Monday, October 29, 2007

You're a mean one, Billy Bob.

Last September Billy Bob Thornton starred in School for Scoundrels, in which he played a prickish teacher of some sort. This September he starred in Mr. Woodcock, in which he played a prickish teacher of some sort. (The title is a clue, see.) At first glance—and I'm not ruling out that glance being an overtired or even tipsy oneit was easy to think that the ads for Mr. Woodcock were actually ads for a deluxe-edition School for Scoundrels DVD. A three-hour director's cut of the film, maybe?

Nope, different movies, yet Thornton has been gravitating to comedies where he plays mean bastards for a while now. The first was 2003's
Bad Santa. The 2005 remake of The Bad News Bears (which lost its "The" for the remake) was number two, and School for Scoundrels and Mr. Woodcock round out the unofficial tetralogy (fancy word alert!). Bad Santa was somewhat of a sleeper hit, grossing $60 million, but the other three films didn't stay in theaters very long. Then again, the days of Star Wars playing at your local four-screen theater for almost an entire year are long gone. Today even a $300 million hit like Transformers is out on video just three months after it opens in theaters.

I haven't seen any of Thornton's bastard movies, so I can't say how effective he is as a bastard, but if he plays one again I hope he promotes the movie by going to people's houses, drinking all their hard liquor, smashing their priceless family heirlooms, molesting their pets, and, worst of all, leaving the toilet seat up. He won't vacate the premises until you promise to go see his new bastard movie. While you're at the theater he'll stay in your house and try on your underwear, draw mustaches on all your family photos, download copyrighted music onto your computer, spill beverages on your books and CDs, molest your pets again for old times' sake, and, worst of all, thumb through your magazines. That's just plain mean!

Did you know Thornton has put out four albums since 2001? The latest is Beautiful Door, which came out in July. If you don't buy it, Billy Bob may bust down the beautiful front door of your tastefully furnished home and make you buy it. Don't piss him off. You wouldn't like him when he's bastard-ish.

(One more thing about School for Scoundrels: when it came out last year, the TV ads featured Ben Stiller, who appeared to have a small part in the film, but his name wasn't anywhere to be seen in the print ads. Why feature him prominently in the TV ad campaign but not the print one? I'm guessing it's because MGM, the distributor, and the Weinstein Company, who produced the film, needed all the help they could get luring people into theaters after weak focus-group screenings, and if that meant exploiting Stiller's popularity for an extended cameo that he probably did as a favor to the film's director, Starsky & Hutch's Todd Phillips, then so be it.)


My friend Beau sent me the following mock motivational posters. They're funny 'cause they're true.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Have you heard Bill Withers's new ringle?

Yep, I said "ringle." Earlier today I received an e-mail from ...

As someone who has purchased or rated music by Bill Withers, you might like to know that Ain't No Sunshine [Ringle] will be released on November 6, 2007.

What's a Ringle? A Ringle is a CD with 2-3 tracks that also includes a ringtone of a hit track delivered directly to your cell phone. A Ringle may also include additional bonus content such as mobile wallpaper and alternate downloadable content for your computer if you have a phone which is not compatible with Ringles.

This is the first I've heard of ringles. What I'm curious about is whether or not you can buy the whole package
—the songs "Ain't No Sunshine," "Harlem," and "Sweet Wanomi," all of which are worth having, plus the "Ain't No Sunshine" ringtone—on iTunes, therefore bypassing the CD. I wouldn't go that route, but "the kids" most likely would since they (presumably) have no sentimental attachment to CDs and probably won't care if CDs become obsolete, just as I didn't care when vinyl became obsolete in the late '80s, which is when I started to buy music. Then again, "the kids" probably aren't dying to have Bill Withers's 1971 classic coming out of their cell phones anyway. Not unless someone like Lil Wayne samples it.

I bought albums solely on cassette from 1987 to 1990, but the only tapes I mourn are the blank ones I used
—and which I still own and listen to, although not as often as I'd likenot the flimsy ones produced by record labels that often became unwound or warped within what seemed like the first dozen plays. (I do remember listening to some of my cassettes every day after school for months at a time, so maybe I'm to blame for the shortened life span of cassettes like Simply Red's Picture Book and George Benson's Breezin'.)

