Jody Stephens is the sole surviving member of iconic early ’70s power pop legends BIG STAR, and the only man other than Alex Chilton to play on all three of their peerless original albums. He was also a member of pioneering alt-country supergroup Golden Smog, alongside members of Wilco and the Jayhawks.
Luther Russell is an acclaimed singer/songwriter and producer (Richmond Fontaine amongst others) who formed his first band as a teenager with Jacob Dylan (before the son of Bob formed the Wallflowers). Luther has made a handful of solo records, having first come to attention as a member of The Freewheelers in the ’90s, during which time his songs were described as having “the appeal and personality of those by Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson”.
Together, Jody Stephens and Luther Russell are THOSE PRETTY WRONGS, who combine the lyrical and soulful harmony and jangle of both Big Star and classic ’90s alt-country with the sort of folky, summery feeling that will warm anyone.
Touring Australia on the back of their new album Holiday Camp, THOSE PRETTY WRONGS will be joined by some special friends and perform their own gorgeous material as well as some classic BIG STAR.
Those Pretty Wrong Touring Australia this AUGUST
5 – MEENIYAN TOWN HALL, MEENIYAN, VIC
6 – GREAT CLUB, SYDNEY, NSW
9 – ELTHAM HOTEL, ELTHAM, NSW
10 – STRANDED, BRISBANE, QLD
12 – BRUNSWICK BALLROOM (MATINEE), MELBOURNE, VIC
13 – MEMO MUSIC HALL, MELBOURNE, VIC
In Memphis, January, 2015, Jody Stephens discussed how Those Pretty Wrongs came to be so right.
“It started with a request for me to sing a few songs at the Nuart Theater for a screening of the Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me documentary. An easy yes. Hadn’t sung a full set of songs before but it was a new way forward. I gave Luther Russell a call to ask if he would join me on guitar. Luther and I had met about the same time I was introduced to Jon and Ken, who’ve come to be close friends/brothers and a way to carry on playing Big Star songs. By the way, at the time, Jon and Ken were in The Posies and Luther was in The Freewheelers – both just getting underway with Geffen Records, circa 1992.”
“Once established for the Nuart show, other opportunities arose to play these Big Star songs to help promote the documentary. Our first live performance together ended up being a screening of the documentary at the Grammy Museum on a Monday. On Tuesday, Anne Litt hosted our live performance on KCRW. On Wednesday we played at Amoeba. The sets were made up of mainly Big Star songs along with a Chris Bell and a Golden Smog song I had written with Gary and Jeff.
After a soundcheck for the Nuart show, Luther and I sat and talked in his car parked just around the corner from the theater. He asked me about writing songs together. ‘Just send me any ideas.’ So I did. Lyrics, melody lines were left on his voicemail to which Luther added guitar, piano, additional melodies and more lyrics. We became partners.”
“By the way, I had borrowed a line from a Shakespeare sonnet for “Fool of Myself.” The line became the name of our band: Those Pretty Wrongs.”
“After the course of a few months, when the two of us had gotten up to eight or nine songs written–Luther happened to drive pass McCabe’s. Connections were made with the venue and it was there we played our first gig to include these new songs. We thought, hmmm, this is going to be a good time… I am still at Ardent Music/Ardent Studios, so Luther came to Memphis to record two of the new songs, “Lucky Guy” and “Fool of Myself.” Sometime later, Luther ran into Sean Bohrman (Burger Records). Sean and I had met before. Luther mentioned our project to him and, after hearing the songs, offered to release a 7″ of them. So here we are.”