Janelle Monáe – Cold War
Janelle Monáe – Cold War
You know those kids from down the block, the ones your mom told you to keep clear of, the ones with the gray teeth and the black fingernails? If you held a microphone to their hearts, this is what you’d hear: riffs grinding like hips against rusted chrome fenders; gritty boot-heel melodies howled in a prowling cat-growl… Neil Hagerty and junkie goddess wife Jennifer Herrema’s major-label debut had fans of their early noisenik abstractions crying sellout, but the rest of us heard a hard, dark slab of rock, the sound of skinny-ass kids throwing beercans and riding dirtbikes out in that old field behind the fairgrounds. The sound of black asphalt stinking in July. A sound as decadent as a busted skateboard. Hagerty’s guitar chunks and choogles and blazes along like the wild younger brother of Keef himself, while Herrema purrs and sneers to make Kings Of Leon pee their pants. If this is what selling out sounds like, sign me up.
Royal Trux – Pound For Pound (Domino)
The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street (Decca)
The Faces – A Nod Is As Good As A Wink… (Warner)
Posted by Danny_Eccleston at 6:00 AM GMT 17/02/2008 on the Mojo Music Blog
France Gall – Laisse Tomber Les Filles
I might have posted this before- but the sound and melody is just great.
West Coast New Energy Encounter Group
In live activity, this Sunday January 27 at 8 PM
at David Patton Los Angeles
featuring Paul Gellman, Erik Bluhm, Relatively Clean Larry Rengert, Ruby Neri, Bonnie Perkinson, Fellow Candle, Tom Watson, Danny Leyson, and Ashley Gallagher.
Bring a pillow to sit on, maybe.
The West Coast New Energy Encounter Group has had these recent performances: Garden Grove Creative Community at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Circular Performance Demonstration With French Percussionists and Actors at The Purple Night of the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, and Timed Duration of Organ, Flute and Slow Movement (as the New Energy Dark Consort of Musicke) at Fritz Haeg’s Sundown Salon.
This activity is being held in conjunction with the gallery’s current show, Erik Bluhm-Cooperate With The Energy And Anything That Happens. Bluhm’s exhibition of collage works has been cited over at Emma Gray’s January Top 10 at Saatchi Online as well as Caryn Coleman’s ArtReview blog
It’s been a Hava Nagila Night
[Manimal Vinyl; 2007]
Madonna is an ideal candidate for the tribute album treatment, having already inspired several in the past but none quite as sturdy or as much fun as Through the Wilderness, proceeds from which will benefit the charity Raising Malawi. Despite having a string of smart hits throughout the the past three decades, she doesn’t inspire the same reverence as other icons often do, allowing the artists on Through the Wilderness to freely reinvent these songs in much the same way that Madonna continues to freely reinvent herself. From album to album, she changed her hair color, her style, her sound, even her identity at will; likewise, these indie acts– including Lavender Diamond and Giant Drag– change up lyrics, drop out lines, refashion melodies, and re-interpret meanings, with no regard for re-creating a particular sound or aesthetic. Even though it covers her career from “Everybody” through “Hung Up”– and even though the tracklist would make a great Madonna best-of– Through the Wilderness doesn’t get bogged down in musical proselytizing or cultural weight-shifting. No one here has to argue for Madonna as a serious artist or legitimate influence, precisely because no one here seems to feel that such an argument needs to be made.
The motion in Madonna’s songs makes them sound all the more exotic today, inspiring some crafty synth-pop covers on Through the Wilderness. Several acts, like Jeremy Jay and Ariel Pink, ably conjure the dark emptiness of postpunk with their homemade versions of “Into the Groove” and “Everybody”, respectively, evoking Madonna’s decade without copying her music. In fact, as an audiovisual experiment, I synched up Mountain Party’s gloomily grandiloquent “Material Girl” with Anton Corbijn’s clip for Propaganda’s “Dr. Mabuse”— perhaps the ultimate postpunk-into-new-wave video. The two matched up creepily and nearly perfectly, despite the one-minute difference between them.
While some acts see the titular wilderness as a post-industrial wasteland, others interpret it as though the title refers to Death Valley and turn Madonna’s hits into dusty California guitar nuggets. Golden Animals drop out the chorus and rewrite “Beautiful Stranger (Blues)” as Creedence Clearwater Revival swamp blues, and Alexandra Hope makes “Lucky Star” into a chipper freakfolk number. Lion of Panjshir render “Crazy for You” with tabla, sitar, and acoustic strums, but lose none of the song’s erotic spark, thanks to Ariana Delawari’s bold and breathy performance.
There are, of course, a few uninspired readings; every tribute has them. Giant Drag’s timid, note-for-note reading of “Oh Father” is, well, a giant drag, and “Who’s That Girl?” is beyond Bubonic Plague’s ability to salvage it, although I imagine few artists could. Conversely, the stand-outs on Through the Wilderness sound so good and so natural that you might be convinced these are the originals that Madonna covered so long ago. The Winter Flowers– based in Misty Mountain Top, Calif., of course– give “Live to Tell” the CSNY treatment, complete with desert sunset atmosphere, noodly guitar fills, epic solos, and gorgeous harmonies sung by Astrid Quay and Gavin Toler. And, as another audiovisual experiment, I synched up Madonna’s video for “Cherish” with the Prayers’ cover, which transcends its straightforward reading with an ebullient boppiness. It didn’t work at all, but at least you can still dance to it.
–Stephen M. Deusner, November 30, 2007
re-posted from Pitchfork- Thank You!