I still have some of my album cassettes from the '80s and '90s, but I'm afraid to play most of them these days for fear it might be the last time. And my cassette singles, or "cassingles," are ticking time bombs as far as I'm concerned. Those really did begin to warp after just a few listens.

Many vinyl enthusiasts miss the days of LPs like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which gave buyers plenty to look at on the cover. CDs are certainly smaller than LPs, but at least you're still seeing cover art in a square shape. Cassettes offered a square image shoved into a rectangular space a dozen times smaller, and even then the cover art sometimes only occupied two-thirds of the cover
I bought four of Steely Dan's albums on cassette back in '88, and each one had Steely Dan's name and the album's name printed below the cover art on a blue background, which was somewhat helpful considering that the writing on the cover art was almost too small to read sometimes. Cassettes were also worse than LPs and CDs because you were often given zero liner notes, especially with older albums like Steely Dan's.

Wait, I'm supposed to be talking about ringles. But my phone doesn't even play ringtones, so I've already lost interest. However, I am interested in hearing "Sweet Wanomi" again. I'm going to go home right now and listen to it, on a blank tape from last year.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

no mo'

Momentum is not my friend. Or maybe it's the other way around. Yeah, it probably is the other way around—just when momentum gets going, I abandon it. Sorry about that, mo'. When I go out of town for a weekend, I get behind on everything for about two weeks, not just the three days I'm away from home.

I haven't really posted anything new here since September 16. That was over a month ago. And writing about Chris Tucker and his Rush Hour paychecks after mid-August, or writing about summer movies after Labor Day, seems a little pathetic at this point, but I will finish those posts ... at some point. The people who mostly put up YouTube clips and a sentence or two on their blogs are smart
—they get in and get out quickly, and within a few hours everyone knows what they think about Britney Spears's legal troubles. I'm proud of my long-windedness, but it doesn't help when trying to keep this blog updated on a regular basis.

I did see something exciting yesterday afternoon, though. I was watching a Magnum, P.I. rerun on Me TV at 1:00 (more on Magnum later, but I always say "more later," don't I?) when, during a commercial, I flipped around and came across a rerun of Soul Train on WGN. There on the screen was none other than Bunny Sigler, who I wrote about at Jefitoblog back in June. Now, what's interesting here is that I rarely turn to WGN when channel surfing, so it was pure luck that I caught Sigler on Soul Train performing "That's How Long I'll Be Loving You" and, later in the show, "Things Are Gonna Get Better." (Both songs are included on the 1996 compilation The Best of Bunny Sigler: Sweeter Than the Berry, which you can read more about below.)

I'm not going to lie and say that Sigler's performances were not to be missed. Just like on American Bandstand, performers on Soul Train lip-synched their songs, but were the songs always cut off around the two-minute mark? Both of Sigler's numbers were faded out, as were those of the Staple Singers, who were the other guests on Soul Train's June 8, 1974, show. Roebuck "Pops" Staples introduced each of his singing daughters by name and by star sign, in case you wanted to keep score at home.

Host Don Cornelius allowed the Soul Train dancers to ask the Staple Singers some questions; one dancer named Bobby Washington charmingly stumbled his way through a question for Mavis Staples about whether she enjoyed singing lead on so many of the group's songs. Her response was, essentially, "Yes, it feels good." But haven't we all asked a question that ended up being longer than the answer, and wasn't the answer usually coming from a member of the opposite sex? Yes, but for most of us the question wasn't asked on national television and then re-run 33 years later for our children (and possibly grandchildren) to see.

And now, as decreed by Mr. Cornelius, NO MORE QUESTIONS! It's time for the Staple Singers to pretend like they're singing and for the dancers to actually dance, but self-consciously so, since they're on camera. (Hi, mom!)

In the mid- to late '90s, before VH1 became the carnival sideshow that it is today, it aired reruns of The Midnight Special and American Bandstand, because at the time '70s nostalgia was very big. I still have some Midnight Special performances on tape from those days, and John Travolta's performance of his 1976 single "Let Her In" on Bandstand is burned into my memory. (Was it considered attractive in the mid-'70s for men to have potbellies? If not, then no one told Travolta.) But where were the Soul Train reruns? VH1 dropped the ball, so pick it up, BET! But so far, no such luck.

