Sound Check: April 2008


Solo artist Swati
is much more spiritual on her album Small
. She reminded me of Joan Osborne right off the bat, and not just
because they both enjoy singing about a higher power.

Swati has a deep, husky
tone that complements her storytelling style, whether she’s singing about
picking up prostitutes out of boredom in the song "Blackjack" or
about post-midnight city life in her sexy song "2 O’Clock in the
Morning." The latter is one of the best on Small Gods, but it makes me wonder about the romance that lesbian
songwriters have with New York City at 2 a.m. Kaki King has a song called
"2 O’Clock" on her latest album, Dreaming
of Revenge
. Is there a secret Meetup group I’m not aware of?

Maybe Tin
knows. They’re a band from the East Coast (New
Jersey, specifically), and their three-song EP, Grace, was recorded in Brooklyn
this past winter. If you’re into queer new-wave bands like Boyskout, you’ll dig their post-punk
sound. Though I wasn’t digging the vocalist’s nasal tone, I was way into their
overall distortion, especially on the title track. I’m hoping for more from Tin
Kitchen in the future, but a new singer might be too much to ask for.

News and Notes

Mentioning Tattle Tale above got me thinking back to the
duo’s breakup and about what the old members are up to. That’s how I found out
ex-member Bonfire Madigan (aka the queer half) recently released the
album I Bleed:
A Decade of Song
, which features some old
Tattle Tale tracks as well as solo songs she’s made since the band’s demise.

I’ve also got a lot of exciting album release information for you: Uh
Huh Her
‘s debut album will be released May 20; Kirsten Price will finally release her debut, Guts and Garbage, on June 17; Yo Majesty‘s first full-length album is scheduled for late summer; in
August, Joan Jett releases her
greatest-hits CD and DVD on her label, Blackheart Records. (Yes, "Bad
Reputation" and "I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll" will be included.)

And because there’s never enough news about Tegan and Sara … Tegan has started a new side project with Hunter
Burgan of the punk band AFI. Their project has yet to be named, but Tegan told that they are working on a record in between tours. At the rate
T&S are touring, that album most likely won’t come out anytime soon.

Speaking of side projects, J.D. Samson has yet another musical endeavor, and this time it’s
named Hirsute, after a condition described as "excessive and increased hair growth in women in locations
where the occurrence of terminal hair normally is minimal or absent." On
their three MySpace tracks, the band already sounds like the best electro parts
of Le Tigre mixed with J.D.’s affection for ’90s dance-pop.

Short-lived trio Ex-Members
has joined the likes of Triple Creme and Electrelane in announcing its demise.
The band, which featured Melissa York of the Butchies on drums, played their
last show on March 5 with MEN.

Two upcoming festivals are
chock-full of lesbian music, as usual. The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival has
booked Betty, Hanifah Walidah, Bitch, Von Iva, JenRO, Yo Majesty, Boyskout, Ellis, Natalia Zukerman,
Kinnie Starr, Patty Larkin, Erin McKeown,
Holly Near, and Toshi Reagon and Big Lovely. Across Lake Michigan, the National
Women’s Music Festival
has moved to Madison,
Wis., for this year’s gathering,
which will include Andrea Gibson, Christy Snow, Cris Williamson, and God-des
and She.

Queer hip-hop outfit Scream
is still on tour, but they are in need of some help: They’re
looking for a female and/or genderqueer sound person to help them with their
live shows. "We would love someone to DJ our instrumental tracks as well
as adding new remixes to the repertoire," they write on their MySpace
page. To audition, find them when they’re in your town and they’ll give you a
tryout that night.

Venus Zine made a list
of the greatest female guitarists of all time, and some notable queers made the
grade, including Carrie Brownstein, Kaki King, Ani DiFranco, Joan Jett,
Sharon Isbin and Toshi Reagon.

Mirah‘s "Make It Hot (Over
Remix)" and The Blow‘s "Hock It (We Too Remix)" are both featured
on the new YACHT remix album, Our Friends
in Hell

On tour: Chris
, Rachel
, Indigo
, Bitch, The
, Pamela Means, Erin
, Lesbians
on Ecstasy
, Sick
of Sarah
and New

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