"When the crowd is with you, the jokes are fresh, your timing is just right, and the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. You feel like you are exactly where you should be, and there is nothing better. Comedy is a rare gift from the gods, an awesome invention. It propels you right into the heart of the universe." - Margaret Cho in her best-selling book, I'm The One That I Want
Margaret Cho stands elegantly on the stage as a sold-out audience welcomes her with a raucous applause rarely heard in the echoing hall of New York City's prestigious Carnegie Hall. With typical poise and flair, these are her opening remarks: "I'm pretty sure I'm the first Korean-American woman who has ever stood on this stage without a violin."
"It's a rebirth," says Ivy singer Dominique Durand about All Hours [Nettwerk], the New York trio's new album and first release in six years. "We really had no idea where we were going for a long time. But in my mind, I knew I wanted to go back to some kind of innocence, and also a feeling of energy and excitement. I wanted to make a record based on those very basic sensations."
Fresh on the heels of her melancholy pop exploration, We Will Become Like Birds (Nettwerk, 2005), Erin McKeown comes roaring back with Sing You Sinners - 13 songs of mischief and verve collected from the forgotten corners of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway. Written by the likes of Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, and Fats Waller, learned from Fred Astaire, Gene Krupa, Nat King Cole, and Blossom Dearie, Sing You Sinners is McKeown's singular and sly take on the not-so-standard entries in the Great American Songbook.
In a time when the thought of another album along the lines of 'X sings the Standards' or 'Y sings Cole Porter' can fill a music fans heart with emotions ranging from foreboding to outright terror, the new album from Erin McKeown is a breath of fresh air.
As industrial and industrial metal made great inroads on the mainstream charts during the late ’90s, many early pioneers continued to record with little fanfare but a large amount of creativity, even if the astounding leaps in technology had largely altered their sound since the heyday of the 1980s. Download was originally begun by Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key and Rudolph Dwayne Goettel in 1995 as a side project from their rapidly disintegrating full-time interest. Also a part of Download were Skinny Puppy contributors Anthony Valcic and Ken Marshall, plus Philth and Mark Spybey (from Dead Voices on Air). The debut album Furnace was issued on their own SubConscious Records (and distributed by Cleopatra) in late 1995; several months earlier, however, Goettel had died from a heroin overdose.
Autour de Lucie is a French band, led by vocalist Valérie Leulliot. When the group emerged on the French music scene in the early 90’s, the trio’s jaunty electro/pop/rock did not appear to sound radically different from other 90’s French pop groups. However, Autour de Lucie soon went on to establish themselves as leading lights on the French pop scene, and the group’s albums rapidly became best-selling exports abroad, helped by exposure in US on the Lilith Fair tour in 1997. The band broke up at the beginning of 2006, as Leulliot began to plan a solo career.
Hem had recorded three well-received albums—along with a B-sides-and-rarities disc plus a handful of EPs—and had been rewarded with a dedicated following. But as work on Departure and Farewell continued, it was increasingly characterized by upheaval, riven with by the dissolution of two marriages, and punctuated by addiction, family loss and crisis. Eventually discord set in, making it even more likely that the band’s career would end here, and not with a grace note. "It turned into a much uglier goodbye,” recalls Messé, who, in the course of seeking help to function, ended up hooked on prescription pills for the better part of two years. The songwriter now reflects on the time of missed commitments, frustrations and dependence with regret. “It strained every relationship that I had.