Sound Check: April 2009

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Amanda Palmer has been working hard on her solo career, but also on some side projects, including a book of photography with artist Neil Gaiman. Stemming from the initial leftover works she had while putting together CD artwork for Who Killed Amanda Palmer, the bisexual musician decided to put together an entire book of the same name with 128 pages of images that she describes as “grotesquely beautiful” and “gory bloody” — in true Amanda Palmer fashion! The book is now available for pre-order.

Amanda Palmer

Palmer has also taken time to work with students at her alma mater Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts for a musical called With the Needle That Sings In Her Heart. She will be performing the original play alongside students May 7, 8 and 9 in their theater, singing songs inspired by an album by defunct indie-rock band Neutral Milk Hotel.

No one can say Amanda Palmer is a one-trick pony, that’s for sure!

Releases Reviewed

The Cliks second album, Snakehouse, got them major play on Logo and an invite to join Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour for two years in a row. The band’s third, Dirty King, doesn’t stray too far from the sound and style of the first, most likely with the idea that they shouldn’t fix what’s not broken.

Dirty King, like the first album, has a few throwaway songs, but is mostly straightforward pop-rock, with singer Lucas Silviera’s voice giving the music an edge of cocky coolness. Songs like “Haunted” and “Career Suicide” give me the impression that Dirty King will be just as popular with fans of the first album, while also appealing to those who weren’t impressed the first time around.

Dirty King will come out on Tommy Boy Records on June 23.

The Cliks

Girl in a Coma have been through some troubles lately, including a recent run-in with the law, but they’ve managed to continue to do what they have been doing for the last few years of their lives: Working on music non-stop. One of the hardest-working and most prolific bands around, it’s probably no coincidence Joan Jett is their mentor and major support system.

Girl in a Coma

The Texan trio’s new album Trio B.C. is a little less fast-paced than 2007’s Both Before I’m Gone but that does not make it any less exciting. Slow songs like “El Monte” show off the group’s multi-faceted influences, from goth rock to old school rockabilly. Stand out track “Pleasure and Pain” is also a highlight, with pop elements that are more reminiscent of the first album’s single “Say.”

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