Sound Check: April 2009


Lesbian musician Sharon Isbin is an accomplished guitar player and her new album, Journey to the New World, shows that she’s still the reining queen of the strings.

The album is 29-tracks, including four Renaissance Lute Works, two
English folks songs and two tracks featuring vocals from folk singer Joan Baez. Baez joins Isbin on the traditional tune, "Wayfaring Stranger," which is one of the best on Journey, because it highlight’s Isbin’s ability to be the center of attention, while still sharing the spotlight.

If you’re not into instrumental-only type music, you can at least
appreciate her collaborations with Baez, which are also piano-laden and
beautifully melancholy.

News and Notes

San Francisco trio Von Iva are joining up with Minnesota girl band Sick of Sarah for the Emerald Tour beginning May 2 in Bloomington, Indiana.

The Sounds, a Swedish rock band with bisexual frontwoman Maja Ivarsson, will release their new album, Crossing the Rubicon, on June 2. They will be touring with No Doubt and on select headlining dates now through August.

Maja Ivarsson

Kaki King‘s joint EP with the Mountain Goats, Black Pear Tree,
is now available for purchase online. Kaki was also recently remixed by
the Hood Internet, who combined one of her tracks with one from Tupac.

Queer video artist K8 Hardy directed a video for JD Samson‘s new band, MEN, for the single "Off Our Backs." MEN was formerly a DJ duo featuring Samson’s former Le Tigre bandmate Joanna Fateman but has morphed into a full electro musical outfit that is now touring Europe.

(L to r) Ginger Brooks Takahashi, JD Samson and Michael O’Neill of MEN

The Gossip have announced a June 22 release date for their new album, Music for Men. The first single, Heavy Cross, was recently leaked on the internet.

Los Angeles queer group Mika Miko will release an 11-song CD, We Be Xuxa on May 5.

Indie noise band Ponytail, which includes out singer Molly Siegel are on a small venue tour now through this summer.

Aussie singer Sia has a new Live EP downloadable from iTunes, and is also releasing a DVD, TV is My Parent,
on May 19. The DVD will feature footage from a performance at Hiro
Ballroom in New York as well as several music videos and
behind-the-scenes shots from tour and recording.

Queer artist Wynne Greenwood of the now defunct band Tracy and the Plastics has a new performance piece called Sister Taking A Nap that is currently showing in Seattle.

Missy Higgins appears on the song "I Love Pop Music" with Ben Lee on his new album, The Rebirth of Venus.

Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara sings on the track "Broken Song" of former Sparta singer Jim Ward’s new EP, In the Valley on the Shores.

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