Wish You Could be at Austin City Limits?

September 27, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

Yeah, me too. It’s one of those things. I had actually planned on going to the Austin City Limits festival in Texas this weekend, but things did not work out as planned.

No matter, there are plenty of ways to experience it vicariously. Several of my blogging friends will be there. Check out, Austin Sound Check, Listen In Music, and RebelGirl @ Newsvine.

For slightly less delayed gratification, you can catch live streaming of performances from the AT&T stage at the AT&T Blue Room. Like so many other festivals, female presence is in sparse quantities. However, tomorrow’s line up is chalk full of women with Neko Case, Sybris, The Kills, Flyleaf, and Tegan & Sara.

Technorati Tags: Music Festivals

Flashback Friday: Hole “Celebrity Skin”

September 26, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

Courtney Love fancies herself rock royalty, and with good reason. She was the wife of grudge rocker Kirt Cobain, portrayed the wife of a magazine mogul in The People vs Larry Flint, and eventually even fronted her own band Hole.

While Hole was definitely not one of the most innovative bands of our time, it certainly spoke to the MTV generation…Or made fun of it rather. The breakout single “Celebrity Skin” was a punk influenced pop song that took aim at the celebrity culture that was developing.

The irony is that many would later point to MTV as the instigators of our current celebrity obsession, which Hole capitalized on while creating sneeringly critical songs about the movement.

Oh make me over
I’m all I wanna be
A walking study
In demonology

With very simple albeit darkly poetic lyrics, “Celebrity Skin” points the finger at the “at all costs” quest for fame, the legions of almost famous, the red carpet parades and general whoring it took to be a celebrity. The tone is acrid and mocking.

When I wake up in my makeup
Have you ever felt so used up as this?
Its all so sugarless
Hooker/waitress/model/actress
Oh, just go nameless
Honeysuckle, she’s full of poison
She obliterated everything she kissed
Now she’s fading
Somewhere in Hollywood
I’m glad I came here
With your pound of flesh

For Hole, “Celebrity Skin” was the height of their band success. It’s kinda sad when your breakout hit is on your fourth studio album after which you fade back into oblivion. The song still holds a certain nostalgia for those of us who loved the rock of the ’90s though.

Image via Newscom

Artist Spotlight: Girl in Coma

September 23, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

When it comes to girls who rock and have great voices, Girl in a Coma (GIAC) is among the best. This Texas trio has been dreaming of making it big, however, it wasn’t until Nina Diaz joined the band with her smoky voice reminiscent of Gwen Stefani, that that the dream would come true.

Check out "Say," a gritty punk number sure to get you jumping around.

 

Since the release of their debut album - Both Before I’m Gone - they have been touring the country with Morrisey, made tour stops with Cindy Loper and have been invited to open for Tegan & Sara on their fall tour, which kicks off Sept. 30. See their MySpace page for tour dates.

"Clumsy Sky" 

HT

Treasure Island Music Festival Day 2

September 23, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

Day two of the festival started out leisurely with the last two female acts packed into the back end of the show.

Tegan & Sara were nothing short of charming. The two utilized a fun combination of infectious rhythms, dissonant chords and punk influences to create dramatic sound. Between songs, the pair engaged the audience with dialogue, providing festival attendees with bits of Tegan & Sara trivia. Once the set was over, there was a surprising mass exodus of younger audience members (surprising because The Raconteurs were going on in an hour), but I suspect it was because the kiddies had to go to school in the morning.

 The Kills were absolutely electrifying. Of all the male female twosomes currently coming out of the UK, Alison “VV” Mossart and Jamie “Hotel” Hince are arguably the most caustic and gritty. Together their energy is magnetic; Hotel with his appropriately jarring guitar rips and VV with her gravelly vocals. The Kills  are definitely one of the best up-and-coming rock bands of the current era.

Check out more festival coverage at VinylNotes.com

Image via The Kills MySpace

Treasure Island Music Festival Day I

September 21, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

Yesterday kicked off the second annual Treasure Island Music Festival (TIMF). To my surprise the venue was tiny compared to others, however, this works very much in favor of the festival attendees and the artists performing.

With two stages within earshot of each other, the festival sets had to be staggered out, one following the other. While most of the music was not necessarily my cup of tea, there was a great variety of electronica, indie rock, and other stylistic fusions.

For having been together a decade, Loquat was surprisingly unpolished in   their performance. Lead singer Kylee Swenson definitely has raw talent and a beautiful voice, however, she could benefit from some vocal training to aid in fine tuning and improve delivery. The pseudo-captive early bird TIMF audience listened attentively as the band went through several melodic and pulsating numbers. “Sitting Sideways” a song from their forthcoming LP Secrets of the Sea, was the only song that really had enough funk to get the audience bobbing their heads and tapping their toes.

