shep. and I used to drive around the Southeast a lot, going to see our favorite bands play places other than the Triangle. We do it less now because we’re older, and gas is more expensive, and frankly, mostly the old thing: four years ago that four hour drive home from Norfolk at 2 am wasn’t all that much, but these days, it’s a bit of a killer.
So when I do it, you know it’s worth it, and “worth it” is a poor way to describe driving five hours round trip to see Lydia Loveless play a 45 minute set in Charlotte on Thursday night. “Worth it” doesn’t even come close.
Lydia, of course, put out my second-almost-tied-for-first favorite album of 2011, her Bloodshot Records debut Indestructible Machine, and as much as I love that album, Lydia was even greater live. She’s tiny, pocket-sized, and she has this voice, much like Wanda Jackson, that should come from someone a whole lot bigger. And she can write the fuck out of a song, as evidenced by both her albums, but live, they’re even funnier and more caustic, cut by her lovely self-deprecating humor, her offers to autograph and give away a bottle of lotion that made her skin peel off, her miniskirt and her cowboy boots and her don’t-give-a-shit attitude. This is what her music makes me feel: that I’m not alone, that it’s okay to be fucked up and hate everyone and want to stay home with your beer and your mystery novels, but also that it’s okay to sometimes go out and get shitty and make bad decisions and refuse to regret them, and make good decisions and embrace them or maybe wish you’d made the bad one instead.
Seeing Lydia play live convinced me of two things: the first that in about six months, she’s going to be a huge fucking star, and I will be grateful to have seen her somewhere as charismatic and divey as Charlotte’s Double Door In; and second, I want her to move to Chapel Hill and be BFFs with me and shep. She can bring her cute husband, too, I think he and the Cowboy would get along.
It was worth every second of that five hours in a car alone. It was more than worth it.
And to top it off? I’d have driven five hours just for Lydia, but after her set, I got to see Scott H. Biram’s wild one man show, and Scott’s just as funny and dirty and talented and fantastic as Lydia is. I don’t know how he makes as much clever noise as he does, being one dude, but he’s got a road case stolen from the Butthole Surfers and a megaphone and a huge following of charmingly wasted dudebro fans in Charlotte, and that was fucking awesome too.
I’ve never really dug into Scott’s catalogue before, but after this show, I’m going to, so Bloodshot, be ready to send me about a hundred bucks worth of Scott Biram albums in two weeks. Send extra stickers, I need to proselytize.
Which is as good a place as any to thank Bloodshot, again, and Josh in particular for being so kick ass and great to me as a photographer and blogger; if I need them, they are there, and they will bend over backwards for me. I made one off-hand comment in an email to Josh on Wednesday and two hours later I had the new Justin Townes Earle album for review, which is more than you should ever expect from a record label. Y’all kick.