Weekly Music Fix: An Horse & Kaki King, Ke$ha, Coachella, & More!

Last week when I decided to call my inaugural music news feature the Weekly* Music Fix, I emailed Riese to warn her that despite the title, I had no real intention of delivering the feature on a weekly basis. Misleading, I know. But not this week, because look! Here it is! Less than one week later! Now I’m going to stop being so self-congratulatory and just give you the damn music news:

If you’ve ever paid any attention to Audiostraddle or my tweets then you have picked up my mild obsession with Kaki King and An Horse. So when the news broke a few days that these two acts are going to tour the USA together, my heart skipped a few beats and damn near stopped. Unfortunately I don’t live on the right side of the Pacific Ocean, but if you do then I recommend you check out their dates.

George Clooney’s ‘Hope For Haiti’ fundraising concert and telethon line up keeps growing, with Bono, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlate, Christina Aguilera and Sting the big names so far. The event is on Jan 22 – if you can spare a donation then please do.

If you haven’t read Haitian-born Arcade Fire singer Régine Chassagne’s moving editorial in The Observer about the destruction in Haiti, prepare to be moved to tears. Somewhere in my heart, it’s the end of the world…

Last week, Ke$ha did the unthinkable and knocked Susan Boyle from the #1 chart position with her debut record Animal. I’ve become quickly infatuated with Ke$ha, despite the ridiculous dollar sign in her name. I truly believe she’s going to give Lady Gaga a run for her money. Yeah, I just said that. Animal is still in the mail, and so I will reserve further judgment for when I hear the entire record.

Speaking of Susan Boyle, she didn’t receive any nominations for the 2010 BRIT awards, despite selling millions of records and being the UK’s highest selling artist right now. Now Susan isn’t exactly my jam, but WHAT? The popular opinion is that this snub is the industry’s way of saying f*ck you to Simon Cowell.

Vampire Weekend’s sophomore album Contra has left radio DJs and music journalists salivating. Since its Jan. 12 release, the record has shot up to #1 on the U.S. iTunes charts, and I suspect the Billboard #1 spot isn’t far behind. [UPDATE: This happened overnight – Ke$ha has been bumped!] To check out what all the fuss is about, head on over to Vampire Weekend’s myspace. Oh and just when I thought it wasn’t possible for VW to get any cooler? They’ve been signed up to appear at Glastonbury, and the deal was done via Twitter.

The official line up for Coachella has been announced! In addition to the Vampire Weekend, there’s Muse, Jay-Z, Phoenix, Pavement, Gorrilaz, Them Crooked Vultures, The Dead Weather, Devo (!), The xx, Gossip, Corrine Bailey Rae, Florence and the Machine, Sia and moew. It’s a dream line up, except there’s maybe not as many females at the top of the bill as I would have liked to have seen.

New music! I’ve been meaning to tell you all to listen to The Middle East, an Australian indie band that’s been making huge waves locally and overseas. As evidenced by being added to the Coachella line up. Their EP is available on iTunes, this’s a band that’s really worth checking out.

Some of you might recognize Aussie musician Orianthi as the smokin’ hot and extremely talented guitarist who was tearing up the stage beside Michael Jackson in his concert footage for This Is It. Well Spinner have just premiered her music new video, “Highly Strung”, in which she trades riffs with my guitar hero Steve Vai. There’s also some behind the scenes footage, check it out.

Sorry ladies, your dream woman is gettin’ hitched.

I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this to be shot down as rumor, but sadly it’s really happening: Simon Fuller and Perez Hilton are creating a reality TV show that will form the next boy band. The show is actually titled Boy Band. If this news has left you feeling a little depressed, read this excellent article from The Guardian that offers up Perez Hilton as a cautionary tale for mixing music and branding without understanding your audience. It’s spot on.

This one’s for Intern Hot Laura, who introduced us to a shiny-haired hoodie-wearing tween pop sensation named Justin Beiber in our 2009 music year in review. If you’re a fan, you might want to check out Rolling Stone’s behind the scenes video of the music clip for “Never Let You Go”. He also has a feature in the current RS issue.

Quick to follow on from 2009’s Everything Goes Wrong, the Vivian Girls have announced a Feb. 16 release of their brand new single titled “You Will Follow Me.” It’ll be released on vinyl as well, backed by a near-a cappella cover of the Chantels’ “He’s Gone.” Pitchfork has the full details on the release and tour.

