Music Monday with PLC is a weekly feature written by my husband, Pat.
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Kelly Hogan: I Like to Keep Myself in Pain
Confession time: what follows is a true cautionary tale of a sad day for a lonely guy and an ice cream cake.
We’ve all had those days when we are kind of bummed out - rainy days, relationship problems, an argument with a friend, a bad day at work - the list goes on and on. Whether it be the blues or the mean reds, it happens to us all. The people close to us keep us in check. Well, what happens when there is no one to keep us in check? My wife and the girls were away for the week and I was on my way home to an empty house. I turned into the Dairy Queen. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I went to the freezer case and picked out the medium sized ice cream cake. When I brought it up to the counter they asked if I would like anything written on it. I contemplated asking them to put “Atta Boy, Fatty!” but instead I said I would just take it the way it was. I brought it home and fell asleep on the chair. I woke up about 2 AM and remembered the cake. Like a thief thinking “I better get rid of the evidence,” I grabbed a fork and started eating. Looking at cakes through the years, I always wondered, how much of that could I eat. Well, the answer is: half. By the end of my sugar adventure I threw the rest out deep in the garbage and threw the bag outside the next day. Whether it be shame, or good sense, we all need someone in our life to sometimes say tomorrow will be a better day, things aren’t so bad, or that it probably isn’t a good idea to eat the whole thing. Here is to our loved ones. And to scratching another one off the bucket list.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Kelly Hogan - she looks kind of like the Go Go’s Jane Wiedlin and has the voice of an angel. She is mostly categorized in the alt-country category, but she is just as much soul and blues. And she has just put out a phenomenal album I Like to Keep Myself In Pain (June 2012 Anti Records) With an album title like that, there is no mistaking the musical mood contained within. Country songs have always had the best lyrical stories, and combined with a talent like Hogan’s, the songs come alive with character and emotion.
Feel the pain in Hogan’s “I Guess We Just Can’t Have Nice Things” -
This is Hogan’s first solo album in 11 years. She is originally from Atlanta, but now makes her home in Wisconsin and spent much time in the Chicago music scene. One must also imagine that her time spent there as a bartender (at the Hideout) gave her a front row seat for many a cry-in-your-beer inspirations. Even though Hogan is a songwriter herself, she contributes only the song “Golden” and instead uses her platinum pipes on interpreting songs of other writers including M. Ward, Vic Chesnutt, and Robyn Hitchcock among others. And she has a first rate musical band backing her up, most notably the one and only Booker T. Jones on organ. Even though Hogan may make her bones these days as the backup singer in Neko Case’s band, her voice is front and center here, and she is killin‘ it. Giving us one of the best recorded tortured screams on the album’s title track, to making it smooth and sweet for “Sleeper Awake” - she can do it all. Check out this Robbie Fulks’ song in the vein of Bacharach/David; and from music to lyrics to execution one of the absolute best songs I have heard in a long time.
Here is “Whenever You’re Out of My Sight” -
In the words of Elton John, “Sad songs say so much”... or was it Sassons? (I always get those confused.) Either way, sad songs and a good fitting pair of jeans each say so much in their own way. And Kelly Hogan's I Like to Keep Myself In Pain is saying something also:
“Buy me and play me because I am awesome and the real deal.”
For the full story (and it is worth it) check out this great promo video done by Anti Records for this album.
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- last time - Bob Mould
- last month - David Byrne & St. Vincent
- last season - The Vaccines
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