Shabby Shriek of the Week: Neon Hitch

This week we take a look at singer Neon Hitch. We’ve received remixed singles for “Bad Dog” and “Get Over U” both from her upcoming album Beg, Borrow and Steal.

WTF IS Neon Hitch?

According to her info sheet for “Get Over U,” Hitch was born in London in 1986. Apparently her family’s house burned down the day she was born. Her lighting technician dad named her Neon. She and her mother traveled in a caravan as gypsies. By age 10, she started writing poetry and lyrics. At 16, she followed a boy to India. She met Neneh Cherry, opened for 50 Cent and was friends with Amy Winehouse.

In 2008, she headed to New York, co-wrote Ke$ha’s “Blah Blah Blah” and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi signed her to Warner Brothers Records. From her press sheet.

“I want people to know that, yeah, time are tough, but you know what? There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m living proof.”

More after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

LISTEN: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett duet on ‘The Lady is a Tramp’

Tony Bennett’s doing the duet thing again with his upcoming release, Duets II scheduled for release on Tuesday. The big hype was first about his work with Amy Winehouse. Then the buzz started in on his duet with Lady Gaga and how he has compared her to the likes of Elvis Presley. We finally get to hear what the latter’s collaboration sounds like. This was posted on YouTube today giving listeners a slight preview of the album.

The album is star-studded including queer faves Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey and k.d. Lang.

—  Rich Lopez

As Amy Winehouse is laid to rest, reader takes offense to drag show mocking singer at Woody’s

Singer Amy Winehouse was laid to rest today in London. Her official cause of death awaits toxicology results, which will take 2-4 weeks. But this story from ABC News suggests that it may not have been a drug overdose, as many have assumed. Winehouse could have suffered a seizure caused by asthma or emphysema related to smoking, or an arrhythmia stemming from an eating disorder.

Regardless, one Instant Tea Reader is taking offense to a drag performance on Saturday at Woody’s in Dallas in which performers reportedly mocked Winehouse’s longtime battle with substance abuse. DV staffer Chance Browning happened to be at the show that night, and he captured the photo at right of a Winehouse impersonator lying face down on the stage. Instant Tea reader Robert L. Dee wrote the following of the performance:

On Saturday evening, June 23, 2011, some friends and I attended the Comedy Roast Benefit Show for SheGotta Mustache at Woody’s. For the most part the show was entertaining, but a certain part should have been left out. To make fun of anyone who has died the way Amy Winehouse did was just too much. As far as we were concerned it was insensitive and very offensive. For someone to dress up like her and lie face down on the stage and make light of her death was going way overboard. I chose to leave at that time not wanting to witness this act. Drug abuse is a big problem in this community and it often results in accidental overdoses. For a bar in this community to make fun of it is really thoughtless. Maybe I’m being a little thin-skinned about this but I have lost some good friends to drug abuse. How would the people who put on this show feel if someone who had just died of cancer or some other horrible disease were put on the floor face down and ridiculed about how she or he died? The management of Woody’s and the people who put on this show should apologize for that distasteful act and should put on a fund raiser for D.A.R.E.

—  John Wright

Adele-ized: Soulful Brit’s new CD sort of confuses but still wins over

FINALLY OF AGE | Adele’s rich voice is the centerpiece in her second album ‘21,’ but her songwriting also shines.

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer

Since the wave of the Amy Winehouse-led British soul invasion of 2007 has winded down, we can now focus directly on the work of Adele. She rode that tide with an impressive debut, 19, that garnered her two Grammys. But where 19 showcased her husky soulful voice, her sophomore album, 21, shows us her emotional side. And it’s kinda schizophrenic.

Adele explodes out of the gate with “Rolling in the Deep,” also the first single. A powerful song reflecting shades of Florence and the Machine beats, it’s also a declarative opener that this isn’t the meek 19-year-old we were introduced two years ago. She’s empowered — we think.

Following that with “Rumour Has It,” a similarly strong (and groovy) track, and the ballad “Turning Tables,” Adele clearly wants us to know that she’s not taking shit from her man. Lyrics like Next time I’ll be my own savior / Standing on my own two feet really define her attitude and set the tone for 21.
Until track four.

Adele does a 180 with “Don’t You Remember.” Structurally, the ballad is delicate, but she almost begins apologizing for her feelings, singing words like I know I have a fickle heart and a bitterness. It’s almost a let-down to hear her cave in as if her strong will didn’t work for her; now she’s gonna beg for her man — and do it for the next four songs.

If her emotions change mid-album, her sound changes distinctly for one. “I’ll Be Waiting” may not have the twang, but it’s boisterousness is distinctly pop-country and would be right at home on a Carrie Underwood album. Despite the shift, the album refreshes here. Horns blare and piano keys are abundant, but her voice in this capacity has wonderful effect.

The one real hiccup in the album is her cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong.” The idea behind it sounds curious and with minimal guitar arrangement behind her, it should work. Instead, it seems random. I’m never sure what it adds to the album and it doesn’t improve so much on the original. Perhaps she thought 10 tracks weren’t enough, so “let’s throw in a cover.”

Regardless of her emotional turns, what really keeps 21 afloat is Adele’s voice. The musical arrangements are slightly veiled in their production, giving Adele’s voice center stage. That gravelly sound is so beautifully rich that you just want to bathe in it and never get out. She goes places vocally Winehouse or Duffy can’t.

As if that’s not enough, Adele wrote or co-wrote all of the original songs. The tracks are mature but don’t sound too big for her to handle. The album shines on her strong writing as well and the potential of what it could be down the road for her. Which could be greatness.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 18, 2011.

—  John Wright