Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm Crushing This Morning: Concrete Blonde

I'm having a big of a crush on a band this morning and plan to spend an hour or two digging their music. Singer Johnette Napolitano has been a favorite of mine for almost 20 years. We had an assistant baseball coach at Lindsey Wilson College (John H.) who was into music and knew that I listened to quite a bit of stuff off the beaten path. He had a CD of Concrete Blonde's called "Bloodletting", which had their only hit "Joey" on it. He loved that song, but considered the rest of the record a bit dark for his tastes, so he gave it to me. 

I started listening to it.....A LOT! I listened so much that the guys I shared an apartment with started liking it. Then they started pulling it off the shelf and it was getting played even when I wasn't around. It truly is an amazing record and one that I recommend to any music lover. A pop sound, but there is an undertone of darkness to the music and definitely in the lyrics. Relationships, alcohol abuse, suicide, all of it is right there. 

Some years back, a college buddy of mine (Joey W.) ventured up from his hometown, which is in the Land of Lincoln, and attended a Concrete Blonde show with me at a night spot here in Louisville. I can't remember the name of the place, but that's not important. They were pretty damned good and the crowd was into it. There was some tension in the band though and at one point, the guitarist (James Mankey) got pissed off at singer Johnette Napolitano and told her to play the guitar if she didn't like what he was doing and he walked off. She sang a few songs by herself, one a heart piercing cover of "Mercedes Benz" made famous by Janis Joplin. 

Joey and I got to watch the band disintegrate before our eyes, but since then they have played together quite a bit. They even did a mini-tour commemorating the re-mastering and re-release of the Bloodletting record. Anyhow, I really dig their music and thought I'd write about them this morning and share a few songs that I think some of you may dig. They have released eight albums, the best of which are the aforementioned "Bloodletting" and "Mexican Moon". 

"Someday?" from Walking In London

"Caroline" from Bloodletting

"Joey" Live on Dennis Miller from Bloodletting

"Mexican Moon" from Mexican Moon

"Heal It Up" from Mexican Moon

I hope you listen to a few tracks and enjoy it! Even if you don't, I'll make up for your displeasure!