Jon Lindsay – Escape From Plaza-Midwood

January 01, 1970



(Chocolate Lab)


Plaza-Midwood is a residential area located in proximity to
the business district of Charlotte, NC; as such, with its broad mix of working
class and bohemian, across multiple ethnicities and shifting demographics, it
has experienced wild swings of decline and gentrification over the years. As
one might imagine – and as I experienced during my own decade-long Charlotte tenure – it’s also
long been a fertile petri dish for artistic types. Multiinstrumentalist Jon
Lindsay is the latest Queen
City musician to
represent that legacy, and he represents in fine fashion. A veteran of numerous
power pop outfits (among them the Young Sons and the Catch Fire) as well as a
notable collaborator with the likes of Benji Hughes and Nicole Atkins, Lindsay’s
got all the classic influences, from Beatles, Beach Boys and Zombies to Posies,
Guided By Voices and Elliott Smith, and he’s also got the chops to mine those
influences for pop gold.


Chief among the nuggets are opening track “These Are the End
Times,” which slowly grows from a wistful acoustic strum/harmonica motif into a
subtly Spectorian neo-orchestral wall of sound, complete with gospellish
harmonies and – no lie – sleigh bells; and “The Launch Codes,” which comes near
the end, and, with its gentle R&B lope, horn charts and falsetto vocals,
suggests a Squeeze-Beach Boys musical fantasy summit come true. In between are
plenty of other blissed-out moments no student of pop will be able to resist,
from the exultant romp that is “My Blue Angels” to the chugging, synth-strafed
“Bring the Old You Back.” Throughout, Lindsay demonstrates both an eye for
sonic nuance (a lot of little flourishes prompt a “did I just hear him do
that?” flash of recognition on the listener’s part) and lyric detail (very few
of life’s vicissitudes seem to escape that eye, in fact, with Lindsay consistently
finding fodder wherever he looks).


Lindsay may intend his solo debut’s title to be either
ironic or literal; after all, since the dawn of time, it’s been a prime
directive of rock ‘n’ rollers to get out and get away. But purely based on the
aural evidence offered by these 15 tunes, there’s something in the titular Plaza-Midwood
water he should bottle up and carry with him regardless of where his muse
ultimately takes him. His future looks bright.


the Old You Back,” “These Are the End Times,” “Launch Codes” FRED MILLS



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