I try not to read magazines like People and US Weekly too often; I don't want my money, attention, or time supporting the creeps that hang out in Angelina Jolie's bushes. But there is, pretty undeniably, a facet to human nature that likes to gossip, likes to know secrets, and likes to read between the lines. Instead of threatening the safety of overpaid, spoiled Hollywood types to get my scoop, though, I prefer to listen to music and create (or support) outrageous backstories about the musicians' lives. Some of the songs on this list are legendary already because of what they're allegedly about, but some of them are my own version of E! True Hollywood Story. Or VH1's Behind the Music. Or VH1 Storytellers. Or even MTV's Making the Video, which was always my favorite of the bunch, because it involved hi-tech gadgets and storyboards. If you've got stories (the more detailed and/or outlandish, the better) for your favorite music to share, leave 'em in the comments! Track list after the jump!
Like so many musicians and artists who die so young (she was just 22 when her plane crashed), we can only imagine what Aaliyah's career would look like now. Considering how self-possessed and strong she already was at such a young age, I can only guess that she'd have gone on to do even bigger and better things for women in the industry.
There is, in my opinion, a right way and a wrong way to advertise Irish singer Susan McKeown's album Singing in the Dark. Calling it "a work exploring Creativity, Suffering and the Pursuit of Happiness," as her website does, is the wrong way. The project loses its power in those highfalutin capital letters, veering instead to the inspirational spoken-word side of the record aisle. The right way would be to say something more along the lines of, "If this album had existed six years ago, it could have changed the entire course of my life for the better."
Remember when I said that Bachelorette, the moniker of New Zealand's Annabel Alpers, was a band to watch? The latest full-length album from the electronic pop artist, Bachelorette, came out last week from Drag City, and I stand by my recommendation. It's a great collection of subdued electronic orchestrations beneath Alpers' ethereal, even-keeled voice.
Overheard at the bar last week: "The thing is, I'm just REALLY not into female singers." Well, here are 13 tracks including music by Bebel Gilberto, Césaria Évora, and France Gall, that show how much you're REALLY missing out. These international ladies really know how to, ¿cómo se dice? ROCK.
Jesca Hoop will win you over with a word. At least, that's how it went for me. I came across her second album, Hunting My Dress, a couple of years ago, and have been looking for it ever since. Last week, I found it sitting on the shelf at the library, like I hadn't just been wracking the whole of the West Coast for it.
We got a chance to see the lovely Thao & Mirah here in Portland on Sunday night. They're on tour together in support of their collaborative album (which is terrific!) and the show was a total blast. Here are five reasons to see these two—and the great musicians they're touring with—when they roll through your town.
Poly Styrene, the lead singer of the pioneering punk band X-Ray Spex, died on Monday after a battle with cancer. She was 53.
Styrene's glass-shattering vocals made the band's 1978 album Germ Free Adolescents a punk masterpiece, and the song "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" in particular stands out as one of punk feminism's original eff yous to the sexism and prejudice that existed not only in mainstream society, but in the burgeoning punk community as well.
Some of the sexiest, most soulful singers also happen to be fat women. These are the kind of women who can empower you with their voice to embrace sensuality. From a plus size fashion icon to a musical legend, these singers prove that sexiness has nothing to do with size and everything to do with how you work it.
Cool kids (like our editorial intern Mel, for example) may have been tipped off to Austra long ago through lead singer Katie Stelmanis' work with the band Galaxy, but I only recently discovered this Toronto-based trio and I am loving them!