That's where you come in, Me TV. Soul Train started in Chicago in 1970 before moving to Los Angeles the following year, just as American Bandstand moved to L.A. in 1964
after 12 years in Philadelphia. Guess what station Soul Train was on in Chicago before becoming syndicated? WCIU, the same channel that now operates Me TV.

It was meant to be, Me. Besides, you're already showing Sanford and Son, Good Times, and The Cosby Show in your prime-time lineup
. It wouldn't hurt to add another show aimed at black audiences to the mix.

Below is a write-up of Bunny Sigler's 1996 Sony/Legacy compilation, which originally appeared on Jefitoblog as part of its "Cutouts Gone Wild!" series on June 28, 2007.

Bunny Sigler, The Best of Bunny Sigler: Sweeter Than the Berry (1996)

Memphis and Detroit have nothing to be ashamed about, but for me, the most exciting soul music came out of Philadelphia in the 1970s, particularly the strings-laden, socially conscious kind produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff at Philadelphia International Records, home to artists like the O'Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, and Bunny Sigler. (Here's where you say, "Bunny who?" Here's where I repeat his name.)

Sigler never scored huge crossover hits like those other artists did, but as Epic/Legacy's retrospective of his years at PIR proves, it wasn't for a lack of trying. He did have a #22 pop hit in 1967 with "Let the Good Times Roll/Feel So Good" on the Cameo Parkway label, but by '68 the label had expired. Unfortunately, Sigler's contract hadn't, and until it did, he wasn't allowed to record for anyone else. Frustrated by this sudden halt in his career, he started hanging out at the offices of Gamble and Huff, who were friends of his, and chose to vent his frustration by practicing karate moves in the hallways, which scared visitors. In order to get Sigler out of the halls and away from clients, Gamble and Huff moved him into a room with a staff writer and put him to work.

As a writer at PIR, Sigler penned O'Jays classics like "When the World's at Peace" (with Gamble and Phil Hurtt) and "You Got Your Hooks in Me," and on
Sweeter Than the Berry he covers the group's big hit "Love Train," emphasizing its gospel foundation over seven minutes of impassioned vocals. (No slouch when it comes to singing, Sigler was nicknamed "Mr. Emotion" in his early years.)

Sweeter Than the Berry also features the tender "Regina"
(download), which must've sounded mighty fine coming out of AM radios in 1972, and the upbeat love songs "Keep Smilin'" (download) and "Things Are Gonna Get Better" (download). But my favorite tracks may be the most lighthearted ones: the 1975 Christmas jam "Jingle Bells [Part I]" (download); "I Lied" (download), in which Sigler makes screeching-tire noises over the sound of screeching tires; and the infectiously fun and funky "Shake Your Booty" (download). I defy you to remain seated starting around the two-minute mark of this song as Sigler begins counting off numbers and his backing band, Instant Funk, matches him with horn blasts for every digit. High-pitched background chatter from Sigler's "nieces and nephews" is also thrown into the mix, and there's a false ending, which is followed by "Uncle Bunny" finally calling it quits, which is then followed by another minute of music. It's hard to keep a great song down.

If it sounds like I'm making Sigler out to be the Ray Stevens of Philly soul, that's not my intention. Instead he's the guy at the party gently telling friends like Gamble and Huff to lighten up, have a drink, dance a little. For every "For the Love of Money" or "Am I Black Enough for You?," Billy Paul's brilliant but commercially disastrous follow-up to the #1 "Me and Mrs. Jones" (Gamble pushed for it to be a single, much to Paul's dismay), Philadelphia International needed a song like "Shake Your Booty" in its catalog to remind everyone that, well, things are gonna get better. And until they do, it can't hurt to laugh.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Evan Dando and the Lemonheads, Part Two

Below is the second part of the Lemonheads/Evan Dando album guide I cowrote with Ken Sumka back in July for Jefitoblog. Part one can be found here.

