Episode #24 — ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

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Episode #24 — ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, folks! The lads gathered in The Helm for another fun-filled episode of wise-cracks, inappropriate language and great music, and to make it extra special, the team was joined by our “fun buddy” Kip, who added a touch of SoCal cool to the proceedings.

This week’s episode includes, among other things, Mike’s loving tribute to the late Adam Yauch, aka MCA of Beastie Boys. Turns out the Beasties were a big influence on Mike in his younger, better years, and he drops some knowledge about the Beasties and how their music impacted him during their rise to hip hop glory.

The crew also shares some info regarding a house show at The Barn here in Portland that Mike has put together featuring Possessed By Paul James and Tom VandenAvond. And speaking of house shows, if you’re reading this on Cinco de Mayo and live in Portland, the Deer Lodge is hosting a show tonight featuring the Sumner Brothers, who close out this episode with their song “Going Out West.”

We also have a Trio Bravo submitted by super listener Michelle Evans, who just happens to be celebrating her birthday today. Fans of our Facebook page might recognize Michelle from her alter-ego, “DearBen Nichols,” her ongoing tribute to the Lucero frontman. Happy Birthday, Michelle, and thanks for the great selections! Awesome stuff!

The episode also features new music from Matt Woods, Old 97’s and one of our favorite local acts, Jake Ray. So, without further adieu, “Let’s Get Drunk and Get It On.”

Here’s the playlist:

Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On, The Old 97’s
Pawned All My Freedom, Tom VandenAvond
Heaven Has No Vacancy, Lindi Ortega
Sabotage, Beastie Boys
Walls Of Our Home, C.W. Ayon
Like A California Wildfire, Deadstring Brothers
Four Wheels, Austin Lucas
Avoiding Catatonic Surrender, Tim Barry

Trio Bravo, three songs from listener Michelle Evans
Tiny Anchors, Matt Woods
Shake The Frost, Tyler Childers
Only Boy, Only Girl, Devon Stuart

Burnt Letters, Jake Ray
Gutter Queen,
Soda Gardocki
Rasputin & Me, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Going Out West, The Sumner Brothers

 

Review of Somewhere Else by Lydia Loveless

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Lydia Loveless, Somewhere Else (2014, Bloodshot)

She was all dressed up and ready to be crowned alt-country’s queen-in-waiting, but a funny thing happened on the way home from the prom. Lydia Loveless rolled down the window, tossed the tiara, took a left turn and hit the throttle.

On her third full-length record, the 23-year-old Loveless says goodbye to the raging banjos and cowpunk shuffles that made it so easy to box her in as the future of alt-country. Somewhere Else is something very different — a radio-ready rock album that aligns the singer less with country blues songstress Lucinda Williams and more with a fellow Ohioan, rocker Chrissie Hynde.

Sure, many of those good ol’ country music themes (drinking, cheating, etc.) remain at the heart of Loveless’ songwriting, and she’s not afraid to cast herself in a bad light. On Somewhere Else, the singer is a drunk, a home-wrecker, an obsessive helplessly bent on self-destruction and destined to wind up alone. But she also knows her way around a song, with lyrics so direct and sexually frank it’s hard to miss the point — or not get caught up in the naughty fun.

Listen to “Really Want To See You” “Really Wanna See You” by Lydia Loveless

The album’s first track, “Really Want To See You,” announces not just its obsessive lyrical tone but also its direction as a straight-ahead rock record. The listener is greeted with screaming guitars, heavy drums and not a hint of the twang that was a hallmark of Loveless’ previous work.

On the poppier “Wine Lips,” Loveless shows off her talent for terrific word play. Early in the song when she sings, “Ain’t there somewhere where you and me can be alone/Honey, this isn’t a party if it’s chaperoned,” you already have a good idea of who you’re dealing with. This is an artist who isn’t afraid to say what she wants, and seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

Listen to “Wine Lips” “Wine Lips” by Lydia Loveless

Eventually, steel guitar winds it’s way into the mix as the songs start to sink from the heart to the gut and, eventually, the crotch. On the slow-burner “Hurts So Bad,” Loveless sings, “I swore I’d go to bed, but I must have it bad/’Cause I got up and I pushed every button your elevator had.” On the not-so-subtle “Head,” she sings, “The sooner I go to sleep, the sooner I can dream/Well, maybe if I get lucky tonight you’ll be there waiting, ready for me.”

Listen to “Head” “Head” by Lydia Loveless

As things slow down on the back half of the record, Loveless offers a glimpse at her more gentle side. But obsession, longing and desire for love remain constant themes throughout Somewhere Else, a record so well executed, straightforward and fun that it’s bound to elevate Ms. Loveless’ profile as an indie-rock comer and destined to be included on many lists of the 2014’s best.

— PHIL FAVORITE
That Much Further West Podcast

Lydia Loveless and her band will be performing live in Portland at Doug Fir Lounge on Wednesday, April 2. The Stubborn Lovers open the show. Visit www.dougfirlounge.com for more information.