JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO(You probably know her as the lead singer of Concrete Blonde)  

Stop War

There are songs on Johnette Napolitano''s new album, "Scarred," that are emotionally raw and cutting. Her lyrics can be so personal that one might hope these are observations and not culled from experience.

But Napolitano, who performs tonight at Club Cafe on the South Side, doesn''t shy away from revealing her most private feelings via her music.

"What I found in writing is, the closer you get to your own truth, the more you relate to other people," she says. "After I made ''Bloodletting'' back in the day (with her former band, Concrete Blonde), I was going to scrap it. I thought no one would understand it, (that) it would only mean something to me."

"Bloodletting" turned out to be the record that made Concrete Blonde, if not a household name, popular enough in the alternative-music world of the late ''80s and early ''90s before disbanding in 1995. Since then, Napolitano has worked with former Talking Heads Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison, fronted a briefly re-formed Concrete Blonde, and collaborated with Danny Lohner, formerly of Nine Inch Nails, on songs for the films "Underworld" and "Wicker Park."

Johnette Napolitano is best known as the singer/bassist/writer for the LA band Concrete Blonde. Her stunning solo debut, ''Scarred'' (Hybrid Recordings) made the Village Voice''s Pazz & Jop list as one of the best of last year. Johnette spent most of 2007 touring the US to support ''Scarred'' with a powerful acoustic set that featured Concrete Blonde classics as well as the new solo material, including a beautiful version of Coldplay''s ''The Scientist'', recorded with former NIN and producer Danny Lohner for the film ''Wicker Park''. Johnette lives in Joshua Tree, California, in her cabin studio and has collaborated most recently with Billy Howerdel from A Perfect Circle on his new project, Ashes Divide (Island). Other collaborators have been poet and Native American activist John Trudell, The (Talking) Heads, David J (Love & Rockets, Bauhaus), and others. A multi-instrumentalist and experienced recordist, Johnette works with artists all over the world via satellite from her high desert home: she supplied music for two recent Australian films, ''Candy'' and ''West''. Johnette also worked on music for the films ''Underworld'' and ''Dead Silence''. A dedicated artist, she has studied art in Mexico and Flamenco in Spain.

Factoid: ''Ghost of a Texas Ladie''s Man'', one of Concrete Blonde''s Western-style rockers, was written after Johnette had a late-night encounter with the famous Driskill Hotel Ghost when the band was on tour with Sting in the late 80''s.

Best known for her work as lead singer and bassist in the ''80s and early-''90s alternative rock trio Concrete Blonde, Johnette Napolitano is also a poet, social activist, soundtrack composer, and sculptor. Born in Hollywood on September 22, 1957, Napolitano lurked on the fringes of the Los Angeles punk and ew wave scene, working at the legendary Gold Star Studios until she formed the duo Dream 6 with guitarist Jim Mankey. The pair recorded a self-titled 1982 EP produced by Jim''s brother Earle Mankey (like Jim, a former member of the first lineup of Sparks, and at the time one of the hottest producers on the L.A. ew wave scene), which attracted the attention of IRS Records boss Miles Copeland. With a new drummer in Chicago transplant Harry Rushakoff and a new name supposedly bestowed by R.E.M.''s Michael Stipe that was supposed to connote the band''s mix of hard and soft elements, Concrete Blonde released their self-titled debut in 1987. This was quickly followed by Free, Bloodletting (featuring the group''s biggest hit, "Joey"), Walking in London, and Mexican Moon, before Concrete Blonde split in 1995. Napolitano then moved on to two short-lived projects, Vowel Movement (a collaboration with Holly Beth Vincent of Holly & the Italians) and Pretty & Twisted (with the late Marc Moreland, formerly of Wall of Voodoo), as well as occasional Concrete Blonde reunion albums. Following this, Napolitano began a second career as soundtrack composer for small and medium-budget indie films such as Wicker Park and Underworld. She also released a pair of largely improvised and mostly electronic albums, Sketchbook and Sketchbook 2, in 2002 and 2006. Johnette Napolitano''s first proper solo album, Scarred, followed in the spring of 2007. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

Stop War: Lorrie Moore, Annie Proulx, Tom Robbins, Chitra Divakarunee, Wonder Woman, Johnette Napolitano, anybody who ever managed to finish "Infinite Jest" on the first try, the guy at Dutch Brothers who knows exactly how I like my coffee. - Johnette Napolitano Open your eyes and listen

She is a big flamenco fan (see

Interview with Johnette Napolitano
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