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Music's Not for Everyone

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Part bar-band shouter, part soapbox preacher, Ian Svenonius leads Chain & the Gang through a trashy yet sincere mix of tunes on Music’s Not for Everyone. The former lead singer of The Make-Up holds forth with the help of such K Records labelmates as multi-instrumentalist Arrington De Dionyso, vocalist Tara Jane O’Neil, organist Brian Weber, and producer Calvin Johnson. The mood here is loose and playful, with Svenonius imparting words of wisdom amid a ‘60s-slanted mélange of garage rock, vintage soul, and gospel. Tracks like “For Practical Purposes (I Love You)” and “Bill for the Use of My Body” take a look at love’s more absurd complications. Svenonius offers sobering advice about the unfairness of life in “Youth Is Wasted on the Young” and “Not Good Enough (Dub)” while asserting his own status as a celebrity in “(I’ve Got) Privilege.” Ragged rockers like “Livin’ Rough” and “Why Not?” recall Johnny Thunders at his most charmingly ragged, while “It’s a Hard, Hard Job (Keeping Everybody High)” has a low-budget bluesiness that suggests Jonathan Richman covering Ray Charles.


Formed: 2008 in Washington DC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Offering a funky, stripped-down fusion of indie pop, funk, garage punk, and lo-fi experimentalism, Chain & the Gang are a vehicle for the thoughts and talents of Ian Svenonius -- musician, author, actor, Internet talk show host, and frontman with the groups Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Scene Creamers, and Weird War. Like many of Svenonius' earlier projects, Chain & the Gang are a band with an overriding philosophy; as Svenonius sees it, freedom and liberty have been used by the lazy and corrupt...
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Music's Not for Everyone, Chain & The Gang
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