Sunday, June 22, 2008

June eMusic

Used up my 100 dls a little early ...

Girl in a Coma Both Before I'm Gone

Released on Joan Jett's Blackheart label. All-latina, fairly straightforward rock.

Go Betty Go Worst Enemy EP

All-latina pop punk.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Sinner

Joan'a first domestic release of the 2000s.

Period Pains BBC Session EP

Punk. Punkish, at least.

Shitbirds Famous Recording Artists

Elinore Blake is the vocalist. AKA multilingual girl-pop icon April March. Pretty far from the French pop she is known for under that name, though.

Skinned Teen/Raooul Bazooka Smooth!/Jail-bait Core

Released on the west coast's Lookout! Records. Pretty much the pop-punk you'd expect from Lookout!.

The Be Good Tanyas Chinatown
The Be Good Tanyas Scattered Leaves EP
The Be Good Tanyas "Opal's Blues"

Trad. The album is their 2nd full-length, the EP the band's debut, the track from a movie soundtrack.

The Carter Family "No Depression in Heaven"

The sole male vocal I downloaded in June.

The Coathangers "Dreamboat"

60s flavored 'clean' garage.

The Detroit Cobras Mink Rat or Rabbit

Garage. Mostly covers of mostly obscure R&B.

Couple of interesting download patterns in June. I bookended the month with trad stuff, starting with TBGT and ending the month with the Carter Family. Almost accidentally I picked up releases from two different all-latina groups. 99% of what I picked up features female vocalists, with several of the groups being in fact entirely made up of that gender.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

5 most intriguing vocalists of the moment

If you've been reading this blog it should be fairly obvious that I pay alot of attention to vocals in songs. By 'vocals' I mean the actual performance of the lyrics, not just the content. I'm also a pretty big enthusiast of lists. So why not a list of vocalists? In reverse order here are the five most intriguing vocalists I've been listening to lately:

5 - Kate Jackson, The Long Blondes

On the Long Blondes latest release, Couples, Kate makes very able use of falsetto in some places. What really impresses me though is her ability to use the lower end of her vocal range. One example is "Giddy Stratospheres" from their previous album. She pulls off singing one portion of the bridge in a very low register while maintaining a fairly straightforward delivery. Very impressive. Her delivery in and of itself is interesting, being almost like a speaking voice, but not quite.

4 - Angela Gossow, Arch Enemy

Angela also has ... interesting ... delivery. She uses what are often called 'cookie monster' style vocals. Normally I don't go in for this easily parodied extreme metal style. When those sounds come out of a female throat, though, I find it a lot more interesting. When I first heard Arch Enemy I had never heard a woman pull this off. I've since heard others, but you always remember the first :).

3 - Frazey Ford, The Be Good Tanyas

Imagine a vocalist who ate an entire jar of peanut butter before singing. That is not Frazey. Frazey sounds like she is actually eating the peanut butter WHILE SINGING. A unique and very enjoyable style. Takes a little getting used to a delivery that has as much in common with mumbled rambling as more common vocal styles. But worth getting used to.

2 - Melora Creager, Rasputina

With Melora we go in a completely different direction. Her voice is crystal clear, with only the faintest vibratto on sustained notes. That warble is used to great effect. The Rasputina cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" is definitive, nearly dripping melancholy. The cellos of course account for some of this, but much of the credit for outdoing the original must go to the vocal performance.

1 - Ali Howard, Lucky Soul

Lucky Soul are one of my favorite bands at the moment. Ali Howard's vocals get much of the credit for this. They are velvety like honey, except this honey has begun to crystallize a bit so is a little gritty. Ali is far from Kim Carnes/Bonnie Tyler throaty vocals territory but you get a definate feeling she could play on that field. At the same time she hints at the stylings of a vocally talented 12 year old. In some respects reminisciant of an early 60s Ronnie Spector. The combination of sandpaper breathiness and little girl exubriance makes for a very intriguing result.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Catching up

Bo Diddley passed away recently. You can read about him at Bo was in the uncomfortable position of being incredibly influential but often being treated as a mere footnote. What was interesting for me was that the word 'hambone' was never used in describing the 'Bo Diddley beat ' - which is widely acknowledged as a hambone variant. But apparently the public can't be trusted with that knowledge ...

One downside of listening to a variety of styles is that it can be easy to lose track of happenings in one area because a different area was being focused on. For example, I've been reading about riot grrrl lately - completely missing the overhaul in the Pipettes front line! Wasn't keeping up on indie pop. But it is true. Becki and Rose have both moved on to other projects. That means 2 of the 3 Pipettes vocalists have been replaced. Hope to hear material with the newbies (Anna and Ani) soon. In other Pipettes news, they recently did a show with REO Speedwagon. I feel unclean now ...

U2 should can their manager (Paul McGuinness). I mean, really, the guy is just embarassing. Pretty much monthly he natters on someplace about how the music recording industry is being hurt ... by everybody else. This time he targets ISPs (old hat, there), cellphone manufacturers, and telecoms in general.

eMusic makes recomendations based on past download history. How embarassing that my 'new releases' list included an album by ... Tiffany. I only previously downloaded one song by Tiffany! I swear!

On the subject of eMusic, material by the band Po' Girl is split between different spellings of the name - with or without the apostrophe. This annoys me much more than it should.

Still on the topic of eMusic, I have discovered they have some Joan Jett stuff I don't have yet. That is beyond cool, and something I just stumbled upon. Never would have thought to look.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

May eMusic

Just in case you aren't familiar with all the stuff I download I've put little descriptions on each.

Aje'h "Kids In America"

-This months cover project was the Kim Wilde classic.

Baby Guts Gasoline

-Twin Cities riot grrrls.

BP vs. Effcee "Kids In America"

-Cover project.

Harpies Deep EP
Harpies Lie Down Station EP

-Could just as well be considered singles. Doom metal, pretty much.

I Hate Sally Don't Worry Lady

-Metalcore. Probably not technical enough for the headbangers but too metal for the punks.

Kizooks! "Kids In America"

-Think Kids Bop. Cover project.

The Be Good Tanyas Blue Horse


The Indelicates American Demo

-British indie pop/rock. Not a demo despite the name.

The Long Blondes Couples

-British indie pop/rock, trending towards indie dance.

The Long Blondes "Fulwood Babylon"

-A B-side I didn't have yet.

Various Artists Backcomb 'N' Beat - Dream Babes Volume 3
Various Artists Let's Go: Joe Meeks Girls!

-British mostly early/mid 60s girl group.

Two highly anticipated releases downloaded in May - Couples and American Demo. I'm doing a better job of balancing my downloads to match my interests, so all around good month for emusic here!