Monday 28 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Anger management

Anger management

Social Distortion leader Mike Ness may have grown up, but his legendary punk band remains 'Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell.'

Phil Bacharach May 2nd, 2012

Social Distortion with Toadies and Lindi Ortega
6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Diamond Ballroom
8991 S. Eastern

Mike Ness has been guilty of many things — more than he’d like to remember, or even can remember — but holding back on his emotions isn’t one of them.

As the singer, guitarist and all-around force behind the three-decades-strong punk band Social Distortion, the man has summoned plenty of personal demons in hard-charging, college-radio hits like “Ball and Chain” and “Story of My Life.” He had no shortage of material to draw from: kicked out of his home at age 15, self-destructive hell-raising, a lengthy battle with heroin addiction.

But even angry young punks grow up. Ness, who turned 50 last month, has been clean for more than 25 years. Married and with two teenaged sons, the guy who once sang that he was “Born to Lose” is chums with Bruce Springsteen. Ness still might boast the tattoos of his youth, but he is glad to admit he’s no longer mired in its darkness.

“I’ve changed a lot since then, and become older and hopefully wiser and more mature,” he said. “There are still things that make me angry and there are plenty of things to write about, but it’s not only the angry stuff anymore.”

Ness was determined to prove that with Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, Social Distortion’s first studio release since 2004. The group’s trademark sound remains evident, a roar of muscular guitars and barrel-chested hooks, but the tracks don’t necessarily sound as if you’ve stumbled into a punk-rock confessional.

“I didn’t want to get pigeonholed into any one set style of writing.” he said, adding that in Hard Times, he unshackled himself of the constraints of autobiography. The result, Ness said, was a song like “Sweet and Lowdown,” in which the band offers a surprisingly upbeat take on being dumped.

“Because I didn’t put only myself into it, it became very tongue-in-cheek — a satirical look at that lifestyle instead of just being more serious,” he said. “It makes it a lot more fun because it’s not only about me.”

Even so, the personal nature of his lyrical concerns always have wielded universal clout.

“I would say the most common thing I hear, it doesn’t matter where I’m at, is that, ‘Your music really got me through some hard times,’” said Ness. “Part of me doesn’t know how to respond to that, but the part that does, I just reply, ‘Me, too.’”

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