I can't add much to Annalee's farewell
to Brill Building great Ellie Greenwich, who died this week at age 68.
(Ann Powers of the L.A. Times also has an excellent appreciation of
Greenwich's life and legacy here.)
But as a devotee of the girl-group sound and the history of the
songwriting women behind it (seriously, rent Allison Anders's film Grace of My Heart,
whose fictional central songwriter, Denise Waverly—neé Edna Buxton—was
based on Brill Building women like Greenwich, Carole King, and Cynthia
Weill), I've spent the past few days revisiting her classics. Here are
Ellie Greenwich, October 23, 1940 – August 26, 2009
American singer, songwriter, and producer Ellie Greenwich died yesterday of a heart attack. Greenwich was best known for writing and co-writing such girl group classics as "Be My Baby" (The Ronettes), "Da Doo Ron Ron" (The Crystals), "Leader of the Pack" (The Shangri-Las), "River Deep, Mountain High" (Ike & Tina Turner), and many others. Greenwich and Jeff Barry, her former husband and writing partner, had 17 singles in the pop charts of 1964.
On their 2006 release Zombie Terrorist, Partyline declared, "we're scared of zombies, not terrorists" and "yeah I had a mother, she taught me to want more than that". Yes please. Formed in Washington DC in 2004 by Allison Wolfe of the iconic Bratmobile, Angela Melkisethian and Crystal Bradley, Partyline has a sound reminiscent of riot-grrrl era call and response lady punk. Party, apparently, is tied to the actual act of partying and also to the political connotations of the word, which sums up the aesthetic of the music. You will dance while being educated, end of story. The ladies literally just finished up a tour with Portland, OR rockers Shebeast and just around the corner is an East Coast Tour with Noisy Pig. Watch a video and become a fan after the jump!
Covers are one thing--artists re-interpreting the work of other for homage to irony and everything in between. Standards, I feel, are something else. Beyond the ability of musical reproduction, jazz standards are meant to be continually interpreted and stylized, with little rules outside of a fakebook, plus they seem to stand the test of time--hokey or cliche lyrics that really never seem to get old. Here are some of my favorite female vocalists singing some standards! Playlist after the jump and have a good weekend!
The other day I was alone in the car and, as you do, singing at the top of my lungs with the radio. The song that was the focus of this particular private performance happened to be Lil' Wayne's "Lollipop" and as I belted out the lyrics, Middle of the bed/ Givin' gettin' head my thoughts turned to oral sex. More specifically, my thoughts turned to songs about oral sex. I wondered, "What songs are out there that give oral love a good name?"
Now, your first thought here might be, "Get your mind out of the gutter and focus on driving!" And your next thought might be, "Why should we care about songs that focus on oral sex?" To your first thought I say don't worry; I didn't take my eyes off the road once during my oral sex-y brainstorming session. And to your second thought I say, if we can agree that the mass media can affect public perceptions, then it stands to reason that songs that put oral sex in a positive light can affect public perceptions of the act in a positive way. (Read: The more songs that make oral sex seem fun and cool, the more oral sex we will all give/get, and the better we'll feel about it.) This is a good thing for all parties involved, but it is an especially big win for women. That's because the media often suggests that women can orgasm very easily from penetration alone, yet just about anyone who has had sex with/is a woman knows that it often takes a lot more than that.
So what are the best oral-sex-positive jams? Let's discuss after the jump!
Warning: The following post may be NSFW, depending on where you W.
In response to a Gold's Gym marketing campaign that declared July "Cankles Awareness Month" (WTF, douchebags?!) Imagine Today deemed August Self-Esteem Awareness Month. To celebrate, I've put together a few songs about standing up for yourself, being yourself, celebrating that self and flaunting it. And for the record, I think your calves and ankles look fantastic.
You see, if I was a guy, and I was sitting here with a cigarette in my hand, grabbing my crotch and talking about how I make music 'cause I love fast cars and fucking girls, you'd call me a rock star. But when I do it in my music and in my videos, because I'm a female, because I make pop music, you're judgmental, and you say that it is distracting. I'm just a rock star.
Are you also a feminist?
I'm not a feminist - I, I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars...
Here's a mix for those who want to groove and feel uplifted by stellar
lyrics, not ticked by gratuitously crass ones. I'm definitely not one
of these excruciatingly PC-folks who love all their entertainment
wholesome, but still my love of hip-hop doesn't always harmonize with
hip-hop's love of misogyny. Here are some jams to make you just go "fuck yeah!" and not also "what the fuck?"