By Carol Anne Szel
Concrete Blonde, a band that emerged onto the music scene in the early 80s, brought their alternative rock sound to the world with a mix of punk and rock. Storytelling, both lyrically in their songs and visually with their groundbreaking videos, this Johnette Napolitano-led band challenged the minds and the ears of all that listened.
Jumping onto the charts at # 19 on the Hot 100 Rock in the US with their single "Joey" from their "Bloodletting" album in 1990, they stood out from the pack with this tune that was almost eerie while at the same time being thought-provoking and mysterious. With Concrete Blonde you were dragged along willingly with the words guiding you and the musicianship enticing you.
Johnette Napolitano's voice is captivating in range and depth, laden with a seriousness without apology. Intense without compromising. Concrete Blonde were real musicians in an age where the commercial and catchy and hooky was ruling the '80s and they were marching to their own beat.
Their sound melded perfectly with the horror movie genre, and, in fact, Concrete Blonde lent their musicality to both "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2" in 1986 and "The Hidden" in 1987. Their music was a perfect accoutrement to thrillers, enmeshed with the intensity of the films.
More relevant today than ever, Concrete Blonde is back in full force with the release in July of the 20th anniversary edition of "Bloodletting" which will feature six bonus tracks: "I Want You," "Little Wing," an extended version of "Bloodletting," and live versions of "Tomorrow, Wendy," "Roses Grow," and "The Sky Is A Poisonous Garden."
With a new appreciation that is growing for this band, perhaps prodded by a need to hear more depth and intensity today, Concrete Blonde is embarking of their first tour in seven years which will criss-cross the US this summer.
CONCRETE BLONDE TOUR DATES:
6/10: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
6/11: Columbus, OH @ Newport Music
6/12: Chicago, IL @ Vic
6/13: Detroit, MI @ Majestic
6/15: Washington, DC @ 930 Club
6/16: Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
6/17: New Orleans, LA @ Republic
6/18: Dallas, TX @ Granada
6/19: Austin, TX @ Emos
6/21: Denver, CO @ Arvada Center
6/22: Salt Lake City, UT @ Depot
6/24: Seattle, WA @ Showbox
6:25: Portland,OR @ Roseland
6/26: San Francisco, CA @ Regency
6/28: Hollywood, CA @ Henry Fonda
For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• Get a digital back issue of one of our Whitesnake cover stories(August 15, 2008). How '80s is that!
• Or check out a fun book on pop music: "The Everything Pop Culture Crosswords Book, Test your knowledge of trivia and trends with 150 pop culture puzzles!"
• And be sure to check out our latest Goldmine Record Album Price Guide