Release Date: Nov 12, 2013
Record label: Little Record Company
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
Best known for his convincingly Dylanesque singles Running Out The Clock and Long Black Dress, as well as the presidential campaign rock curio Cainthology: Songs In The Key Of Cain, Tim Heidecker's something of an oddity in the current singer/songwriter scene. He and multi-instrumentalist and long-time collaborator Davin Wood reinvest 1970s House of Blues rock with raucous contemporary energy on their sophomore album. Some Things Never Stay The Same sincerely channels the spirits of Steve Miller, Boz Scaggs, the Traveling Wilburys (especially on the hand-clapping harmonies of What Else Is New?) and other lavishly produced heartland rockers - a remarkable achievement.
Cocaine is a really good drug if you want to stay awake. It’s also a fitting way to open your album of love notes and/or total send-ups of the great ’70s rock songwriters. Album opener, literally titled “Cocaine,” has a bit of Warren Zevon; “This Is Life” has a bit of Steely Dan (OK, a lot of Steely Dan); “Getaway Man” and “Salvation Street” both have a bit of Springsteen (rearview mirrors, rock marches and all).
Heidecker & Wood's debut album Starting from Nowhere seemed like a fun one-off, but Some Things Never Stay the Same shows the duo has more mileage in its Yacht Rock sendups. They chose to make this their "self-indulgent" album, an accurate and more or less bulletproof concept given the kind of music to which they're paying tribute. As the title hints, they go broadly funny with many of these songs, including the opening track "Cocaine." While it's not a cover of Eric Clapton's hit -- its bouncy pianos have more in common with Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" -- it has the same kind of glassy-eyed patina.
Contradictions are sometimes what drives good music, and the more an artist strives to be uncompromisingly direct, the more those inconsistencies shine through. So far, this peculiar comedy/fantasy rock band project known as Heidecker & Wood (Tim Heidecker and Davin Wood) has shown itself to be one of the most joyfully airheaded musical diversions, transcending any kitsch or gimmick and just being fun and funny for those of us who know that some part of schmaltz communicates something gawky and personal and numbly essential. “That’s what dreams are made oooof!” “Whoa-oh, Be good to yourself!” “Don’t mess around with a guy in shades, no more!” The lyrics in Heidecker & Wood songs are similarly peppered with exclamations, leaving just enough room for some sadsloppy part of you to get on board before you laugh.
Tim Heidecker has become a modern day Andy Kaufman. His television, commercial, and movie work is both completely insane and grounded in total sincerity. The characters he creates may be disgusting, ruthless, idiotic creatures, but you never once doubt their genuine nature, or Heidecker’s devotion to them. Because of this, it makes it hard to know when he is being serious in real life, or what his real life even is.
Some Things Never Stay the Same is the self-described "self-indulgent sophomore album" from this musical comedy duo. Tim Heidecker is better known for his television work as one half of the madmen behind such concentrated TV weirdness as Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Tom Goes to the Mayor. This album is a take on '70s radio rock and songwriter fare; they name-check Nilsson, Newman, and Scaggs, appropriately.
For their second album, comedian Tim Heidecker and composer Davin Wood looked back about 35 years to the musical landscape of the late ‘70s and copied what they saw. Need a Claptonesque guitar anthem? Try “Cocaine”. Want a Jackson Browneish piano ballad? “Coming Home” fits the bill. Fiending for Hall & Oatesy keyboard pop? “This is Life” has you covered.
I have seen the future of parody soft rock and their names are Tim Heidecker and Davin Wood. "Some Things Never Stay the Same," the duo's second album, overflows with thematic density, nuance, fake authenticity and heartfelt parodic cliché. Eleven songs about the thrill of drugs, the challenges of a life of crime and the dangers of weather patterns, the work resonates for a variety of reasons.