The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Download  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features  |  New England Music News

Sticky and sweet

Juliette and the Licks, Middle East Downstairs, November 6, 2007
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  November 13, 2007
Juliette Lewis

“I could play the wild mutation as a rock-and-roll star!” sang David Bowie in 1972, as Ziggy Stardust. Juliette Lewis — actress/singer-songwriter — has been playing that mutation for four years, fronting Juliette and the Licks. And lately she’s been stepping up the rock side of her endeavors. Star of Cape Fear, Kalifornia, and Natural Born Killers, Lewis enlisted rock-celeb pal Dave Grohl to drum on her second full-length, CD, Four on the Floor (Militia). Live at the Middle East a week ago last Tuesday, she had thundering Ed Davis on the kit, her two regular guitarists, Todd Morse and Kemble Walters, and bassist Jason Womack. What she doesn’t have just yet is any arresting new material.

Lewis’s first incarnation as a rocker yielded 2005’s You’re Speaking My Language (Fiddler). On the tour she was theatrical, striking all the histrionic, gymnastic rock poses for songs rooted in a Patti Smith/Joan Jett æsthetic. The material had snarl, spark, and melody. Now Lewis and company have turned a corner from punk toward plodding throb-and-thud hard rock. In front of about 250 diehards at the Middle East, the band put on a 70-minute show, one where Lewis earned an “A” for spunk, spirit, and sex appeal and a solid “C” for songs. If rock-stardom were posturing, tossing your hair, baring some skin, showing “edgy” cheerleader-esque enthusiasm, and spreading a between-song message of love, the 34-year-old would be golden.

But it’s not. It didn’t help that most of the lyrics were lost in the mix. And she lost more points for introducing “Sticky Honey” with the coy cliché “Are you ready for something sticky and sweet?” She also pointed out how “big this is to give up everything you know” to pursue her dream. Puh-leaze. All for the love of rock-and-roll, uh, mediocrity?

  Topics: Live Reviews , Juliette and the Licks , David Bowie , Juliette Lewis ,  More more >
  • Share:
  • RSS feed Rss
  • Email this article to a friend Email
  • Print this article Print

Today's Event Picks
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: JIM SULLIVAN

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2008 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group