We all love Beyoncé. It's practically engrained in our cultural fabric at this point. But what about Beyoncé's incredibly talented, sorely underappreciated younger sister, Solange?
While Beyoncé crafts incredible mainstream pop, Solange has created an EP, True, that draws from the mainstream and places it in the margins. True is a refreshing, stripped-down take on what we've become accustomed to in pop music. And I'm not the only one who thinks so; True ended up on many year-end lists and Solange is currently touring with sold out shows and snagged the cover of the February/March issue of Fader.
I want the Knowles sisters to take over pop culture. Judging from this EP, I don't think that's going to be a problem.
We've already established that we're fans of Little Jackie 'round these parts, but we've never singled the Brooklyn duo out for adoration. Remember how excited we all (er...I hope it wasn't just me...) were when Jay-Z informed the planet that "ladies is pimps, too"? Imagine an entire album of lyrics like that, but better, sung by a lady, surrounded on all sides by a slinky R&B voice and bouncy, brassy soul instrumentation, and you're imagining something pretty close to Made4TV, the 2011 (and, sadly, most recent) album by singer and songwriter Imani Coppola and producer Adam Pallin. Now, to gently break it to Jay that there's a new sheriff in brushing-shoulders-off-town?
If there's one thing the Internet loves, it's cat videos. If there's a second thing the Internet loves though, it's when someone is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. So it went with yesterday's viral Christina "Xtina" Aguilera quotes about being fat, which were shared widely, applauded by many, and totally fake.
There are few songs I like less than Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl." I dislike most of her music (that skit she did with Elmo, however, is adorable), but "I Kissed A Girl" bothers me most of all. You'd think such a song would be tailor-made for me—after all, I have, in fact, kissed girls and liked it! But it's really not a song for me, or for any other queer woman (even though I know queer women who like the song). It's a song for straight men who have "lesbian" fantasies in which femme women make out with each other but don't present any actual threat to male sexuality and dominance. It's a song for straight women who find the idea of kissing other women to be a "scandalous" and fun way of entertaining men, but who ultimately aren't romantically or sexually attracted to other women. It's a song about false, constructed, performed bisexuality, and it isn't doing anything to help the acceptance of non-monosexual folks.
Despite what the magazines and elitists say each year, pop music never seems to die... and I, for one, couldn't be happier about it. Today, take a break from Gagas and Perrys and explore jams by cool ladies outside the U.S.! Don't forget to share your other favorites in the comments.
Best of Bitchtapes! Here's a Bitchtapes from the past we're re-posting because it's too jam-worthy to forget!
The other day, while singing "Forever Your Girl" in the shower (don't judge – you know that song rules) I started thinking about the awesome female pop stars of the early 90s. Now, full disclosure: I was born in 1982, so I began to develop my own taste (or lack thereof) in music during that golden era. Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston – these women taught me and my tween (though we didn't call it that back then) friends what it meant to truly rock out as strong women. Sure, our side ponytails, multicolored keds, and leggings may not have said "Empowered Women" to the kids on the playground, but as we jammed out to "Rhythm Nation" on our Sony Walkmen our veins coursed with the power that only a true Female Pop Star can provide.
The early 90s were full of said Female Pop Stars, so without further adieu, I bring you BitchTapes: Female Pop Stars of the Early 90s Edition. Throw that hair into a side ponytail and let's do this.
Track listing and (I couldn't help it) videos after the jump!
As their biggest hits in the US were love songs, one may forget that much of Savage Garden's music is decidedly dark, especially on their eponymous debut. Major themes on Savage Gardeninclude depression ("To the Moon and Back," "Santa Monica") and troubled or abusive relationships ("Tears of Pearls," "Break Me Shake Me," "A Thousand Words"). As might be expected from a group named after an Anne Rice quote—"The mind of each man is a savage garden"—the gothic subculture was a major influence musically and aesthetically; the liner notes featured artwork from Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights. The stunning song "Mine" was axed from the USA release for its reference to "crosses and crucifixes" and replaced by a cute track about how people shouldn't break promises. Still, there's no real losing with Savage Garden, because regardless of how bright or dreary each song is, they share an essential quality: terrific, poetic songwriting.
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.
America, it would seem, is on a bender. From the shot-fueled mayhem of Jersey Shore (the most popular show in MTV’s history) to a special booze-themed episode of Glee, to the blog Texts From Last Night immortalizing those crucial missives sent while sloshed, there seems to be no way to slake our collective thirst for entertainment exploring the fun of drinking—though attempting to do so has become a popular and lucrative pursuit.
Nowhere is this quite as clear as in the music industry.