Speaking to NME about her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, London singer/songwriter Kate Nash revealed that it has been influenced by her dislike of seagulls and groupies. If you want to find out more (I do!), you’ll have to read the full interview in NME’s Albums of 2010 issue which is out now.

The music world lost a number of great musicians this week, including Canadian folk musician Kate McGarrigle, who lost her battle to cancer. Kate made a significant contribution to music in the ’70s and beyond as one half of the McGarrigle Sisters and influenced the work of her children Martha Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright.

I have Electroqueer to thank for introducing me to all-female Korean pop outfit 2NE1 (twenty one), a group of seriously fly girls whose songs and outfits are rather fun. I’m gonna leave you with one of their tracks, “Fire”.

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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. I hope everyone knows that we have a “no Perez Hilton” rule at Autostraddle so if we’re including a serious mention of him, it is only because the situation is that dire and that appalling that not warning you of his intentions is akin to not warning you about the apocalypse, which we have done many times as you know.

    • Going to Coachella is my dream! I have never been before – In the past I’ve planned all of my USA trips around attending South By Southwest and so there’s never any money left for Coachella.

      I am thinking 2011 could be the year for me. WHO IS WITH ME?

      Also I will fully support / coordinate / promote a 2010 Autostraddle Coachella reader meet up if some of you are going.

      • the line-up this year sounds awesome. I’m thinking of asking for 3 day passes as a b-day gift (albeit many months in advance). An AS meetup would be so legit. Put some faces to the names/jpegs.

      • That and I also want to check out bonnaroo. I live in Texas but I havent made it to South by Southwest yet

      • coachella 2010 woo!! i’ve gone a few times (camped all weekend), and it’s friggin awesome. even better this year are the ins & outs allowed from the campground/festival…so you can catch the early bands then skip back to the campsite to shower off the 63 different types of sweat from your body, then head back in, all cooled off and re-hydrated, cough cough.

        • I went to Coachella for the first time last year and have vowed to go every year.It really is a great time. If you get a chance to go then GO!

  2. Although it would be entirely in fitting with the Brits-pickers to discount Subo because she doesn’t have the right image, the snub might be explained by something as mundane as timing (she only released her album a couple of weeks before voting closed): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8466868.stm

    I am just gleeful that there are so many really great female artists up for awards, not like in the 90s when Annie Lennox won every year for 83 years (yes, it felt like that long), because she was only competing against herself, because she was apparently the only british female artist in existence.

    And I love the Ke$ha song, even though her name confuses me. I totally love how she pronounces “up” so that it sounds like “eeuuurp” and my head is consumed by the “eeuuurp” sound whenever I hear it.

    • Thanks for linking that article, it made some really good points. You’re right, it could have very well been an issue of timing – I think it’s quite common to neglect the records released at the very beginning or end of the eligibility window. But it’s good news that she’ll be eligible for next year’s BRITS.

      Did the Spice Girls win any BRIT awards in the 90s? I might look that up.

  3. I’m starting to put some real condiseration into travelling with some Friends from Toronto to Coachella. I need to get a break from the city, and the Friday and Saturday lineups look REALLLLLY GOOD.

    The Boy Band News is terrifying. Maybe it would have worked in the late 90’s early 2000’s.

  4. Right now my computer is downloading The Middle East (so good!) & 2NE1 (fun).

    I think we should create a show to make the first Boi Band.

    • I’m glad you’re digging the Middle East!

      Great idea.. I’d love to manufacture a pop group, it’s actually a childhood dream of mine.

      • The Middle East is a venue in my town, and so I have been getting super confused lately now that it is also a band. “I love The Middle East!” “Me too, you can get up really close at the small downstairs stage!” “…”

  5. Coachella line up looks insanely good. ugh if not for geographic location and lack of money.

    Crystal, I am curious on your opinion as far as quality goes? I have a few friends that are audiophiles and they swear by FLAC/Lossless quality. Do you care? Do you think it matters?

    I do not that my ears are THAT good to determine the difference between 320 kps and lossless encoding for the most part except maybe on this one Portishead song where I took 30 min to see if i could tell the difference.

    p.s. that photo of nsync with the puppies is ridiculous.

