Hello! Welcome to the second installment of Music Is Our Hot Hot Fix. I’m Crystal from Australia and I’ve written most of this high on cold & flu tablets and so right now my inner voice sounds a little like Mary Murphy yes it does! Waaaahhhooooo! Are you ready? It’s time to don our best band t-shirts, compare playlists and talk about who and what’s getting us all hot and bothered in the world of music.
In last month’s Music is Our Hot Hot Fix, Intern Emily did a superb job of introducing us to new music, and now this month it’s time to learn about the musical preferences of Intern [Hot] Laura! Laura’s from Philadelphia, which I’ve only recently discovered is a city and not a state. But let’s not get caught up in details, ’cause all we need to know right now is that Philly is Laura’s hometown and also the birthplace of music greats such as Boyz II Men (well, Motown Philly specifically for them), John Coltrane, Joan Jett and my future bride.
But before we jump in – last month y’all introduced me to awesome artists that I may not have heard otherwise, including but definitely not limited to Dance Yourself To Death, St. Vincent and My Dear Disco. So do me a solid and keep the recommendations rolling, I’m all ears.
In the News
First and foremost, the legendary Les Paul died. If you’re unfamiliar, Les Paul invented the electric guitar thereby making rock ‘n roll possible. He worked with Gibson to produce the world’s most beautiful guitars, played by the world’s most beautiful guitarists including Allison Robertson (The Donnas), Joan Jett, Madonna and according to twitter poll, Tegan of Tegan & Sara. These are my all time favourite guitars and as I cannot play nor afford one, I date a musician who lets me hold hers.
Speaking of guitar heroes, Johnny Cash will join Shirley Manson as a playable character in Guitar Hero 5, which is set for release September 18.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are getting back together after the silence that has followed 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. RHCP haven’t exactly wow’d me since Blood Sugar Sex Magik in ’91, but I have faith they’ll bounce back. Remember Under the Bridge? That was a good song.
Thom Yorke from Radiohead thinks that making albums has become ‘a bit of a drag’. In other news, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has become a bit of a drag.
My inner thirteen year old wants to show you this photoshoot that Aussie pop twins The Veronicas did for my all-time favourite retail outlet, Hot Topic.
Tegan & Sara Watch
: Stereogum is streaming ‘Feel It In My Bones‘, a collaboration between Tegan & Sara and DJ Tiësto. T&S released a cute little video from a shower stall in which they appear fairly chuffed about the collaboration and rightly so.
T+S+ Tiësto from Tegan and Sara on Vimeo.
Tiesto’s upcoming album Kaleidoscope will additionally feature Jónsi (Sigur Rós), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Nelly Furtado, Sneaky Sound System and my latest Canadian crush, Emily Haines from Metric.
Laura’s Hot Music News like Patrick Wolf, Lights, The National & More!
Patrick Wolf announced that he’ll be performing at the London Palladium later in the fall. Even tiny Patrick Wolf shows involve at least 2 costume changes, so when he promises a gospel choir, a full string section, and a magic show, I’m guessing it’ll be OOC. (Check out more on Patrick Wolf in this month’s Out Magazine).
“A lot of those artists could make you feel something very, very saliently without hitting you in the face with volume or anything like that. They use their words, and sweet melodies and things like that.” William Fitzsimmons was interviewed on NPR last month and talked about his most recent album, breakups, and growing up with blind parents.
I’m all kinds of excited for Lights‘ new album, The Listening, which comes out next month. If the video for ‘Saviour‘ is any indication, it’s going to seriously deliver in the nerdgirl department.
The National are going to be part of a compilation album benefiting Mark Mulcahey. To be honest, I was just excited that The National were doing something new and didn’t know who Mark Mulcahey was, but it turns out he did the music for Pete & Pete. You can listen to their cover of ‘Ashamed of the Story I Told‘ at Pitchfork.
Crystal requested more music news on the lesbian front, so I’m here to tell you that Mirah is on tour and is probably coming to a city near you.
