Audiostraddle Record Club: Wanna Listen?

Hello tigers. You know how Riese is always pleading with you to read a f*cking book? Now it’s our turn! Audiostraddle wants you to listen to a goddamn record. Please.

We’re starting up an Audiostraddle Record Club, and we want you. How it’ll work is pretty standard: Every month or so we’ll pick a recent(ish) record and a week or two later, I’ll lead us in what will hopefully be some stimulating yet light-hearted conversation about the songs, the artist/s behind them and maybe even their hairstyles and dress sense and cover art. Maybe I’ll be joined by other Autostraddlers or readers, really anything is possible.

Honestly I have no idea if our club will be a success or not, but I do know this — without your input it’s not gonna have a fighting chance. ‘Cause then it would just be an album review, right? So I do hope some of you will get involved. You don’t need to be a musicologist to join in, honestly all you’ll need is two ears and a heart. And a legal copy of the record we’ll be discussing.

Here are a few suggestions of what our first record could be:

Junior — Kaki King

The ArchAndroid— Janelle Monáe

Nobody’s Daughter — Hole

Animal — Ke$ha

Brothers — The Black Keys

Lessons from the Late Night — Hunter Valentine

High Violet — The National

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack soundtrack

Would you like to talk about one of these records? Do you have a better suggestion? Most importantly, WHO’S IN? Leave your suggestions/comments below.

Crystal is a 33-year-old Australian living in Chicago. Founding member, does HR stuff, writes now and then.

Crystal has written 329 articles for us.

88 Comments

  1. *jumps up and down* Kaki King! Kaki King!

    I love this idea. And I like all of those artists/albums, so really any of them would be good. But I do love me some Kaki King.

  2. awesome idea, i guarantee my gf will read this as soon as she gets home from work and be all over it (i’m more of the reading a f*cking book variety)

    • Jenn Jenn I think you’re right (remember it– this may be the last time you ever hear those words)

      But I vote Janelle Monae. Her album is fucking amazing.

  3. Just got my Evelyn Evelyn double vinyl… Amazing. I would recommend this to any Amanda Palmer fan, you know, or just people who like great, creative music.

    Also any record by The Flaming Lips. At War with the Mystics is a great one.

    And for anyone who likes oldies/9who doesn’t?)… the Genesis album A Trick of the Tail is great, and the artworks def cool, its probably the real reason I bought the record.

  4. Two ears? Check
    Heart? Check-ish

    Questionable idea: some artists have entire records (or mixtapes, etc.) available for free download on their bandcamp, their website and/or their whathaveyou. Once in a while we could discuss a record that maybe a lot of people wouldn’t have heard (about) if [insert username of person that lives in a country with a name I can’t spell because it has no vowels, or something] had not recommended it in the last discussion.

    I know it can become an opportunity for self-promotion, like: “let’s talk about this phenomenal yet obscure band from my local ‘scene’… it’s not my cousins’ and I’m not totally their backup singer or anything, I promise.” Still, it may be interesting to discuss music by artists that are somewhat circumscribed to their local/national/whateveral ‘scene’ but have free music out there for anyone surfing the www. I’m not in a band or anything, I promise.

    Oh, and I’m in.

  5. I vote for the Eclipse soundtrack. I know y’all hate the vamps/wolves, but this soundtrack is amazing. I would be cheating cuz I’ve already heard it for the last month, but I love it.

    Maybe you could do something where there is a lottery and those who want to pick albums can be put into the pool and that way everyone gets to hear what they want at some point?

      • isn’t her album kinda old at this point, at least since its UK release?

        Also in grand queermo tradition, I’d like to point out some dumb things she’s said.

        “The way I dress affects my fan base. Ive got a strong gay and lesbian following. Ive got short hair and an air of mystery, which is always going to interest people. I guess its a grey area for them. But its weird for me. After one gig, this girl came up to me at the bar and said: Im not gay, but I really wanna f**k you. I was like, Well, you cant. Argh! It was sort of terrifying.”

        and

        “I know that there’s far more ways to be sexy than to dress in a miniskirt and a tank top. If you’re a real woman you can turn someone on in a plastic bag just by looking at them. That’s what a real woman is, when you’ve got the sex eyes. I think you attract a certain kind of man by dressing like that. Women wonder why they get beaten up, or having relationships with arsehole men. Because you attracted one, you twat.”

        Whoops Elly! you sound like a jerk now.

        • In grand wepa tradition I’ll probably continue listening to her music. Maybe at first I won’t be able to enjoy it without having some mixed feelings/thoughts about being such an unconscious consumer; maybe I’ll forget to have them and then I’ll have mixed feelings/thoughts about forgetting, etc. etc.

