June 27, 2015

Lady Music Saturdays: Volume Three + General Updates



Lady Music Saturdays are a countdown to Veruca Salt's new LP, 'Ghost Notes', to be released on July 10, 2015. Join our host, Tory Stevenson, as she navigates through as many musical genres as she can, introducing female artists to her faithful audience of five.


Hey.

I'm sure you've all heard that the US Supreme Court ruled all same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional. A fitting end to Pride Month, I think. In another (very brief) edition of "Let's Not Talk About...", let's not talk about Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomson and their blatant batshittery.

Speaking of Pride, today's the second last day of Pride Week in Toronto, and the Dyke March is happening at some point (this afternoon, I think). Tomorrow is the big parade and the closing ceremony, which sounds super exciting. And even if it's not, I'm at least glad that John Tory participated in the flag-raising ceremony. As far as Conservative candidates went, he was the best.

I've been working through a story about a Black Widow Spider, and I'm very close to finishing it! What do you think spiders dream about?

Here's a conversation I had with my mum after I killed a little moth while apologising profusely to it --

Tory (T): Hey mum.

Tory's Mum (TM): [is busy watching Chinese/Korean/Thai dramas]

T: Do you ever feel bad when you kill bugs?

TM: [non-committal] Mmm. [is busy watching Chinese/Korean/Thai dramas]

T: Because I always feel bad when I kill bugs.

TM: [steadfastly ignores Tory while trying to watch her dramas]

T: Does that leave hope for me?
[in a high pitched voice; pretends to be Tory's Mum] Hope of what?
[reverts to normal voice] Of my final re-transformation from India-rubber back to flesh.

TM: [steadfastly ignores Tory while trying to watch her dramas]



Okay, that's about it for updates. Onwards to the music!

*****

Jazz
Esperanza Spalding! She sings, she plays lots of bass, she's like the only (or first? I need to check) jazz artist to win a Grammy for Best New Artist.

Much of her music has elements of soul in it, with funky bass lines and very dynamic vocals. It's generally upbeat, lots of fun, and pretty easy listening. Spalding's a ridiculously talented musician, and you should watch her play bass at least once.

Here's a video, almost 40 minutes long, of a big band, featuring Esperanza Spalding and a whole host of other musicians whose names you can find in the description box:



Honourable Mention: Jaco Pastorius, who was one of the best 4-string electric bass players in the history of ever (click the link because 'Portrait of Tracy' is an amazing piece); Melody Gardot, an excellent jazz and blues musician who you should absolutely read up on; and Cécile McLorin Salvant, an up-and-coming (fairly well-established by now actually) French-American jazz vocalist.


Metal
There are so many different kinds of metal, just like there are so many kinds of everything else ever. But metal is special, because metalheads think it is. Moving on.

Here's Arkona, hailing from Russia! Masha is the death growler of my dreams, and I guess the rest of the band's pretty tight too

jk, they're AMAZING. If you ever get to see a metal show live, you should see these guys. They do pagan/folk metal, a style with lots of perfect fifths and fourths, and lyrics that focus on the good ol' days (with a healthy dose of "I miss my homeland", "Everyone I know is dead", and "Slavic god, give me strength") in Russia and other Slavic countries. I don't understand a single thing sung other than the obvious words, but I still enjoy their music thoroughly.

Here's a video, in all its undersaturated glory, for a song off their 2014 album 'Yav':


Honourable Mention: Otep and Eths. They both have prospective albums coming up, but there are no release dates announced yet. Otep is a nu-metal (or "Artcore") band from the States, fronted by Otep Shamaya. Their last album 'Hydra', was released in 2013, and a video was made for 'Apex Predator'. Eths is a French band, also with nu-metal sounds, that had a relatively large debut in France. Their lead singer, originally Candice Clot, is Rachel Aspe, who surprised judges on France's version of "America's Got Talent" (or something like that) with her BRUTAL death growl, which was at odds with her girl-next-door appearance.


Perfect
While scrolling through my music one day, I stumbled upon 'Perfect'. What, I thought, could possibly be labelled 'Perfect'?

SLEATER-KINNEY, who else? Of course Sleater-Kinney is perfect, and even better, they released a WHOLE NEW ALBUM ('No Cities to Love') earlier this year, which means I get to recommend a truly recent album here. And also they are perfect.

And now, for something that brings it beyond perfect: a video combining Sleater-Kinney with Bob's Burgers. Amazing.



Honourable Mention: Sleater-Kinney's the only thing in the "Perfect" category, so I don't have anything to put here.


Pop
Everyone's favourite genre, amirite?

Pop music changes so quickly that, after being tuned out from it for a little while, I don't really know who's relevant anymore (Taylor Swift, I think? And, like, Beyoncé?). However, I came upon an expedient -- Colleen Green's Facebook page claims her genre is 'Whatever U Want', which is obviously a nod at her newest album but I'm going to take it at face value and categorise her under the extremely broad label of "Pop".

That aside, this chick's been compared to Veruca Salt -- and Lady Music Saturdays are a countdown to Veruca Salt's new album, so this is completely relevant -- and Liz Phair and a whole bunch of too-cool-for-school 90s bands, which gives you an idea of her musical style.

Anyway, here's Colleen Green's single 'TV' from her album 'I Want to Grow Up':



Honourable Mention: Lady GaGa's doing some super cool things right now. Some say she's not as relevant anymore since she's toned down her image significantly, but if you had heard her at the Oscars a while back, you'd know that she's now taking the time to diversify after making oodles of money. She did some collaborations with Tony Bennett, she has a role in American Horror Story's upcoming fifth season, and there's another studio album in the works. Her music videos are always slick and highly stylised, and I really, really like them (but if I had to choose, I'd choose 'Telephone' for its tribute to Tarantino and for the synchronised dancing in a diner full of dead people).