Come On Feel the Lemonheads (1993)

Robert: Once It's a Shame About Ray and its after-the-fact single "Mrs. Robinson" took off in the fall of '92, the media noticed what a nice face Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando had, and promptly began to overexpose him as a heartthrob for teenage girls. Dando seemed happy to oblige, appearing in People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" issue in '93, smooching actress Adrienne Shelly on the cover of Spin, chatting it up with Regis and Kathie Lee on daytime TV, and dropping in for a cameo at the end of Ben Stiller's Reality Bites. Dando also had a tendency to say much more than he needed to in interviews, especially when it came to his recreational drug use. ("He's never been one to edit anything that went through his brain," former Lemonheads bassist Jesse Peretz told Melody Maker.)

But you know what? If Dando looked more like Paul Westerberg or Bob Mould, two of his early songwriting influences, I bet he wouldn't have received so many slings and arrows from critics and alternative-music fans, because at his best his lyrics are on par with those of Westerberg in his mid-'80s prime. It's not Dando's fault he's photogenic. But the damage was already done: by the spring of '94 a zine called Die Evan Dando, Die had been published, and once Kurt Cobain did die that April, the world at large had had enough of Boston's resident alterna-hunk and his band's "bubblegrunge" music (an unfair and inaccurate label).

But I digress. The Lemonheads' sixth LP cribs its title from Slade's 1973 hit "Cum On Feel the Noize," and was rushed onto shelves 16 months after Ray's release to capitalize on the Lemonheads' newfound popularity and Dando's teen-dream appeal. The original cover art was even replaced in order to show off his exquisitely square jaw. Come On Feel was recorded in the middle of two straight years of touring: songs like "Paid to Smile" and "You Can Take It With You" ("Found myself a breathing place / Got room to stand up straight / And if I wanna lay around I can") make it clear that the group's nonstop schedule had started to wear on Dando. And his nonstop drug intake, which was wearing on everyone around him, is alluded to in the songs "Style" ("Don't wanna get stoned / But I don't wanna not get stoned") and "Rick James Style," featuring guest vocals by the Super Freak himself.

Early versions of "Into Your Arms," "Dawn Can't Decide," and "Being Around" had already shown up as Ray B-sides, and there's a 15-minute waste of space at the end of the album called "The Jello Fund." Despite all that, Come On Feel is a worthy follow-up to Ray, with more of Dando's three-minutes-or-less pop wonders filled with big hooks, memorable melodies, warm vocals, and witty lyrics. Unfortunately, Atlantic and new fans were looking for a repeat of Ray, and Come On Feel didn't have the same impact. As for older fans, it felt like the Lemonheads had strayed a little too far from their roots. (They officially added "The" to the front of their name in '93. The nerve!)

One particular standout is "Big Gay Heart," which can be read as a pro-tolerance anthem or just a plea for romantic acceptance in general: "Why can't you look after yourself and not down on me / Do you have to try to piss me off just 'cause I'm easy to please?" The song contains pedal-steel accompaniment by "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow of the Flying Burrito Brothers, but bassist Nic Dalton, who didn't hear the completed album until it was already in stores, stated that he thought Kleinow's contribution hurt the song.

Ken: With a little judicious editing, this album could've been a satisfying sequel to Ray; instead it comes off bloated in spots. This happens sometimes when a band that's used to working within the time constraints of two sides of vinyl tries to "stretch out" on CD. "Rest Assured" and "Into Your Arms" are two gems, however, and "Being Around" has a goofy charm.

Car Button Cloth (1996)

Robert: After three years of continued drug abuse, a stint in rehab, a role as Liv Tyler's boyfriend in the film Heavy, time spent hanging out on the road with Oasis, and appearances on albums like Mike Watt's Ball-Hog or Tugboat?, Kirsty MacColl's Galore, and the Empire Records soundtrack, Dando—and the Lemonheads—returned with Car Button Cloth. Dando was the only member left from the previous lineup, making this album, in some ways, his version of Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers or the Replacements' All Shook Down: a chance to give it one more try under his band's name before going solo. Joining him in the studio were Bill Gibson on bass and Patrick Murphy (a.k.a. Murph of Dinosaur Jr.) on drums, with John Strohm rejoining the band on rhythm guitar for the tour.

