Happy Birthday, Nina Hamnett!

She was born on this day in 1890:

Nina Hamnett by Roger Fry

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The Ballad of Thelma and the Sleaze

Thelma and the Sleaze are coming for you
Gunning down the highway
With guitars in their eyes, like stars

Bigger than life
Full of that '70s swagger
B-movie queens on the rise

Heading to your town
Gonna take it over
They'll charm your women and drink your booze

Yeah, these chicks do it up right
Night after night on the stage
Leaving nothing behind but your dreams

They won't stop
Even when there's nothing left to give
Gonna conquer the world while you weep

Bigger than life
Full of that '70s swagger
B-movie queens on the rise

Thelma and the Sleaze are coming for you
Gunning down the highway
With guitars in their eyes, like stars

[IS THIS AN ESSAY OR REVIEW? EVEN I DON’T KNOW.] RELIX by Thelma and the Sleaze

DISCLAIMER: I fucking curse in this review, so beware! I know, I know. Why is a dainty book nerd like myself wielding profanity? I am a many-petaled sunflower, okay?

RELIX

While y’all are sitting around watching Super Bowl LIII, I’m listening to Thelma and the Sleaze and drinking cheap booze. In other words: when it comes to gen-u-ine American pleasure, I’ve got you beat by yards.

Wait, who? Thelma. and. the. Sleaze. Remember those words. You’ll want to remember my name, too, so you know who to thank later. You’re welcome, by the way.

AKA

LG and LG’s Pals.

Queens of Rock.

From Nashville, Tennessee.

You’ve gotta see ’em live. That’s imperative.

As musicians, they kick ass all over any stage brave enough to hold them.

LG is the eye of this hurricane. She’s raunchy, rowdy, and fucking hilarious. But, she doesn’t do it alone: everyone up there with her is worth the price of admission any damn gig they play. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Their energy is its own entity. Ultimately, you need to be in the same room as that shit to understand its pull. Trust me on this. I could describe a TATS show down to the smallest sweaty detail, until you felt fucking transported to that place and time. Virtual Reality Level: 10. It still won’t do it justice.

Fortunately, there’s something that is closer than anything short of seeing them live.

RELIX

That’s a magic word, right there.

Your ticket to TATS nirvana.

What is a RELIX?

RELIX

Oh, hey! Thanks for asking. It’s just…the best.

“Officially” (via LG on Facebook) RELIX  is an “open concept not album.”

Or (in my-speak): it’s a sixteen-song treasure box whose contents keep changing.

I bought version two on Friday, when it was still pay-what-you-want-or-can. By the time you’re reading this, it will cost $217.00 or an original poem. But, probably not. Or, maybe. See, it’s that kind of exchange. Elastic, symbiotic, fiercely creative. Ya know, art. The real deal, brought to you by demos recorded, I believe, at home, and left unmastered.

Imagine trying to bluff your way into a hip stranger’s house party. You’re a bit shaky at the prospect: dry mouth, moist palms. “Do people really do this kind of thing? Is it normal? Am I an idiot for even trying?” You ring the bell. The door flings wide. Maybe you manage a few mumbly words of greeting. Nothing you say matters, though, as you discover there was no reason to worry about being caught and called out for trespassing. You weren’t invited, because no one was: everyone’s welcome, the food and drinks are plentiful, the conversation is actually interesting. Better yet? Some richly talented chicks are hanging out in the living room, playing lit-as-hell songs. As you wander from room to room, meeting new people, getting wasted together, you keep hearing the musicians as they run through a bunch of songs. Sometimes the music is loud, sometimes the music is low, but it’s always radically compelling. Of all the waves in the universe to inhabit, everyone in the house is sharing the same one. (Except for Janet, who has shit taste in music. Fuck Janet.) What are the odds? (That’s rhetorical. I’m not a statistician, so please don’t come at me with your fancy numbers. Also: I don’t care.)

The party breaks-up. People go back to their lives. The only remnant of that night, aside from a short-lived collective hangover, is the whisper of “Oh, my God! Have you heard of this band?” to friends and strangers alike.

That’s the joy of RELIX.

I hope you’ll listen, and join the chorus.

****

So, here we are. What’s left to speak of, except for:

Mutual generosity, getting-and-giving, the vulnerable transaction between creators and consumers. Are they mere ideas, or the lifeblood of every artistic project worth a damn?

RELIX is simultaneously a gutsy experiment, a middle finger to corporatized art, and a gift to those music lovers who will, in turn, give a damn right back.

****

When I bought RELIX a couple of days ago, I paid xx amount of dollars of my choice. I wish that I could have paid more dosh, but, ya know, bills. The majority of my bills are due on the first of the month. That’s adult life, right? I told LG that I would write a poem to pad out my contribution. As you know, when it comes to indie artists I try to put my money where my mouth is. After all, I am one and I respect the hell out of creative types who forge their own path. Look out for my next post (which is going live in a few minutes). It, I believe, more than fulfills my promise.

****

THELMA AND THE SLEAZE LINKS:

THELMA AND THE SLEAZE FACEBOOK

THELMA AND THE SLEAZE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

It’s only rock and roll