This looks like it’s going to be really awesome and inspiring to watch :)
I’ve been shacked up demo’ing tracks, fixing the ones the label thinks are mediocre, rewriting the ones the label thinks are shit, all of that instead of blogging. Because seriously, blogging takes a lot of time. But so does making a solid sophomore album. And since music is my breadwinner and my lover, and blogging is not I had to make a choice.
A sophomore album you really can’t screw up because it’s the one people need to have to check that you’re legit, that you’re determined and that you’re not a one hit wonder. It’s the album people expect you to fail at because so many are failures. It’s the album that makes the former year’s ingenue come undone until she’s no longer everyone’s favorite. So I get why my label is cracking down hard and pushing me to write the most compelling work ever. The hardest person to outdo is yourself.
But seriously, most days, I just wished I was half as cool as Feist.
(gorgeous press shot) photo (c) of Mali Lazell
Agnès Obel has just released her first album in Europe, and she’s getting tons of buzz. I listened to the whole thing and it sounded really pleasant and well-written but I wasn’t moved. And then my friend posted the video for the first single “Just So” on her facebook…
I felt like I heard this song before. And I felt like this particular brand of ”fragile chick shtick” (being worked overtime by many a famed and talented European songstress-songwriters) had been exploited some time before.
Is it just me? Or does this song sound a lot a like Joanna Newsome’s “the Sprout and the Bean” (a few chords off but still)?
Tracy Wright and Molly Parker in TRIGGER Courtesy of eOne Films
Trigger is the story of a friendship between two women. Victoria “Vic” Sawchyn and Kathryn “Kat” Lake are friends from childhood who started a neighbourhood band together — sort of like the Go—Go’s meet Patti Smith with a little Siouxsie and the Banshees thrown in. Sticking to their rock ‘n’ roll dream, they continued to trade up bands until they began to have real success with a hit single and a European tour. On the tour, things went to hell and, due to egos and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, the band imploded as did the friendship. Now it’s 10 years later and a local record label is having a benefit concert to honor women in rock; Vic and Kat are expected to attend. They meet for dinner and it is clear that, although there is a desire to make amends, it’s unclear to each of the women who really needs to apologize. As we travel with them on a trip to the concert and a late night after—party, their stories are revealed and the true nature of their friendship is discovered.
I only recently found out that Tracy Wright passed away from pancreatic cancer (June 22, 2010). This was her last film. My fondest reel memories of her are in Miranda July’s “Me, You and Everyone We Know”, “Last Night” (one of my favorite films of all time) and “Monkey Warefare”. “Last Night” was written and directed and co-starred by her real life partner Don McKellar, who ironically in the film is mourning the loss of his dead wife. I’m really sad this will be her last film, she was an exquisite actress to watch on film.
I’m really really enjoying their new album “Rivers”
With a little luck, I’ll go check them out tomorrow night au Café de la Danse
(c) Sarah Preston 2010
The voice on the PA system announced The Rodeo as the show’s opener. I suddenly wondered if/why the band chose yet another soft-spoken heavy-French accented Parisian folk singer to warm up their audience with her fragility. A first answer is that both bands share a French booking agent. The second is that The Rodeo – an anagram for her real name « Dorothée Hannequin »- thankfully encompasses few of the tropes one can tie to a hip Parisian girlie folk singer. She might look fragile, but her songs are anything but. Clear, strong, wide in range – her voice is beautifully maneuvred to forge a hybrid « singing accent » that’s a cross between a southern drawl and standard chic Parisian French. One could all too quickly and obviously compare her tone to that of Bjork or Cat Power. However, after a few songs, I felt like there was something distinctly European about it and decided that Lonely Drifter Karen’s Tanja Frinta is a much closer stylistic fit. Athough the Rodeo’s «dark hoe-down » vibe marks the authenticity of her act.
The songs are well-constructed, and while the melodies are memorable, after about five songs of heavy solo strumming guitar, my attention tends to waver. This doesn’t mean she isn’t worth seeing. She was a great tease for the show to come. But I expected a little more out of her, and I suspect I can find it should I ever attend a full-band performance. Without a doubt, she’s a strong contender to be a major player in « La Nouvelle Scène Française ».
(c) Sarah Preston 2010
x-posted from Mezzic
There’s barely ever any news on women and music on Pitchfork unless:
1. The woman is hipster crush-material (i.e. the ideal manic pixie dream girl)
Zooey Deschanel (actress, queen of the manic pixie girls and one half of She & Him)
2. The woman is part of a larger band and they never mention her as an individual.
Régine Chassagne (of Arcade Fire)
3. The woman is least expected to be found there.
How many other R’n’B (not for long…) singers/musicians are featured in Pitchfork?
So this week I was very excited to see no less than 3 back-to-back reviews of women’s albums. And it wasn’t sardonic, ironic or incredibly unlikely. It was just plain ole reviews of some really awesome bands - some old some new. But don’t let Pitchfork make your opinion, decide for yourself!
1. “1,000 Years” by the Corin Tucker Band
2. “Epic” by Sharon Van Etten
3. “Marnie Stern” by Marnie Stern