Audiostraddle Weekly: Lady Sovereign Comes Out For Reals & Ask Chris Pureka Your Questions


Audiostraddle is going on the road with the amazingly talented singer-songwriter Chris Pureka! Photographer and first-time Autostraddle contributor Elizabeth will be reporting from Chris’ tour through California, using her backstage pass to give us an exclusive  behind-the-scenes look at Chris’ life on the road, which is sure to include plenty of anecdotes, interviews and candid moments. The tour is in support of Chris’ new album, How I Learned To See In The Dark, which according to our Record Store Day feature, many of you already own and love.

purekaWe’re inviting you along for the ride. We’re offering three readers the chance to meet Chris Pureka and win a double pass to one of the Californian shows.

To enter, you need to:

1. Check out the tour dates below and see which one you can attend.

Wed 19/05 – San Francisco, Slims
Thurs 20/05 – Santa Cruz, The Catalyst
Sat 22/05 – Los Angeles, The Mint

2. Email music[at]autostraddle[dot]com with one or more questions you’d like us to ask Chris while she’s on tour. The person with the most interesting question/s wins. This comp will be drawn Sunday 5/16 @ 12pm, so get in quick! Don’t forget to tell us which show you want to attend.

3. Don’t forget to tell us which show you want to attend.

If you don’t live in any of those Californian cities, don’t sweat. Chris is doing an extensive US tour and you can study the full schedule here.

3. Follow us on Twitter (@audiostraddle and/or @autostraddle).


Finally a musician comes out who we’ve all heard of / isn’t a country music star. British rapper Lady Sovereign has opened up about her sexuality and personal life, two topics she’s quite famously avoided discussing since the beginning of her career. In the upcoming issue of Diva Magazine, Lady Sov says,

“Magazines would always ask about it but [questions about my sexuality] would get stopped by my publicists. It was my choice, too, because I was a bit worried about it but now I don’t really give a shit. You can’t hide away forever. It’s just stupid and now I’ve come out I feel a lot more comfortable with myself. But it was a bit scary back then because some people do have horrible opinions.”

That’s true. Because we were one of those magazines when our interview with Lady Sov was canceled last year on account of our sexuality. It was awesome.


Some good news for our Aussie readers. Earlier this week Defamer Australia reported that Lilith Fair is coming to Australia! Probably. It’ll be interesting to see which acts from the USA Lilith Fair tour will make the long trek down under, if any. But we can’t imagine the festival going ahead without Missy Higgins taking a place at the top of a bill.


Virtuoso harpist, songwriter and indie darling Joanna Newsom told the Guardian what she really thinks about Lady Gaga and Madonna, and you probably won’t like it.

“I’m mystified by the laziness of people looking at how she (Gaga) presents herself and somehow assuming that implies there’s a high level of intelligence in the songwriting. Her approach to image is really interesting, but you listen to the music and you just hear glow sticks. Smart outlets for musical journalism give her all this credit, like she’s the new Madonna… Although I’m coming from a perspective of also thinking Madonna is not great at all. I’m like, fair enough: she is the new Madonna, but Madonna’s a dumbass!”

Joanna later emailed the Guardian to backpedal clarify and just ended up calling Gaga “Arty Spice.”


M.I.A has premiered a new track, “XXXO”, on Radio 1. NME observes that the song is a comment on relationships in a high-tech world, with the artist using text-speak for lyrics and name-dropping Twitter and iPhones. What do you think?


I wish I lived in New York City, ’cause if I did then on Friday night (May 14) I’d be able to go to Crash Mansion to see Cherrybomb, a night of awesome female-fronted bands including People You Know, AwShockKiss, PURRR and Audiostraddle favourtites Hunter Valentine. I recommend it to anyone who lives nearby, it’ll be a killer night. If you don’t live in the area either then check out the links anyway, you might just find your next obsession.


