Unlike her Britney and Christina contemporaries, Arista recording artist Lennon has little patience for the shiny, happy pop song.
Instead, the 19-year-old rocker's muse led her toward heavy guitar and introspective lyrics, producing a sonic landscape closer to that of Marilyn Manson than Mandy Moore. Lennon performs Saturday at Crossroads, 1102 Broad St., breaking a figurative bottle across the bow of the new venue on its first night.
Lennon, born Lennon Murphy in Nashville, Tenn., said that audiences are sometimes confounded by her Beatle-esque name and her Southern roots, neither of which suggest a searing take on guitar rock. She said that watching as the ideas of how she might perform slide away has become a favorite pastime.
"It's great," she said during a recent telephone interview. "Walking on the stage, I get people's attention. Everyone has preconceived notions, and I love seeing those fall."
Blunt and outspoken, Lennon has few kind words for the entertainment industry. She said she puts up with endless photo shoots, recording dates and industry junkets because they give her the opportunity to do what she loves, perform for an audience.
"We played 130 dates in six months last year, and it was all my fault," she said with a laugh. "I never want to come home. I hate the studio, and I hate this industry. I really wonder why I do this sometimes. The reason is because I love playing live."
Lennon's debut album, 5:30 Saturday Morning, released Sept. 11, combines caustic guitar rock with introspective ballads, lending the songs a pulse rarely heard in the current nu metal boy's club. Lennon said her songs are written with both musical and lyrical goals in mind.
"I don't want every single song to sound the same," she said. "That's why I write on piano because it's an instrument that can go any way. I want to write songs people will respond to. Most of the songs on 5:30 are written about true events. They are stories. I've always loved musicians that were storytellers, and that's what I want to do."
Lennon said her songs are personal snapshots, not life lessons, and her primary task is to get on stage and give an audience the finest performance she can muster. It is, she said, something that doesn't happen with every rock band.
"There was a time when you would go and see someone like Alice Cooper, and you were entertained," she said. "I miss that. Now you see a lot of guys staring at their feet. So when I go out I try to put on a show. I don't have anything really to communicate. I just want to play good music."
|5:30 Saturday Morning
"Brake of your Car"
WHAT: Lennon, with Speedealer and Supafuzz
WHERE: Crossroads, 1102 Broad St., the former Woodstock Rock Bar
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org