Car Button Cloth, like any of the band's other non-Ray offerings up to that point, is a patchwork affair. (Dando himself has labeled most of the Lemonheads' albums as "schizophrenic.") It's still a great listen, partly thanks to well-chosen covers like Come On Feel writing partner Tom Morgan's "The Outdoor Type" and "Tenderfoot" (cowritten by Adam Young), but all those puzzle pieces behind the couch don't quite fit together. The album kicks off with two brilliant singles, "It's All True" and "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You," that might've piqued the curiosity of those aforementioned teenage girls if they were still listening (in their dorm rooms at this point), but the somewhat sinister "Break Me," "Hospital," and "Losing Your Mind" ("What a comfort to find out you're losing your mind / And you re-realize that it's not the first time")—and an electrified rendition of the murder ballad "Knoxville Girl"—demonstrate that Dando's no longer interested in being a Tiger Beat pinup.

The Lemonheads pleasantly kill some time with "6ix," a shout-out to Gwyneth Paltrow and Real People's Skip Stephenson, and "C'mon Daddy," inspired by Todd Rundgren in more ways than one. But as Dando says midway through the album, "Something's Missing" ("I ain't quiet deep inside / I ain't even on my side"), and it's not just "Purple Parallelogram," a track he wrote with Noel Gallagher that was removed from Car Button Cloth at the last second at Gallagher's insistence. Dando says he didn't mind since he regarded the track as a throwaway at best.

Car Button Cloth is still my favorite Lemonheads album. Right around the time that my Great Big Todd Rundgren Obsession of 1996 was beginning to fade, my college roommate received the new Lemonheads CD for Christmas, and I listened out of curiosity after reading an odd interview with Dando in Rolling Stone. My Great Big Obsession of 1997 had begun: after just a couple of listens I was a fan of Dando's voice and words, and I regretted my snap judgment of him as nothing but a pretty boy a few years earlier. I started winding my way backward through the Lemonheads' discography, and waited for news of their next album. It turned out I was in for a long, long wait.

Ken: I had been on board since almost day one with the Lemonheads, so Car Button Cloth was a slight disappointment for me, yet there are still some nice moments on it. "It's All True," "If I Could Talk," and "The Outdoor Type" are the representatives from this album that I still have on my iPod.

Live at the Brattle Theatre/Griffith Sunset EP (2001)

Robert: Car Button Cloth's cover includes the sentence "All of these things sank." The album followed suit—it sold nowhere near the amount that the gold-certified Ray and Come On Feel did just a few years earlier. After the Car Button Cloth tour ended in the summer of '97, Dando took a long break from writing and recording, although he did continue touring on his own, and he didn't disappear from recording studios altogether: he popped up on the 2001 Blake Babies reunion album and recorded a single with Ben Lee, Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson, and actor-musician Jason Schwartzman under the no-frills name of Dando Lee Petersson Schwartzman.

On October 18, 2000, Dando played a show at the Brattle Theatre in Boston that was recorded for a live album. The resulting LP came out in Australia a year later and was packaged with a bonus EP of country covers coproduced by Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, among others. Live at the Brattle Theatre presents a strong acoustic run through the Lemonheads' catalog, with "Half the Time" and a Hammond-free "My Drug Buddy" being two of the highlights. After five years away it was comforting to hear Dando's golden throat still in good shape, even if he wasn't hitting all of the high notes anymore. The Griffith Sunset EP gives fans heartsick interpretations of John Prine's "Sam Stone" and the Louvin Brothers' "My Baby's Gone."

Baby I'm Bored (2003)

Robert: Finally, six and a half years after Car Button Cloth, Dando returned with new songs, but this time as a solo act, and swearing that the Lemonheads were dead as a recording entity. Note the similar covers, however, of Baby I'm Bored (that's Dando's wife, Elizabeth Moses, staring into the camera lens) and Hate Your Friends. An acknowledgement of a new beginning or a sign of things to come?

Recorded in various studios between '99 and '02, Baby I'm Bored saw Dando teaming up with Car Button Cloth producer Bryce Goggin on seven tracks and multihyphenate Jon Brion on songs like "Stop My Head," "Shots Is Fired," and "It Looks Like You," all cowritten by Brion to boot. Ben Lee, who wrote the tongue-in-cheek Dando tribute "I Wish I Was Him" when he was barely out of puberty, penned two tracks on Baby I'm Bored specifically for his friend to sing, and cowrote, with Dando and Tom Morgan, the cleverly titled "The Same Thing You Thought Hard About Is the Same Part I Can Live Without."

