A Lemonhead in São Paulo
The great challenge in writing about the Lemonheads is not just being able to interview Evan Dando in person, but maintaining some kind of journalistic impartiality, bearing in mind that my cultural background – and even my character – is understood in the range of releases between “Hate Your Friends” and “Varshons 2”. However, as the buzz on social networks grows every day by the realization that we have Evan Dando himself among us, in São Paulo, for the fourth time in his entire career, it forces me to try to clarify what is happening (and alleviate my own anxiety).
After all, is Evan Dando really in Brazil?
Yes. More precisely, he has been in São Paulo since the end of December.
Explain to me better the reason for this random ride.
The main reason is a dental treatment that, in Brazil, as everyone knows, has several advantages. Evan Dando fractured his teeth with a microphone in one of his presentations and since then the incident has been damaging his speech and aesthetics.
Why São Paulo?
Because it is the home state of his girlfriend, who he already calls fiancée, Antônia Teixeira, daughter of Renato Teixeira. They met on Martha’s Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts.
Caralho evan dando na liberdade! Ta namorando uma brasileira mesmo.
Hey evan! I have a small bar in Recife, Pernambuco! Its in northeast region of brazil. Would you like to come and make a solo show here???!! https://t.co/Fh94MllfXy
— luizZzzZzZZ (@dumqualquerb) January 5, 2023
Will Evan Dando do some gigs in Brazil this time?
Apparently yes, but still no confirmation. Conversations have already started and it is very likely that Evan will take advantage of the long period of recovery from his treatment to rehearse and perform here until the beginning of March/2023, possibly at a SESC – SP unit. Detail: the format is Evan Giving voice and guitar.
Well, having clarified the points, let’s return to my article.
Why do Lemonheads still matter?
It would be too obvious to say that the Lemonheads still matter to fans – getting older every year, it’s true. But I think about the importance of this band – and here I go beyond the centralization in the figure of Evan Dando – in a dimension very similar to what the Replacements left as a legacy. In the beginning, just a few guys who played kicked punk-rock and rebelled against any system to gradually become more versatile musicians and composers to the point of interfering in the universe of pop culture, including appearances in series and films. The indie rock triad is, in my view, today made up of three guys, curiously the three ubiquitous frontmen in all of their band formations, namely: Evan Dando, J. Mascis and Paul Westerberg. Following this trail, you are just a few degrees away from one of the richest periods of contemporary rock.
To illustrate what I am saying, recently the excellent Rough Trade store in New York, on 6th avenue, elected “It’s a shame about Ray” as the reissue of the year (2022). And there were numerous reissues last year, including “Yankee Foxtrot Hotel” by Wilco.
Evan has always had an interesting mix of talent, charisma and intelligence. When he allows himself to put all three of these elements into any song or musical moment, the guy is unbeatable.
A lemonhead in São Paulo
Those who follow the videos posted religiously by Antônia since she took over the Lemonheads’ social networks have probably been positively surprised by the healthy and, above all, happy Evan who appears there, walking around Liberdade (SP neighboorhood), eating snacks, drinking Guaraná… In one of the latest posts, in the dentist’s chair, he mumbles something while demonstrating his Lemonheads cap. In a scanner that exposes his entire dental arch, we laugh with the chosen track for “Iron man”, but we are also happy to see that this brilliant artist, who, until then, led a life of excess, is, after all, taking care of himself, much to the delight of my friend Susan Dando, mom extraordinaire: “Evan is loving his visit to Brazil and is doing a great job on his teeth there too! Win, win!”, cheers her, who also wants to show up here again since surfing in Búzios.
Although reclusive in the heavenly Serra da Cantareira, North of São Paulo, (yes, the same one marked by the misfortune of the Mamonas Assassinas), refuge of the extensive Teixeira family that recently returned to the spotlight due to the participation of Renato Teixeira and Antônia’s brothers in “Pantanal ”, Evan has been getting nice visits there. One of them was the musician and professional roadie Lirinha Morini, who, in addition to helping him with the preparation of the shows in Brazil, ended up fulfilling the dream of meeting him in person. “F*, it was amazing. We became friends, we exchanged SMS over the phone… He’s funny, we got along very well, he adored me. I’ll meet him a lot more. He’s going to stay here at home, we’re agreeing”, says Lirinha, whose work has already given him the opportunity to meet other idols such as Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) and Peter Hook (New Order).
It’s good to say that, in addition to taking care of his oral health, Evan is recovering from one of the longest tours he has ever done, including Europe, in which he played not only the entire album “It’s a shame about Ray”, but a gigantic set list classics from every Lemonheads record, including, of course, offbeat covers ranging from country to pop. The question remains whether this will also be the set list chosen for the expected shows in Brazil, bearing in mind that this year, the one celebrating the anniversary is the successor of “It’s a shame..”, the comprehensive “Come on Feel”. And, if all goes well, it is quite possible that the shows will fall close to Evan Dando’s birthday (March 4), a symbolic date that represents not only the return to the stages in Brazil, but the revitalization of a music genius who always had a lot to offer.
I love this car pic.twitter.com/wuogpvigSH
— Evan Dando (@Evan_Dando) January 7, 2023
The merit for this new phase, or rather, new era? Make no mistake: I dare to say that it is all hers, Antônia, who forces me to close this first article (of what I hope will be the first one of the series) with the old cliché: “behind every strong man, there is always a great woman”. Were it not for the fact that she had become a kind of stake against the vampirism that surrounded Evan, today we would be sending smoke signals to Martha’s Vineyard, hoping that one day he would simply decide to leave his eternal Summer of Drugs alongside martians to return to the reality he himself constructed. This reality of an immensity of fans who love his timeless work and, consequently, love him in the same way. Yes, it’s too late not to say that I’m part of that crowd, see?