I first encountered the work of British singer-songwriter Nick Lowe through a song I never even knew he wrote: His 1979 classic “Cruel To Be Kind” was covered by Letters to Cleo for a touching, crucial scene in the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You. Lowe also wrote the song “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” which was made famous by Elvis Costello in a version produced by Lowe.
Lowe is the same guy who wowed Wilco fans when he opened for them on their most recent tour, playing solo on guitar. He reached a whole new generation of fans through that particular set of gigs (interested parties should check out Lowe, Mavis Staples and Wilco rehearsing “The Weight” backstage before a show in Chicago), as well as through his music video for the song “Sensitive Man,” which features Wilco, Marc Maron and Tim Heidecker.
As the video suggests, Lowe is just as cool as he ever was; when he came to his Sound Opinions taping, he was wearing Buddy Holly style glasses and Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars. And his music, stripped down acoustic performances, shows that not much else has changed – except maybe, his fan base.
Nick Lowe performs “Stoplight Roses” from The Old Magic (Proper/Yep Roc)
Nick Lowe performs “Somebody Care For Me” from The Old Magic (Proper/Yep Roc)