REVIEW: Olivia Jean’s Record Release Show at Grimey’s

I feel kind of sorry for Olivia Jean nowadays. Given, I thought the Black Belles sucked like everyone else with a pair of working ears, but it seems that most of the hatred directed towards her is not actually for her music, but really stems from the rumored affair that she had with Jack White that allegedly caused the break up of him and Karen Elson. Since that shit started circulating, every move Jean has made has been met with a slew of comments that call her a lot of less sophisticated terms for home wrecker.

Side note: Personally, I don’t have a dog in that fight. I really don’t give a shit if they did or didn’t play hide the pickle, but either way, does anyone else find it a bit sexist that she keeps getting this kind of abuse and White doesn’t? The last time I checked, it takes at least two to fuck.

Regardless, the reason I brought that up is because most people tend to believe that this is how she got signed to Third Man and had a record out in almost no time; while most journalists try to sweep it under the rug, it does appear to be the source for much of the disdain aimed at her. Like I said, my issue with her isn’t her (supposedly) personal life being made public, but rather, the music that she makes public.

However, this past Tuesday, I had an hour to kill before grabbing dinner and checking out the Twin Peaks/Tweens/Penicillin Baby show at the Stone Fox. It just so happened to be the day that Ms. Jean was holding her record release party at Grimey’s. So despite my already biased outlook on her music, I decided to try and wipe the slate clean and give her solo outing a genuine shot. Who knows? Maybe I’d be surprised.

It was fairly crowded when me and my buddy Nick arrived at Grimey’s, but definitely not the most crowded I’ve seen it. In fact, a good portion of the room was being taken up by a camera crew that were there to shoot her set. Me and Nick took a spot towards the back and opened our ears.

The set was only 40 minutes long tops and thank Yeezus for that. I tried to be kind, but even the live element doesn’t make her music the slightest bit captivating. All of the riffs are marginal and derivative of better songs and she seemed to try to make up for the lack of catchy melodies in her songs by double harmonizing every other guitar riff. Mostly, it sounded like she was playing half-written songs that never got finished and was trying to pass em off on us.

Midway through the set, we scouted the exits but between the camera crew and the rest of the audience, there was no way out. We’d have to endure this until she was done with her set and the crowd thinned. To make matters worse, the members of the audience themselves weren’t exactly morale boosters either. While the Third Man croonies were all head-nodding along in support, most of the audience looked just as bored as I was. Hell, the dude standing right next to me started watching basketball on his iPhone. I pointed it out to Nick and he delivered this immortal line: “I don’t blame him. I’d rather be watching basketball too. And I don’t even like basketball.”


She closed her set with a cover of the Specials and then she said she’d stick around and sign records for anyone who wanted her to. We got the fuck out of dodge as soon as we had some elbow room.

It’s no secret that I’m fond of controversial/polarizing artists. I like my rock stars dangerous or dead, because it’s always fun when someone who makes great art isn’t afraid to get people riled up.

But Olivia Jean doesn’t fit this mold. She has the controversy, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have a single decent tune to her name that would protect her from it.

13 Responses to “REVIEW: Olivia Jean’s Record Release Show at Grimey’s”
  1. holymoses says:

    Really gross man. That is a lot of lame unfounded shit to put out into the world. You’re being very
    flippant and presumptuous about peoples personal lives, and you’re being very insulting to someone when you don’t need to be. Is there some reason you need to put this much negativity in
    the world? You’re piece on nashville’s dead is just as negative and insulting. Not cool.
    I highly doubt you would like someone to write about your life and creativity like this.

    • Jordan Canio says:

      First off, I’m not the one putting it out there. This shit has been rumored for years now and I’ve only addressed it as such: as being a rumor. I don’t know if it’s true and like I said, I don’t really care. I DO know that it’s part of the reason she gets a lot of shit around Nashville in general so in the context of the article and why I tried to ignore the noise and just listen to the music, it felt appropriate to mention it.
      Second, everything else in this post is just a matter of observation and opinion. I didn’t dig the gig and from what I saw, a lot of people around me didn’t dig it either.
      Third, negativity? Have you ever heard of this thing called an opinion? They were allowed the last time I checked, but admittedly, it has been a while. But you know how it is: say one bad thing about something and it’s bound to be repeated more than all of the other good stuff you’ve said about everything else.

