I hate L.A. I hate what the city does to the people who move there. I hate the type of people who choose to move there. I hate Los Angeles’ clichéd idea of “rock and roll” with all the dudes with tattoos and eyeliner and spiky black hair. You know exactly what I mean. It’s gross.
It’s always been gross. If you think this Harvey Weinstein business is anything new, then you should look into Louis B. Mayer and the shit that was perpetrated on the likes of Shirley Temple and Judy Garland. Read The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West.
But maybe if you grow up there it’s different. Starcrawler doesn’t look like the cliché. They look like a bunch of delinquent teenagers. The band formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Their debut album was recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio in Hollywood.
This video was directed by Arrow’s mom, Autumn de Wilde.
Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Fred Armisen, Zosia Mamet, Leo Fitzpatrick, Feist, and Vanessa Bayer. From the album The Voyager, produced by Ryan Adams. This is one of my favorite albums from last year. I never got into Rilo Kiley, but Lewis won me over when I saw her with the Postal Service at Lollapalooza in 2013. She’s a super charismatic performer. And her videos are full of her famous pals, which comes across as a lot more charming than you might expect.
Jenny Lewis - Just One Of The Guys [Official Music Video]
Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, Kristen Stewart, and Tennessee Thomas.
Lewis told Rolling Stone that Adams was “the most unique producer I’ve ever worked with, in his approach and behavior… He made me listen to five or six Creed songs, really loudly on these beautiful tube speakers. My ears were bleeding. And it was Creed! He was like, ‘This is great music. I want you to hear it.’ And by the third song, I was like ‘Huh. Umm. Yeah, I can maybe see that.'”
I’m just glad that not much Creed oozed into The Voyager, like it did on Adams’ own self-titled 2014 album. Yuck!
I’m a Letterman guy; always have been. I would stay up super late on hot summer nights getting fat on PB&J and honing a sense of humor built on Bill Murray and David Letterman. They’re Midwestern guys like me. We’re a bit sarcastic but generally good guys with an honest (earnest?) love of good things.
One of the reasons I love David Letterman is that he isn’t shy about getting geeky on bands he loves. He did it hilariously with Future Islands and now gives a big gap-toothed sweet nothing to Ryan Adams. The song veers way to close to Glenn Frey for my tastes but I can’t help but fall in with Dave’s enthusiasm.
While some alt-country old skoolers jumped onboard in Whiskeytown, most of us starting riding Ryan Adams’ crazy train with the release of his first solo album Heartbreaker. And ever since, we’ve been waiting for the return, leading reviewers to alternately hail or deride subsequent albums in light of that near-perfect debut.
It’s unfair to the work and particularly unfair to the artist to hold up an early epiphany as proof that it’s all down hill from here, but Ryan Adams made an art of fucking up for a while by releasing multiple, scattered and schizophrenic albums and generally being a goof. But maybe that’s the luxury afforded early success? As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said:
The compensation of a very early success is a conviction that life is a romantic matter. In the best sense one stays young. When the primary objects of love and money could be taken for granted and a shaky eminence had lost its fascination, I had fair years to waste, years that I can’t honestly say I regret, in the seeking of the eternal Carnival by the Sea.
But we all eventually grow up and get back to work. With his latest release, the lovely and restrained Ashes & Fire, Ryan Adams delivers on the promise we glimpsed on Heartbreaker. That’s not to say it’s as good—or heaven forbid, better!—than Heartbreaker but that it shares the same focus on finely crafted songs, simple production and a welcomed lack of pretense. It’s simply a good album from a great American songwriter, and isn’t that what we’ve always wanted?
According to his website, Ryan Adams is “going to begin pressing ORION — my most legit METAL record — on vinyl next week.” The song betrays his oddball definition of “metal” but his postscript lets us know how seriously he takes it: “P.S. Not a single B.C. Rich was hurt in the making of this record.”
Regardless, it’s nice to have him back doing stuff online. The internet’s been a more boring place without him.
me- 34-a non smoker and happy, for the first time in my life.. i am excited to finish this wonderful time i have had with the cardinals and whatever new adventures may come after march. atlanta will be my last venture with the band and i am grateful for the time we have had and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together. i am however ready for quieter times as i think it is very evident i am struggling with some balance and hearing issues.
also, no drama or anything but i am okay to step back from all of this right now and i think i did enough manic blogging when i felt alone and isolated during the last few years of travel.
In other words:
Man, we were killin’ time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothin’ can last forever.
And now the times are changin’
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about you, wonder what went wrong…
Sorry, that was too easy. But come on, dude: buy some ear plugs and stop whining already.
Courtney Love has been a busy bee lately. She posted a (now dramatically edited) entry on her MySpace blog claiming that Ryan Adams stole $850,000 from Frances Bean‘s trust fund to finance and record Rock N Roll. Guess someone is trying to matter again. CONFIDENTIAL TO COURTNEY LOVE: You, um, sort of don’t.
“yeah you listen to this shit im listening to my i tunes on right now who names a record “Rock n Roll” what assholes do that?”
The full entry, in all its unedited and un-adhering to the rules of the English language glory, has been preserved at Stereogum. More.
For reasons you don’t care about, Chuck Klosterman asked a bunch of German students to write an essay about who they considered to be “the most interesting twentieth-century American — not necessarily the most historically important, but the individual you find most personally compelling,” and the responses are amusing. Especially this one:
Someone selected Ryan Adams. This made me happy for two reasons. The first is that I suspect Adams is something of an underrated semi-genius, and I like the fact that he’s more appreciated in places where nobody cares whether or not Paul Westerberg hates him. The other reason is that I think there’s probably a 98 percent likelihood that Ryan Adams will read this sentence, put down the magazine, walk over to his four-track, and immediately write a psychedelic country song titled “Hey Little Leipzig Girl (I’m Glad You Dug Those Whiskeytown Bootlegs),” which I will be able to listen to on the Internet forty minutes from right now.
We’re waiting, Ryan. Please don’t let us (and the little Leipzig girl) down!
Classic. Ryan Adams makes it impossible to hate him, no matter how much you want to. Over on his latest blog project, he lists some FACTS ABOUT ME. There’s a bunch of good ones, but my favorite is that he now admits that his album Gold “was over-long and maybe half good.” That’s what we’ve been saying about his albums for years!