          Did I mention I love/hate ambivalence?

          • The interview where the second quote is from is just weird in general. She’ll start in a good place and then just get really… weird. I was trying to pull a quote that made her sound better, but instead came up with this:

            “I was in a pub the other day, and these two girls followed me into the toilet and said ‘excuse me, are you La Roux?’ And I was so touched because she went ‘you make me feel better about being the way I am.’ She had short hair, I don’t think she was a lesbian, she wasn’t some big butch woman coming over and going [adopts big butch voice] ‘yeah wicked, you make lesbians alright’, it was a girl with short hair, who wasn’t very girly, who didn’t have a tan, who didn’t have massive boobs, didn’t wear high heels. She was just a girl like the kind of girl I’ve been when I’ve been growing up, and she was saying ‘we think it’s really cool that there’s someone out there who’s a role model for people like us, because there’s no one for us to look up to any more since David Bowie’. I though that’s fucking cool, that’s amazing. Even if my music is retro, or whatever, even if it’s shit, at least there’s someone out there for girls to look up to who doesn’t have boobs and a tan and high heels.”

            Like, I appreciate her intent about increased representations of women and androgyny, even if she didn’t use that word, but what would be wrong if the girls in the pub had been big butch lesbians? and what’s wrong with big boobs?

            I’m going to go console my titties’ feelings now.

          • I don’t really read/watch/etc. too many interviews of (all) the artists I listen to, and when I do they’re mostly music related. But yeah, those quotes are very unfortunate…and weird.

            Still, I love/hate people that seem unable and/or unwilling to filter The Weird out of what they say (unless it’s transparently hateful, etc.); they’re the ambivalence-inducing gift that keeps on giving!

            I think I sound like a jerk now. Fair enough.

          • It’s like John Mayer. I love his music, even though he’s a fucking jackass. And in a strange way, it makes his songs even better.

          • IT’S NOT LIKE JOHN MAYER AT ALL!!!

            [I’m sorry for yelling at you Carmen. I just felt the need to loudly separate myself from anything Mayer-related, even though I don’t know much about him. On a serious note, it probably is like John Mayer…FOR YOU!!!]

          • I know this was kinda a two person conversation, but I think Elly’s intention was pure; she just doesn’t have the best wording! She was trying to say that she appreciated being a role model of sorts for under-represented young women – which is awesome!! I have watched a few of her interviews on youtube which help because you can hear her tone of voice and know more of when she’s kidding or searching for words or something. I don’t want to be too harsh on her. She’s young, figuring out her own look, maybe even questioning her sexuality, while getting pigeonholed by the media who are constantly trying to define people.

          • It’s fine, as the saying goes: “the more the narrower”

            There are some artists I know nothing about other than I like their music; she’s one of them. It’s impossible to form an opinion about someone based on just a few quotes, despite how unfortunate and weird they may be. Not that I’m trying to form an opinion about her… I’m fine with just liking La Roux.

            However, maybe discovering she has a hard time with words will make me like her songs even better, in a strange way. I hear something similar happens to John Mayer fans.

  6. I would love to be in a Record Club if it helped introduce me to artists I might not have heard of before as in not making Timbaland’s or Justin Timberlake’s new album a selection. Exception made for Lady GaGa and genuinely amazing famous artists.

    Can I nominate Robyn’s new album, “Body Talk Pt.1”?

  7. I’m in for the Record Club and I recommend talking about Sia’s new album We Are Born. I’ve been making all my friends listen to it since it come out.

  8. I am so there. I always wanted an excuse to be in a Record Club. I second the Eclipse Soundtrack, Nobody’s Daughter/Hole, and Junior/Kaki King. Perhaps also Marina and The Diamonds “Family Jewels”.

  9. I’m in. Sia’n new album, We Are Born is amazing, she also has a song, My Love, on the Eclipse soundtrack that is incredible. I am always looking to broaden my horizons, so hearing about new artists would be cool.

    • As I said above, that song is amazing too. In case you wantted to know, it is played during the almost-but-not-really-because-Stefanie-Meyer-is-mormon sex scene…good song nonetheless!

  10. I’m down. I would love to discuss new albums by Sia, Amanda Palmer, or MIA but I’m open to other ideas too.

    But not Twilight because … just no.

    • I promise you, never see the movies, never even crack the books, but LISTEN TO THE ALBUMS. Twilight is just ok, but the New Moon and Eclipse soundtracks are where it’s at.

