F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that “there are no second acts in American lives.” But Fitzgerald never met Steve Wynn.
Wynn’s first act occurred in the 80s, when he was leader of The Dream Syndicate, a guitar based band with musical links back to The Velvet Underground, Television and Neil Young. That band was the most notable one to come out of the Los Angeles scene known as the Paisley Underground in the early 1980s. But Wynn broke up The Dream Syndicate at the end of the 80s, figuring that the band had gone about as far as it could go.
In his work in the 90s, Wynn mostly moved away from the slashing guitars sound of The Dream Syndicate and tried a variety of styles. He also moved from his native Los Angeles to New York City’s Upper West Side, where he still lives.
But in the fall of 2000, Steve, a large number of songs and his band, guitarist Chris Brokaw, bassist Dave DeCastro and drummer Linda Pitmon, all went to Tucson to record an album. When he left, he had finished his first double record set, Here Come the Miracles. Miracles solidified Steve’s sound and his band, now christened The Miracle Three (Chris left the band at the end of 2000 and was replaced by Jason Victor).
Steve, along with The Miracle Three traveled to Tucson twice more to record 2003’s Static Transmission and 2005’s …tick…tick…tick, which along with Miracles Steve now calls his desert trilogy. Steve even wrote his best song out of his long career during this period, Amphetamine, which appears on Static Transmission.
Steve and The Miracle Three are, in my opinion, the best live rock band in America (and probably the world). They have a great catalog of songs stretching from the 21st century all the way back to Steve’s days with The Dream Syndicate in the 1980s. They are not afraid of, and understand how to use the power of loudness. And Steve, Jason, Dave and Linda are excellent musicians who enjoy playing with and off each other.
There have also been a number of side projects over the last ten years, the most notable of which is The Baseball Project, a group which writes songs about baseball and about some of the characters inhabiting that world. It consists of Steve and Linda as well as Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 and the REM touring band and Peter Buck of REM.
Therefore, in recognition his consistently excellent, exciting and exhilarating music over the past ten years, Now I’ve Heard Everything makes Steve Wynn our Artist of the Decade.