" came about when Kristian redefined himself after years of NYC "concept" damage, where projects were geared to an "event" mentality. His acoustic folk band with Ann Magnuson, Bleaker Street Incident, was widely praised and wildly popular in L.A. and N.Y. nightclubs, but was somewhat constricting in their profile as hilarious "folk parodists" - Hoffman wanted the option to explore the full range of emotions, and to occasionally drop the mask of irony so de rigeur at the time. (This is to say nothing of Ann's and Kristian's many patently ridiculous "One Night Only" collaborations like "A Tribute to Miss Vicki"- Tiny Tim's Wife-turned-stripper Penthouse centerfold - at nightclubs like Arena, Danceteria, and the Pyramid.) Hoffman's popular rock/dance band the Swinging Madisons toured the east and west coasts extensively,opening for Sparks, the Go-Gos, the Cramps, and Madness. They released a fabulously received E.P.,("Impeccably performed and highly recommended"-Trouser Press, "One of the most sublimely fun records of recent times"- N.Y. Rocker) . They scored a wild critical upset when they opened for the Cramps and the N.Y.Post reported "The Madisons proved the surprise hit of the evening, an energetic quartet that made lyrically wild and danceable sounds!" but their success on the dance floor made audiences freeze up percebtibly when Hoffman tried to expand his writing into psych/blues and folk-rock. And writing songs for Klaus Nomi was nothing if not concept specific.
It was only after Hoffman decided to experiment with a few solo coffee house gigs that he realized where his true loyalty lay: the song itself, wherever that might take him. "I Don't Love My Guru Anymore" including the whimsical upbeat title track, itself an unlikely hybrid of bubbledisco and Brill building pop, is Hoffman's first foray into this "song as an adventure" arena. And because it's the first project where the objects were not overtly satirical ( at least not ALL the time), he was free to showcase the emotional range of his greatest inspirations: Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Elvis Costello, Leonard Cohen, and David Bowie with stellar help from James Sclavunos (the Cramps, the Bad Seeds), Robert Lloyd(the Continental Drifters) and Will Glenn-Cooper(Mazzy Star) plus backing vocals from Phranc Folksinger and Sally Norvell (of critic's darlings torch/goth/lounge combo Congo Norvell). Though much of the CD reflects Hoffman's first foray into coffee house acoustic folk/pop, several of the songs are brimming with over-the-top baroque and glam production touches, full orchestrations, and fuzz guitars, right down to the out and out rocker "My Generation": a sardonically jaundiced response to the failed promise of the Who's original of the same title. Hoffman's first cd prompted the L.A.Weekly to call him " a musical and lyrical genius", while Genre called it "splendid, classic pop that will remind you of a very bohemian Elvis Costello". England's widely distributed cult rag "Bucketfull of Brains" called it simply "a blockbuster!" saying it was like Roy Wood produced by Phil Spector. And as he stepped into the shopworn but honorable shoes of "the songwriter", Hoffman was set on a path that would lead to his greatest successes and acclaim.
For mountains of further trivia, news, photos, reviews, rare MP3s, website only releases, and special offers, go to "the Official Kristian Hoffman Website" at www.kristianhoffman.com
Some Reviews of "I Don't Love My Guru Anymore"
" 'I Don't Love My Guru Anymore' brims with wit and well crafted pop, incorporating catchy hooks and endearing touches!" - Rave
" Hoffman sings a bit like Love's Arthur Lee and has a similar propensity toward occasionally oblique lyric poetry. The music lies in between pure folk-rock and frilly baroque a la the Left Banke. Hoffman's is a clever, concise collection of left field folk/pop songs. It boasts the perfect union of good songwriting, clever production, and unexpected depth!" - Yellow Pills
" I hear Roy Wood of the Move as a major influence on the album. The string arrangements by Will Glenn border on the brilliant. Hoffman seems like a real Renaissance man. His swooping and pungent songs sport dramatic, insightful lyrics that are actually worth reading!" - The Bob
"Hoffman's songs are sad, melodic, ecstatic, apathetic, alienated, and manic, all written with a twisted, jaded sort of optimism. The melodies are pretty; the songs are crafted in a seamless classic pop style; and the lyrics are intricate and sometimes bitingly sarcastic. His voice is powerful, too, without a trace of the Bob Dylan yelp that afflicts so many 'singer/songwriters'. Hoffman is socially aware, irreverent, touching, snide, and just serious enough about social issues ( as well as a good song) to really be what used to be called 'the voice of a generation'." - BAM
"From the excellent anti-homophobia anthem 'Odd Man Out' to the song for the new depression 'Shantytown' to the album's numerous broken heart ballads, Hoffman's lyrics are both clever and easily digestible. His real forte, however, is both mocking and mourning the 'generic no-fault rebel yell' of counterculture idealism gone sour. Hoffman's musical projects have always had glitter rock overtones, and likewise this solo debut owes as much to Sparks and David Bowie as it does to Phil Ochs and Donovan. The melodies are bright, catchy, and refreshingly hook-laden; Hoffman's vibrato heavy voice is clear and sweet. The sparseness of the instrumentation serves to make the album sound clean, not empty. Give this record a listen...if you're punk enough to handle folk!" - Ben Is Dead
" In the years since he was the Mumps' keyboardist, Kristian's learned to write some damn fine tunes, complete with catchy hooks and Costello-ish lyrical twists. The acoustic approach of this disc allows us to hear his messages of social commentary (it's no wonder Phranc's involved) and personal insight clearly. The sentiments are right-on and familiar. A full-length CD from an original who rails against 'polluting the stream of consciousness' and takes his generation to task for digressing 'from LSD to MTV.' " - Flipside
" Hoffman offers you all the angst and wonderment of the day, some ditties being queer-themed, some just plain universal. From the slower acoustic moments like 'I Fell From Grace' to the edgier title track and 'Bridget Who?' Kristian's left-field lyrics and splendid, classic pop style will remind you of a very bohemian Elvis Costello!" -Genre