Reconnect to the ’80s with The Fixx at Nevada City’s Miners Foundry
KNOW & GO
WHAT: The Fixx with special guests Michael & The Machines
WHEN: Thursday, Doors open at 7 p.m., Show at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City
TICKETS: $30/Adv, $35/Door, All-Ages, Standing/dancing concert with limited seating available. Tickets are available online at http://www.minersfoundry.org, by phone 530-265-5040, at the Miners Foundry, or at Briar Patch Co-Op.
Not 60 seconds into “Beautiful Friction” and it is clear; the haunting guitar of Jamie West-Oram, expressive synth of Rupert Greenall, pounding bass of Dan K. Brown, steady beat of Adam Woods and unforgettable vocals of Cy Curnin add up to the undeniable sound that could only be The Fixx.
“Beautiful Friction,” the band’s 10th album studio album, finds The Fixx sharper than ever. Curnin and company have the same thought-provoking intensity fueling their lyrics and performances as they ever have. Fired up and as hopeful as ever, the band continues to take us on a journey, which started in 1982 with the release of “Shuttered Room.”
“There’s a theme that traces through The Fixx. Our catalogue is connected, our viewpoint as a collective has always been socially driven. With the Internet, things sped up, and we were able to get feedback quicker and became closer with our fan base,” said Curnin, “We’ve been so thankful to hear from people who let us know our music made a difference in their life. It made us realize we had a sense of responsibility to our audience, that our work as a band was unfinished.”
After seminal hits such as “One Things Leads to Another,” “Red Skies,” “Saved By Zero” and “Stand or Fall,” The Fixx has always been very conscious of making sure it had something to say. “At first, there wasn’t a motif floating around. Then new songs started to emerge and we had a theme. The first song for “Beautiful Friction” that we wrote together was “What God,” followed by “Follow that Cab,” and we agreed we had the meat,” said Curnin, “As a whole, we were very focused on what was happening in the world around us and the legacy that was being left for our children, for everyone’s children. This album confronts our frustrations with the current socio-economic crises affecting the world, but it’s also quite hopeful.”
The early to mid ’80s was marked by several Top Ten Billboard hits for The Fixx. Curnin recalls the band’s “MTV Days” with great fondness — how he felt he could have been singing “Ham and Eggs” instead of “One Thing Leads to Another” because the groove was so strong, how girls would throw underwear on-stage while they played “Red Skies,” a song about the aftermath of a nuclear fall out and how “Saved by Zero,” a song about accepting emptiness, still resonates today.
Curnin calls the way the band’s music has been internationally embraced the greatest gift. Referring to this as “the Mary Poppins Effect” where a ‘spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,’ Curnin feels the music’s accessibility allows for his lyrical expression on some heady topics.
“The melodies that Jamie comes up with are incredible. He is always creating bits and pieces, then I come in and get a feeling for a word, or an emotion, and it starts to take shape. We get something we can play as a group. Then, it just takes off like it has wings. Rupert is almost like a mad scientist, wherein I can describe where I am going visually with my words and he paints the sound. Dan has amazing chord knowledge and is able to play around my voice in ways that makes it sound rife with emotion. And Adam just isn’t a convoluted drummer. He’s very careful and laid back, which is big part of our sound,” said Curnin.
With “Beautiful Friction,” all 11 tracks connect across a theme. “Unlike my solo albums, which focus on my own peccadilloes, the songs written for The Fixx take on the problems of the world. If you look back at our work, there’s a universal application to it. In writing “Beautiful Friction,” we speak to people who have woken up to the fact that while there was a period of easy money and easy credit, it’s now come and bitten us on the backside. I think, as you get wiser, you begin to realize less is more, and how happiness itself is your real currency,” said Curnin.
Michael and The Machines will open the concert. After fronting Nevada City psych-rockers, The Soft Bombs, in the early 2010’s and San Francisco dream pop band, Dora Flood before that, Michael Padilla is back fronting a new outfit called Michael and The Machines. Though most of the forthcoming album “Mantras and Melodramas” was played by Michael, the live outfit is a roving cast of friends/musicians bringing this melodic psychedelia to life.
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