Thursday, September 12, 2013

SOTW - September 12, 2013 - "Easy" (John McCauley)

Equal parts Kurt Cobain (self-destruction) and Neil Young (quirky folk-rock earthiness) with a dash of Axl Rose (ssweat-drenched kisses from the front row), Deer Tick frontman John McCauley is an enigmatic indie rock hurricane. His catalogue is wide and deep despite his youth, ranging from Bakersfield alt country (2007's War Elephant),  to power pop (2010 side project Middle Brother), to crass garage grunge (2012's not-so-well received Divine Providence). He's turned himself into Jim James for the unwashed, super late-night crowd (complete with a recent Q&A in none other than Esquire magazine). Can he get comfortable with stardom?

Like Young, McCauley is as comfortable (and good) solo acoustic as he is with the amps blowing apart. When you get through the showmanship and occasional boorishness, there's a delicate earnestness about him. He can weave dreams (my personal favorite, "Dirty Dishes" off of Elephant; don't get me started) and say grace ("Choir of Angels" off of 2010's Black Dirt Sessions). The only time I've seen him live, your Song of the Week for September 13, 2013, which lies on the other end of the McCauley spectrum, was the set highlight. A tense introspective rocker off of 2009's Born on Flag Day that evokes a man with a bad hangover, "Easy" is anything but. Your music collection could probably use a little more Deer Tick. 


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