20 January 2018

STEVE WYNN Kerosene Man 1990


Artist Biography by

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Steve Wynn, as founder of the Dream Syndicate, almost single-handedly tuned the ears of college-age rock fans in the early '80s to the two prior decades of guitar-drenched rock that inspired him as one of the founding fathers of the Paisley Underground movement. After graduating from the University of California at Davis and following a stint with his requisite new wave band of that era, Suspects, Wynn took a cross-country trip in search of Alex Chilton, one of his spiritual musical mentors and a mysterious figure since his days with power pop legends Big Star. Interestingly, by the time Wynn found him and returned to California, the underground rock scene was in the middle of a full-on guitar rock revival, thanks in part to fellow Chilton devotees R.E.M. and the Replacements; Wynn took it as his cue to embrace the feedback-flooded sounds of the Velvet Underground. Borrowing his name from the VU's heritage, he called his new band the Dream Syndicate, after an early experimental group featuring John Cale.

Kerosene Man
Heralded as leaders of the Paisley Underground (the neo-'60s Southern California scene that included the Bangles, Green on Red, and the Rain Parade), the Dream Syndicate were by far the most outside band in the bunch, challenging audiences to feedback fests and endless jams. After four albums on four labels and a change in musical direction (less Lou Reed, more Neil Young), the Syndicate called it quits and Wynn embarked on a solo career. For Kerosene Man (1990) and Dazzling Display (1991), he relied on his steady songwriting, unique vocal style, and a bunch of friends (including Peter Buck of R.E.M.) for the recordings. Fluorescent (Mute, 1994) was a subdued, semi-folk record, but his side project Gutterball (including Bryan Harvey and Johnny Hott of House of Freaks and Bob Rupe of the Silos) was a loose and drunken rock & roll ramble. The solo work kept on coming: Melting in the Dark (1996), Sweetness & Light (1997), My Midnight (1999), and Momento (2000), the latter a collaboration with Australian Blonde, a Spanish alternative rock band led by Wynn's friend Paco Loco. But Wynn was ultimately destined to lead a band again, and with his combo the Miracle 3 he released the double-disc set Here Come the Miracles (2001), Static Transmission (2003), and the post-millennium panic-inspired ...Tick...Tick...Tick (2005). The same year as ...Tick...Tick...Tick, Wynn summed up his post-Dream Syndicate career to date with the accurately titled 17-track compilation What I Did After My Band Broke Up, which included a bonus disc of Wynn performing some of his favorite songs on piano.


1 Tears Won't Help 4:55
2 Carolyn 3:57
3 The Blue Drifter 4:44
4 Younger 3:42
5 Under The Weather 4:20
6 Here On Earth As Well 4:36
7 Something To Remember Me By 3:49
8 Killing Time 4:28
9 Conspiracy Of The Heart 5:14
10 Kerosene Man 4:02
11 Anthem 5:42

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