Thursday night I’d gone to see my new favorite band Those Darlins, who did a cover of White Light/White Heat – which is one of my favorite Velvet tunes – and I actually went & thanked them for it afterwards, specifically mentioning that it always does a NYC kid’s heart good to hear Lou. Such weird amazing timing: rock & roll magic.
A young, androgynous boy explores his femininity through a hoard of trinkets hidden in the undergrowth in the accompanying video to “Annabel,” a brand new track from Goldfrapp. For their sixth album Tales Of Us, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have stepped back from the electronic synth pop with which they made their name. “I like electronic sounds because of the iciness, but I find them quite awkward,” says Goldfrapp. “Acoustic instruments have a warmth and sensuality about them.” Each song on Tales Of Us is named after a different person and the album sees Goldfrapp’s voice—at one moment rich, the next fragile—paired with understated guitar and strings. The intended effect is to allow the characters and narratives to breathe, which is most eloquently achieved in “Annabel,” inspired by Kathleen Winter’s 2010 novel of the same name which follows a hermaphrodite child who is forced into taking on a male identity in 1960s Canada.
his current badass self rocking a skirt for London’s Fashion Week.
There are only a few US dates left, and I am pleased as punch I got to see him in Milwaukee. He still has so much stage charisma it’s ridiculous, and he’s doing a ton of the old punk songs – like “Zerox Machine”! – which makes antfans like me seriously happy.
If anyone out there wants to buy my round-trip airfare to the Pacific NW, I’d love to go see the Seattle & Portland shows which happen this upcoming weekend! Really. I’m not kidding. Even a little. I nearly drove to Minneapolis the day after the Milwaukee show to see him again.
But this band – oh, this band, I just fell in love with.
“I may have girly parts / but I have a boy’s heart…” is probably the standout lyric, but the one that first killed me was the “I just wanna play in the mud with you / you just wanna stick it in.” How great is that?
I honestly didn’t know what to make of them when they first came onstage, but I already knew I was going to go home & look them up. They started with a track from their newest, Blur the Line, called “Oh God”. The room went still and we all listened to every lyric, I think, rapt. Amazing stage presence, and they rocked. It surprised the hell out of me that they won over that crowd, and the lead singer told me later it surprised her, too. I’m hoping I’ll get to interview her/them at a later date. Check out “Optimist” – “I used to be an optimist / but it got too dangerous” – for the flip side of the sound of “Oh God”.
I’ll be tweeting what I’m going to see today and tomorrow and Sunday – there are so, so many interesting bands playing, and at so many venues! It’s pretty incredible. Check for #mileofmusic on Twitter – there are already plenty of posts, photos, reviews & updates.
I know it’s been out for a while, but as many of you may know, I’m not a huge Bowie fan. Totally respect the dude, & know that many of my heroes would have been impossible without him, but he’s never quite pulled me in.
Just DAMN. She is too righteous for her own good. & No, the booty don’t lie. That last rap is too fantastic:
My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertiti Gimme back my pyramid, I’m trying to free Kansas City Mixing masterminds like your name Bernie Grundman Well I’m gonna keep leading like a young Harriet Tubman You can take my wings but I’m still goin’ fly And even when you edit me the booty don’t lie Yeah, keep singing and I’mma keep writing songs I’m tired of Marvin asking me, “What’s Going On? March to the streets ‘cuz I’m willing and I’m able Categorize me, I defy every label And while you’re selling dope, we’re gonna keep selling hope We rising up now, you gotta deal you gotta cope Will you be electric sheep? Electric ladies, will you sleep? Or will you preach?
So here’s the other thing I love about her: she’s wearing heels, which she never does, but somehow, she wears them like they’re combat boots.
“The Paris Commune had fallen … but now he was fleeing for his life. He was in hiding, Eugene Portier . . . and that very month of May, 1871, he writes six long verses & a chorus calling on all the hard working people of the entire world to overthrow their masters, and he was quite confident that they would, soon.” – Pete Seeger, from the documentary
There are six parts, and it’s a pretty cool bit of history. Gives us in the US, in particular, a little better sense of how exactly one-sided our political conversation has been since the 1950s.
A few weeks ago I was up at dawn up in northern Wisconsin and you know, if you know me at all, that if I am up at dawn it’s only because I haven’t slept. Right before I’d gone up there I’d loaded a bunch of new music onto my MP3 player and while I was standing there shivering, this song, which I had never heard before, came on.
I highly recommend listening to it when you’re on the edge of something – a lake, a cliff, a decision.
My heart is wild / my bones are steam / and I could kill you with my bare hands / if I was free
It was a very cold, very bright sunrise that morning, and all the gray of this long Wisconsin winter only turned to silver, not to color, as the sun came up, but it was still astonishing.
This is just because I woke today so full, so peaceful, so – resolved. I have been through a little too much these past few weeks and have been feeling exhausted, and winter seemed like it would never, ever end.
So take some of it, those of you who need it; and thank you to those who have given me some.