Do Ryan Adams’ records sound different this week?; The Love Language, Bokr Tov tonight at The Sydney…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:43 pm February 18, 2019

The Love Language plays tonight at The Sydney in Benson.

by Tim McMahan,

I’ve never been a fan of Ryan Adams. Not sure why, but his music just never resonated with me. And though I’ve listened to a few of his albums, I was more aware of his odd stage antics and past erratic behavior than his music.

So when The New York Times published this article last Wednesday with the subhead: “Several women say Adams offered to jumpstart their music careers, then pursued them sexually and in some cases retaliated when they spurned him. He denies the claims.” it had no material impact on how I felt about his music. But I can see where it would for his fans, even though not a note of his songs changed one iota from what they were before the article came out.

I’m a Woody Allen fan. I’ve loved his films all my life. But as one allegation after another gets hoisted in Allens’ direction — all of which he’s denied — they cannot help but echo in the back of my mind while I hear his voice narrating during Radio Days or see him flirt with Diane Keaton in Play It Again, Sam. Allen is now fighting with Amazon who pulled out of a deal for future Allen films. He’s suing, of course, and Amazon will likely settle for an ungodly amount if only to rid themselves of the perceived stigma of being associated with Woody Allen.

That said, I still laugh out loud whenever I see the “Coke Scene” in Annie Hall. Should I feel guilty? Because I don’t.

This is a long way of asking what will Ryan Adams’ fans do with all those albums? Will they still listen to and enjoy Heartbreaker as much as they did before last Wednesday? Is it OK to still like his music? Or now that he’s been unveiled, is his music unlistenable? Because they’re the same songs they were before last Wednesday…

* * *

Merge recording artist The Love Language plays tonight at The Sydney in Benson. The Raleigh, N.C., band fronted by Stuart McLamb has been kicking around since 2009 playing a free-wheeling style of indie pop that sits well alongside bands like The Rosebuds and Arcade Fire. Except for the yacht-rock-flavored single “Juiceboxx,” the new record, Baby Grand (2018, Merge), is more layered and spacier than past efforts, one might even deploy the overused term “shoe-gaze” to describe it. Locals Bokr Tov open at 8 p.m. $10.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.