I love Sleigh Bells. I think they’re an awesome band. And even though Derek Miller writes all the songs that Alexis Krauss sings .. like way too many boy/girl bands. I love the blend of sounds and influences and I think the lyrics are bang on.
I didn’t this video for what is probably my favorite song on the record (it being so catchy and all). It’s not that it’s ugly - it’s aesthetically pleasing, generally good lighting, etc. I’m just terribly underwhelmed.
My reasons (yes I love lists):
1. Isn’t Alexis (lead singer) a school teacher by trade? So the whole schoolgirl outfit a little too kitsch for me.
2. I hate it when people in videos play electric guitars and don’t have a cable jack. How can you sound so loud? You’re not plugged in…
3. Alexis is very nonplussed when lipsynching. However, in the actual song, she’s practically yelling at the top of her lungs. I guess I really didn’t like that disconnect between the feel of the song and the feel of how she’s “singing” it in the video. Instead of being all screamy and intense, there’s wind blowing in her hair so she has to keep moving it out of the way:
4. And that bat, I hate it when people are carrying something that loaded with potential and meaning and then she doesn’t do anything with it. Either she lets it go or this scary looking dog steals it from her:
5. Then everything starts to catch fire, which is fitting, because instead of a guitar pick Derek E. Miller is using a freaking matchstick. Which is actually the only thing I liked about this video.
6. So I guess that’s why shit is blowing up everywhere.
Next to them:
and finally in front of them:
and that’s the climax. they watch a pile of burning guitars while cheerleaders
and dance along.
kinda like this old video I vaguely remember (“Smell Like Teen Spirit”, Nirvana):
but at least they had anarchist cheerleaders who look like they’re angry or at least like they’re vibrant.
So yeah, I guess I loved this song so much that I had made a video in my head. And it was barebones and involved more screaming. Oh well, what do you know: the live performance is awesome. I guess I’ll always have that.
10 things that are cool about Solange Knowles
1. She’s the underdog, who’s had to face critics claiming she was living in the shadow of her more famous sister. And yet she has brilliantly found her own way and her own sound and most importantly her own goals.
2. She’s a working single mom. ‘nuf said.
3. She doesn’t doesn’t stay in he R’n’B pop genre because it’s what’s expected of a black woman in the music industry. She listens to everything and defines her own genre. Exhibit A: her cover of Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness in the Move”. Her record label tried to take it down…
4. On that point, she’s getting her next album produced by Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal.
5. She shaved her head and supported the movie ‘Good Hair’: she denounced the standard of beauty set by the black hair care industry of long straight locks.
6. She appears on the latest Of Montreal album, on the song “Sex Karma”. Video clip here.
8. This quote leads me to believe that the woman has shed blood, sweat and tears or this new record. And anyone who works hard scores high in my books:
Knowles said she suffered “a little bit of a breakdown” while recording her new album: “I literally gave up my sanity for a while to do this record. […] We literally were waking up in the morning and just making music all day and all night. […] It just started to wear on me in so many different ways. I started having these crazy panic attacks.” Knowles explained how she made sacrifices “mentally, emotionally and financially”, and continued, “It’s more than an album to me. It’s a transitional time in my life.” Regarding the musical direction of the album, she said the inspiration came from New Wave music and stated, “This is a dance record, but the lyrics can get pretty dark at times.” (source: Wikipedia)
9. She has a fabulous sense of style, as seen in the first picture of the post.
this is my new favorite jam. I think it’s even better than the original.
And tUnE-yArDs is my hero.
even though I hate having to type her stage name in different caps…
Jenny Alpha died yesterday Sept 8th 2010.
She was a singer, dancer and pioneer in black theater and refused to take on many plays who would have her play stereotypical roles.
This woman met, jammed and played with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.
She’s been an inspiration for all of us singing colored girls in the French city of lights.
I really don’t know if Zoe Kravitz *deserves* to have the cover of VenusZine.
Nor do I know if she deserves all the movie roles she’s getting - including a sweet roll in the upcoming play-turned-film “For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” by Ntozake Shange - even though it is directed by Tyler Perry… I don’t know if she deserves to get so much attention because she happened to start a band. I don’t know if she deserves to get a modeling contract to work with Alexander Wang, etc.
I do know that she probably got these great (starting?) gigs partly because of some degree of nepotism. Looking at her pedigree we have a multi-grammy award winner Lenny Kravitz for a daddy;
cult 80s television star Lisa Bonet for a mama;
Roxie Roker (from “the Jeffersons”) for a grandma;
and Sy Kravitz (long time television producer for NBC) for a grandpa. She snagged roles in no less than 2 blockbusters with a few acting classes before finishing up highschool…
Who knows? maybe her pedigree and family talent is catching up to her, or maybe it’s the great connection. All I know is: if I were nearly as lucky and connected as this woman is, I’d make sure I was the one catching up to the family talent. I sincerely hope she does well for herself and I’m curious to see if she uses her priviledge as an asset rather than a crutch. And I sincerely hope she does well.
I will say this though - I kinda wish she played more instruments in her band…I mean her dad is Lenny Kravitz - the guy plays EVERY INSTRUMENTS on his SELF PRODUCED CDs! And she’s reduced to being the cute chick on lead vocals in her own band? meh…
it’s been a few months since the release of Coco Rosie’s “Grey Oceans”.
I remember listening to my first review of the album on the national French radio show “Système Disque” on France Inter. The reviews criticized the cover for being “ugly”.
Then they criticizes the sisters forming the band of pretending to be ugly women. When they finally got to discussing the music? They said it was intellectual trash and that they were bored with it.
I’ve never been a huge Coco Rosie fan because I have close friends who used to work with them and have had a hard time. But in terms of their music, I’ve always had to say this: cutting-edge. They push aesthetic boundaries in a field where there are very few women who ever do. For several reasons: mosty being that many women in music feel censored by the industry, by their labels, by their publicists, etc.
I really love this eloge to Grey Gardens. I found it on Stereogum -which is proving to be a very very female-friendly indie music blog and kicking Pitchfork’s ass at that. Note that a lot of the praise for this album comes from a shit ton of cool people (Yoko Ono, St. Vincent and JD Samson are some). And please note that everyone talks about how much of a feminist album it is. Especially St. Vincent’s bit.