Artwork by ENCORE
Ryan Adams is one of those love him or hate him artists. I go back and forth. Sure, he’s an inveterate attention whore, a piss-poor editor of his own creativity and a drama queen man-child too in love with his own legend. But when the planets do align, and The Fates allow it, he is also a top-shelf singer-songwriter in the grand tradition of the great denim bards of Laurel Canyon. His last album, 2011’s Ashes & Fire is one of those occasions (a new LP, 1984 drops in September). It is not, as the growing consensus would have it, as good as 2000’s Heartbreaker, his previous highwater mark — it’s better. Much better. Reportedly clean and sober and happily married, Adams seems to have finally grown the fuck up. There is a master class precision to the writing and execution of the songs on Ashes & Fire — an exacting attention to subtlety and nuance, a perfectly calibrated modulation of mood and dynamics — that simply cannot be faked. Unlikely as it might seem on so many levels, it would appear that Mandy Moore (yes, that Mandy Moore) has succeeded where so many have failed and finally made an honest man out of Ryan Adams. We have a pair of tickets to see him Saturday at the XPoNential Fest to give away to some lucky Phawker reader. To qualify to win, all you have to do is sign up for our mailing list (see right, below the masthead). Trust us, this is something you want to do. In addition to breaking news alerts and Phawker updates, you also get advanced warning about groovy concert ticket giveaways and other free swag opportunities like this one! After signing up, send us an email at FEED@PHAWKER.COM telling us a much, with the magic words EASY TIGER in the subject line. If you are already on our mailing list, just send us an email saying as much. Either way, please include your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. The 14th Phawker reader to email us with the magic words wins! PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME AND MOBILE NUMBER FOR CONFIRMATION. Good luck and godspeed!