The Scoldees

My Pathetic Life

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Those who are into irony should get a kick out of knowing what type of artists have influenced Scoldees vocalist Nancy Sirianni and who she is married to. Sirianni, one of the Long Island, NY band's two lead singers, is an introspective artist who brings to mind such storytellers as Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega. In other words, she would fit in perfectly on a Lillith Fair stage. Here's the ironic part: She's married to Jackie Martling, aka Jackie the Jokeman, a key figure on The Howard Stern Show. While it's fun to note that an artist worthy of The Lillith Fair is married to one of Stern's associates -- Stern isn't exactly a poster child for political correctness, and his raunchy brand of entertainment wouldn't go over terribly well at Lillith Fair -- that bit of information isn't as important as the fact that the Scoldees show a fair amount of promise on this appealing, if a bit uneven release. Blending folk, rock, and pop, the Scoldees bring a healthy balance of humor and sensitivity to this debut album. Neither Sirianni nor Jack Hoffman, the band's other lead vocalist, have a problem being sensitive. Nonetheless, their songs have an edge and some grit, and the humorous element that asserts itself at times (especially on "All I Want," "Cellophane Man," and the title song) is a definite asset. You can tell that Sirianni appreciates the delicacy of Colvin and Vega, but she's also capable of incorporating the grit of Sheryl Crow or Alanis Morissette. Hoffman, meanwhile, sounds like he's learned a thing or two from Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham. Not perfect but often engaging, My Pathetic Life lets us know that the Scoldees are a band to keep an eye on.

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