Wonderfully talented singer-songwriter Sia has spoken out about fans who can’t respect boundaries. Through a series of tweets, Sia upset a few people when she warned her fans not to expect any more from her than great music and performances. But that’s fair enough, srsly.

sia tweets


US blues rockers The Black Keys’ long-awaited album, Brothers, is now streaming on NME. UK readers can hear full tracks, everyone else gets 30 seconds.


Remember when we analysed Lindsay Lohan‘s first single and ode to SamRo, “Stuck“? Now two more new Lilo tracks have appeared on YouTube. The first is “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” a Duff-esq sounding track that has nice hook but sadly uses male pronouns. And there’s also “I Wanna Be Bad,” which I hope Lilo throws on the cutting room floor.


Right now I’m loving “Peek-A-Boo”, the new single and music video from Australian singer-songwriter Bertie Blackman, whose music has recently featured on Gossip Girl. “Peek-A-Boo” is a cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees 1988 single, check it out –



Hugely successful and probs not-so-straight British singer-songwriter Katie Melua is ready to release her fourth album, The House. Her music wasn’t my jam on first listen, but now I’m finding quite lovely. Maybe you will too. Check out the video for her first single, “The Flood,” below.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


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Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. Katie Melua’s voice is extremely dreamy and I’m digging her queer vibe. <3 Love the new video, too.

  2. I love Joanna Newsom. Really dig her tunes and think she is one of the most powerful forces in the music industry today, but the fact that she’s implying that I’m unintelligent or lazy for enjoying Gaga really gets under my skin. Am I specifically suppose to listen to ONE “type” of music? If I enjoy Lady Gaga’s pop does that mean I am unworthy of listening and enjoying a record like “Have One On Me”? Of course people should be able to express their opinions, but when one artist bad mouths another, I just think of that as poor form. Keep your mouth shut about other people’s art, Joanna. If you have a criticism, fine – let it be a one note comment and move on. There’s a difference between that and simply bashing someone. Arty Spice? Right, cause the Spice Girls has Terrence Koh designing for them and Nicola Formichetti dress them. But I’d just like to clairfy, Joanna Newsom is an amazing singer/songwriter. But a bitch. Jks.

    I like the new MIA track, but wasn’t she recently bashing Gaga for making “formulaic” pop music? Cause Maya’s new track has definite Top 40 appeal and a great pop sensibility. Excited for the new album though.


      YouTube: sleigh bells – crowd on the ground

    • I’m with you here, Ric.

      So surprised about Joanna Newsom’s comments. Like, I don’t think it was a particularly intelligent argument she made either. And putting criticism out there like that when you’re an artist yourself? I just don’t think that makes anyone look good.

      She obviously just doesn’t like pop music… I don’t go around criticizing her weirdo harp-plucking cause I don’t like/listen to that type of music in general. Just saying.

      • For serious. Like, don’t tell me what should and shouldn’t speak to me. And don’t insult my intelligence for responding to something you deem unworthy.

        Just saying. :)

    • /sign

      I was going to get her album but now I think I’ll rather buy something else. Maybe a *gasp* pop record.

  3. Haha – I like ‘Arty Spice’ – sounds like a compliment to me! I love Joanna Newsom and I love Lady Gaga. I don’t agree with her argument but am strangely unbothered by it. I guess I like hearing the opinions of artists I like – if that’s what they are genuinely thinking. It’s sometimes nice to make a connection beyond the art, as so many performers are so guarded with their opinions these days. A bit like when a friend says some stupid shit you really don’t agree with; you’re no less fond of said friend but you do shake your head in wonder and fleeting disappointment :)

    • I like hearing people’s opinions. But insults aren’t opinions. (Unless you’re talking about the L Word, of course.)

  4. I adore Katie Melua! *__* Nice to hear that she might not be straight. I’m not really liking The Flood at the moment, but hopefully it’ll grow on me, or there’ll be other tracks on her new album that I’ll love more. :D

  5. So we’ve got Arty Spice and Pretensions Spice. Who else is going to be in The Spice Women?

  6. Oh I’m not bothered by calling her Arty Spice at all! I love Joanna Newsom (and Grace Jones… and Peaches) to death, but I also really like Lady Gaga. If she’s Arty Spice, then, so be it, really. I had soooo much fun in the Spice Girls era. (And possibly even more fun during Madonna- where is she, anyway?)

