Bitch is going to be at Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend, covering some fantastic female and queer-fronted bands playing on Auditorium Shores.
There's a large amount of great electronic pop, from bigger indie acts like (Lykke Li, Blonde Redhead, YACHT) and some lesser-known but promising artists (MNDR, Grimes, Keep Shelley in Athens), in addition to some great rock (Lemuria, The Thermals, Thee Oh Sees), dreamy pop (Girls, tUnE-yArDs, Asobi Seksu) and a few cult favorites (Boris, Big Freedia). Here's just a sampling of some of the acts this weekend you should check out, and for folks following along at home, here's hoping you find a new band to love and check out when they're near you! Track list after the jump.
Zola Jesus can be hard to pin down. One minute, she smothers listeners with cold blankets of synthesizers, hitting them with some of the most uncomfortable atmospheres since Second Edition by PIL. Then her opera-trained voice (that voice!) bursts through the sludge and you realize "oh my god, it's a pop song!" Live and on her latest record, Conatus, she drops a few more clues to the Zola Jesus mystery.
I first heard Sacha Sacket's exquisite voice in 2004, when he performed on my university campus to promote his then-new album, Shadowed. Mid-walk, I sat down, stunned, until the end of the simple, voice-and-keyboard show... then hastened to introduce myself, gush, and fork over a few dollars for my own Shadowed CD. I fell asleep night after night plugged into "Kite High!"; dorm clamor could not touch me. While I have never considered myself a musically sophisticated person, I knew it was one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard.
After a year or so of touring with only three MP3s online, MEN's debut album, Talk About Body finally came out last month. From the heady opener "Life's Half Price" to the mesmerizing "Simultaneously," its tight electronic beats, smart feminist lyrics, and a non-stop urge to sing along and shake your body makes for a record that's as fun as it is thoughtful. Now you can catch the trio of JD Samson (formerly of Le Tigre), Michael O'Neil, and new bassist Tami Hart (of Making Friendz) on tour! Expect homemade, abstract outfits and set designs, a restless dance floor, and every beat, bass line, and guitar riff of Talk About Body amplified by some great stage presence. I spoke with Samson before MEN's set last week in Portland, Oregon about queer visibility, the politics of dance, and Lady Gaga.
Whether I'm checking out music blogs, browsing upcoming concerts in my local alt weekly, or trying to download songs illegally, I can't help but notice some of the names that indie rock acts (read: hipster bands) are coming up with these days, bands named Women, or Girls, which turn out to be more like dudes and bros. It's like having a lady-indicative word in your band name is the new having an animal-indicative word in your band name! Well, almost. I've compiled a short list of current, contemporary bands that err on the side of both misleading and not-so-misleading gendered band names to help you navigate the tides of new and upcoming music. (FYI, Queen = all dudes too)