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With just the right dose of irony, the exotic-sounding Vestavia is actually the name of the Birmingham, Alabama suburb where John P. Strohm now resides. It’s a fitting name given that Strohm clearly believes the most interesting stories often occur in quite mundane settings. Vestavia has certainly re-invigorated Strohm’s songwriting, giving him a fresh canvass upon which to paint deep and literate portraits of the darker side of Southern life. Witness, “The Ballad of Lobster Boy,” a true-life crime story of a sideshow freak. On this, his second solo disc, the Bloomington, Indiana native retains his middle America rock roots and the indie pop aesthetic honed in Boston during stints drumming for the Lemonheads and playing in the Blake Babies with Juliana Hatfield.

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Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


Tagged as: john p. strohm
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