    • I think it’s not the Arty Spice comment that bothers people but the whole deal where Newsom calls Madonna a dumbass and likens Gaga to Madonna (and thereby sort of calling her a dumbass as well) and implies that people who like Lady Gaga’s music are lazy and/or sort of stupid. ;)

  7. Totally OT! But are you folks aware that Piper Perabo came out as Bisexual on her facebook page on Monday????? Am I behind or something. Was she out before??

  8. I can understand where Newsom is coming from. Lady Gaga and Madonna represent image overcoming mediocre music for the most part. It really is fly by music leaving nothing substantial. 10 years down the line one listens to a truly great artist and is staggered by how the music touches one’s soul. Then there is disposable music which, sad to say, Madonna’s music tends to be. As for Lady Gaga we will see but I don’t get a timeless feel from it. However Newsom should be aware it comes across petty for a recording artist to complain about another recording artist.

    Lindsay’s use of the pronoun “him” is perplexing considering she was either with Ronson at the time it was recorded or trying to get back with Ronson – after all does Lindsay have another stage. Buying Lindsay obsessed over a man. Don’t see it. Now a woman. Absolutely. That is our lovelorn Lindsay.

  9. I see when Joannas coming from too. Don’t get me wrong I’m not some indie snob, I like a bit of Lady Gaga as much as anyone, and I don’t think Joanna is saying you can only listen to one genre of music at all. I think she’s refering to all the articles about Lady Gaga being “all that”- talented, amazing, iconic etc. Often she’s sorta seen as the anti-Hannah Montana, when in reality they’re both pretty much prepackaged comsumer music. It must suck for Joanna who is super talented but tends to get ingored by mainstream press. Although in saying that criticisng other artists is never a good look… who knows.

    • I gotta back Joanna on this one too. She’s not saying you’re lazy if you like Lady Gaga’s music; she’s just saying it’s lazy to assume that there’s “a high level of intelligence in the songwriting” just because Lady Gaga wears crazy outfits (and without actually looking closely at Gaga’s music/message). I don’t think she’s against pop music–she just seems to be criticizing the idea going around that Gaga is somehow a subversive, revolutionary genius.

      Plus, you gotta love her followup: “She just makes me miss Cyndi Lauper.” Reading the entire Guardian article gives you more of a context for her comments.

      That said, I have to admit that I’m a huge Joanna Newsom fan and am therefore probably more than a little biased…

      • bookmonkey5000 and tygermilk, I think you’ve formulated what I had in mind in trying to shrug the comments off in my post. I didn’t think Newsom was lumping anyone who enjoys Gaga into the category of “lazy and/or stupid” at all-
        Like you two have said, if you read the entire article you see that she’s referring to the articles picking her songs apart, not her audience.

      • I really agree with this comment. Also I think maybe AS could have taken quotes from the rest of the guardian article, which makes Newsoms whole point clearer.

        • Maybe. But if we provide too many quotes then there is less incentive to click through and read the original article. The Guardian does such excellent music coverage that I wouldn’t want to take away the need to visit the source.

          • true enough! although, some of the commenters above who took offense to the “intelligence” bit of what newsom said probably did not click through, or they would have gotten the point that bookmonkey makes here.

          • That’s true as well! Maybe I could have done more to emphasize that the conversation didn’t stop at that particular quote. I like that you’ve called me out on this, it’s something I’m going to consider for future articles.

  10. This is the first I’ve heard of Joanna Newsom and after reading the Guardian article I’m left with the impression that she thinks Lady Gaga’s success is undeserved (a debate I’ve personally grown tired of). Obviously, I don’t know the context of her statements in the interview and how the topic came up but who goes out on a limb and makes a point about artists they don’t like without having a chip on their shoulder? Not just name dropping either but actually arguing against. She starts off by saying she likes Jay-Z and Kanye West but instead of going with that though she switches her attention to Lady Gaga. That’s mystifying.

