Monday, May 30, 2011

Austra: Dark wave electro pop out of Toronto

I just discovered Austra this week. There was an article about the band in OUT magazine of all places. Austra is led by lead singer Katie Stelmanis and based in Toronto. The band is somewhere between music by The Knife and some vocal similarity to Nika Roza of Zola Jesus. The beats and vocals are pretty infectious. I am just digging into their new album Feel It Break. So far, I'm loving it. Here is a sample:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lost classic: Bobbie Gentry

Bobbie Gentry is my favorite new "old" country artist. She had a number one single in the 1970's with Ode to Billie Joe. She had a couple more albums that did not quite live up to that first single, or so the critics said. I had a hard time finding one of her records(I think I'm not the only one rediscovering her right now), but once I did, I feel like she is just as good if not better than some of her contemporaries. She has the smoky sound of Dusty Springfield but with a bit more soul.
re soul.

Intrigued by EMA

EMA is a concept by Erika Anderson, formerly of a band called Gowns. Erika brings to the table influences as broad as Catpower and a touch of Patti Smith. But really, the rawness and imagery of the lyrics and vocal style bring an early Courtney Love crossed with Kim Gordon to mind. I'm kind of in love with this track called "Milkman".

The Ladies of Prince

As a child of the 1980's I was a huge Prince fan, I mean, who wasn't? Along with Prince, came the female versions of himself that he dated, created and produced. The best of these were Sheila E, Vanity, and Vanity's replacement Apollonia, and of coarse his band mates Wendy and Lisa. The Glamorous Life by Sheila E, I would argue, stands up against any of Princes greatest hits and well..... Vanity 6 and their debut single Nasty Girl is just as dirty as anything Prince himself would have created. Here are a few favorites from the ladies of Prince.

1960's Girl Groups, my new obsession

Recently, I have begun to be quite infatuated with the girl groups of the 1960's. It all started with picking up a re-issue of The Shangri-la's. Then I happened upon an old Shirelles record. Listening to Best Coast last summer is what triggered me to look backward to these amazing artists. I am now moving on to the classic Phil Spector groups of The Ronnettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and all the rest. If your a Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls or Ravenettes fan, go back to the source, nothing beats the originals. Here are a few for your listening pleasure.