Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Tu Me Manque...

Little Miss B, 7th October 2009...

After reading the NME's Rock Stars We Miss The Most feature, I began feeling nostalgic; as many of you who know me personally are aware, I often express deep and mournful regret at the lack of current lady bands working outside of the mainstream.

Sorry, let me correct myself: regret at the lack of decent lady bands working outside the mainstream. Bands who have something more to say than "he's an asshole, boys suck YEAH".

I become particularly heartbroken when the few bands I love love love, go and commit perfectly selfish acts and disband during my listening lifetime. The horrid realization that you are never going to be able to see them play (again), the sinking feeling when you finally come to terms with there never being any new music… Heartbreaking.

I wish this lot were still making music. If I could bring them all back, I would.

Maybe I could do a Justin Lee Collins and organize some sort of reunion.
You with me?

5. Pretty Girls Make Graves

4. Sleater Kinney

3. Rainer Maria

2. Honey is Cool

1. The Organ

Monday, 5 October 2009

Song of the Week | Vivian Girls

Little Miss B, 4th October 2009...

Vivian Girls : Moped Girls

There are many many things happening in the world of The Girls Are... Freelancing, 12 hour shifts, being a sickly child, buffing up on wizard music producing skills, preparing for recording, preparing for photo shoots and planning world domination. It's all rather stressful. We're all a bit tired and irked. So what better way to cheer our miserable faces than with some Vivian Girls doing funny things in front of a camera. Super.

To hear more SOTW selections by Little Miss B, click below:

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Review | Regina Spektor

Nat, 4th October 2009...

Regina Spektor : Far

Far is undoubtedly another stunning compilation from 29 year old Soviet born beauty Regina Spektor, and as we’ve been itching for more of her words for three long years, it couldn’t have come a moment too soon. Far is a collection of truthful rhymes, playful upbeat tunes, essays of depth and purpose, bound together with her usual quirky charm.

Once again, Spektor manages to combine energetic and upbeat piano melodies with atmospheric vocals whilst exploring haunting themes, that possibly reflect her own experiences of growing up during a period of Soviet ‘restructuring’ in which Jews were subjected to unjustified ethnic and political discrimination. However, Spektor has previously claimed that her songs are not usually autobiographical and are rather just streams of thought based on ‘characters and scenarios’ from her own imagination.

In my view, the most prominent tracks on the album are arguably Blue Lips & Laughing With, both typical of regular themes explored by Spektor: the truth of human nature and self discovery.

Far is Spektor’s fifth album so far and has effortlessly managed to sell 50,000 copies in its first week of release. She lists the members of her band as her heart, her mind and time, alongside her piano and voice, and upon listening to any collection of her work it is quickly understood that that’s all she needs.

Editor's note - "I saw Regina Regina at the Serpentine Sessions over the summer and don't think I have ever been so overwhelmed with sheer joy at being in the same space as another human being. All hail The Spektor".

God Bless the iPod God....

Steph, 4th October, 2009....

"My life deserves a soundtrack."

I'll never forget reading that.

I keenly remember feeling somewhat amused, wondering if the statement's author could sound more arrogant. Over time though, I've come to realise that everyones' life does have a soundtrack, of sorts. I could swear that at times, mine does. Granted, there are definitely a few tracks (along with a couple of chapters), I'd like to have skipped. All those emotions linked to specific songs, albums and soundtracks. Don't deny it. We all do it. It's inevitable.

The first time my boyfriend heard me sing was only a month or two into our relationship. He'd popped out quickly and I was doing the washing up, in his flat. More glam than it sounds, honest. I had sparkly marigolds and everything.

Expecting him to take longer than he inevitably did, I'd put my phone into the dock and was singing along (do I need to say at the top of my lungs?), with Ms Carter and Mr Cash to the tune of Jackson, courtesy of the shuffle. Completely absorbed by one of my favourite songs and giving it my best country impression, I hadn't noticed the better half returning and deciding he'd join in. Can you imagine it? We hadn't quite got to the 'totally relaxed with one another' stage and anything slightly embarrassing was amplified, three fold. Wishing the ground had swallowed me whole in that excruciating moment (painful doesn't come close), the sensation, emotion and memory shall remain with me, always. And still, a year on, whenever I hear Jackson, I have a little cringe.

And it's just that; it's all about those memories and their triggers. They're your soundtrack. On the days when we're feeling low, or elated, or sensitive, or, well, you get the idea. Those moments of acute and intense emotion are often coupled with music; whether it's background atmospheric accompaniment on the coffee shop radio, a cacophony of sound pouring through traffic jam car windows you pass as you saunter/trot/skip/run/walk down the street, the straining earphones of your fellow commuter or your own source of sound, it's always there.
It's not just any music though, it's the right music. It's that perfect song when you least expect it. Your X track from X album, when you were studying for X exam and working at X store in X month of X year, sometimes happens to come on just when you need it. That's what I'm talking about.

More often than not, if we're picking our own music, the songs for these occasions will be selected quite specifically, depending on the related emotion, momentary passion or a conscious memory. But when you take a chance and trust in the shuffle of the pod, you get a cracker of a track. Of course, you'd never have picked it otherwise. More often than not, you'd pretty much forgotten it existed, until in the start of the opening beat or riff, it all floods back. It's perfect, it couldn't be better, even if you had picked it yourself.

What's even better is that every time it happens, it's a surprise. We never anticipate how good it can be, but when the melody starts, a foot taps, a heart leaps, a head nods and we generally end up totally immersed in all those feelings we've previously connected to.

In fact, this article of self-indulgent, whimsical proportions comes to you courtesy of Fleetwood Mac's Albatross. A song so unashamedly incredible it makes me weak at the knees with the opening bar. Or at least it used to make my legs turn to jelly, until Marks and Spencer so ruthlessly stole it from me. Yes, that's right, M&S destroyed that special bond between me and my Albatross. It will never be the same again. However, my little iPod God came to the rescue with subsequent shuffle delights including A Forest and Edge of Seventeen and Pachuca Sunrise and Re: Stacks and Strange and Beautiful and Charlotte Sometimes and Policy of Truth and I'm sure you get the idea.

We forget just how many incredible songs there are, with their soul imprinting bass lines, ethereal vocals and delicious melodies. And then the incredible guitar line comes in.
I'm beginning to believe there is an iPod God (don't judge me). He's kind to me, providing me with a plethora of aural delights and has impeccable timing. IPod God, I think I love you.

To read more articles by Steph, click below:
Penny Lane