SELECTED LIVE PREVIEWS
Time Out London (Jan. 2001)
Time Out London (Mar. 2001)
Time Out London (Aug. 2001)
Time Out New York (Oct. 2001)
Philadelphia Weekly (Oct. 2001)
Evening Standard (London – Jan. 2001)
Evening Standard (London – Mar. 2001)
Evening Standard (London – Aug. 2001)
Evening Standard (London – Mar. 2002)
Hartman’s (Laptop) wry, New-Wave-meets disco songs are a punky, post-modern
delight. gleeful, geeky and very, very chic.
Laptop is cultish synthpopper Jesse Hartman from New York’s East Village—fantastic debut album “Opening Credits” (Trust Me) contains winning electro-pop melodies, sampled snatches of witty conversation, plus plenteous wig-out Beck/Prince moments. You’ll like him more than you thought it was possible to like someone who makes music on a Mac Powerbook. Fantastic.
Melt-in-the-mouth melodies and scenes straight out of Woody Allen from brilliant New York retro-futurist Jesse Hartman, aka Laptop, at the Spitz. Once a guitarist for punk legend Richard Hell, the enigmatic mouse-clicker has finally come up trumps with debut album 'Opening Credits' (Trust Me): a witty, humorous, bitchy, and pretty darned wonderful 'user’s guide to your 20s’.
Time Out London
is synthpopper extraordinaire Jesse Hartman from New York's East Village --
debut album Opening Credits and it's brand new follow-up The Old Me vs The New
You (both Trust Me) contain winning electro-pop melodies, sampled snatches of
Woody Allen-ish conversation, and much poignant, never gloopy, male midlife
moping. Fight your way in.
Time Out London
Live Previews: Laptop @ Water Rats
Monday, August 6th
Sometimes when you meet someone you both like and respect, you also fervently hope the two of you never fall out. Imagine what they'd do if they thought - rightly or wrongly (but most likely wrongly, 'cos they're a bit tetchy and defensive) - you'd done them an injustice. Christ!
Jesse Hartman (aka Laptop) is one of those guys. His gleeful, vinegar-soaked misanthropy is so devastatingly deadpan, so cruelly casual yet scimitar-sharp that it makes cynics like Morrisey and Luke Haines sound like luvved-up tree huggers. In fact, I can stick my head above the parapet here and say that so heartbreakingly piquant are his lyrics and so tragi-comically true his world-view, you wonder how he can be American.
Laptop is a one man reminder that if you walk through life with your head held high, you're very likely to step in dog dirt, that if you do unto others as you would be done by, they'll still mug you and then run off with your lover. His embittered and bitchy, deliciously addictive, electro-pop treats fart rudely in the face of optimism, which, let's face it, has no place in the twenty-first century. Brand new single The New You (Trust Me) clocks the robotic drive of Gary Numan/Devo and Beck's slacker stance, while aiming its poison arrow at the heart of the record industry.
Monday's show sees Hartman leaving the laptop at home, so to speak, and going unplugged. No matter; all this man needs is a microphone. And an activated bile duct. Enjoy.
Time Out New York
Village Underground 8pm $10. CMJ Music Marathon.
Laptop, aka Jess Hartman, has just released a great album of synth-pop nuggets, The Old Me vs. The New You (Trust Me). Hartman sounds a bit like early Gary Numan—if Gary had taken a lot of medication to fight off his chronic paranoia.
By Katie Haegele
The most reliable formula for long-lasting pop music goes like this: Write lyrics as smart as a schoolbook but set them to music so contagious the kids will happily choke it down like a sonic version of Flintstones vitamins. (Okay, those actually taste pretty awful, but you get the idea.) Two examples, off-hand – the Smiths and Elvis Costello. Jesse Hartman, as the little one-man band Laptop, doesn’t exactly have the cachet of those other two, but he’s definitely on to something with his latest record The Old Me vs. The New You. Laptop is as body-movin’ as a Gary Numan-produced Buggles video, but Hartman’s snappish sentiments and detached Peter Murphy-esque vocals sound as sexily cool as German architecture, circa 1925. (Like Bauhaus. Get it?) Mr. Laptop has been described as somewhere between peevish and vicious, but he’s not mean so much as he’s realistic. Whoever among us hasn’t crossed the street to avoid making cringe-inducing conversation with a casual and uninteresting acquaintance—as Hartman does on the brilliant “I Can’t Say Hi”—may cast the first stone. Whenever a band is this kitschy—sorry, catch-pop purists can’t seem to shake the feeling that it’s somehow manufactured or contrived. But try to. Shake it, that is. If the show is half as much fun as the album, you’ll want to take your precious purity and muck it all up. Thurs, Oct. 4, 9pm $7. With the Mark Boyce Combo and the River Bottom Nightmare Band. Khyber, 56 S. Second ST. 215.238.5888.
a line under his career in shaggy American guitar manglers Sammy, New Yorker
Jesse Hartman has been looking backwards to the future with his Laptop project.
Retro futurists with a cerebral-pop cut to their jib, Laptop have just released
a sequel to their classic End Credits single, a synth-pop blip set to a John
Hughes movie, and have an album, Opening Credits waiting in the wings. Doing
the retro-Eighties thang with a great deal more style and wit than other
pretenders, Laptop are mega. Laptop at the Spitz,
Evening Standard (London)
music of Jesse Hartman, deadpan exponent of ex-girlfriend exorcism, is a
sardonic synthesis of man and machine. This New York City cynic of electronic
ironica serves up a mix of dry disco with a bitter twist of Eighties pop
puckishness. Expect to hear material from his second LP, The Old Me vs The New
You (released this week), a sharply observed tour of shortcomings and
superficiality all sung with tongue firmly wedged in cheek.
Aka Jesse Hartman, this synthesis of man and machine comes with a hard-drive
packed with ironic electronica and wonderfully twisted pop tales. His last
disc, The Old Me vs. the New You, was anything but floppy—revelling as it did
in the realms of bittersweet ex-girlfriend exorcism and snapshots of scathing
city cynicism. Tonight Hartman ditches the technology for an acoustic set of
deliciously gleeful acidity. Water Rats, WC1, doors 8pm, 4-5 pounds, 020
Evening Standard (London)
March 19, 2002
Laptop: Acerbic New Yorker Jesse Hartman returns with more wry songs and dippy Casio-sounding tunes. Hartman is the real sound of the coffee shops, bars, and restaurants of the Big Apple, accompanying his charmingly clunky output with deadpan city savvy. Tonight, Hartman reveals the contents of his third album. New single “Don’t Try This At Home” warns a dreamy teenager about the pitfalls of becoming a pop star, so it’s business as usual for the guy who makes portable PCs look cool. Monarch, NW1, doors 7pm, 5 pounds, 020 7691 4246