Monday, July 17, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: Ghost Writer (aka Steve Schecter) began playing as a one-man-band in 2002 after endless lineup changes to his former band, The Standards, became an intolerable inevitability. Judging from his angry, loathsome tracks that draw equally from folk and punk influences, Schecter seems like the type of person who doesn’t put up with too much inconvenience in his musical career.
Utilizing a hollow-bodied guitar, banjo (that he regularly strums the shit out of), harmonica and a homemade percussion device, Ghost Writer has a vicious undercurrent of self-hatred and pain that seeps into every song.
While perhaps some of Ghost Writer’s lyrics--such as the line, “I want to destroy human life and then maybe I won’t feel so uptight”--are meant to be taken with a rather large grain of salt, the dark melodies and frenetic pace of the music is all it takes to convey the dark emotion the words (tongue-in-cheek or not) try to express. Schecter seems to have little interest in pleasantness, musically or lyrically, and he makes no effort to make his tunes polished or slick. Instead, it’s Ghost Writer’s brutal honesty that gives it its most tempting charm. Life isn’t always fun and games and Ghost Writer intends to highlight the darker aspects of it in the hopes that people can get their fill of sunshine elsewhere.