SincetheywereformedinBoston,Mass,in1986byEvanDando,thefamilytreeofThe
Lemonheadshasmanytwistedtentaclesandtangentialbranches,andahostof
one-linersetchedintoitsbark.AnyonecouldbeaLemonheadbutforhowlongwho
knows?Leastwaysthey’llbeshoulder-to-shoulderwithEvanthrowingdiscordant
chordsagainstalt-country-tingedmelodies,playingthatlightanddarkcard.Through
theirrankspassedDescendents,BlakesBabies,DinosaurJrsandmembersofFuzzy.
ThreeraucousalbumsonlocallabelTaang!inthelate‘80sledtoadealwithAtlantic
Recordsandtheir“grownup”fourth:‘Lovey’.Thetimeswerea-changing.Touringthat
platterEvanhookedupwithsongwriterTomMorganandfuturebassistNicDaltonin
Australia.Theseedwassewn,therewasanodtoGramandEvan’svocalsmaturedfor
somemuchmoremellow moments;themixwasmassaged.Radio-friendlysingles
followed,itwaspopforgedoutofpunkangst,abeautifulmixmadebybeautiful
people–Evanwasvotedoneofthe50mostbeautifulpeoplebyPeoplemagazinein
1993.
Subsequentalbums,‘It’sAShameAboutRay’and‘ComeOnFeelTheLemonheads’
focussedonthatEvanvocal;histurnofphrase,thecurlofhislip,thecoupletthat
becamealifestyle…andthehitsfollowed,theradiohummedtothegorgeous‘IntoYour
Arms’;nationalTVbeckoned;Evanandhis‘headswereonLenoandLettermen.The
attentionmultiplied,thetouringmagnified,theanecdotesofself-destruction,road
wearinessandalltoonecessarypoorbehaviourincreasedandby’97Evanwas
announcingthedemiseofhisbelovedLemonheadsonstageatReadingFestival.
Hismagnificentsoloalbum‘Baby,I’mBored’wasreleasedin2003–soundingeven
morelaidback.So,tobetrulyunpredictable,amereyearlaterhewasfrontingThe
MC5beforereturningasTheLemonheadswithahead-oncollisionofwordy‘70spunk
andcosmiccountryfor2006’sself-titledalbumasanewlineupwasbeddedin.
InspiredbylongtimebuddyGibbyHaynesoftheButtholeSurfers’mixtapestheirnext
projectwas2008’s‘Varshons’acollectionofmuch-travelledcoversthatneatlyplaced
LeonardCohennexttoGGAllin,TownesVanZandtandobscureearlyLemmyfromhis
dazeaspartofpsycheiconsSamGopal.ItalsofeaturedacameofromKateMoss.
Now,adecadeon,‘Varshons2’seesTheLemonheadsreturnfortheirtenthstudio
album.EvanisatthehelmwithproducerMatthewCullenalsoonguitarandsiren,
ComeandCodeine’sChrisBrakowsupplyingguitarandWillyMasonandNinaViolet
sittingin.It’sanothermixtapeinadifferentkitchenplacingtheoddballandtheunsung
nexttoTheEaglesandNickCave.WhereelsecouldyouhearthemusicofTom
Morgan’sshort-livedGivegoods,EnglishcurmudgeonsTheBevisFrondandLucinda
Williamssoseamlesslyjoinedatthehip?
May 8, 2019 11:00 pm CMW and Indie 88 Presents The Lemonheads with Tommy Stinson