jill sobule

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“Jill Sobule can claim her place among the stellar New York singer-songwriters of the last decade. Topical, funny and more than a little poignant...grown-up music for an adolescent age.”  — New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareless

Jill Sobule's work is at once deeply personal and socially conscious, seriously funny and derisively tragic.   Over seven albums and two decades of recording, the Denver-born songwriter/guitarist/singer has tackled such topics as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting, reproduction, the French Resistance movement, adolescence, and the Christian Right.   Did we mention love?  Love found, love lost, love wished for and love taken away.  

While her songs cover expansive thematic ground, they all benefit greatly from Jill’s subtle intelligence and skillful light-handedness. No sloganeering flag-and-fist waving here, but rather story songs about human beings, real and imagined, which allow us to step back from the issue, be it personal or social, and relate to it as we would a close friend.  

To see Jill live and in concert is a rare treat. It is on stage that she is most comfortable, most powerful, and where the delicacy and range of her work can be best appreciated. She entertains, amuses, provokes, and more often then not, takes her audiences on an emotional roller coaster, from comedy to pathos in a few bars of music.

Her recording career began in 1990 with her debut album “Things Here are Different” (MCA), produced by Todd Rundgren.   She found commercial and critical success a few years later with her 1995 self-titled album (Atlantic), which introduced large radio audiences and critics alike to her witty and personal songcraft.  “Jill Sobule” included the original (and oft-banned)  “I Kissed A Girl” as well as the satirical gem “Supermodel” which was featured on the hit soundtrack of the movie Clueless.    

Jill is considered among her peers as a pioneer in crowd-sourcing and connecting directly with her audience without record company interference.   Through her website  “Jillsnextrecord.com” she completely funded her "California Years” album, which continued to showcase her exceptional songwriting.  Jill's innovative, tiered system of contributions and rewards formed the foundation for the Kickstarter.com model.   She remains at the forefront of exploring and creating new models for artists in an ever-changing changing music industry, including personally connecting with fans through house concerts and her active engagement in social media.

Jill has performed with Neil Young, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Cyndi Lauper, Tom Morello,  Warren Zevon and John Doe, and she inducted Neil Diamond into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.  She has shared billing with Don Henley, Warren Zevon and the influential punk band X.   She can be seen live as a solo performer as well as the co-star of the Jill & Julia Show, an unusual and mesmerizing combination of song and storytelling in collaboration with comedian/actress/author/SNL alumni Julia Sweeney.   

Jill served as songwriter/composer for the hit Nickelodeon network show "Unfabulous" during that show’s three-season run. She composed the music for the off-Broadway show  “Prozak and Platypus.” Her songs have appeared in a multitude of films including Mind the Gap, in which Jill herself co-starred, and television shows, including “Girls.”  She has been a political troubadour for NPR stations across America, has contributed essays to the Huffington Post, and regularly performs at TED conferences.  She is also known for her many charitable performances, including most recently performing for inmates in prisons throughout the country.

Sobule remains a prolific, and diverse, writer and performer.  Her latest studio release,  "Dottie’s Charms,”  is the newest example of Jill’s creativity and her whimsy:  a collaboration between her and 11 of her favorite authors, including  Rick Moody, David Hajdu and Jonathon Lathem, in which Jill tasked each to write a song based on a charm from a bracelet Jill purchased on eBay.   Jill then put the words to music.  Jill's idea was to bring the bracelet's previous owner, "Dottie," to life by imagining the importance of each charm to her life.    

Her recent projects include a re-imagining of the 1970 Broadway play "Yentl."  Jill wrote the music for the production, which ran at the Asolo Repertory Theater in Sarasota Florida, and has a scheduled run at Theater J in Washington D.C in the Fall of 2014.   Jill is also working with Steve Cossin ("The Civilians"), Jim Lewis (FELA) and Robin Eaton (a longtime collaborator) on an original musical called "Times Square."

She spent the majority of 2016 on the campaign trail, appearing at numerous fund-raisers and events for Bernie Sanders.   During that tumultuous year, she made waves with her look-at-anti-immigrant-sentiment song, "When they Say We Want Our America Back, What the Fuck Do they Mean?"  She included  a recording of that campaign crowd favorite on a compilation of protest songs by such luminaries as Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, Steve Earle, John Doe, Jackson Browne she produced entitled "Monster Protest Jams, Vol.I.”

In November of 2017, Jill launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her next recordings and touring. In eight days, she reached her goal, and raised $107,000. She started recording the new record (produced with Ben Lee). It will be called ‘Nostalgia Kills’”.