THE LEMONHEADS NEW 7" SINGLE 'TAKE IT EASY' OUT JUNE 14TH . TAKEN FROM 'VARSHONS 2' ALBUM AVAILABLE ON FIRE RECORDS. NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES WITH SPECIAL GUEST SUPPORT TOMMY STINSON. READ THE INTERVIEW WITH EVAN DANDO IN THIS WEEK'S NEW YORK TIMES
The Lemonheads bring together two unique takes on The Eagles’ ode to romance and the road, ‘Take It Easy’. Taken from their 'Varshons 2’ album that brought together intriguing takes on everyone from Nick Cave and The Bevis Frond through to John Prine, Yo La Tengo, Lucinda Williams and Paul Westerberg.
Version One is a piece of itchy white line fever, switching gears as the eight-track spirals on, a singalong variation with a right arm tan – all alt-country and joyous, with an undertone of pain and remorse.
Version Two is a Matthew Cullen production – a suicide mix, with Schneider and Hutter sharing the wheel, as the road map heads right into the soundtrack of Tron – that’s GPS for you…
The Lemonheads are currently on a North American tour with special guest support from Tommy Stinson (on all dates).
REMAINING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:
17: SEATTLE, WA TRACTOR TAVERN SOLD OUT
18: VANCOUVER, B.C. RICKSHAW THEATRE
19: PORTLAND, OR DOUG FIR LOUNGE SOLD OUT
21: SAN FRANCISCO, CA SLIM'S
22: PETALUMA, CA MYSTIC THEATRE
24: LOS ANGELES, CA TERAGRAM BALLROOM
25: SAN DIEGO, CA CASBAH SOLD OUT
26: TEMPE, AZ MARQUEE THEATRE
27: ALBUQUERQUE, NM LAUNCHPAD
29: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK TOWER THEATRE
30: DALLAS, TX GRANADA THEATRE
31: AUSTIN, TX BARRACUDA
1: HOUSTON ,TX WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL
3: NEW ORLEANS, LA HOUSE OF BLUES
4: ATLANTA, GA TERMINAL WEST
6: NASHVILLE, TN EXIT/IN
7: CHARLOTTE, NC THE UNDERGROUND
8: CHARLESTON, SC MUSIC FARM
9: CARRBORO, NC CAT'S CRADLE
11: LANCASTER, PA CHAMELEON CLUB
12: PITTSBURGH, PA MR. SMALLS THEATRE
13: WASHINGTON, D.C. 9:30 CLUB
14: PHILADELPHIA, PA THE FOUNDRY AT THE FILLMORE
15: BOSTON, MA PARADISE ROCK CLUB SOLD OUT
Since they were formed in Boston, Mass, in 1986 by Evan Dando, the family tree of The Lemonheads has many twisted tentacles and tangential branches, and a host of one-liners etched into its bark. Anyone could be a Lemonhead, but for how long and who knows? Leastways, they'll be shoulder-to-shoulder with Evan throwing discordant chords against alt-country-tinged melodies, playing that light and dark card. Through their ranks passed Descendents, Blake Babies, Dinosaur Jr and members of Fuzzy.
Three raucous albums on local label Taang! in the late '80s led to a deal with Atlantic Records and their "grown up" fourth: 'Lovey'. The times were a-changing. Touring that platter, Evan hooked up with songwriter Tom Morgan and future bassist Nic Dalton in Australia. The seed was sewn, there was a nod to Gram, and Evan's vocals matured for some much more mellow moments; the mix was massaged. Radio-friendly singles followed, it was pop forged out of punk angst, a beautiful mix made by beautiful people — Evan was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people by People magazine in 1993.
Subsequent albums, 'It's A Shame About Ray' and 'Come On Feel The Lemonheads' focused on that Evan vocal; his turn of phrase, the curl of his lip, the couplet that became a lifestyle... and the hits followed, the radio hummed to the gorgeous 'Into Your Arms'; national TV beckoned; Evan and his 'heads were on Leno and Lettermen. The attention multiplied, the touring magnified, the anecdotes of self-destruction, road weariness and all too necessary poor behavior increased, and by '97, Evan was announcing the demise of his beloved Lemonheads on stage at Reading Festival.
His magnificent solo album 'Baby, I'm Bored' was released in 2003 — sounding even more laidback. So, to be truly unpredictable, a mere year later he was fronting The MC5 before returning as The Lemonheads with a head-on collision of wordy '70s punk and cosmic country for 2006's self-titled album as a new line up was bedded in.
Inspired by long time buddy Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers' mix tapes, their next project was 2009's 'Varshons', a collection of much-traveled covers that neatly placed Leonard Cohen next to GG Allin, Townes Van Zandt and obscure early Lemmy, from his daze as part of psyche icons Sam Gopal. It also featured a cameo from Kate Moss.
Now, a decade on, 'Varshons 2' sees The Lemonheads return for their tenth studio album. Evan is at the helm with producer Matthew Cullen, also on guitar and siren, with Come and Codeine's Chris Brakow supplying guitar, and Willy Mason and Nina Violet sitting in. It's another mixtape in a different kitchen, placing the oddball and the unsung next to The Eagles and Nick Cave. Where else could you hear the music of Tom Morgan's short-lived Givegoods, English curmudgeons The Bevis Frond and Lucinda Williams so seamlessly joined at the hip?