Crystal’s Listening To: Dead Weather, Lisa Mitchell, Rachel Yamagata
I finally got my hands on The Dead Weather‘s new album, Horehound. I had a feeling it would be good, but what I didn’t expect was to experience a whole new level of dirty, sweaty, sleazy rock ‘n roll. Best listened to while wearing a wife beater and riding a mechanical bull. Highly recommended.
In Australia everyone’s talking about Lisa Mitchell and having finally heard her debut record, Wonder, now I know why. Check out her single, Neopolitan Dreams.
Last month, reader Leah told us that Rachael Yamagata was her latest obsession – and now she’s mine! I’ve purchased Rachael’s latest album Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Heart and I love it, it’s a dark, elegant, moody record that’s cleverly split into two parts, the heartbreak and the bounce back.
Laura’s Listening To: Sarah Slaton, Bloc Party, Lydia
The kind of music I listen to on a regular basis usually involves heavy doses of Jesse McCartney, but today I’m taking a break to tell you what else I’ve been listening to this summer.
Sarah Slaton is a fantastic gay lady with feelings and a guitar. As if that’s not enough, she covered my number one boyfriend, Justin Timberlake. Swoon. Somebody get this girl a tour and a record deal stat.
My love for Bloc Party was recently renewed when my little brother gave me a copy of Intimacy. It’s great chaos music for nights that are too hot to live because the combination of suffocating heat and loud loud noise inevitably leads to dancing.
In other news, I’m listening to Lydia, who sound like rainy days and also make me excited for fall.
Crystal: As a favour to a friend, I attended the solo show of LIVE front man Eddie Kowalczyk. I wanted to be pleasantly surprised, but I wasn’t. All he bought to the stage was a stool and an acoustic guitar, and if it weren’t for all the pseudoephedrine I’d consumed then I might have been lucky enough to have slept through it. There is no doubt that Mr Metaphor Eddie (or “EK”, as he’d like the kids to call him) is a talented musician and to be fair, if I wrote as many hits as he did then I’d probably have a healthy ego too. But the concert felt too much like a church congregation, and being told to ‘stand up and dance for Jesus’ is not my idea of entertainment. Also, he came out for TWO encores. Seriously.
Laura: I’ve never really listened to Matt and Kim before, but Kim’s arms and that one song from the Bacardi commercial were enough to get me out to their show. I was not disappointed; it was LOUD, HOT, and GOOD. They did a great job of masquerading as a straight couple during their set—Matt talked about Beyoncé and Kim talked about girl power and periods—and I spent a lot of time staring at the rest of the audience and playing everyone’s favorite party game: “hipster or gay?” oh, kids these days.
Our Number One Musical Feelings Right Now:
Crystal: Australian singer songwriter Sarah Blasko first won my heart as a relatively unknown artist by wearing Converse hi-tops to the ARIA Awards (Australia’s Grammys). She’s also the creative genius behind my all time favourite music clip – Planet New Year – in which she falls in love with a piano named Keyth. Now Sarah’s released a new album, Day Follows Night, and it’s a strong contender for album of the year. For a taste, check out her new single ‘All I Want‘.
Laura: Owl City is perfect music for biking, driving, walking, or flying. The things he sings about are intensely obvious—things like colors, weather, and the stars—but the songs are the cutest you’ve ever heard. If you haven’t heard them yet, I’d suggest grabbing a nice girl and listening to ‘Fireflies,’ ‘Meteor Shower,’ and ‘Fuzzy Blue Lights.’
What are you listening to this summer? What are you excited about for fall? Who rides the beat of the turns of the wheels of the spokes of your bicycle? Which artist is your number one feeling this month? Tell us!
I fully endorse Lydia as well. It’s all kind of heart breaking and wet and cloudy and emotional. And it’s completely beautiful and everything you want a song to be. Their newest album, Illuminate, is really wonderful, but I lean towards their first (This December… It’s One More and I’m Free) as being better.
