Sound Check: May 2008

 
 

Another fun record to
check out is MC Flow‘s Incredible.
A hip-hop "femme-c"
from San Diego, Calif., Abby Schwartz is definitely good at
rhyming (she manages to flow lines ending in "edible," "incredible,"
"beddable," "sweatable" and "treadable"— wow.) But no matter how
talented she may be, MC Flow
knows she has two things against her: She’s white, and she’s a lesbian
— not
exactly MTV’s idea of a rap star.

So
she takes on this idea in songs such as "Boxes and Squares" alongside
other songs about gay marriage, body image issues and friendship. She’s
political with a quick tongue, and it makes you want to listen to what she’s
spitting.

MC Flow’s ironic, metaphorical and
perfectly timed lyrics are the main event on Incredible, as the beats and choruses can be boring and lackluster,
especially on otherwise great tunes like "Carousel," about Flow
helping a friend through rehab and recovery from drugs and a suicide attempt.
It’s these kind of words and calls to action that the gay youth is likely to
listen to, so I hope her words come true when she tells haters, "Tell me who’ll be laughing last when this track’s playing every
station." Never say never!

Someone who might have a better chance
at becoming mainstream is lesbian pop singer Lori Michaels. The New York singer calls herself The Dyke Diva,
and her background tracks are a little more radio-ready on Living My Life Out Loud.

Half
of her songs are club-esque jams that call out to straight girls ("Girl
Thing," which at least has a rap interlude from Feloni). There’s also a
bizarre song called "Meet Me at the Partay" which has a flamboyant man
calling out "Ow!" and "Hey ho, ho hay! Everybody knows you’re gay!"
Michaels sings the chorus robotically: "Meet me at the partay, meet me
at the partay." Sounds like a great time.

The slow
jams are what save Living
My Life Out Loud
from being a total train wreck. If she stuck with her sincere-sounding
love songs where she sings lines such as, "My brand new life, and those blue blue eyes, maybe this time this
love will finally be my someone right," she might find a little more
success. Or maybe I’m wrong, and most people won’t think ending a song with a
whisper of, "You know, not too many guys can say they do
the things we do" is totally ridiculous and cheesy. Who cares if it’s
true?

Lori Michaels

Photo credit: Mark Weiss

News and Notes

Tegan and Sara recently released the Live Session EP on iTunes. It includes
four acoustic tracks from The Con and one from So Jealous. It was recorded in San Francisco on the last day of
their previous tour and obviously recorded just so that I have to write about
them in Sound Check every month.

After decades of being a rock icon, Joan Jett is releasing a greatest hits album and DVD this September. She’ll be
touring with her band, the Blackhearts, this summer.

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