What the CL Music Team is listening to on this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.
Gabe - X-Ray Spex, Germfree Adolescents (1978)
Getting my Monday morning started off with a jolt this week; X-Ray Spex, the highly influential 1970's UK punk rock band fronted by teenage screaming banshee Poly Styrene, is giving me a much-needed shot of adrenaline today. Styrene (who sadly passed away last year) single-handedly did more for women in music (and not just in the punk genre) than she could have been aware of as a 17-year-old lead singer. Styrene took a firm stance against commercialism and the mundane in her compositions. She preached about the importance of individuality as she screamed and squealed her way through this brilliant album. The 1990's female punk rock "Riot Grrl" movement wouldn't have occurred had it not been for Poly and this now-classic album as most of the ladies involved in that era will eagerly point out. Certainly a must-have for any fan of punk rock or aggressive, thoughtful music. This album never fails to inspire. Rock on, Poly Styrene!
Shae - Zola Jesus, Conatus (2011)
The other day, I tried to explain Zola Jesus' music to a friend. After a few false starts and a flurry of hand gestures, the best description I could come up with was, "It's sort of Bjork-y, but more goth, and really atmospheric." This morning I put on Zola's latest album, Conatus, to see if I could better pin down her sound. How can I use the descriptions that spring to mind - "Siouxsie Sioux on Klonopin" or "the perfect soundtrack to A Wrinkle in Time" - to actually illustrate what the music is like? To parse it: the vocals are sultry and practically indecipherable, the drum beats pulse hypnotically, and everything is swaddled in a thick layer of reverb. This is the kind of album that is born and raised in the studio, so I'm interested to hear how it translates live when Zola Jesus plays the Crowbar on February 6. Maybe after seeing her live, I'll be able to come up with the perfect way to articulate her sound. [MORE ENTRIES AFTER THE JUMP.]