  2. holymoses says:

    No, you’re printing gossip and insults. And it’s NOT the reason she “gets” anything. She’s a musician, who writes and performs (multiple instruments i may add) in a lot of projects in the third man world. Opinions can be mean and negative too, and that’s what you’re doing so don’t hide behind that privilege. And that’s lame to lay blame on other gossipers, you’re the one printing it, and if you don’t realize the power of the written word and how it spreads lies then you shouldn’t be writing articles for people to read. It’s totally inappropriate, and that’s why real journalists
    wouldn’t do that because you have no facts to back it up, and even if you did, still not cool to trash
    someone’s reputation like that. Not cool, you should delete your article and apologize. I’m
    offended and I don’t even know those people.

    • Jordan Canio says:

      For someone who doesn’t “even know these people,” you certainly seem to get quite defensive/know a lot about them….
      Opinions are opinions. You calling my opinion “mean and negative” is your own opinion. Personally, I think your opinion is worth shit on a nickel to me, but see, that’s just my opinion. See how that works?
      As for printing it, nothing I’ve said on here is more than a Google search away. I never said that the rumors were true, because honestly, I don’t know if they are. Why I spelled them is to give better insight into why some particular fans of TMR do not like her.
      Furthermore, I don’t give a shit if the rumors are true or not. Like I said, I feel sorry for her because she gets judged on a rumor instead of the merits of her own music. But as for her music, I hate to break it to you but it’s pretty shitty. But then again, that’s just my opinion (see above).
      Finally, as far as deleting the article and apologizing, who are you? The internet’s moral police?
      Then write me a ticket for this: go fuck yourself with a shoe.


    • I See You says:

      Jack White you suck at hiding your identity on the internet.

  3. Beauxcefus says:

    After listening to a free stream of this CD, I’m inclined to believe she HAD to have screwed somebody at TMR for it to see the light of day. She’s got the most incredibly flat voice, no depth or color, her guitar skills leave much to be desired and the songwriting… no…just…no. What made Jack White single her out for this kind of favor when Nashville is crawling with far superior talent???

  4. I think Jordan nailed it better than I ever could. Thank you for being so eloquent!

  5. tedturner says:

    LOL! Wow, nailed it! Obviously the comment defending her, is either someone from TMR, or mr white himself which would be funny. Why would a multi-millionaire care? Unless he’s an egomanic who is obsessed with how other perceive him. Maybe why he fakes a country accent? You ain’t from here jacky, go home to the D. They’ll stroke that ego and buy your willy wonka records. Us normal folks can’t afford 200$ a month on vinyl.

    Either way funny and props to jordan for making another post so truthful, it shakes the “nashville internet.”
    You can hate the kid all you want, but no one has the guts to post anything that proves what he says isn’t true, they just call it mean. And yes people, sometimes the truth, is ugly. And someone has the balls to say it how it is.

  6. Sara says:

    The fact that they have to put out this Olivia Jean infomercial trying to convince us that she is talented is laughable and insulting to fans. I understand he threw this girl a recording contract because he was boning her. But he would have been better off just putting the album out and not making such a big deal about it or trying to convince fans she is talented. It has only opened up this girl who was not well liked by fans to begin with to insults and mockery.

  7. Hannah says:

    Thank you for posting this. – Olivia showing her true colors. She has excellent manipulation skills and has done way more harm than good to Third Man Records.

    • Amanda says:

      I always knew Jordan gave a truthful review, he is not who was deceptive. I also read the snibe comments she publicly posted to Jordan in response to his review on Twitter. Hands down, Jordan handled and served her. Olivia’s life would get to a better place if she were honest about everything with the JW situation. The fact is, this mess has continued to snowball against her over the past 6 years, should be a wake up
      call to her. Not to mention Jack and Olivia never kept their affair in the closet. Karma!

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