As expected, Goldfrapp was pretty magical. Not so much the music, but the visual of the band in all white, the reflective sun and the gusting winds. With front woman Alison Goldfrapp clad in a slinky white slip dress covered in rainbow ribbons, the affect was almost ethereal. “July” was the most esoteric, replete with spacey lazer sounds, the band members all swayed as if being driven by the wind as they played. As the base throbbed and the beat to “Satin Chic” marched on, the crowed bounced happily along.

Check out this clip:

Technorati Tags: TIMF,Pop,Indie,Music Festivals

Treasure Island Music Festival Preview

September 20, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

After 12 hours and three connections, I am in the Bay Area to cover the second annual Treasure Island Music Festival. I suspect that this two day festival on San Fracisco Bay’s famous man made island will come and go all too quickly.While it’s here though, we’ll enjoy.

Of the 28 acts performing at this festival, like so many others, female presence is scarce. The ladies representing at this Bay Area affair include:

Veteran UK pop chanteuse Goldfrapp

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Up-and-coming indie duo Tegan & Sara

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Brazilian six-piece CSS

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Funky punk twosome The Kills

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San Francisco grown Loquat.

They may be few in numbers, but these lone five - veteran and newcomers alike - promise strong performances.

Check back over the weekend for more Treasure Island Music Festival coverage.

Flashback Friday: Björk “Hyperballad”

September 19, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

Even if you don’t like her eccentricities, there is no denying that Björk is one of the greatest, most innovative artists of our time. Her music is always rich with melody and rhythm, replete with playful tactile sounds; her voice a throaty growl. She does not just making music, she creates musical illustrations; soundscapes if you will.

One such masterpeice is “Hyperballad” from the 1995 Post. With it’s heavy baseline and militaristic percussion, the song starts with an understated urgency that grows as the song progresses. The lyrics are a disconcerting representation of Björk’s sick love as she describes her daily ritual:

Every morning, I walk towards the edge
And throw little things off
Like car parts bottles and cutlery
Or whatever I find lying around
It’s become a habit
A way to start the day

I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happy and
to be safe up here with you…

The strings begin to swell when she launches into the second chorus after detailing her strange musings:

I imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks
And when it lands
Will my eyes be closed or open…

It’s a lovely song despite the bizarre lyrics. There are plenty of other song with similarly decadent composition on her other albums as well. Case and point the new video for “Dull Flame of Desire.”

Who cares about eccentricities when her music is so beautiful?

Singled Out: The Ting Tings "That’s Not My Name"

September 18, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

When I first caught the buzz about The Ting Tings I was not at all impressed. I mean how many blond chicks from the UK making bubble gum pop/rock with psuedo squeaky voices can we stand?

However, the buzz kept growing and so I figured there must be something special about the duo. The song that sealed the deal for me? “That’s Not My Name.”

A friend linked it in a discussion with a guy who was being a jerk and called her “sweetheart” or “honey” or something similar while hinting that she - the woman - should just shut up.

They call me ‘Hell’
They call me ‘Stacey’
They call me ‘her’
They call me ‘Jane’
That’s not my name
That’s not my name
That’s not my name
That’s not my name
They call me ‘Quiet Girl’
But I’m a riot
Mary, jo, lisa
Always the same
That’s not my name
That’s not my name
That’s not my name
That’s not my name

Talk about a girl power anthem! It’s a defiant and poppy, funky groove to which any girl who has ever endured the patronization of sexist men can certainly relate. The danceable rhythm make it impossible to listen without moving. Go ahead, give it a listen, see if your head doesn’t bob and other limbs don’t  move involuntarily.

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Technorati Tags: Reviews,Singles,Indie,Pop,New Music

Image via The Ting Tings MySpace

Leaked Britney Spears Track?

September 17, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

Although the first official single from Britney Spears’ new album Circus is not due until Sept. 22, E! is reporting a possible leaked single featuring hip hop duo Laze & Royal entitled “Candy from Strangers.” Check it out:

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Well it certainly sounds like Brit, and if this is a single from the new album Circus, it is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s a funky earworm that’s impossible not to dance to.

Unfortunately, with no confirmation either way, we are left to determine whether or not this is actually a Britney Spears song or just a copycat.

I think it’s the genuine article, what about you?

Technorati Tags: New Music,Leaks,Pop,Videos

Amanda Palmer: "Guitar Hero"

September 16, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  

I was a little confused by “Strength Through Music” but the latest installment in the Who Killed Amanda Palmer video series is a great recovery.

“Guitar Hero” is a return to the aggressive and martial sound that suits Palmer so nicely. The baseline and melody closely resemble that of “Love Me Dead” by Ludo (coincidence probably), all bouncy with a cheeky edge.

It’s a fun track and probably my favorite thus far. Check it out:

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