Jack O’ The Clock


Damon Waitkus’ microtonal collaboration with Ben Spees of The Mercury Tree, VENTIFACTS, has just released an EP covering the entirety of R.E.M.’s release Chronic Town, as one continuous, barreling suite of songs.

Damon: The essential ghost of R.E.M. was never so upfront for me as in their earliest material...There’s always been something appealing and natural about going microtonal with this stuff--something in the pungency of the expanded pitch pallet seems to bring back the hauntedness that grabbed me when I first heard these songs.

LISTEN HERE on the bandcamp.


What’s new with Jack O’ The Clock? Damon (voice, instruments) and Emily (violin), with help from Kate (voice, bassoon), Thea (voice), and Victor Reynolds (instruments), are currently working on overdubs for a new album of material derived from the many recording sessions we did with Jason and Jordan before leaving California in 2019. Though these were the same sessions that produced our 2021 album

LEAVING CALIFORNIA, the mood and energy of the new album is a world apart. Look for updates on this process on this site in the coming months.

As for the live band, Damon and Emily have been rehearsing a slew of new composed material with founding member Kate McLoughlin, Victor Reynolds (bass/guitar) and Ben James (drums). We hope to start playing out locally before too long under a different name, but the material is complex and we are not quite ready yet!


Check out a new VIDEO INTERVIEW with Damon, courtesy of Claudio Bustamante of Fairfax City Music.

Here’s another recent INTERVIEW with Damon on the making of Leaving California, the past and future of Jack o’ The Clock, and VENTIFACTS, courtesy of Proglodytes.

There are a number of past interviews archived on our PRESS page.


Our new album, LEAVING CALIFORNIA, has made several best-album lists of 2021!

Joseph Stannard, THE WIRE, top 10 (not ranked).



Steve Pilkington, VELVET THUNDER, #8

EXPOSE, top 15 (not ranked)

COUNTY TRACKS, best Vermont albums, #19

Also, VENTIFACTS, Damon Waitkus’ microtonal songwriting project with Ben Spees of The Mercury Tree, made #4 with PIENNEMMAT PUROT


“...the quintet maintain clarity and breathing space in these intricate compositions, which contain traces of...all manner of ancient and modern Americana, with all the elements working together in an uncontrived way.” --THE WIRE, August 2021

“Each of these compositions is a magnificent example of how truly ‘progressive’ music can bridge musical gaps and expand its audience. Even though these seven songs unfurl over 45 anxious and dramatic minutes, the album still feels too short. It also feels like a candidate for record of the year.” --Shepherd Express

“[Leaving California] sounds like it was laid down in one truly inspired session...The rich textures and top shelf musicianship make it a real joy to listen to. And like a multi-faceted diamond there is always something new to discover, no matter how often it is played.” --Here Comes The Flood

“The album's architecture is...complex, featuring songs that seem created by a group of mad scientists who cross musical DNA with supervillain-like glee... Jack O' the Clock have a sound so distinctive, it almost functions as its own genre.” --SevenDaysVT

“[Leaving California” is complex, weird, and challenging at the same time...It has a wacky, mind-boggling, gentle, and crazy texture.” --Echoes and Dust

“[A]fter more than ten years, Waitkus and company know how to play together and have developed an idiom that suits them perfectly...Leaving California is the product of a mature band at the top of their game, and we can hope that their bi-coastal next phase continues the upward trajectory.” --Expose

“[M]uch like every album that preceded Leaving California, this labyrinthine ‘chapter nine’ is the best yet...[This is] one of those albums that seems to sweep you along in its emotional heft, but if you stop to listen harder, all kinds of lovely things await your puppy-like eagerness...”--The Progressive Aspect

“[Jack O’ The Clock are] perhaps the foremost modern dark Americana outfit...The mood to these songs is melancholy and yet also oddly exhibiting more joy than the group’s previous outings...[T]he songs call upon disturbing imagery combined with a strange sense of humor.” --Avant Music News 

“While this is a record which fights and defies you to classify it, it is nevertheless paradoxically accessible – at least, accessible enough to make the more out-there sections palatable enough listening until they find their focus in your mind and heart.” 

--Velvet Thunder


Damon, Emily and Kate trying out some new material, August 2021. It’s been

over 4 years since we’ve played together, but it hardly felt like it.