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Business is Bad

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Business is Bad
Business is Bad


"Business is bad" confesses Karen Mantler, and many in the music world will sympathize but her own brand of whimsical songwriting is stronger than ever. Snowstorms, volcanoes, lawyers and bill-collectors do their damnedest to dampen Mantler's moods in these songs of woe but Karen's vocal delivery remains stoical and nonchalant - and highly attractive.

Doug Wieselman (of Anthony and the Johnsons, Lounge Lizards, and Kamikaze Ground Crew fame) on guitar and bass clarinet and bassist Kato Hideki (whose many credits include the Death Ambient trio and projects with John Zorn) lend subtle and supple support throughout.

Almost twenty years have passed since Karen's last leader album on XtraWatt, Farewell. In the interim she has been a Virgin artist with her "Pet Project" disc, appeared on several recordings with parents Michael Mantler (The School of Understanding) and Carla Bley (The Carla Bley Big Band Goes to Church, Looking for America, Appearing Nightly).

Mantler has also been a member of the Golden Palaminos, participated in diverse Robert Wyatt tribute bands and homages to Disney and Nino Rota, played accordion on street corners, given harmonica lessons, and served coffee in SoHo. Her other albums on XtraWatt include My Cat Arnold and Karen Mantler And Her Cat Arnold Get The Flu.

Personnel: Karen Mantler (vocals, harmonica, piano), Doug Wieselman (guitar, bass clarinet), Kato Hideki (bass)


  1. Name
  2. Catch As Catch Can
  3. My Magic Pencil (Wrote This Melody)
  4. Speak French
  5. Wintertime
  6. Surviving You
  7. Business Is Bad
  8. I Cant't Afford My Lawyer
  9. My Solo
  10. That Damn Volcano
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