I can’t even tell you how pumped I am for New Music Tuesday today. First of all, I’m going to Lilith Fair this weekend and even though Kelly Clarkson will not be playing anymore, I’ll be shaking my chichis to La Roux, Mary J. Blige and Heart. So of course, thinking about my previous Lilith Fair experiences, I was thinking about all the ladies I used to listen to when I was just a young wee lez. I really wanted to know what happened to Patti Rothberg and Tracy Bonham. Lucky me, one of them has a new album out today.
The top spot this week goes to Tracy Bonham and not just because this new album brings me back to some of my glory days (even though, physically, they were awkward years). “Mother Mother” was a song I would sing in the shower whenever I was grounded. For those of you who haven’t experienced that song, listen to it now. With this new album, her angsty rock has matured into more of a light blues. One thing that hasn’t changed is her penchant for storytelling.
M.I.A. has long been a favorite of mine and not just because whenever she does call outs it sounds like they’re for me. As controversial as she is (her video for “Born Free” has been banned in certain areas) she has also proven to have mass appeal, as was proven by the success of “Paper Planes.” Her ability to layer sounds both organically and inorganically is a skill she has honed better than most. Not all of this album is danceable, but it will certainly get your neck shaking enough to tilt your head back.
School of Seven Bells — Disconnect from Desire (Ghostly International/Vagrant)
Indie dreampop trio School of Seven Bells make music perfect to ride public transportation to and make up stories about everyone else’s lives — or be introspective to. Their two female vocalists create beautiful harmonies atop plenty of soft electronic melodies. If I didn’t know it was the year 2010, I’d think it was either 1990 or 2020.
Concrete Blonde — Bloodletting – 20th Anniversary Edition (Capitol Records)
This reissue of the L.A. post-punk rockers’ third album gets six bonus tracks. This is great for anyone who loves a dark, hard sound with a female growl. Lead singer/songwriter Johnette Napolitano joins the ranks of Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde as helping to pave the way for female rockers today.
The free iTunes single of the week is a pretty spectacular hip-hop reggaeton jam from Chilean M.C. Ana Tijoux. Definitely check it out and get your download on. Honorable Mentions go out to: Mark Ronson, Sun Kil Moon, Hey Champ, Kula Shaker, The Ready Set (we need to start a “Lesbians Who Look Like the Dude from The Ready Set” site pronto!), Sparklehorse and Dangermouse (with David Lynch).