Carolina Chocolate Drops will defy, and redefine, your presumptions regarding the pure power of the kazoo.
The trio, comprised of Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson, met in 2005 at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina. The event was dedicated to those who wished to better understand the banjo's roots in African and African American music and history. Their music is an eclectic and lively mix of fiddle, banjo, kazoo, jug, beat boxing and (literally) the bones. String music finds its American roots in a white Appalachian tradition, and grew from the seeds of slavery for the most part. And yet Carolina Chocolate Drops have taken this seemingly tenuous foundation for an all-black band and made the music distinctly, powerfully their own.
NPR did a segment on break-up songs. Tigerbeatdown devoted a week on the subject. And Thao Nguyen has written an article breaking-down the break-up song for Bitch. But I got to thinking about the break-up songs are good for you, the ones that are less about the blues and more about kicking-ass.
Metal is a misunderstood genre; traditionally the domain of alienated pubescent males, angry dude-bros and broody Lord of the Rings fans, while women were relegated to groupie status only. Fortunately, metal has come a long way since "The Hairy 80s", and there quite a few metal bands around now that feature women in way more face-melting roles.
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!).