Tag Archives: Lee Hazlewood

Birthday Party

Why do certain dates feature a gaggle of celebrity birthdays?

Maybe it’s just that a lot of people are born in early July, which…hmmm…would be nine months after the kids finally go back to school. Coincidence? Frightening to track your own conception back nine months and try to find a reason. I’m a week off from being an obvious St. Patrick’s Day conception myself.

Songwriter and producer Lee Hazlewood would have been 82 today. Singer Marc Almond, drummer Mitch Mitchell and even Root Boy Slim (of the Sex Change Band – that one’s for you, Billy Campbell) would be sharing a cake. Bon Scott died at 33, so it’s hard to picture him fronting AC/DC at 65, but that’s’ what he would have been doing today. Jack White, who is helping to coordinate the Michigan Music Festival I wrote about, is still a spry 36.

Some great actors were born today – Brian Dennehy, Tom Hanks, Jimmy Smits, the underrated and magnificent Chris Cooper. Fred Savage, who survived child stardom to become a solid director and producer, is still only 35. Pam Adlon – so wonderful as Louie CK’s wife in Lucky Louie and a producer and recurring character on his current show Louie (they really have to work on their show names) turns a MILF-y 45.

Of course, not all celebrants are nice people. Some might have even offed their spouses and gotten away with it, like this guy and that chick.

Odds are it’s someone’s birthday among the Prescription readers. So if you don’t have any plans, at least now you know some parties you can crash. (It’s going to be a little quiet at the Scott and Mitchell houses, but the rest should be rocking…)

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Filed under Comedy, Film/TV

Under The Radar: Codeine Velvet Club

The name is almost an oxymoron, jacked up yet smooth. But that’s a pretty accurate description of the charming and infectious retro-pop served up by the band, a collaboration between Jon Lawler of The Fratellis and Lou Hickey, an heretofore unknown cabaret singer from Glasgow. The eponymous album was released in 2009 and failed to chart any singles but did have a video nominated for an award by MTV Europe; the album was released in the US almost a year ago, adding a bonus track cover of a Stone Roses classic.

Video: “I Am The Resurrection

Video: “Hollywood

Reportedly the pair came together when Hickey received a grant from the Scottish Arts Council and asked her friend – Lawler’s wife – for advice. The Fratellis were taking a break and Lawler was looking for something to do between albums. Lawler is a fan of James Bond film scores; Hickey an old-school type geeked about swing, big band and Lee Hazlewood-Nancy Sinatra. What are the odds that these two would find each other and mesh so seamlessly, from vocals to songwriting skill? Timing is everything.

I was pretty floored considering the image that The Fratellis present in their music; CVC is a much more sophisticated set of songs. The Codeine Velvet Club most often mixes Cabaret-style posturing with cinematic pop; Hickey’s voice is perfect and she’s a great visual focal point as well. Lawler slides into this other persona with ease, and the assembled backing band adds punch and atmosphere. No wonder that there’s a little John Barry in there; trumpeter Derek Watkins has played on every Bond soundtrack to date.

Video: “Little Sister

Sadly, they’ve disbanded already. Let’s hope that like many great side projects, the principals decide to reanimate it from time to time. In the meantime, if this means a new Fratellis album is on the way (although Lawler is hinting about going solo), that would be more great news.

Listen to clips on Amazon.

Codeine Velvet Club official website and on MySpace

The Fratellis website

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Filed under Music, Reviews