The Killer is back | Bleader

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Killer is back

Posted By on 11.30.11 at 02:00 PM

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Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
In July brilliant rock 'n' roll architect Jerry Lee Lewis, 76, was scheduled to play at the Congress Theater, but he fell ill and had to cancel. The show's makeup date is this Saturday, also at the Congress.

I wrote a preview of Lewis's July show, and you can read it again (and watch a great live video) after the jump:

Jerry Lee Lewis's two most recent studio records are poorly conceived collections of duets with rock and country stars decades his junior, many of whom aren't fit to empty the Killer's spittoon. (His last proper album, Young Blood, came out in 1995.) Last year's Mean Old Man (Verve) includes a duet with Kid Rock on "Rockin' My Life Away" that's an inadvertently hilarious study in contrasts: the Detroit knucklehead invokes Steven Tyler's screech with all the subtlety and soul of a cinder block, while Lewis uses his preternatural gift for phrasing to illustrate the don't-give-a-fuck essence of rock 'n' roll without breaking a sweat. Lewis's talent is baked into his bones; he still has it because he's still alive. At 75 [now 76], he can sing his ass off, and he remains as menacing as Iggy Pop, G.G. Allin, and Eugene Robinson rolled into one—even without the threat of violence.

I could watch videos of the Killer all day long, but in this performance of "Wild One," which seems to be from the 80s and features a band utterly devoid of subtlety, I'm riveted by his icy, almost hollow demeanor. Few rock artists will ever be as frightening as Lewis.

photo: Silvio Tanaka from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Today's playlist:

Luis Bonilla, Twilight (Planet Arts/Now Jazz Consortium)
Oddjob, Luma (Amigo Musik)
Lasse Marhaug, All Music at Once (Smalltown Superjazz)
Akira Rabelais, Caduceus (Samadhisound)
Servicemen, Meet . . . the Servicemen (Wind Hit)

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