Sound Check: November 2007


To round out the month of solo songstresses, Erin McKeown came through Chicago on her fall tour, decked out in faux tux attire and sporting a spiky hairdo akin to Dragonball Z. A talented instrumentalist, Erin’s guitar and keyboard playing was worth paying attention to, but the excessive pleading for crowd participation was as tiring as her rehashing of jazz standards.

Erin McKeown

When she does play her own work, however, it’s refreshing and highlights her true skills on the strings, which she also uses on occasion to back up other artists such as Melissa Ferrick and Ani Difranco. For those who have stuck by McKeown since the late 1990s, you won’t miss much if you miss this tour: Just buy her new live album, Lafayette.

Releases Reviewed

Baltimore’s queer quintet Odd Girl Out is an East Coast hit with their pop-punk rock, but the band’s debut album, Hurry Up & Wait, is a cluster of predictable chords.

The lyrics are a little too trite, even for punk ("Do you recall all the truths you told in variation? Do you recall somethin’ you did for me without hesitation?"), and vocalist Tawni’s voice is too sweet for the hard-hitting riffs. Even a cover of "Eternal Flame" can’t save Odd Girl Out from being another forgotten band, but they’d be perfect for adding some much needed diversity to next year’s Warped Tour.

If you take your dance music seriously, you probably won’t appreciate Nicky Click‘s lighthearted approach. Her simplistic beats back her slow-moving rhymes on her new album, I’m on My Cell Phone. Her first album, You’re Already a Member, put Nicky on the map as an up-and-coming queer electro pseudo-MC with songs about femme-on-femme action, but the new CD lacks the clever witticism of the first. Even collaborations with JenRo and Katastrophe can’t save it from being annoying and erratic.

Watch the video for "Don’t Call Me Baby" by Nicky Click below:

News and Notes

Out guitarist Kaki King is currently on the Billboard 200 — twice. She plays on a track on the Foo Fighters’ new album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (which peaked at No. 3) and on two songs on Tegan and Sara’s The Con, which is currently positioned at No. 192. Kaki will also be featured in the upcoming film August Rush (Nov. 21). She stars as the lead character’s hands playing the guitar during a close-up.

Kaki King

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