Sound Check: April 2008

Last month was a great one for queer music. I hung out with Missy Higgins while she did her sound
check in Chicago, and then we chatted in her dressing room, where she had an abundance of fruit available but was
readying herself to dine at the swanky vegetarian restaurant the Green Zebra
before her show.

I also chatted with Kaki
King
, who spilled some gossip that I tried to keep out of the article but
feel like I should share. (Hint: She has been romantically involved with one of
the Quin twins, whom she refers to as "the wrong one.")

Missy Higgins (left) and Kaki King

But before I get into trouble with Ms. King, I should
discuss my excitement for this month instead. On April 15, the Gossip‘s CD and DVD combo, Live
in Liverpool
, comes out on Columbia’s
Music With a Twist label. It features several songs from Standing in the Way of Control as well as covers of "Careless
Whisper" and "Are You That Somebody?" Leave it to the Gossip to make
Wham! and Aaliyah sound even better than before.

(Go to the next page to listen to the Gossip’s cover of "Careless Whisper" and other songs mentioned in this month’s column.)

Also this month, queer trio New
Bloods
release their debut, The Secret Life, on Kill Rock Stars; it’s a contemporary spin on riot grrrl (think Erase
Errata). Pick it up on April 8.

And if you’re going to see Tegan and Sara in concert this month, make sure to get there early to catch the lesbian-fronted duo An Horse.
Kate Cooper is the singer and guitarist for both An Horse and Australian band Iron On (whose EP I reviewed in
January). An Horse’s EP, Not Really
Scared
, will be available to purchase on the Tegan and Sara tour and on
iTunes this month.

Releases Reviewed

If you were a fan of the Murmurs, or Tattle Tale’s
tantalizing song "Glass Vase Cello Case" from But I’m a Cheerleader, Midtown Dickens might be your new
duo. With clean, two-part harmonies and straightforward lyrics that are
sarcastic bordering on silly, the ladies from Durham, N.C., unabashedly mix
folky banjo and acoustic punk. Their debut CD, Oh Yell, plays like a
mixtape; happy-go-lucky songs about romance and cherry licorice are intertwined
with strangely sad songs such as "What a Bore."

Band members Kym Register and
Catherine Edgerton have been BFF since they were teens, so they are literally
in tune with each other — even when singing different lyrics in unison on
"Tetris." Their Southern roots are also charming on songs such as "Cowboy": "We can walk outside together with our hands on our
pistols tonight/We can take 10 paces and turn around, and aim at the city
streetlights."

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