Music

Nick Lowe Inexplicably Remains Dapper as Hell

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Rob Trucks only got to shoot for two minutes, but he did okay.

Nick Lowe
Canal Room
Tuesday, April 29

Nick Lowe has a new song called “I Read a Lot.” A lament, not a boast. (Though he’s got a lot of those, too.) He reads a lot because he’s lonely, you see. This comes up often, his loneliness—consider “Lately I’ve Let Things Slide,” in which he’s so despondent he can’t bring himself to do laundry or shut the front door. It is a tribute to Nick’s songwriting prowess that he can make such pissing and moaning not only palatable, but believable, because frankly, dude is profoundly handsome and suave as hell, the James Bond of wistful, sad-sack countrypolitan charm.

To wit, with a mere half-hour to work with, he charms the hell out of us during this Tribeca Film Fest-affiliated afternoon delight, even when he’s doing one of his boasts, like “I Trained Her to Love Me,” in which he woos nubile young ladies just so he can antagonize and devastate them:

And I’m gonna start working on another after this
And when I get that one in a state of bliss
I’ll betray her with a kiss

We forgive him because he just looks so sweet, so innocent, and the way he slides up to a new chord on that last line is just devastating. Love this dude. Hearing the guy who wrote “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” sing “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” live does a soul good. And yes, it reminds you that Nick’s range used to be a bit wider, more searching and universal than the boast/lament axis he mostly spins on now. But he’s earned the right to sing about wearing dirty clothes. He wears them well.