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Napoleonic Melodrama
Napoleonic Melodrama
  • Full Length Free Digital Download
  • Released 01/11/05 on Goodnight Records

Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, Young Vulgarians formed and began cultivating a bizarre hybrid of post-hardcore, 1980s Euro-style synth-pop, and shoegaze music at their home base in Philadelphia’s “Dirty South” (aka -- Delaware). The result -- deranged yet hyper-catchy and dancy pop songs presented at vomit-inducing volumes amidst outlandish and theatrical stage performances.

Melodious, keyboard-propelled belligerence engineered for trespassing and dance. Vacillating, manic-depressive croons and scream-tones reminiscent of both Frank Sinatra and Orchid, which could sound notes upon even the most rusty harps of scenester hearts. Outrageously, unthinkably absurd live shows that scandalized everyone who witnessed them. A Joycean treasury of allusions (particularly Proustian), recursive content reminiscent of Nabokov or Finn O‘Brien, Kosinski-esque degrees of artifice, narcissism, and self-fashioning, and harshly Benjaminian satire equal to William Gaddis’ best. Regarding Young Vulgarians, CMJ said: “They have proven themselves to be the William Morris… no… the WILLIAM VOLLMANN of rock!”

Yet really they were the Yukio Mishima of rock. After storming the heavily guarded world of screamo/indie/new-wave (accompanied by their small but violently loyal and hilariously jerky personal guard of samurai/fans… who were infamous for attending ONLY Young Vulgarians shows, and HANG everything ELSE!) and attempting to instigate a neo-socialist musical revolution based upon principles of NOSTALGIA, SUBJECTIVITY, and various psychogeographically-grounded principles of COMMUNITY/LAND-BASED CULTURAL EXPERIENCE, the band—laughed at and misunderstood by the rest of the world, yet spectacularly successful within their own imaginations, and those of friends—committed seppuku (ritual SUICIDE), and was swiftly beheaded by dedicated lieutenants.

GOODNIGHT RECORDS now displays the cryogenically-frozen heads of Young Vulgarians in the form of NAPOLEONIC MELODRAMA—the band’s final album. The band’s other albums (all released through Caffeine Library Records)—a 4-song EP-CD, a 67-song full-length CD, an 11-song full-length CD, a CD featuring 2 songs meant for a 7”, and an 13-song full-length CD—are now highly sought-after collector’s items… as are the much scarcer “unreleased” albums the band recorded for its own, selfish amusement.

Singer Jason C., who also writes novels under pseudonyms, explained: “After we had become and done everything we said we wanted at the beginning, the band took its own life away so that the world of THE CULTURE INDUSTRY could not. We constructed ourselves as the spectacular expression of, and mouth for and of, a very localized community. Everything we wanted said and done having been said and done, it would have been fundamentally dishonest for us to modify our goals in order to please or ‘entertain’ the global community… entertainment being nothing but another form of work that people are not even paid to do. We didn‘t want to flatten ourselves and follow the same narrative that eighty million other bands follow, just so we could get rich making money for other people before losing our identities through being famous.”

The band made most of its music free or very cheap, the profits usually being thrown off stages during live shows in infamous GREEN $HOWER$. In concerts—the design of which was heavily influenced by the writings of DeBord, Koolhaas and Baudrillard—Young Vulgarians let in dogs from the street to run wild, smashed computer equipment on each-other‘s heads, pushed shopping carts across the ceiling, threw Christmas trees and bread and magazines back and forth with the crowd, climbed everything climbable, tore ceilings apart, stood on their heads while performing, jumped quite high in the air with keytars and afros, and spat bloody sugar at teenagers. Quoth Jason C.: “We offered our audiences endless supplies of love, vitriol, and FM synthesis, and seasoned it with neurosis and bass clatter. Then we laid in the grave we dug and waited.”

Jason C. moved to an unspecified third world country to work for the US Peace Corps and write books. Other former band members now do other things.