I've been in Austin, Texas for the past week, and the highlight of my hectic live show calendar has been Calliope Musicals, a young, up-and-coming indie country/folk band started by Carrie Fussell and Matt Roth less than a year ago. This is exactly the kind of thing indie fans swoon over: the chance to say we knew them back BEFORE they went mainstream and got picked up by the radio (patooie). So fall in love with them, quick!
I still haven't read Sara Marcus's book on Riot Grrl, Girls to the Front, but I did bring two friends down to a reading in NYC last night that featured Marcus, poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and Rob Sheffield.
Marcus gave the most rock'n'roll reading I've ever heard for what's essentially a history book, though a vibrant, living history book built on having lived through that moment and spent years considering, rolling around in what it might mean. She straddled the mic, propped a foot on a monitor, and sang Kathleen Hanna's lyrics in a voice built for punk bands.
Mmm...books! Autumn and books just seem to go hand in hand. This week's BitchTapes is a mix of musicians celebrating books in their songs or group names. Best enjoyed while stepping on crunchy leaves on the way to your local independent bookstore. Track list after the jump!
Or: How Robyn Released Three Albums in a Year And Kept Them Interesting.
When I look back at 2010, it will probably have been the Year of Robyn. It was the Year of Pop Music for me, really, but I came back to Robyn again and again. Part of that was accidental—I finally sat down and listened to Robyn, really absorbed that a really great dance-pop track was as brilliant an achievement as a really great, multilayered indie rock song.
It's something I can never quite put my finger on but I use certain songs to play my own emotions like a musical instrument, to change the way I feel (as long as I can handle feeling something intensely).
It's no surprise weather patterns appear so often in music. They, like music, can shape and reflect our moods at any given time. More importantly, they're good for a seemingly infinite number of metaphors. They can change from minute to minute. Just like your aching heart. They can rain on your parade. Just like, you know... rain. They can brighten up the ENTIRE PLANET! Just like EVERYTHING ELSE can, when you're having one of those days when everything is golden and drenched in sunshine and "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" is your own personal theme song. It all starts in the sky. With that, global warming, and the constantly-changing weather of autumn all in mind, this week's BitchTapes is a big ol' shout out to Mother Nature.
Side note: It was incredibly hard for me not to put "Mr. Sun" by Raffi on this list. The things I do for hipster cred... Forgive me, Raffi. You are #1 in the playlist of my heart.
Buke & Gass (featured on our Action podcast) aren't your average duo from Brooklyn. For one, they have almost the same name (Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez). For two, they traded in their ukulele and guitar for a buke and a gass.