The theme of regret shows up again and again in the lyrics ("Some of the ground you gained / Lost instead" … "Whatever part of you that's been calling the shots is fired" ... "I can't believe how far I slid / I guess I had to see" ... "All my life / I thought I needed all the things I didn't need at all"), so it's tempting to infer that Dando's carefree drug use in the '80s and '90s had finally caught up with him, as evidenced by "Why Do You Do This to Yourself?" But in an era in which celebrities set aside a three-day weekend for a visit to rehab and then bravely tell E! News that they've conquered their demons, Dando has never made any sort of mea culpa for the various substances he's abused over the years—heroin, crack, LSD, etc. (He has admitted that he became an alcoholic.) In the end it's his business, not ours, and as the late comedian Bill Hicks once said, "I had a great time doing drugs. Sorry. Never murdered anyone, never robbed anyone, never raped anyone, never beat anyone. Never lost a job, a car, a house, a wife, or kids. Laughed my ass off, and went about my day."

Baby I'm Bored was by no means a chart topper, but it did earn good reviews, and Dando sounded focused in concert (Juliana Hatfield joined him on bass for one leg of the tour). Fans crossed their fingers that he wouldn't take another six and a half years to deliver a new studio album.

Ken: Gee, Dando sure made it easy for snarky reviewers to pan this record: "You're bored? So are we, Evan." This album was a "grower" for me. After initial listenings I shelved it and didn't go back to it for months; then I revisited it and found some of its hidden charms, not the least of which is Jon Brion's production. Brion could make even Rob Thomas interesting if he tried (hmm, there's a thought), and certainly helps out here with sparse but well-chosen instrumentation. The highlights are tracks like "Waking Up," with cowriting credit and backing vocals by Royston Langdon (of Spacehog and impregnating-Liv-Tyler fame), and the excellent "It Looks Like You."

The Lemonheads (2006)

Robert: Much was made of Dando collaborating with former Descendents members Bill Stevenson (drums) and Karl Alvarez (bass) for last year's "reunion album" (but let the record and its liner notes show that Josh Lattanzi plays bass on 4 of the 11 songs). Dando said he decided to revive his former band's name after hearing about a festival in Brazil in 2004 that featured South American bands playing their favorite Lemonheads songs. He also said he got tired of pushing T-shirts with his own name on them.

Dando delves into familiar topics—regrets, narcotics—on the Lemonheads' eighth album, but there's also a new focus on mortality and getting older (Dando turned 40 back in March), as well as politics: "Let's Just Laugh" is about enduring the remainder of Bush II's presidency. The Lemonheads is arguably the group's most consistent album since It's a Shame About Ray, so I was disappointed when I learned that some of the best songs on it weren't written by Dando. Stevenson contributes "Become the Enemy" and "Steve's Boy" ("Steve's boy won't let you die / Alone in the desert with fear in your eyes / You can't break me / You can't make me go away"), and Tom Morgan's "No Backbone" is dusted off from a 1997 Smudge collection along with "Baby's Home." But Dando's "Black Gown," "Pittsburgh," and "Poughkeepsie" show that he still knows how to compose short, sharp blasts of exceptional pop-rock.

I actually didn't like The Lemonheads when I first heard an advance copy last summer, and that surprised me—Dando's melodies and vocals almost always provide instant gratification. His voice sounded tired and even a little bored on the first few spins, but then I noticed how unified the album's overall sound is, and the hooks began to sink in. (However, it's still a step down from the triumphant Baby I'm Bored.) For those who bought It's a Shame About Ray and Come On Feel the Lemonheads in the early '90s but never strayed elsewhere in the band's catalog, this self-titled effort won't make them start exploring anew, but for long-term fans it's been nice hearing Dando make noise under the Lemonheads' moniker once again. Whichever delivery system he chooses for putting out new music in the future, I'll be listening.

Ken: I too was very excited about the possibility of a Lemonheads reunion—if in name only—especially the prospect of Dando playing with former members of the Descendents (and power-poppers All). My initial impression of the record was lukewarm as well, but repeat listens certainly improved my opinion; the country-tinged murder ballad "Baby's Home" is pretty harrowing. The subsequent tour, costarring Vess Ruhtenberg and Devon Ashley, the latest Lemonheads rhythm section, further solidified those thoughts.