I’ve been debating all morning as to whether I would run outside this afternoon or wait until this evening and run on the treadmill at the gym as a warm up for my weights session. Really, I hate the treadmill and it’s pretty humid outside right now meaning there’s a good chance I’m going to end up walking for spells…but in the end, I decided to sack up, get outside and get ‘er done. I guess I’m a total glutton for punishment. My listening pleasure then is the ‘Somewhere Else‘ by Lydia Loveless.
I knew very little Lydia but I’ve heard a lot about her in the past few months, likewise, I’ve seen her albums hanging on Record Store walls. Lydia…Lydia…Lydia. So I figured it was high time I check me out some to see what all the hype was about.
Lydia is a is an alt-country singer-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio, whose music combines pop music, classic country, honky tonk, and punk rock.
How can I go wrong?
‘Somewhere Else‘ was released in 2014 on Bloodshot Records. Rumor has it, she basically scrapped an entire records’ worth of songs before beginning with this album. So it bound to be good….right? Well, that’s if you’re into the whole “chick rock” thing…which, coincidentally I am.
Remember, Courtney Barnett?
Essentially, she falls for married men, she thinks a lot about her old boyfriends, she’s lonely, she’s needy, she gets lust mixed up with love (and vice versa), and she wants the sort of grand-scale romance that doesn’t work in real life. In short, she’s a twenty-something woman who lives in the real world (it doesn’t get much more real than Columbus, Ohio) and has developed an uncanny ability to talk about matters of the heart and soul with a lyrical voice that’s graceful, keenly observed, and brutally honest. I may not have ovaries, but this is still great stuff!
Loveless’ singing is just as outstanding as her songcraft – she can move from sweet country and canny pop to fierce, Stones-style rock & roll at the drop of a hat and nail it at every turn. The production by Loveless and Joe Viers is subtle but captures the full range of Loveless’ moods and ideas, and her interaction with her band is intuitive in the best way; she sings with the musicians, not over them. And while the tone of the songs on ‘Somewhere Else‘ is often confessional, she makes the details feel powerfully authentic and deeply felt; there’s no shock value in Loveless doing cocaine to get a man off her mind in ‘Really Wanna See You‘ or telling her lover what she wants and needs in ‘Head‘, there’s just the clear, unashamed sound of someone laying her life bare for us, and the effect is liberating. And Kirsty MacColl’s ‘They Don’t Know‘ is a pretty inspired choice for a cover.
At the age of 23, Loveless is still young enough to be fearless, but she’s matured enough as an artist to make something truly special out of her stories, and ‘Somewhere Else‘ confirms she’s the most strikingly accomplished woman to emerge in roots rock since, say, Neko Case.
My original intention for this run was to keep it short and easy but, hopefully, consecutive which I have not done for a while outside. However, seeing as how – idiot that I am – decided to run at high noon in stupid° weather, that did not happen. Oh well, at least I did some longer intervals before being forced to walk for a bit over my 5.75k run through Crystal Beach. heat and humidity aside, the major complaint today was in my legs which are certainly feeling the after effects of last night’s manic bike ride at a 42/44 km/hr pace through Wainfleet in torrential downpour.
It’s amazing what a little fear and anxiety can do to inspire you to ride totally outside your normal abilities.
However, my legs felt like lead weights today.
Oh, and special mention goes the tourist fucktard in the grey X-Terra doing 70km/hr down Point Pleasant in a 40km/hr residential zone. I certainly appreciated getting the finger, especially since you saw fit to pull a U-turn in the middle of the road, narrowly missing the couple on cruisers, to come back and wave it at me.
You sir, are an asshole in the extreme.
How long before the tourists go home and I get my nice, quiet, asshole-free neighborhood back?
Anyhoo, I’m going to both reward and console myself with my Pay Day Friday lunch treat, a Turkey Cobb sandwich with a maple raisin butter tart from The Kitchen, down the road.