It’s been no secret that Juliana Hatfield will be joining Evan Dando for an upcoming Lemonheads project “ they’re touring with the Psychedelic Furs this fall. Glad news for fans of all three, especially considering the long history between the two once-and-future alt-rock darlings “ Hatfield played bass on The Lemonheads’ beloved It’s A Shame About Ray LP, Dando was briefly a member of Hatfield’s pre-solo career band Blake Babies, and the two performed a spate of shows as a duo last year. Now comes word that, in addition to Hatfield, Lemonheads co-founder and former co-frontman Ben Deily (now of Varsity Drag) will be on the new record, after he and Dando reconnected recently. Compound that with the revelation that known Dando accomplice Ryan Adams will be producing, and, well, you’ve got yourself either a hell of an album, or an impending implosion of massive, massive proportions. Twitter tells us that Adams is manning the drum kit, as well. Not sure what that portends vis a vis massive implosion.
In the murky, mysterious world of musical cult heroes, terms like “well-kept secret,” “hidden treasure” and the like are as common as logorrheics in a debate club; they’ve become so ubiquitous that they lose all their impact. But few artists of the modern era have worn the mantle of the unsung underground genius with as much authority as Damien Youth. Singer/songwriter Youth grew up in Hammond, Louisiana, far from the major music-biz hubs, which enabled him to create his own weird little world from scratch, evolving his singular sensibilities on his own terms. Not that his work is without its influences”combing through his catalog, which stretches back to the mid ’80s, you’ll hear echoes of everything from David Bowie and Syd Barrett to Robyn Hitchcock and Bauhaus.
Youth has shunned the spotlight for the warm glow of an underground flame that he’s carefully tended through the decades, as he quietly amassed an awe-inspiringdiscography. Most of it was crafted DIY-style, under lo-fi circumstances with little or no assistance. And while it all sounds “of a piece,” with an undeniable artistic through-line, Damien’s albums touch variously on everything from folk to psychedelic pop to somewhat goth-tinged rock. Through it all, the Louisianan’s seemingly inexhaustible supply of evocative melodies and engrossing lyrics is always at the fore.