Beth Ditto gives the noisiest kisses I have ever heard, and she gives a lot of them. She was signing her new album ‘Fake Sugar’ at Amoeba on Wednesday night and she made sure she could spend a lot of time with every person (mostly men) who was there. As I expected, she has a genuine and bubbly personality, charming everyone, hugging, kissing, smiling and talking non stop to all these gay men (mostly gay men but there were a few women too) who are probably in love with her ‘Fire’ song, yep, this one is truly great.
‘Fake Sugar’ is her debut solo album, born of change, mostly because of her ‘divorce’ from her band Gossip. But her new album is about ‘family strength, punky grit, unabashed Southernness and her rural-rags-to-rock-royalty story’, while the music goes from pop, blues, rock, soul and of course, country. ‘I wanted this album to sound more Southern than it does,’ she explained, ‘but when I try for an idea and don’t succeed, it usually ends up better.’
But Beth is truly a middle-American girl, she is from Arkansas, chatting with the same friendly tone with everybody, grimacing, sharing some important life moments (according to her expressive face and sometimes loud voice) and having a real conversation with a guy who apparently was from her hometown. She was kissing everyone on the cheek, both cheeks sometimes, with a big ‘smack’ noise, before taking another sip from her coffee Starbucks,… she has the warmest personality ever and an amazing voice too, that’s why it was just a shame she didn’t schedule a performance at Amoeba, but a signing was enough to make me go there around 6 pm.
Beth Ditto is also much more than a singer, she is a writer (she wrote ‘Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir’), she has collaborated with many artists, from Blondie to Cat Power, and she is a fashion icon: she recently launched her plus-sized line in collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier, posed in an Alexander Wang portrait series, and modeled for Marc Jacobs! She is even an actress as she appeared in Tom Ford’s Oscar-nominated ‘Nocturnal Animals’.
From rural Arkansas to Paris fashion runaways, she had quite a path, but this doesn’t surprise me a bit, Looking at her chatting with complete strangers, she had plenty of confidence, but she always seemed extremely down to earth, with a Southern friendly warmth that never intimidates you and rather makes you want to hug her. She took the time to retouch her poster featuring a large photo of hers and put right away on her head the ice-cream-cone tiara that a flamboyant guy had made for her… They even exchanged email addresses, was that the beginning of another fashion collab? May be, Beth seems always ready for another genuine, human and fun adventure.
weaving a fairy tale for us to get lost in
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1973 (Volume 5, Number 2)
“I don’t consider David (Bowie) to be even remotely big enough to be any competition.”
an old school New York feel
oedipal vulnerable and blue collar visceral
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)
From Robert Johnson to the Ramones – what a life!
one of the great top tens of the 2020
will mark their return to the road in early February, 2023 with a string of to-be-announced US arena dates
enjoyable and soulful romp
another full day of music