It's nearly officially summer, and in the Northwest, the sun takes its sweet time getting here and staying for the season. So, for those that need some help getting into the summertime mood, or just want a soundtrack for the season, here are some literal and figurative songs about summer, warm weather, and their varied effects on us.
There was a pretty interesting article in yesterday's Houston Chronicle about some of today's female pop stars. The author, Steve Haruch, describes how candy pop acts like The Veronicas, Katy Perry, and Lady GaGa are consistently referred to as "post-feminist" by the media without there being much evidence for the claim (save for perhaps some glitter and a song about faux-lesianism).
I agree with Haruch; though I sometimes jam out to "Pokerface" I do not consider it a feminist anthem in any sense. And post-feminism? I don't buy it. What I do want to know is, are there any pop stars out there right now who are holding it down for feminism? Where have all the riot grrrls gone?
Maybe it's Fleet Week (or perhaps Pride Week?), but I themed this playlist around sailors. Plus I've always found something very Romantic (with a capital R, if you didn't notice) about the sea and sailors--longing for someone who's not only far away, but far away indefinitely. As quirky a (loosely-based) theme as it seems, it led to some great tracks, from surprising covers to traditional folk tunes.There's something about the way love lost at sea combines dark tragedy with unrequited romance that inspires good tunes!
So, Hollywood is finally making a movie about The Runaways. Shit yes, right? Well, no, actually, because cast as Joan Jett is Kristen Stewart, who played Bella in some tiny production-or-other, Twilight. To make matters worse, Cherie Currie will be played by...wait for it...Dakota Fanning. Um. Okay. This week, it was announced that Alessandra Torresani (who?) has signed on as Lita Ford. And all I can think is, these must be some lost little girls (pun intended) because Torresani had to literally research the band to become familiar with them. Am I just being cynical, expecting that this project will not do The Runaways their deserved justice? Or can today's hottest teen stars actually pull it off? More after the jump!
I have to admit, when Christina Aguilera debuted "Genie In A Bottle" in 1999, I liked it. Granted, I was 15, but even then I didn't exactly dig Britney Spears, and thought it was kind of ridiculous that Aguilera was lumped into the same category as her. I still like Aguilera, I will sing along to her songs without (much) shame and I respect some of the music she has made over the last 10 years. She is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. However, recently the the internets have been abuzz with chatter about who Aguilera is collaborating with on her next album, thusly granting me permission to exclaim how I've felt all along. Word is, Aguilera is bringing in Ladytron, Goldfrapp and the where-the-hell-have-they-been Le Tigre to work on what is being called an "electronic" album. Hmm. Win! Read more after the jump!
I try to think of a theme when I'm making mixes; for my friends, as a DJ and on these here BitchTapes. This week, however, the only theme tying these songs together is that I like them. Ergo, this week's BitchTapes is aptly titled the Heavy Rotation Edition. There's a random Led Zeppelin cover, new music from Peaches and Passion Pit and the best Pat Benatar song you may never have heard. Get the scoop after the jump!
The other day, a friend of mine challenged my claim that Peaches is brilliant. This launched us into a debate on her lyrical soundness in comparison to other artists who are characterized by sexual explicitness and why her raunchiness is different than theirs. We bounced around a few choice lyrics and ended upon "Azz and Tittiez" by Three Six Mafia, a song whose refrain slurs those three words along with the pejorative-packed "big booty bitches". Would I appreciate those lyrics more coming from Peaches? You're damn right. Lyrics, though, are just part of the Peaches puzzle, lending themselves to her progressiveness above and beyond their similarities to other hip-hop/electro/dance-pop groups. Her brilliance comes through in her live show.
Folk songwriter Fred Neil said Karen Dalton "sure could sing the shit out of the blues," and Bob Dylan said she sang like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed. Dylan's description wouldn't be the last time this under-the-radar folk singer was likened to Lady Day. Like Holiday, Dalton's haunting croon completely transforms whatever folk, blues, or pop standard she sang.