Sunday, August 10, 2008

Founders of Rock n Roll

Trixie Smith was born in 1895 in Atlanta, Georgia. A blues singer, a vaudeville entertainer, and an actress, Trixie Smith is credited as having titled the genre of Rock and Roll with her 1922 track entitled "My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll). Take a listen to Volume 1 and 2 of her recorded works, 1922 through 1939 (2 discs, 1 download).

Trixie Smith

Wanda Jackson, born in Oklahoma in 1937, is often credited as the first female Rock and Roll singer. First recording in 1954, Wanda toured with the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly, but never achieved the same level of success as her male counterparts here in the states. Today, she is still affectionately known as the "Queen of Rockabilly." Here are her recorded works 1954 through 1962 (4 discs, 1 download).

Right or Wrong

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Great Garagers

I have been gone for quite some time - a few varied reasons, including a consuming interest in AfroBeat and Dub taking me in meandering directions, not always leading to female musicians, a full clean of my hard drive, which took some time to recover from, and laziness. I hope you enjoy this post on two female garage acts you might already know. Take a moment to fill out my survey - I'm closer to 100 responses than before, so just 38 more folks!! Much appreciated.

If you've had a chance to check our my good friend's blog over at the PsychoMafia (link to the right), then you may have had a chance to listen to April March with the Makers, a great example of garage rock. You may also be familiar with April March from "The Shitbirds" posted here on musicisabetternoise (see below). This bilingual album may not be her best example as a garage rocker, but definitely of the 60s Rock and Roll sort, and a bit of France Gall from "Gay Paris" (note French pronunciation on Paris). Hope you enjoy this one.

Paris in April

Holly Golightly will rock your socks off. This British singer/songwriter once fronted the all female garage group "Thee Headcoatees," a variation on the Billy Childish act. You might also recognizing her as a collaborating artist with the White Stripes, but personally, I think she's much more rockin. Check this one out.

Painted On

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Little Class

Hey all. Sorry, it's been some time since my last post. I'll try to stay on top of this more regularly, but keep those comments coming, and importantly, those responses to my survey! Thanks for your support.

For some reason, this Nina Simone album seems particularly hard to find in its entirety, maybe because it is so highly coveted as her best. Recorded in 1974, this album contains some of her more funky tracks, most obviously "Funkier than a Mosquitoes Tweeter." Nina is just the best. Love this album.

It is Finished

Donna Hightower was a jazz vocalist from the 1950s, but you probably won't recognize any "hits" from her, surprisingly. Hightower was born in Missouri was discovered while she was working at a diner in Chicago - singing as she worked. After making a series of singles for Decca and RPM, Capitol records singed her on around 1958. This is the resulting record from that first session with sax giant Ben Webster.

Take One!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

1979 + 1

Okay, forgive the recording, but I actually used an ipod microphone to get this in digital format in my living room. The acoustics aren't great to say the least, but I can't find this anywhere but the actual 7 inch, so here it is. Model Citizens was another no wave group from New York, and recorded this solitary 7 inch with producer/legend John Cale in 1979. Model Citizens split into two bands - The Dance (see earlier post), and Polyrock. Hope you enjoy the recording, maybe one day I'll update my recording technology.

1979 EP

From Athens, Georgia, Pylon released their first 7 inch in 1979. I don't have that EP, I have this, their 1980 full-length debut album. When Pylon first emerged, they were able to make inroads in the New York City scene due to support from the B-52s, and soon were opening for The Talking Heads, Gang of Four, and REM to name a few. The group disbanded around 1983, but since 2004 have been playing impromptu shows. Singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay is currently part of a music project called Supercluster, which thus far, has no recorded albums.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

60s Pop

The Ronettes were from New York City, and gained fame in the early part of the 1960s with songs like "Be My Baby." The group did not record a significant body of work before going on hiatus, and when they reemerged, the "girl-group" format was no longer interesting in American pop culture. By 1966, the band had permanently split. Here is their best of.

The Best of The Ronettes

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas gained fame around the same time as The Ronettes, surfacing first in 1963. Their motown style, as well as social relevance with anthems such as "Dancing in the Streets," allowed them to maintain fame into the early 70s. Martha Reeves today is still considered one of the most important vocalists in Rock n' Roll history, influencing Lou Reed and Mick Jagger to name a few. Here is another best of.

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Before They Were Stars

Elinor Blake was the front-woman of The Shitbirds before becoming the April March we all know and love today. The Shitbirds started in 1991 when Blake moved to LA to animate for the Ren and Stimpy show. This album was released in 1995, after the bands breakup, and is a collection of all 15 Shitbirds recordings.

Famous Recording Artists

This is Cat Power's first full-length album, also released in 1995. While Chan Marshall's style has been characterized as unpolished, listening to this, you begin to see where that all started, and appreciate her roots in punk, blues, and folk.

Dear Sir

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Creepy, Yet Fun

Rasputina, contrary to popular thought, began in Brooklyn circa 1992, and signed to Columbia records in 1996 with this album. As you will hear, the band is centered around the cello, as Melora Creager, founding member of the band, has been playing since she was 9, appearing with the likes of Nirvana and the Pixies. Read the wikipedia entry to see just how many members this act has been through.

This album is a bit reminiscent of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, although was out in the world way before - 1982 to be exact. Nina is from Berlin, Germany, which you probably won't find surprising when you take a listen. Nina is still around making music and being politically active, but is now in the states. Take a listen to the Nina Hagen band, her first solo gig.