Ethan Lipton | A New Low

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Pop: Quirky Easy Listening: Cabaret Moods: Mood: Funny
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A New Low

by Ethan Lipton

Pick-me-up music for your let-me-out days: sly, wry, warm, and sharp. As heard on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition and the Dr. Demento show.
Genre: Pop: Quirky
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Don't Hate the Famous
3:33 $0.99
2. Tutto Tempo
2:31 $0.99
3. Place to Go
4:39 $0.99
4. Lonely, Poor and Fat
4:14 $0.99
5. Greg Aguilera
3:46 $0.99
6. Short Song Medley
1:29 $0.99
7. Jedi Mind Trick
3:11 $0.99
8. We're Not Close Enough
3:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A man, a plan, a canal: Ethan Lipton.

Picture the scene. It's DUMBO in Brooklyn, which stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass and has nothing to do with the little elephant. You're at a club called LOW, a short flight of art deco stairing below a restaurant called RICE (which doesn't stand for anything, and does in fact serve rice). You're here to see burlesque hula-hoop dancer Miss Saturn, or perhaps the winsome Delirium Tremens, or New York Times fave burlesque tip Julie Atlas Muz.

When the dancers break, a slim tall figure in Frank Zappa mustachios and a dapper suit takes the stage. Some nights he's got a tuxedoed ukelele player in tow, some nights a small jazz combo. Tonight - it's your first time - he's alone. There's a smile and a few warm words, and Ethan begins to sing.

Ethan Lipton is a playwright and a transplanted Los Angeles writer, and the kind of sharp observer who says the sorts of things most people don't. That's good two ways: it's good that most people don't, and it's good that Ethan does. His songs are funny, lurking, brash, sweet, hostile: honest.

That's how it was for us that first night, and the result is "A New Low," Ethan Lipton's debut CD and a limited-edition hand-numbered memento of a benchmark show one sweet summer evening in June of 2003. We hope you'll join us in the memory. This live EP clocks in just shy of 30 minutes long and was professionally recorded in multitrack on the spot at LOW. It's been thoroughly overhauled, mixed, combed, and primped (listen to samples on the left), and it features some of Ethan's regular fan favorites and a couple of rare gems to round out the collection.

Ethan Lipton's songs ask timeless questions: What can possibly fit into that little Tupperware container? Where does a fellow go in the mornings, and why? Is love through binoculars like love in person? What happens when Jedi knights get loose in the general public? Are we close enough to listen to an Ethan Lipton CD together? How about with the lights out? His tender songs are big-brotherly, in that they are confident and wise and when you're not looking they smack you on the back on the head.

These are the kind of songs you hear and then really want to play for your friends. We recommend this.

We're fond of saying that Ethan is like a well-mannered but brash dinner guest toasting Tom Lehrer over aperitifs at Randy Newman's dinner party. If those names don't mean much to you, here's help: Tom Lehrer was a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard and MIT who translated The Wizard of Oz into Latin and spent a chunk of his life singing classic satirical songs ("Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," "The Masochism Tango," "The Vatican Rag" and the "Silent E" song from The Electric Company are just a few). Randy Newman - well, come on, you know Randy Newman. You do. Brilliant, crusty, insightful, expressive, unique, plays piano. Short people got no bodies. That's the one.

"A New Low" is on Home Office Records (of course). The CD is produced by Chuck Garabedian and Linus Gelber, and features Mike Stumm on ukelele, Eben Levy (guitar) and Lem Jay Ignacio (keys) on combo, and Fisherman (djembe and high hat). Ethan Lipton sings and talks.

Ethan Lipton was profiled on the Weekend Edition Saturday show on National Public Radio in January of 1994; more recently his music has been featured on the inimitable Dr. Demento program, and he is teaming up as of winter 2005 with outsider-art soundtracker Zero Boy for a run of monthly shows in New York City at the Belt Theatre.



to write a review

Gorgias the 2nd-Guesser

Better than a Cream-Filled Donut or a New Haircut
Reaches a new high in cleverly wrought explorations of expectaion, anxiety and the pursuit of all things nervous-funny. Perfect for wratcheting up the hi/low art debate at family gatherings. Cool tunes for people with somewhere else to be and are in no hurry to get there.


his moustache is cute!
I can't get "Greg Aguilera" out of my head. The songs are funny and well written. I heard about him on NPR, too. My only complaint is that it wasn't enough!

Richard Smith

Superbly witty and just disturbing enough to keep you interested.
So I'm in the drive-through, right? I'm listening to NPR as I often do, right? Then I hear a story about a guy who does a capella songs about life's odd moments. I'm mildly interested. I place my order, pull up to pay, and listen some more about this fellow in NYC, the effect his songs have on people, his sparse performances, all punctuated with a few blips of some of his stuff. And it's actually pretty good. It's funny and musical, but also smart and kinda smirky, too. By the time I get my food, I have made a mental note of hearing about this chap. Later, I consume my meal and follow up my curiosity on the trusty NPR website. There he is, Ethan Lipton — he even has his own snappy website, no less. So I go there and download his sample mp3s (as opposed to downloading them the illegal way like I normally would), and proceed to listen to them constantly for the next several weeks. The more I hear them, the more intriguing they become, convincing me that spending a few bucks on the full CD would be a smart move. And you know what? It really was. And I highly recommend you check it out, too.

deborah pascua

too fabulous for words
i love this cd - it is so funny. not to be greedy, but i hope he's started working on the next one...

Sean Bryant

Refreshingly Different from typical radio nonsense
I enjoyed the CD from beginning to end, especially how well the audience was mixed in to the sound - never interferes with enjoyment of the music or Ethan's between song patter. Gives you the feel of being right there with Ethan at the venue. As seems typical of Ethan's songs, humor and real life are there along with the occasional thought from left field.

David Remeta

droll, wry like Iike I like.
Quite droll, and wry like I like....Warning however: Do not attempt to listen to John Lee Hooker's Big Legs, Tight Pants, before giving Lipton a spin, as sensory overload is sure to result. I'm home again from the hospital now, and feeling much better.

Summer Jaspers

The Best Ever
It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me do a little jig in my 9'x6' room. It made me want to eat a really big dinner. It made me want to quit my job and go on a really long trip. It made me want to start having sex again. Thank you Ethan.

Tom Bartos

I wanted more songs...please record more CDs.
First and foremost, see this man perform live. Then buy his CD. Then listen to said CD. Then gently pressure Ethan Lipton to make more CDs with more songs. Rinse and repeat. God Bless you, Greg Aguilera.

April Matthis

so good
Some favorites here. Even better when he's LIVE. I also have the other one. Can't wait until he gets in the studio.

Risa Sommers

A delightful surprise
The internet is amazing. A friend of mine told me about this guy who was on NPR named Ethan Lipton and that I would think he was really funny. So I googled him and was connected to his website. I listened to his music, it brought tears of both laughter and heartbreak to my eyes. I took down his recipes, and was treated to his delicious bean dip. I read his "helpful suggestions", and just about peed my pants. I now have his CD and I can say that I have found my future husband. My only complaint is now I want more. I cannot get enough of this man. Thank you, Mr. Internet for introducing me to my soul mate.
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