      Look at me, the new advocate for all things Twilight…*curtsies*

  11. Kaki King “Junior” – had actually just started listening to this for the third time in a week just before I saw this post. Please delve into this one! She’s getting a lot of flack from some of the fans for not sticking to her Leo Kottke/Michael Hedges approach to the acoustic guitar, but I really like her as a singer and a player, regardless of her chosen style. She handles this darker twisted ‘pop rock’ as well as she does massive instrumental guitar workouts. Let’s celebrate her abilities and not harp on the fact that she’s not making her debut record over and over again.

  12. The Fool by Cassidy Haley. (Debuts July 13th)

    He’s a friend of our boyfriend, Adam Lambert, a political activist, and the child of two sets of gay parents. Not to mention his music is amazeballs and he’s pretty much made of gorgeous.

    What more could we want?

  13. Not only am I in but I could write a book about Kaki King’s record ‘Junior’ FOR you to discuss with Riese!

    (yes I just left this comment above temporary confusion about signing in lol)

  14. I’m in. Unless you wanna do any record by Adam Lambert because reviewing one of those would only lead to my writing kinky alien fan fiction with lots of glitter, feathers and puppies in it. And nobody wants to read that.

    Actually… I’d totally wanna read that. Anyone happen to have some of that?

  15. Oooh count me in please!!! Autostraddle/rs have such great taste in music. I’ve discovered loads of new music thanks to you, like Hunter Valentine, Brandi Carlile!

    Lovin Lissie’s new album this week ‘Catching a Tiger’ – very Sheryl Crow/Stevie Nicks-esque

  16. I have so many good feelings about The National’s High Violet. So. Many. I want to be Matt Berninger, partially because of his beard and partially because of his hypnotic, depressing baritone voice.

  17. I vote for the Eclipse soundtrack. I think there’s a lot to talk about there. I like pretty much nothing about the Twilight saga but the soundtracks are well done. Florence and the Machine? Metric? Sia? Good stuff.

  18. Oooh, count me in!

    I was going to suggest that for every album we discuss, there ought to be song covers made by musical instrument-wielding members and upload it on youtube or vimeo, because why the hell not.

    But then I saw Kaki King was on the list…and just like that, my idea went kaput. Haha.

  19. I am totally down for this. Plus it will probably give me an advantage over my dad as we are constantly trying to out do each other in recommending new music.

  20. Yes yes YES. I’m loving the idea and the ideas commenters are having. Now let’s all sit around a record player with a beer and share our #feelings! Oh wait, that’s kinda what this is but you know, more virtual.

  21. I always wanted 2 B in a record club! Im in!

    vote 4 Hunter Valentine, Kelis, Crash Kings, Neon Trees, Paper Tongues, The XX, Broken Bells and of course the new Katy Perry “Teenage Dream” and the new Nikka Costa “PROWHOA”! so excited 4 the new Nikka Costa, cant wait…

    what about The Sounds? yeah, the record “Crossing The Rubicon” was 2009 but, hey, its never 2 late 4 good music.

    Minus the Bear “Omni”…. OMG so much…..

  22. I like this idea.

    However, the suggested list is terrible because most of the stuff on there is non-terrible, and I think a large-scale love-fest for records we already know and love/are-likely-to-love is just no good.

    If I wanted to have warm, fuzzy feelings about music with like-minded souls around the campfire I’d go to that Michigan Womyn’s Festival thingy, except I suspect they aren’t like me there at all, and do they go round topless all the time?

    Anyway, I want a choice that triggers acerbic comment wars, vitriolic clashes and general vituperation because damn, that’s a good word. I suppose that means my vote goes to Ke$ha.

    Also, for non hate-filled reasons, picking less usual records might pull new and unsuspecting folk onto the site, as well as blowing the tiny minds of existing readers.

  23. I’m in! I like to think I have pretty open tastes…I even listened to three hours of country on a road trip…and even though I also made a list of ways to die while in that van I love anything with a good sound and a decent purpose.

  24. as probably the youngest here, I am more in this than I am the whole pissed at my mom for outing me thing. PLEASE TELL ME IT MEETS IN NEW YORK!!!

  25. I would recommend…
    “La Musica (Shir Khan Remix)” -Munk
    “No Milk (Mercury Remix) -Munk
    “To All the Lovers” -Kylie Minoge
    “Moi Lolita” -Alizee
    “Te Amo” -Rhianna
    Anything by Uh-Huh Her
    Anything by Selena Gomez & The Scene
    “Grazie Millie” -883
    “She Wolf” -Shakira
    “Amico” -Renato Zero

    And for those who loves New Wave Musik, here’s my recommendation:

    Red Flag
    Camouflage
    Anything Box
    Bad Boy Blues
    OMD
    Yaz
    New Order
    Erasure

    Let me know what you guys think!

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