As for me, I can’t stop listening to the new Gossip album, Music for Men, and John Lennon’s solo stuff.
The best stuff is coming this fall though, in the form of new music from Imogen Heap (this Tuesday), Brand New, Tegan and Sara and AFI!
My inner 13 year old emo kid is so excited for the new Brand New album.
Ah, hell, the rest of me is excited too!
I’m yet to listen to the new Gossip album, but everybody continues to rave about it well after its release and so I’m very curious.
I agree the new Imogen Heap record should be awesome, can’t wait.
I don;t like a lot from Rachael Yamagata. But she is talented. I am surprise she is still under the radar. Collide is my favorite song by her. It’s so beautiful, dark and intricate.
I LOVE FEEL IT IN MY BONES
I am so happy that T&S Sara are branching out into different genre’s. Showing that they are real artist.Sara has a great voice for that type of dance/electro/tech genre.
Love them singing together.
As Reise once so wonderfully stated, “I think there is crack in Tegan and Sara. I can’t stop listening to them sing songs.”
Is Rachael under the radar in the USA? I’d never heard of her, but that could be because I live in a far away land. Or because I slept through 2008. Either way, I really like her darkness.
Riese is a very wise woman. She introduced me to Tegan & Sara and this is something I’ll never forget.
Yeah I would say so. Which is not surprising since a lot of good/interesting/unique artist are.
I looooove Rachael Yamagata…I was actually listening to her while I read this article and was thinking about how she should be in it…and then she was!
And obviously everything Tegan and Sara become involved with is always amazing. They can do no wrong.
why am i so behind on the rachael yamagata wagon? i’ve never heard anything other than that one song that was in an l word promo. “if i could take you away…”
hello autostraddle this is tinkerbell. i believe that tegan and sara have perfect faces possibly carved or constructed by a god or godlike figure of some sort. in the shower they are both lovely and clean because of the shower. if one of my eyes wasnt going to fall out i would listen to the song but i must save my senses for my boifriend littlefoot. love tinkerbell.
It’s SO good you may bust a seam and bleed cotton. then your mommy would be very upset.
Miss. Yamagata owns a part of my heart.
Mine too! I want to stick a poster of her on my wall.
I just started listening to The Jezabels. They opened for Tegan and Sara in Australia a year or so ago. They’ve only released a 5 song EP, which is disappointing-I wanted there to be a big back library of music for me to listen to, because they are SO GOOD!!! (ALL CAPS!)
They are SO good! I’m glad you like / mentioned them – I recently bought their EP and was going to write about it, but decided I’d already included too many Aussie artists ;)
As soon as they do another release, I’ll be writing it up for sure.
T&S+Tiesto collaboration = fucking fantastic! I’ve been listening to it all day since it started streaming.
SKQ sounds so sexy!
yvette, you and i should start a club of people who love sara since the rest of the world is in love with tegan.
omg i’m totes in that club. i heart sara forever. also tegan, obvs. but sara makes me swoon.
TEAM SARA. i love you always forever near or far closer together.
Yay Lights!! She’s so ace. although hardly anyone I know has even heard of her, which is probs because they are musical fools.
Great article – currently got about 5 different myspace pages open and having a listen, and they’re all brilliant so far!
I’d never heard of Lights before this week, I don’t know which rock I’ve been hiding under. But now thanks to Laura I’m listening and loving – you really can’t go wrong with a girl who plays a keytar.
Glad you’re digging the recommendations.
probs ayers rock as it is a giant rock in australia.
They are brilliant recommendations! Thought I hadn’t heard of Rachael Yamagata, but then realised I knew quite a lot of her songs from various tv shows..which i think peturbs me a little. Big fan though. I now heart Sarah Slaton and Owl City and also Lisa Mitchell – is it just me or is her voice a bit Regina Spektory?
