Lydia Loveless – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – April 2nd, 2014

Lydia Loveless

Commanding performer who rides the line between Country and Punk

Lydia Loveless

The Stubborn Lovers

April, 2nd, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Lydia Loveless
Lydia Loveless
Blessed with a commanding, blast-it-to-the-back-of-the-room voice, the 25-year-old Lydia Loveless was raised on a family farm in Coshocton, Ohio—a small weird town with nothing to do but make music. With a dad who owned a country music bar, Loveless often woke up with a house full of touring musicians scattered on couches and floors. She has turned this potential nightmare scenario (eww….touring musicians smell…) into a wellspring of creativity.

When she got older, in the time-honored traditions of teenage rebellion, she turned her back on these roots, moved to the city (Columbus, OH) and immersed herself in the punk scene, soaking up the musical and attitudinal influences of everyone from Charles Bukowski to Richard Hell to Hank III.

Loveless’s Bloodshot debut album Indestructible Machine combined heady doses of punk rock energy and candor with the country classicism she was raised on and just can’t shake; it was a gutsy and unvarnished mash-up. It channeled ground zero-era Old 97s (with whom she later toured) but the underlying bruised vulnerability came across like Neko Case’s tuff little sister. Indestructible Machine possesses a snotty irreverence and lyrical brashness that’s an irresistible kick in the pants.

On her second Bloodshot album Somewhere Else, released after a few 7″ singles and an EP, Loveless was less concerned with chasing approval – she scrapped an entire album’s worth of material before writing the set – and more focused on fighting personal battles of longing and heartbreak, and the aesthetic that comes along with them. While her previous album was described as “hillbilly punk with a honky-tonk heart” (Uncut), this one couldn’t be so quickly shoehorned into neat categorical cubbyholes. No, things were different this time around—Loveless and her band collectively dismissed the genre blinders and sonic boundaries that came from playing it from a safe, familiar place. Creatively speaking, ifIndestructible Machine was an all-night bender, Somewhere Else was the forlorn twilight of the next day, when that creeping nostalgia has you looking back for someone, something, or just… anything.

2016’s Real is one of those exciting records where you sense an artist truly hitting their stride, that their vision is both focused and expansive, and that their talent brims with a confident sense of place, execution and exploration. Whether you’ve followed Lydia’s career forever, like us, or if you are new to her ample game, Real is gonna grab your ears.

On her first two Bloodshot albums, there were fevered comparisons to acknowledged music icons like Loretta Lynn, Stevie Nicks, Replacements, and more. She’s half this, half that, one part something else. We hate math. But, now Real and Lydia Loveless are reference points of their own. Genre-agnostic, Lydia and her road-tightened band pull and tease and stretch from soaring, singalong pop gems, roots around the edges to proto-punk. There are many sources, but the album creates a sonic center of gravity all its own.

Always a gifted writer with a lot to say, Lydia gives the full and sometimes terrifying, sometimes ecstatic force of the word. Struggles between balance and outburst, infectious choruses fronting emotional torment are sung with a sneer, a spit, or a tenderness and openness that is both intensely personal and universally relatable. It is, as the title suggests, real.

Lydia Loveless has toured with artists such as Old 97’s, Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell, Iron & Wine, Scott H. Biram, and the Supersuckers. Her music has been praised by Rolling Stone, NPR, Pitchfork, SPIN, Stereogum, Chicago Tribune, and more.

Loveless penned an original song for the 2015 film I Smile Back, starring Sarah Silverman, and was the subject of the 2016 documentary Who Is Lydia Loveless?, directed by Gorman Bechard.
The Stubborn Lovers
The Stubborn Lovers
Fueled by whiskey, vinyl, and asphalt, not to mention several lifetimes of heartache, the Stubborn Lovers play country and rock ‘n’ roll songs that sound like forgotten classics. Imagine the Dixie Chicks jamming with Bruce Springsteen at a lonesome roadhouse: gorgeous vocals over big beats and ringing guitars.

Though based in the indie-rock mecca of Portland, Oregon, the quartet’s country pedigree is genuine: singer/guitarist Mandy Allan hails from Hendersonville, Tennessee, where her grandfather delivered mail to the home of Johnny and June Carter Cash, while lead guitar-slinger Todd Melton learned his licks in the heart of Kentucky’s hill country.

Bassist Jenny Taylor grew up along the storied highways of New Jersey, and thus wears a fondness for anthemic blue-collar rock on her sleeve, while drummer and Idahoan Michael “Pearl” Nelson grounds the band both musically and geographically as the sole Northwest native.

The Stubborn Lovers have been privileged to share the stage with a number of country and Americana luminaries, including Lydia Loveless, Lindi Ortega, two-time Grammy nominee Brandy Clark, and legendary Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen. In 2015 they released an eponymous EP and were twice nominated for awards by Portland alt newsweekly Willamette Week: first as the year’s Best New Band, and again in the annual readers’ poll as Best Alt Country Band.

A second EP, Feathers and Bones, was released in 2016. It showcases the band’s evocative, rootsy sound across four songs, from the shimmering pop hooks of “So Jealous So Stupid” to the driving country thump of “Evermore”, from the soulful “Flaming June” to the moody and sinuous “Devil Take My Heart”.

The band is currently at work on their first full-length album. Recorded at a studio that once hosted Willie Nelson, the nine-song Flowers of the Vine expands their musical palette to include Southern rock and outlaw country, ‘70s heartland rock and AM gold, desert Americana, and bits of bluegrass, blues, and soul. It will be released in Spring 2018.