Super-Talented Women Artists Are Taking Over My Ears!
Pop Culture Detours – By George McGowan
Over the past couple of months, seminal music from two consummate artists has been delivered to my ears. I feel very much that you should make the time to hear it, digest it, consider it, re-consider it, and maybe even recommend it to your friends. Both of these recent works are filled to the brim with meaning and significance (even to this old dude) as well as great musicianship and hooks. I am referring to the latest albums by Solange and Jenny Lewis.
Solange’s latest is “When I Get Home” and is a celebration of her hometown of Houston. I raved about Solange’s previous record in this space and while I would have loved more music in the vein of that record from Solange, the new record takes a left turn into the experimental and shows that Solange is just not content to repeat herself and become a “hit-maker.” Which she could easily do. On “When I Get Home” she presents snippets of lyrical ideas, intriguing instrumentation, all in a 19-song and 40-minute package of intrigue. I’ll always remember how the album flew by when I first listened to it, transporting me away and back again in those 40 minutes. I wanted so much more, but it is the perfect length for an immediate re-listen. Which I have happily repeated several times!
Jenny Lewis’ album “On The Line” intrigues in a different way. Lewis is a former child actor who ditched the life of appearing in such gems as “Camp Beverly Hills” and “The Wizard” to become the lead singer of a well-regarded indie band, Rilo Kiley, in the early 2000s. She released her first completely solo effort in 2014 with “The Voyager.” At that time, I was enamored with Ms. Lewis’ style, confidence and fondness for nudie suits and silver and gold lamé. But to be honest, I much preferred her work with Rilo Kiley. Her latest solo effort has turned me into a true believer. She tackles her upbringing and her recent break-up with a long term partner head-on in “On The Line” showing vulnerability and resilience. Having seen Ms. Lewis in concert in the Bob Carr many moons ago, I was not planning on seeing her when she plays The Beacham in September. However, a couple of listens to her latest had me reaching for my wallet to pay for my tickets, and willingly.
Speaking of local concerts, I would like to recommend two upcoming shows at The Social, my favorite music locale in downtown Orlando. Both of these shows happen to be when I am away from town, which angers me to no end, but I hope you will be there to see them. On May 4 the duo Larkin Poe performs their deep roots blues, and on May 6, Lucy Dacus- whose music I have recommended to you once before- will mesmerize those in attendance with her otherworldly voice and deep feeling. I am already jealous of those of you who will see these shows and I will need a full report on what I missed!by