Archive for the ‘House of Love’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 13, 2022] Alec Nicol [rescheduled from May 7, 2020]

I was pretty excited when The House of Love announced a 30th anniversary tour of the States in 2020.  It would be their first time playing here in 30 years.  Then COVID, obviously.

I was never a huge fan of the band, but I’ve liked them since college–part of the whole 90’s Creation scene.  And they have half a dozen songs that routinely get stuck in my head.

I hadn’t given too much thought to the band’s lineup.  I believe that when the 2020 tour was announced the original band was back together.  But this show had a

new HoL lineup that Guy Chadwick announced last summer after telling fans he’d parted ways with original members Terry Bickers and Pete Evans, as well as Matt Jury, who’d been on board since the group reunited in 2003.

The new lineup will find Chadwick backed by Keith Osborne on lead guitar, Harry Osborne on bass and Hugo Degenhardt on drums. The band also has recorded a new album, though its release has not yet been announced.

So that’s kind of a bummer.  Although Guy Chadwick wrote and sang all the songs, so I guess the rest of the band isn’t that big a deal.  The only thing I missed was Bickers’ backing vocals.

I knew there were a few songs I really wanted to hear (and they played them all), but I didn’t have a big set list in mind.  They played songs from their first three albums and then a bunch from the one Chadwick just released (which was kind of a solo album). (more…)

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loveindeSOUNDTRACK: KURT VILE-“Wakin on a Pretty Day” (2013).

Kurt Vile_CVR-31981badf76ce6680de293138b7fbf1807fe323f-s1I don’t really know that much about Kurt Vile.  I’ve been hearing about him for a while. I assumed his name was a kind of joke–like he was a comical metal guy, maybe like Alice Cooper.   That appears to be far from the truth.  I also wasn’t sure if he was well-known outside of the Philly area, but I do know that NPR has championed him for a while.

Well, he has a new album out and since NPR was streaming it, what better time to hear what the long- haired dude is all about.

There is much talk bout his voice (NPR says: There’s something about Kurt Vile’s voice that transcends whatever comes out of his mouth.).  But the whole time I listened to this song (which was a while, as it is over 9 minutes long), I kept thinking that he sounds just like the guy from House of Love, an underrated band here in the States. (He sounds even more like him in Kv Crimes”) It’s not necessarily a bad thing to sound like someone else (often times it can’t be helped I suppose), but it is a little distracting to me.

So this song is kind of groovy.  I like it musically more than vocally (there’s so many “Yeah…yeah yeah yeahs” that I lost the point of the song).  But the music is really good, including Vile’s lengthy guitar solos.  Interestingly, I was kind of bored by the song after about 45 seconds, but by 8 minutes I was really grooving it.  Subsequent listens have made me like it more, it has a kind of Neil Young or maybe Meat Puppets vibe.

My head says there’s really nothing special about this guy and yet after more and more listens, there’s something that draws me to him.  Weird.

[READ: April 2, 2013] Love, An Index

The back of Lindenberg’s book explains that the man she loved, poet Craig Arnold, disappeared in a volcano while traveling in Japan.  For such a very specific kind of event, I don’t think I would have gotten anything quite like that from these poems.  Indeed, for a book that is so specifically created about this man, there’s very little sense of the exact nature of the loss.  In some ways that’s good, it could have been a very maudlin, ungraceful collection of poems if she explicitly talked about volcanoes, but at the same time, the feeling of loss that comes across is less about death and more about abandonment (I would have presumed that the guy had left her).

I really enjoyed these poems even though I have a  really hard time accepting the bulk of these, in particular the thirty-four page title poem, as poetry.

“Love, An Index” is thirty-four pages and it is an index.  Literally, she lists words alphabetically and writes a little “definition” for each one.  There are arbitrary line breaks in the definitions but in no way does it feel like a poem.  Even the individual entries are not very poetic.  Like “Compromise, I will get up early with you/so long as you’ve made coffee.”  Okay, so that’s funny/sweet, but it’s not a poem.  But then what it is?  Yes, it is part of a greater whole and removing part of it diminishes that whole.  But again, what is the whole?  Genre defying I suppose.  Which is cool.  And despite my criticism, I really enjoyed this index.  There were personal notes that I would have no idea about, there were commonplace ideas that are familiar to all.  There’s also a ton of quotes from other poets.  And it all works together to create a beautiful portrait of a relationship. (more…)

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