Sweet Clementines play Unison in New Paltz

A New Paltz guitar-pop institution, the Sweet Clementines return to the stage at Unison Arts on Friday, January 25. Fronted by guitarist/songwriter and Almanac Weekly music critic John Burdick, the Sweet Clementines blend nervy, angular guitar rock and an understated dumpster-cabaret vibe with a huge catalogue of sweet, weird and sad electric pop songs, swarming with harmonies and odd word choices. Music journalist Ron Hart wrote, “That the Sweet Clementines are still not signed to a national record label is just criminal.”

“There comes a time in a band’s history – and we’re almost 12 years in, now – when you just throw your hands up in despair and acquiescence and say, ‘This is what we are, this is how we write, sing and play,’” says Burdick. “It’s not perfect or even coherent a lot of the time, and it’s certainly not current or relevant – to any generation, really – but it’s all us, man, and only us. I feel like, once you admit permanent defeat, the possibilities are endless.”

At Unison, the band will be featuring material from their upcoming third full-length. Their SubFamily Records labelmate Hiding behind Sound open the show with duo renditions of their “space twang” songs. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $10 for seniors, with Unison member discounts available.


The Sweet Clementines, Friday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m., Unison Arts Center, 68 Mountain Rest Rd., New Paltz, (845) 255-1559, www.unisonarts.org