Showing posts with label Amy Winehouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amy Winehouse. Show all posts

Sep 19, 2018

No Sleep Roundup: Misfits, Martha Spencer, Social D, etc.

By Robert Dean

What’s up, folks? 

Today, I have had a stellar day. Rarely do my days kick major ass, but today, my Vans slip-on connected with just enough of the world’s cheek. So, because of that, I’m in a good mood. Why did I have such a good day? 

A.    I got tickets for the Misfits in Chicago. I’m a mega fanboy with a Crimson Ghost tattoo as most aging punk rockers do, and I am beyond thrilled to finally scream my lungs out to “Hybrid Moments” up close and personal. 

B.    I acquired a family heirloom: my grandmother’s 1951 Rockola jukebox that’s been fully restored. It’s as cool as you imagine it is. I lost my grandma to cancer at age 54 in 1996, so seeing the little tags for the songs in her handwriting, and knowing that she picked all of the vinyl blows my mind. Us music geeks love this stuff.

C.    Got a new puppy. Her name is Mia Wallace, and she’s cute as fuck. 

As for the usual, let’s get into it. 

Martha Spencer has a new S/T record dropping. The tracks are backwoods, traditionalist country that you’d expect from a gal that hails from deep in Appalachia. It’s campy and fun, and worth checking out. Spencer has a vibe similar to the Carter Family. I dove into some of her projects, and she’s most definitely a product of a different era. She can play a wide variety of instruments, sing, and probably do 56 other things, too. Give her a spin if you’re looking for some honky tonkin’ tunes that are 100% stuff to get your two-step on, on a funky Friday night. 

Wayne Graham has a newish record, Joy out, and it’s got all of the feels. If you’re a Ryan Adams or My Morning Jacket kind of person, this is right up your audio alley. The tunes on Joy feel like they’re from a mid-90’s obscure alt-country act, and that suits me just fine. The world needs more records that don’t feel like they’ve dabbled in a little too much Radiohead but instead stick to a few solid tunes that kick you straight in the ass. 

If that description appeals to you, then you’ll eat this up, Joy is a collection of head bobbers that feel like they were the background music in a road movie where some guy screams alone in the rain after his girlfriend betrays him. 

In live show news, if you get the chance to catch Social Distortion on this tour – DO IT. The boys are out on the road, and killing cities left and right. My man in New Orleans said they smoked tonight, and last week in Austin, they were relentless. If you’re a deep cut, hardcore Social Distortion geek like I am, you’ll be enthralled. No S/T songs. 

Instead of “Ball and Chain” or “Story of My Life,” you’ll get “Don’t Drag Me Down,” “Don’t Take Me For Granted,” “Angel’s Wings,” and are opening with “Reach For The Sky.” If that doesn’t set a tone, what does? Also, they’re playing a few new tunes, and “Born to Kill” is a smoker that rivals anything off “White Heat”, which is easily their heaviest record. 

Tom Waits has a new song. It sounds like Tom Waits. I love it because I love depressing music. 

Lana Del Rey has two new songs out. They sound like Lana Del Rey. I love it because, in my head, all of her music sounds like Hollywood murder scenes

Yesterday, Amy Winehouse would have been 35, and that totally sucks. She was too good for this world. Alcohol is a hard mistress. 

That’s it. Stay creepy.

Sep 18, 2017

New Blood: Madison Lewis

By Robert Dean

Whatever’s in the water out in Kentucky these days is tainted with heartbreak, introspection, and some absolute brilliance. From Tyler Childers to Sturgill Simpson, and now Madison Lewis, it’s amazing everyone picking up a guitar out there in UK country isn’t dropping amazing records left and right.

In the case of Madison Lewis though, she’s got a little fire in her that is a little bit wicked, but also a little “pure as the driven snow” as those old beer commercials used to say. At only 14 years old, Lewis is writing country-tinged heartbreakers that call to an internal reckoning that has many more tree rings than she's got in years.

On Ms. Lewis’ debut Back to The Blue, there is a little bit of pep to her writing but drenched in darkness, too. On "The World Ain’t Gonna Change for You" there’s more than country music at play here, there are notes of Oasis, and 90’s singer-songwriter aplomb with an ironic sense of self-worth. With harrowing introspection, it’s enough to hear the tenacity, but naiveté about this ultra-complicated world we’re thrown into. But, what offers the gut punch is she’s doing it light years better than the rest of us at 14. You look at that notebook of scribbled lyrics or poetry from just before high school and tell me it’s not Cringe City. 

Because Madison is so young, it’s impressive to see how far she’s ahead of her peers not only by her songwriting ability but her voice. There’s a tender smokiness to her tenor that offers a hint of the possibility of her range greatly expanding. Right now,  Ms. Lewis hanging around a same vocal ballpark with her style and how she is phrasing her songs, so a lot of the vocal takes on the record sound similar and can get monotonous. Because she’s so young, that’s a forgivable sin.

It will be interesting to see what Madison Lewis will do for an encore because the ability to hit those Amy Winehouse notes and offer that swagger is there. You can hear it buried deep in those vocal runs through the songs on Back to The Blue. The gruffness in her voice hints at the aforementioned Amy Winehouse, or Brody Dalle, or even Courtney Love. Ms. Lewis isn’t playing those kinds of ferocious neck breaker songs, but that DNA is omnipresent. On "Rockstar/Popstar" we’re privy to a front row seat to taking the piss out of these very themes and the expectations of what a female singer is supposed to be.

Get Madison Lewis on your radar as someone to watch. Back to The Blue is a solid first step toward what could be a rewarding career. It will be fun to keep an eye on her progression and see what she’ll do over the years to come. 

Jun 9, 2016

Rival Sons Performs "Fade Out"

Rock band Rival Sons has a new album coming out tomorrow entitled Hollow Bones.  It's very good. This song it on it.


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