Ida Maria Sivertsen may not have won a Nobel Prize this week, but she is one more good reason to pay attention to what comes out of Stockholm. Ida, pronounced (ee-da) was born and raised in a small Norwegian village with a population of less than 2,000. In 2007 she packed up and headed to Sweden. Since then, she has made it onto the Top 20 charts in the UK and is infiltrating the US through a series of small shows, singles on iTunes, Gossip Girl, Perez Hilton and unbelievably cool YouTube videos.
So: I went to the zoo today. I thought it would be nice! I live in New York City! It is hard to see animals bigger than squirrels or lap dogs out here, so I imagined it would be very fulfilling and grounding, in some sort of hippie Earth Mother way, to actually see some of those and remind myself that I do not live on a planet entirely composed of Pinkberry outlets. But here's the thing: zoos, if you are not seven years old, are very depressing. There's nothing nice about captivity. Even if you wouldn't wish to see some of these animals out and wandering around in your neighborhood - even if they are dangerous or gross or otherwise undesirable - there's something deeply sad and wrong about seeing them stuck behind glass walls, with nothing to do, just waiting for someone to come by and look at them.
It was under these circumstances, then, that I began to think about Miley Cyrus deleting her Twitter.
Ladies, gentlemen: it is time to discuss the pernicious influence of Taylor Swift on our society today.
Oh, I know. I've heard all the pro-Taylor propaganda - about how she's a "good role model," and an antidote to your Lohans or your Hiltons or your Gagas or whatever other female celebrities are being held up as examples of Moral Decay this week. Taylor is so SWEET. Taylor is so CUTE. Did you SEE that video where Taylor was insanely obsessed with that one boy but could not possibly be with him because she had GLASSES? Unlike that slutty mean POPULAR girl, who had the temerity to date a dude and disagree with him at times and be more socially adept than Video-Taylor! Clearly, Taylor speaks for us all!
Today's BitchTapes is a tribute to Soul Train, which saw its syndicated debut on October 2, 1971. As we look back, 38 years later, on this legacy of funk, we see the show did more than open the ears of its fans to the smooth, soul-hits of so many black artists of the time. Soul Train acted as a cultural bridge. For viewers it was THE place to go for clues on the newest fashion and the hottest dance moves. As well as being a hub of style, Soul Train also boasted substance. The Soul Train Scramble was a mini-lesson in African-American history. Once the puzzle had been solved, host Don Cornelius would place the person who had been the answer to the scramble in context, ending the homage with a motto, "…whose name you should know…"
Ah, Rolling Stone. Twice a month, you arrive at my doorstep (yeah, I don't know either. My boyfriend bought concert tickets or something? And then it came for free? Rolling Stone: The Magazine So Relevant They Basically Have To Force You To Read It) and generously provide me with a new reason to fear for the future of the world and all those who live therein.
Between the chance to pre-order Thought You Knew's 2010 calendar (proceeds going to the Chicago Women's Health Center), David Byrne's new book, and the back-to-school commute that's kicking my butt, I've got fall biking on my mind! Here are some songs to pass the time while you put on those fenders (I gotta put on those fenders...!), patch a tube, or just plain pedal!
Track list after the jump!
Oh, my goodness! Britney Spears has released a new single! And it is about SEXUAL ACTIVITY! To be precise, it concerns threesomes - the song is entitled "3," just so that you don't miss its subtle and highly coded message - which have been scientifically determined to be the single tamest and most socially acceptable form of sexual experimentation aside from heterosexual girl-on-girl makeouts at bars and/or on Spring Break. So, of course, people are calling it "deviant" and giggling about it like schoolchildren.
You know: a lot of people have problems with Madonna. In fact, pretty much the entire history of Madonna has been the history of people having various problems with her! I first learned of her existence when a news channel reported on one of her concerts. I was maybe five or six. It was her "crucifix as fashion accessory" phase; possibly, also, her "pretending to masturbate on stage" phase. And my mother turned to me and said, "you know, it's important to realize that not everyone likes her.
Late summer in Portland is characterized by the days-long indy jam extravaganza Music Fest NW. This year's lineup had something for everyone- from Tara Jane O'Neil to Japanther- but Bitch librarian and contributor Danny Hayes and I went to just one show: Erase Errata and Team Dresch. Life goals #473 and #291 achieved! Read more after the jump!
Born and raised in Copenhagen, and influenced by reggae, disco, rock, R&B, and then some! No news of an album release in the US, but if you're in Denmark look for it in February. Til then you'll have to tide over with her first single, "Deep Sleep" about staying in bed, which is ironic, cause it's a song that makes you want to get up and dance! It's a got a boppy sort of teenage feel but there is a really great interlude that incorporates a Malian lullabye.
Elly Jackson is half of this duo who've established themselves in England but have yet to make it big in the States. Between her lungs and Ben Langmaid's synth they are makings some impressively infectious electronic pop! (And she's cited David Bowie, Madonna, Annie Lennox, and Molly Ringwald as influences.) When I heard "Bulletproof" it reminded me of the Gossip(!) at first, but and then it made me think of Ace of Base (!!), and then and by the time it over I realized that La Roux is awesome on their own was and striking out to make their own sick version of synthpop.
This trio started out punk, but bassist Shingai Shoniwa had too powerful a voice to play London's warehouse-squat scene forever (so I'm told by the New York Times. Also check out Venus Zine's 2007 interview with them!). You might recognize the dance-y "Don't Upset the Rhythm" but they've got a whole album of pop-electro-punk that just got released in the US last week (which hopefully means they'll be heading back here soon for a tour!).