Sound Check: May 2008

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Recently I attended Uh Huh Her’s first show in their North American tour and interviewed them for AfterEllen.com. I won’t spoil the whole interview, but I will tell you that I had to ask them about something I’d read about on Tegan and Sara’s Coachella blog. The twins wrote: “A few nights ago we met Linda Perry and Clea DuVall through Leisha Hailey and Camila from Uh Huh Her and I acted like I was high on crack cocaine and have been cringing since. So thank goodness for small miracles!”

“We didn’t even think they knew who Linda was,” Leisha said, laughing. “We love those girls!” She also said Uh Huh Her is hoping to tour with Tegan and Sara sometime soon, which might be even cooler than the idea of them all hanging out with Linda Perry and Clea DuVall.

Uh Huh Her

You know who else keeps really good company? Girl in a Coma. Seriously — those ladies even have Joan Jett’s name written on their guitar cases. They’re also incredibly hardworking — when they aren’t touring with Morrissey, they are hitting up small venues on their own and also planning to play in Oklahoma City when the True Colors Tourcomes through on June 23.

When they came to Chicago’s dive bar/remodeled garage venue Ronny’s, Girl in a Coma played hard and fast to a mixed crowd of indie lesbians and gothic 20-somethings. Lesbian bassist Jenn Alva had an intense energy that was shared by vocalist and guitarist Nina Diaz, whose eyes looked so wide at times they might pop out of her head.

Several people sang along to songs from the trio’s debut album Before I’m Gone, and they debuted a new tune called “BB,” saying they hope to release a new LP in 2009. No need to rush — the ladies’ album landed on the Billboard Heatseeker’s chart at No. 23 last week and at No. 21 on iTunes.

Releases Reviewed

Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls came out publicly as a bisexual around this time last year, when her band joined the True Colors Tour. Since then, she’s played several solo shows while working on an album of her own as well as continuing to tour with the Dolls, only stopping to record another album.

I’m serious — Palmer and bandmate Brian Viglione took one day off from tour and went right into the studio to record No, Virginia. Fans will notice that the album is strangely familiar, as if it it’s the antithesis of their last album, Yes, Virginia. The album is full of B-sides, unreleased tunes and reworked tracks.

Songs like “The Kill” really highlight the Dresden Dolls’ ability to not take themselves too seriously. A band making good music and having fun while doing it — no wonder they call themselves the Dolls. Palmer plays keyboard instead of acoustic piano on No, Virginia, which actually sounds a little more appealing, and anyone who is into cabaret punk with a tinge of goth rock will find the music frighteningly fun.

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