Lisa Mitchell is definitely Regina Spektor-ish. And also maybe a little Kimya Dawson-ish? The whole album has a similar vibe to the Juno soundtrack. But mainly the top half, it’s quite a diverse record.
Laura I am impressed with your familiarity with Ayers Rock.
omg. LIGHTS! wicked pick– shes such a nerd in the cutest way…
awesome read! Lights is from my hometown which is weird.
yesss T+S+Tiesto collab sounds so good! I was scared because his remix of Back in Your Head made me really sad.
Also yay Matt and Kim! and Owl City! super cute bands. They remind me of The Battle Royale- “Scream, Scream” is an awesome summer track.
I have been listening to an obscene amount of The Gaslight Anthem ever since @theteganandsara tweeted something about them playing with the boss. Also La Roux’s new album is gold!
yes yes and yes! i’m going to go listen to your recommendations RIGHT now.
Let’s talk about music you failed to take off my computer. e.g. bloc party remix albums and poni republic stuff and Loudon WainwrightIII and M83 AND AND AND
michael! you gave me pony republic for christmas a few years ago. also, i can’t take that much music at once or i will never listen to it. also also, your visit just brought our diversity level up 83%.
Laura, I’ve had “how do you, how do you sleep” in my head for 2 days now. THANKS.
In other other news, I’m not sure yet how I feel about Owl City, but I love Patrick Wolf and obvs I love Tegan and Sara.
result! all i’m tryna do is infiltrate the world with jesse mccartney. but i’m glad you like patrick wolf.
This is a question/comment mostly for Riese (and everybody else who’s watched My so called life):
You’re awesome. I’ve read from you so much about MSCL and so I decided to give it a chance and watch it. I’m in love with that show.
Anyway, that’s not the question/comment I wanted to make (now I feel I could have a 48h conversation about MSCL)… what I wanted to say/ask was… I think Patty Chase and Sara Quin have similar jaw structures. Totally unrelated, I think Patty Chase and Sara Quin have the sexiest jaws ever. Would you agree?
I see what you’re saying. They both have amazing jaws. I have no jaw. It is very depressing. They have strong square jaws. I think it’s funny that you are into Patty Chase though!!
OH! and I loved the article, Crystal and Intern (Hot) Laura!
My love for Tegan and Sara is so unhealthy. Great recommendations Laura.
Also if tinkerbell doesn’t get some kind of optic surgery stat, I am going to call the stuffed animal authorities.
thanks! i wanna hear what you’re listening to, mama. how are you tiding yourself over until october 27th??
The Dead Weather have been my obsession all summer. I’ve still yet to hear the entire album. What I’ve heard is great though. Allison Mosshart is HOT. “a whole new level of dirty, sweaty, sleazy rock ‘n roll”… Perfect.
Agreed. I could probably write a whole feature dedicated purely to Allison Mosshart’s hotness. I hope you get to hear the whole album soon!
Gawd, that voice. Last I saw her was at the Bowery Ballroom in November last year. She was on the Hotel Cafe Tour with the following women who were also friggin’ awesome: Thao Nguyen, Meiko, Emily Wells, Jenny Owen Youngs, and Samantha Crain.
It was a fangirl moment for me watching all those women. To be honest, I only came there for Rachael, but to my surprise, I wasn’t disappointed that the entire gig wasn’t hogged by her.
Oddly enough, 1963 is my favorite RY song–a somewhat “happy” tune as opposed to majority of her songs that tend to lean on the heavier side of emotions :]
I don’t think I’ve heard 1963, must be on another album.
I’m looking forward to checking out some of the musicians you’ve mentioned. One of my friends introduced me to the work of Jenny Owen Youngs earlier this year, I’ve got her album but I’ve never really given it my full attention. I’m going to go and put it on right now.
can we talk about how much i love rachael yamagata & how i can’t ever find her cds here? thank you.
I think they’re all on iTunes. I can hook you up with the Elephants record if you don’t have it, just email me your address again.
Nice voice Tegan and Sara