Somewhere Messed Up: Lydia Loveless & the Old 97s

District Consonance
musings about music in the district of columbia

…Loveless’s set had plenty of swagger and twang — punk-inflected and country-infused, fortified with a few swigs of Jim Beam. She doesn’t cram her experiences of loss and love into a country princess package. There are plenty of suppliers of anodyne countrified pop, and Lydia Loveless ain’t one of ‘em. Her album, Somewhere Else, is the proof.

Over the course of three studio albums, Loveless’s music has evolved from a more classic country aesthetic with banjos, fiddles, and pedal steel, to grittier, more muscular offerings fleshed out with electric guitar and keyboard. From “Really Want To See You” and “Head” to “Verlaine Shot Rimbaud,” Loveless covers the spectrum, cussing and spitting out sexual innuendo at times, and at other times, talking about love with reference to French poets and lovers Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, who were equal parts brilliant and volatile (spoiler alert: Verlaine really did shoot Rimbaud).

It’s as if Loveless spent her tender years reading highbrow literature and penning lyrics between sets, whiskey shots, and parking lot brawls at bars on the wrong side of town. This is good stuff — give her a listen and buy her music…

Read the rest of this review @