Steve Wynn wants to make gutsy music.
"Wear your spleen on the wall and watch it drip" music is actually how he describes it. "If it makes you happy or sad or makes you want to punch somebody, that's what I want," he declares. "An emotional catharsis."
He's always lived in L.A. Used to be in Hollywood. And for a while, a dicey section called Silverlake. For the past year, though, his home has been Venice Beach, that Bohemian stretch full of nouveau hippies, roller skaters and muscles. He hasn't seen "Twin Peaks" star and neighbor Kyle MacLachlan yet, "but the other day, I saw Barbara Getty!" he exclaims. "That was exciting!"
He used to be in a neo-psychedelic L.A. band called the Dream Syndicate. "We were sort of the snot-nosed kids," he said. "We weren't insiders and we didn't care.
"I think," he adds, "that's one reason why people came to see us."
Wynn is on his own now. He has been for about two years. And he's just put out an album called "Kerosene Man" (Rhino). On the cover is a goofy collage of trinkets, such as rusty keys, ratty raccoon tails and campy jewelry. His music is like a collage too. "Progressive" is a fair description. There are hints of country, but only hints. Lots of mandolin and acoustic guitar, moody rhythms and striking lyrics such as: "In this town there's a joke going around/ And everyone says it's you."
"You should see -- even if it's not the inner emotions of the writer -- you should see the inner feelings of things, something you can't explain," Wynn says. "The best music leaves you a different person when you've heard it -- and that's not easy to do."
Steve Wynn is performing Tuesday night at the 9:30 club. Tickets are $8 and are available at the door. For information call 393-0930.