By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
All this is juiced up considerably by the man’s production skills. It will freak you out how, on “Make Her Mine,” he nails the Motown tandem bass & drums sound. “The Ills” is a poppy-peppy horn, drums and bongos–led hybrid of Curtis Mayfield and a party scene from Starsky and Hutch. The languid lounge piano and close-miked drums (so ’70s-studio) of “Shiny & New” suggest “You make me feel brand-new” all over again, now and for all time. .
It’s sincerity that has produced the greatest music of any kind, through history, from Bach to rock and back again. In Hawthorne’s case, the finely detailed realness of his sound owes ultimately to the love and respect he has for the musicians upon whose template he’s creating his own new, personal thing. Of course, a lot of people will refer, entirely moot-pointedly, to this new Hawthorne thing as “retro.”
“It was not my intention to make some kind of throwback imitation soul record,” he says. “I really wanted to make sure that I put my own stamp on it, and I moved the music forward, and I’m bringing it to a new generation of kids who didn’t grow up on that music, or missed out on it.”
And not to get overly solemn about all that love-and-respect bizness either, Hawthorne’s serious about having a good time with this thing.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for the music,” he says, “and the music is extremely sincere. But it’s the fun factor that’s missing from a lot of music these days. Everybody wants to have fun, and I’ve been trying to keep it as fun as possible while being true to the music.”
Life got you down? Brokenhearted? Distressed? Get it off your chest by writing Dear Mayer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mayer’s been through a lot in his young life, and he’s uniquely qualified to help you get yourself together. Please include your name and where you’re from, and check stonesthrow.com for the latest answers.
Mayer Hawthorne,A Strange Arrangement (Stones Throw)