Sound Check: March 2009

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Also from Canada, folk duo Madison Violet has released a second album, Caravan, which features more of an alt-country tinge than the previous Worry the Jury. The 10-track disc will be a favorite of fans of Neko Case, Lucinda Williams or Loretta Lynn.

With a throwback sound and modern themes, Madison Violet has created a well-crafted album about traveling, both literally and metaphorically.

Madison Violet

Standout tracks include the slow-tempo “I’m Your Lady” and the ballad “I Am an Only.”

Los Angeles band Saucy Monkey’s five-song EP, Between the Bars, has a cover of The Carpenter’s hit song, “Superstar.”

Maybe I’m spoiled by the original (and the even better Sonic Youth cover from the If I Were a Carpenter Tribute Album released several years ago), but I’m just not into the drawn-out, alt-rock version of the classic track.

Unfortunately, it’s the best song on the EP. Saucy Monkey doesn’t offer anything original, and the lyrics are rife with cheesy metaphors, like on the song “The Acrobat,” with lyrics like “Maybe you’re the acrobat / swinging back and forth like that / while I’m on the trampoline / jumping on and down to be seen.”

Saucy Monkey

But I will award them points for a song called “Listening to Morrissey.” It’s a great idea that they weren’t able to fully capitalize on. If the band has any influence from the Moz or The Smiths, it’s not present on Between the Bars.

NEWS & NOTES

Queer Control Records has added several new artists to its roster for 2009, including queer artist Shenandoah Davis and two bands with lesbian members, Box Squad and Princess and the Criminals.

This year, Pitchfork TV has released live performance videos of both Ponytail and Hercules and Love Affair, including Kim Ann Foxman singing “Athena.”

Ponytail

The Indigo Girls will be releasing their new album Poseidon and the Bitter Bug on March 24.

The first week of April is Dinah Shore, and scheduled performers include Lady GaGa, Uh Huh Her, Robin S., the Indigo Girls, Katy Perry and DJs such as The BoobyTrap Girls.

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