I’ve long been a fan of the work of Sonny Lanegan, based out of Los Angeles, CA. From solo instrumental soundscapes to industrial noise with his various groups, there has always been a melodic hook to pull me in. Sonny’s new solo EP Coma arrives almost 3 years after his collaborative effort with Isabella Knight in The Dead Good. That EP was a high point in Lanegan’s career – one that continues with Coma. Excess in rock n roll is nothing new – finding new ways of expressing decadence is a true talent these days. Songs about mind altering substances, carnal delights, and embracing seediness hasn’t sounded this good since Soft Cell’s Non Stop Erotic Cabaret. Decadence, for those of you who need clarification, is “moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury.” While also the title of one of my favorite Pet Shop Boys songs, it also perfectly describes Sonny’s new EP.
Over the last year or so Sonny Lanegan and I have attempted to chat about his projects (solo, White Pulp, The Dead Good). It seemed like it would never work out, but over the last month or so we finally had a chance to catch up and chat. It happened to coincide with the release of the debut EP from his new project, The Dead Good – a collaboration with Isabella Knight. I really loved the new EP and was excited to get his thoughts on a few different things (forgot to ask him who his favorite Beatle was, snap). The interview is a must read and after you are done here I highly recommend you head over to The Dead Good’s Bandcamp site to pick up the new EP. (My review).
When you think of the term “polaroid” it conjures up visions of pictures created with cameras that used instant film (though they existed earlier, they became more popular in the early 70’s with the Polaroid Corporation’s release of Integral Film). A snapshot in time – a memory forever captured with a simple photo. It is something that has always enchanted me – what was the person thinking when the photo was taken? Did they know the twists and turns that their life would take? One of the minor mysteries of life. The Dead Good (Sonny Lanegan / Isabella Knight) have just released their debut EP Thirteen Polaroids. Like the mysterious polaroids of yesteryear, it provides a vivid tapestry of imagery that is compelling.
23 albums touched by the hand of God in 2012 – a non-numbered list of albums that I’ve played over and over that were released in 2012. Some of them were reviewed here on Jason’s Jukebox, some of them weren’t. All of them are worth your time and attention. The last look back at an amazing year of music. I’ll see you later this week with my 1st review of 2013.
A band that bears a clear-cut influence from past bands can spark all sorts of silly hipster arguments. Like post punk? Joy Division, The Chameleons, PIL, etc…may be OK to say that you love. Get into the post punk revival scene of the early 00’s though, and it gets a bit murky. Interpol…OK. Editors…maybe? The Killers…lost their hipster status (the awful cover of Joy Division didn’t help their case, it must be said). Where does the originality argument draw the line? Are all singer songwriters straight rip-offs of Bob Dylan (or to be fair, Woody Guthrie)? Why is Bruce Springsteen deemed cool but John Mellencamp isn’t (I love both artists). The answer can be boiled down to a very simple statement – none of it matters. Music is music and you either connect with it or you don’t. Scenes come and go, but if the music has that intangible quality – it’ll outlast all fads.
I’m going to say something that may not be the most popular thing to say – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack was way too long for me. I loved portions of it (especially the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”). But at times I found myself losing interest or reaching for the track forward button. I have enjoyed Trent Reznor’s soundtrack work and think it holds a specific spot in the Nine Inch Nails canon – but compared to Ghosts or The Social Network – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meandered where it should have concluded or ended where I had hoped it would meander. Not a disaster by any means, I just wish it had been cut in half (this all could be due to a short attention span, I admit).