Lovelier Than Ever
By Jason Keil
Liv Mueller and Barb Endes have been hard at work this summer, putting the finishing touches on The Lovelies’ highly anticipated new album White Leather, their fourth release of smart, catchy, melodic rock due for release in late September.
In a recent interview, Mueller shared that she’d been distracted, at least momentarily, by a review she stumbled upon from their recent show at the SXSW festival in Austin last March. The article described the band as “Laverne and Shirley meet the Everly Brothers,” going on to describe the band’s look while making little mention of their music. “They looked like they bought their outfits at the Chess King,” the reporter went on, only taking time to refer to their music as “bland.”
But one scathing review can’t slow the juggernaut year for one of Milwaukee’s favorite bands. In addition to playing SXSW, breaking in their new drummer and dedicating most of their summer to White Leather, a tour of the Midwest and the South has been set up to promote the release of the new album.
“I thought that the title encapsulated everything wonderful: Nancy Sinatra and Evel Kneivel, bubbles and danger, tough and soft, leather and lace,” says Mueller of White Leather. “Our friends and followers can expect to hear a great Lovelies record.”
Even with a degree of success in the testosterone-drenched world of rock music, there’s still a “chick rocker” label attached to The Lovelies. Mueller isn’t bothered. “Being a woman in music is very comparable to being a man in music, except Barb and I have these things called ‘breasts’ that get in the way of our guitar straps sometimes,” she says.
“I see The Lovelies kicking open doors, breaking gender roles, and making so much money that Barb and I can finally get the sex change operations we’ve been waiting for!” Liv jokes. “But seriously, who knows where we fit in, or if we ever will. We’ve always remained true to our own style, and that makes us proud. I think there are a lot of female fronted bands that are getting a lot more respect than they used to.”
Mueller remains distracted by the SXSW review, going so far as to shoot a response to the critic that seems to encapsulate The Lovelies unique sense of ironic fun.
“I have never read a good rock review that didn’t go into great detail about the ‘appearance’ of a band before commenting on its music. I’m grateful that he tuned in to my ‘guitar centric-go nowhere tunes’ … In this day and age of hustle and bustle, Starbucks, traffic jams and video stores, I pose to you this question: Why go anywhere? EVEN in a song? My songs are a reflection of my Buddhist nature, lying still, and not moving. Again, he’s totally tuned in to what we are doing!! Thank you for the review. I’m glad someone finally gets it!”
The Lovelies will hold a CD release party September 20th at Mad Planet. In the meantime, you can get your Liv-fix on September 4th at Bremen Café, when she opens for Wendy Bugatti and Molly Thomas of Madison’s Bugatti Type 35.