Second-Guessing Free Press Summer Fest

The lineup is locked, but fans share their lineup slips.

"I think letting go of those [unused] songs was a good exercise for me," she considers, more thoughtful on the phone than her combative reputation would indicate. "Many musicians say their songs are like their babies, but I never want to be like that, especially with my bad I had to kill them."

Loveless's powerhouse voice and lyrical insight defy her tender age.

If we guessed artists' cities via their sound alone, Loveless's honky-punk hybrid sounds best suited for the trendier alt-country capitals of the South than for Columbus, where she resides with her husband and bassist, Ben Lamb. But she's a Midwest girl at heart.

"I've thought about living in Austin or Nashville, but I just like the Midwest," Loveless reveals. "My favorite band is The Replacements. We're both angry, stubborn Midwesterners freezing our asses off — but those are the kinds of people I identify with."

Lydia Loveless
Courtesy of Bloodshot Records
Lydia Loveless
Peter Beste

During her 2013 SXSW performance, Loveless unabashedly sprawled across the grimy stage floor in a hiked-up miniskirt, while still playing guitar. But it wasn't the fact that half the Continental Club learned that night what color underwear she wears; rather, it was her raw, reckless abandon that made her particularly memorable. Furthermore, for a woman who struggles with debilitating anxiety offstage, Loveless somehow sheds apprehension while performing.

"It's like being possessed," she says of her contrastingly fearless stage persona. "Talking to people after the show still terrifies me, but I play off my bandmates' spontaneity while onstage. A lot of bands keep everything the same every night, but I can't do that. The danger in wondering what's going to happen each night keeps things exciting."

Lydia Loveless opens for the Old 97's Tuesday, May 27, at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Ask Willie D

Bad Mojo
A reader is trapped in an abusive relationship — by her partner and her mother.

Dear Willie D:

I'm 22 years old and my mother is forcing me to stay in a relationship with a man who is verbally and physically abusive to me. She always tells me to stay with my husband because he is the father of my children and he takes care of us. Her favorite saying is, "I don't want you making the same mistake I made." She is twice divorced, and has been abused. I have two children, a boy and a girl. Their father is kind to them, but treats me like crap.

I know you will probably say that I'm a grown woman so my mother cannot tell me what to do, but my mother is very controlling. She babysits the kids and is always visiting. Whenever I tell her that it's my life, not hers, she will make me feel guilty by not visiting the kids or babysitting. Other than my mother, I don't have any other family where I live, and she refuses to let me live with her.

My husband will not allow me to work, so I have no other way to support myself and my kids. I need a way out. Please help!

Treated Like Crap:

What a disheartening story. Your mother suffers from battered woman syndrome. She doesn't know any better. Would she rather have a divorced daughter or a murdered daughter? Do not listen to her. Get out while you can and take your kids with you. Get a restraining order. Reach out to a women's shelter in your area for abused and battered women of domestic violence.

You can call 411 for directory assistance, or do a quick Internet search. They have a myriad of resources to help you get on your feet, including a crisis hotline, food, shelter, clothing, legal services, job training, transportation and child care. When you go there, you don't have to give them your real name, even if they ask. Since you've never been on your own, the first step may be daunting. But as the French proverb goes: The first step binds one to the second.

Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.

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