The Lemonheads and Tommy Stinson
Springing from Aerosmith’s hometown of Boston circa 1986, the Lemonheads couldn’t be a more different band. Where Joe and the boys riff, the ‘Heads roll; where Steven Tyler shouts, Evan Dando hums. Instead of overdrive, there’s electro-glide. Less braying, more burning. Sadly, there’s been a dearth of original recorded material from the band for too many years now. However, they’ve been trying their hand at some almost comically rearranged cover songs on a long-in-progress two-album set called Varshons, the first of which dropped nearly a decade ago and the second newly arrived. Volume one took on acts as diverse as GG Allin and Gram Parsons, with one track sporting guest vocals courtesy of perpetually hungry Calvin Klein model Kate Moss. This time around, the cover tunes are drawn from acts ranging from Nick Cave (“Straight to You”) and Yo La Tengo (“Can’t Forget”), to Paul Westerberg (“Things”), John Prine (“Speed of the Sound of Loneliness”), the Jayhawks (“Settled Down Like Rain”), NRBQ (“Magnet”), the Eagles (“Take it Easy”), and even new age warbler Lucinda Williams (“Abandoned”). It all takes on a Lemony fresh scent on Varshons 2, which was produced by Matthew Cullen (Lana Del Rey, Black Lips) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (the Ramones, Nirvana), with a limited vinyl edition that comes in a banana-scented scratch-n-sniff sleeve. The summer support tour brings the Lemonheads to the Casbah on May 25, where Minneapolis songsmith Tommy Stinson will open.