    What bothers me more than her saying Lady Gaga’s music is formulaic and Madonna’s boring (which she’s entitled to think), is what I think she really wanted to say and left out. At best, she’s offering a rather blunt critique of Lady Gaga and her fans or at worst, she’s bashing Lady Gaga just for the sake of it and doing all the name-calling without admitting to as much or why.

  11. I am another who is insulted by Joanna Newsom’s comment’s. I’m not into Lady Gaga’s music either, but I absolutely hate it when musicians bad mouth each other’s music.

    I used to be really into this band Otep and I looked everywhere for interviews of them, and the female singer just made me so angry. She was also one of those musicians who thinks they are really intelligent, but then they go on to bash other music. It pissed me off so much that I can’t even really listen to their music anymore. It just turned me off so much. Sometimes I think it’s better to know very little about musicians, actors, ect.

  12. Also, cool that Lady Sov came out. I saw clips from when she was on Big Brother where she came out, so I already knew, but it’s cool that she came out “officially”. When she had that music video out for “Love Me or Hate Me” a few years back I kinda wondered…heh.

  13. I saw bits of that Big Brother too and she squirmed a lot when the other housemates were asking about it. I kind of felt sorry for her because quite honestly, none of them would have given a rats ass if she was or not.

    I’m glad more stars are coming out and finding out that actually… nobody cares! It’s not ending their careers at all, and it’s not restricting them to a LGBT audience. (Sure there will be more girls looking at Lady Sov with slightly more dreamy eyes than before…)


  14. wow so much personal offence taken on behalf of lady gaga! i agree with the above who said joanna newsom is talking about ‘people’ meaning the media et al rather than lady gaga fans, more context in the rest of the article. there is no shame in liking pop, but sometimes substance means something, right? i think joanna newsom is pretty brilliant, and i can understand her exasperation about ‘mindless’ pop, she kindof does have a point. and i am a snob the end.

  15. I’m curious about something – if Joanna Newsom had been criticising Ke$ha or Taylor Swift instead of Lady Gaga, would everyone here still have a problem with it? Would you still call her petty, or would you be congratulating her for saying what she really thinks?

    • I’d feel the same because as I said I mostly have a problem with what she said about Madonna.

      Joanna Newsom is only a year younger than I am and surely she must remember how daring and edgy Madonna used to be. How much she’s done for women in music, especially concerning videos and displays of body/sexuality. Madonna is a lot of things and you may or may not like her or her music*, but she’s certainly no dumbass and she’s not some record label’s bitch. And Newsom’s backpedaling via email just made the whole thing even worse imho. It’s just extremely… meh.

      * not liking a single one of Madonna’s songs seems pretty impossible to me though. I mean, Rain? Like a Prayer? Justify my Love? Who’s that Girl? Human Nature? Vogue? The Power of Goodbye? Cherish?
      (Come to think about it, I think Madonna may be one of the reasons I turned out gay. I definitely remember having funny feelings when I first saw the Human Nature video clip. =D)

    • I don’t have as much of a vested interest in Ke$ha (who I actually enjoy a good bit) or Taylor Swift (indifferent to the genre in general) so probably not. Granted, I get defensive about Lady Gaga but this type of criticism is unjustified for anyone in my opinion. And actually, I doubt I would have commented if it wasn’t for the joke about glow sticks. Why even go there?

  16. now all that wishing and dreaming for lady sov seems to be not completely for nothing….yes!

  17. This Joanna just sounds like a snob. I can’t stand it when musicians bash each others music. Different music appeals to different people, so why bash one musician’s style? She sounds like she just thinks that her music is just so “awe inspiring” and Gaga’s and Madonna’s is just crap.

    Be careful with ego, lady…I hadn’t even heard of you until this post.

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