Tag Archive | Jonny Polonsky

Video Clip of The Week: Jonny Polonsky, “Fresh Flesh”


Hey Bitches, guess what? The ‘Gig has an extra special treat for your eyes and ears this week. One of my favorite humans on the planet, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumental and all-around Rock God, Jonny Polonsky, has a new album out now, and for today’s Sunday Jam we’ve got “Fresh Flesh,” the album’s title track and its accompanying, moody video just for you. You’re welcome. If you’ve been paying close attention to what bubbles just below the surface of what passes for modern rock these days, you already know that Jonny Polonsky is a Maverick Rock and Roll Genius and American Treasure. If you’re late to the party, do some quick reading on Polonsky’s wildly impressive background and get yourself schooled!

“Fresh Flesh” sounds to me like it would be right at home on the soundtrack of any David Lynch film. Jonny himself offers that it’s comparable to “what you get when you melt down Siouxsie and the Banshees with Tom Petty, and top it off with a guitar solo that’s as subtle as shaving with a sandblaster. “Fresh Flesh” is a slow motion slam dance at Dante’s death disco — a subterranean examination of what happens when a ride through the tunnel of love turns . . . strange.”

The album Fresh Flesh was recorded by Jonny and his band in just two days at Rick Rubin’s Shangri La Studios, and features special guest appearances from Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stone Age, Screaming Trees), and Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets), so you probably want to pick that up. Enjoy!

Jonny Polonsky Video Still

Video Clip of The Week: Jonny Polonsky, “Lay Down Your Arms”

If Trent Reznor were to endeavor to make a ‘pop’ record in the style of Paul Westerberg, the result might be an album that sounds something like The Other Side Of Midnight, from multi-instrumentalist wunderkind, Jonny Polonsky. Though he is hardly a kid anymore, Jonny’s professional journey is one of the more fascinating True Stories in the music business. He was signed to Rick Ruben’s American Recordings at 21, and his debut album, Hi My Name in Jonny released in 1996, became the most-well-reviewed album of that year (yes, that is a thing). Two decades later, Jonny continues to record and release his own original material, while writing songs for, touring with, and recording with artists as diverse as Frank Black, Neil Diamond, Reeves Gabrels of David Bowie’s Tin Machine, Pusicfer, The Dixie Chicks, and he also played on posthumous releases from Johnny Cash. Wow, Jonny Polonsky is amazing!

The Other Side of Midnight is a couple of years old now, but I just discovered this crazy-stylish video for the track “Lay Down Your Arms” last week, when Jonny sent me the link, and I think it shows a Beatles-esque growth curve not only in his sound and but also his rock persona, and so it deserves some love from the Gig. The video’s desert setting is the perfect place for this song that tells the tale of a long dead love affair from which both sides are still seeking an armistice with regard to what went down, and what needs to happen in order to move forward. Have most of us been there? I think so. Try not to fall in love with Jonny’s aching, emotionally-rich vocal delivery over a seductive, tribal beat, languid flow and a killer ’80s-reminiscent keyboard hook that is sharp enough to draw blood. I dare you.

The Other Side of Midnight (available on iTunes) was written, produced and recorded entirely by Jonny, and then mixed at David Lynch’s Asymmetrical Studios by Lynch’s longtime Collaborator/Engineer, Dean Hurley (Twin Peaks). Enjoy!

Jonny Polonsky Lay Down Your Arms

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Jonny Polonsky, Maverick Rock and Roll Genius, and American Treasure

Jonny Polonsky

In this post-Lester Bangs, pre-Armageddon world of rock journalism, where only fast and easy money is held sacred, and Rock and Roll’s golden calf is sold for pennies on the pound from the chopping block, there is only one writer who can rise above the fetid morass to deliver the children from a certain and unholy existence: Worley. Gail, that is. Come to Mama, babies — it’s time.

My Top Ten CDs List of 2003 for Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone Top Ten By Gail Worley

1. Pre(thing), 22nd Century Lifestyle (V2): An acid-rock masterpiece predestined for obscurity by the untimely death of lead vocalist/guitarist Rust Epic just weeks before the CD’s release date.

2. Steve Morse, Major Impacts 2 (Magna Carta): A legend of instrumental guitar rock pays homage to his own influences. Absolutely essential listening.

3. Ambulance LTD, Ambulance LTD (TVT): Penny Lane is in their ears and in their eyes.

4. Audio Karate, Lady Melody (Label): LA Punk Rock revivalists blend disarming melody and authentic grit with a little help from producer and punk rock legend Bill Stevenson (ALL, Descendents).

5. Josh Todd, You Made Me (Label): Ex-Buckcherry front man and his eponymous new band made one of the year’s best albums while keeping Rock & Roll in the gutter, where it belongs.

6. The Killers, Hot Fuss (Island): This Sin City foursome validated its advance hype, combining the hipster synth-pop of Duran Duran and Ultravox on the most original sounding album of the year.

7. VAST, Nude (FourFiveSix): Arena-worthy Thinker Rock for the Modern Progressive.

8. Jonny Polonsky, The Power of Sound (Loveless): Audiot savant Jonny Polonsky graduates from the School of Rock with straight A’s to show all the whiny brat rockers how it’s done.

9. Doug Gillard, Salamander (Pink Frost/Big Takeover): Flawless Beatles-esque pop that sounds like The Lemonheads meet Guided By Voices without all the substance abuse issues.

10. Green Day, American Idiot (Reprise): Ever wondered what The Who’s Tommy would sound like recorded by Green Day? Here’s your answer.

Reissue: The Clash, London Calling (Sony Legacy): Two words: Bonus DVD.