Johnette Napolitano: Scarred

I have three artists that I have loved consistently since the 80’s: Paul Westerberg, Bob Mould and Johnette Napolitano.

I started loving them in different incarnations. Paul in The Replacements, Bob in Hüsker Dü and Sugar and Johnette in Concrete Blonde. In 2002, I got to see all three of them play in Portland (not at the same time) which was like triple threat Christmas for me.

One of my top ten favorite concert memories is going to this show in Hollywood, all by myself. Back then when there was a show I wanted to see, I made sure I saw it and having someone to go with wasn’t a necessity. I still like to do things by myself. A Friday matinee is one of my favorite treats like last Friday I went and saw Harry Potter #5 which was my least favorite of the movies so far, but still, fun. Is it just me or has every one of those kids had a giant growth spurt except Harry?

The Concrete Blonde show was super fabulous. I got right up to the front and the band sounded great and Johnette has so much energy and such a powerful voice, it was one of those shows that sticks in your head.

I’m not sure how to put this but I often don’t like female singing voices. When that whole Lilith Fair thing was going on and for a brief moment in history you could hear two or three women artists in a row on the radio, it was great for gender equality but I think some women sound like babies when they sing and this makes me want to stick forks in my ears. Johnette does not have one of these voices.

In August, Johnette played a solo/acoustic lunchtime show in Portland which I wrote about here. And I was contacted and asked if I’d like a copy of the big solo album to write about here. What are the rules when this happens? Are you supposed mention it or pretend like you ran out and bought it on your own? It seemed sketchy not to mention it and I *LOVE* the cd and would have raved about it anyway so not like I’m just pimping by rote.

The photo is a crop from the cd cover and I don’t know who to credit so we’ll say Hybrid Recordings. I think this is fair use but you never know these days.

You can go to myspace and hear some songs right now. Listen to Amazing (“Amazing you’re amazing / And I am only OK”) and The Scientist (“Nobody said it was easy / /Nobody said it would be this hard”) my two favorite songs on the disc. Actually, I like the song Scarred, too, which isn’t on myspace but for good reason because it’s a song you want to listen to in private. It’s a scary honest song about pain and healing.

I am finally getting the myspace thing. Johnette’s page is one of the first I’ve seen that didn’t look like a big ugly mess. I love that you can listen to songs. I remember the days long ago when I had to buy records before I heard them. I think that was shortly after the invention of the wheel. Johnette loves Almodovar, too! And John Trudell is one of her friends. I’m not doing myspace because I can barely keep up with blogging and Flickr. I don’t need any more excuses to hangout online nor do I regularly need to be reminded that I have only 3 friends.

Not long ago I was joking around with friend about seeing some 80’s rock band, I can’t remember which one. She had gone to see them at the county fair and they played some new songs and she was like: “Who cares about new songs? Play the old hits.” Which made me think how many artists can you think of that put out consistently good music for over 20 years?

I was afraid I wasn’t going to like this and turns out I’ve been carrying it around with me so I can listen to it in the car and at the office. My first heavy rotation disk in a long time. Thanks, Nadine.

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