    • Good question about FLAC vs MP3! I’ve been told similar things but I haven’t converted my digital library to FLAC and here’s why:

      1. If I’m listening to a record that I believe demands exceptional sound quality (e.g. Tool) then I will wait to play the physical CD on my home sound system because it’s the best audio option I have.

      2. If I’m listening to digital files – such as via my iPod on public transport or via work laptop at the office – then there is always significant background noise. So no matter how good quality the recording is, I can never appreciate it fully.

      3. I don’t currently own a high-end pair of headphones (the ones I’m using right now are muddy) and so the sound quality is lost anyway when playing via portable devices.

      Anyone else have an opinion on this?

      • FLAC files are bigger than MP3 files so if you are an audioaddict (not audiophile) you usually end up with MP3’s to save HD space.

        Did Perez Hilton’s – Perez Hilton Presents! really work that well for him? Didn’t seem like it in the media.

  6. I love the fact Perez Hilton thinks he should delve any further into music. It’s completely absurd the fact his tour alone didn’t sell anything should be reason enough WB should drop his label deal. Eh.

    Coachella’s lineup is amazing aside from SXSW that is my other favorite festival to attend. Nothing like some good music, hash and mud to get a party started.

  7. a whole link for me! but it shouldn’t even be just for me because he is so dreamy and everyone should start loving him right now.

    • my friend met justin beiber backstage at some thing in Toronto and she didn’t know who he was and thought he was lost. when she told me that story I thought of you and how jealous you would be.

      • I have a remarkable ability to entirely ignore lyrics on occasion/slight hearing problems. So even though he was singing about someone being his “number one girl” I was sure that song was by a young woman, until Ellen tweeted a video of Beiber singing it.

        But I also thought that Man in the Mirror was by a woman until MJ died and I listened to the lyrics.

        Thanks for the warning on PH’s plans. I will proceed to burn my television immediately, lest I accidentally stumble upon it.

  8. I love music. It is my closest friend sharing sadness or happiness during my life . So relax with music. I love Rock !

  9. Attending Bonnaroo, Coachella, and SXSW in the same year is on my bucket list – reasoning being I’ve never been to any of them and should just go all out one year.

    • That is a really good idea – but why stop there? You could hit Glastonbury, Big Day Out, Roskilde… make it an international roadshow!

      Oh hey also, I checked out controller.controller – I hadn’t heard of them before. I thought they were pretty good, what I liked about them the most was the singer’s voice, sorta sounds like it belonged in a 70s dive bar.

      • Lol, that would be awesome. I’d be amazed if I still had my job or any money left at the end of it – maybe if I could stage such trips by region/hemisphere. I’d also like to go to a Eurovision Song Contest one year. Not because it’s any good but because the majority of the songs and performers are so horrible. I’ve watched every competition since 2003 and every year has its share of surprises. It’s outright hilarious. I know, this is a strange confession to be making. I would say check it out but I wouldn’t submit anyone to such torture. Anyway…

        controller. controller has an interesting sound and is easily the most obscure Canadian band I have in my collection. I’m also just now finding out about another band from Toronto, or Tdot as I recently learned from a Tegan and Sara tweet, called Stars.

  10. kaki king and an horse touring together is so seriously awesome. i wish i could be there.

    i am hoping in a big way that an horse will be part of the spring australia tour tegan and sara keep hinting at. because i am there no matter what but an horse would make the whole thing so much more epically wonderful.

  11. So sad about Kate McGarrigle. She was truly an amazing artist. Went to the T+S show in Toronto and Sara was talking about her death and how it made her appreciate her sister, playing with her sister, touring together. It was super sweet.

    Also – Kesha going to give Gaga a run for her money? Maybe in album sales (which proves nothing except that the American public will eat up almost anything) but not when it comes to raw talent. Kesha is a second rate Uffie who’s whole shtick is playing the messy drunk girl who likes to bang dirty trailer trash boys. Have we seen the video to Tik Tok?

    • Yeah I know I’m alone in my opinion of Ke$ha – I’ve seen the Tik Tok video and it’s horrible. Still, I can’t help believing that the trashbagness is just a front and secretly she is some sort of genius. Now I’m searching for a way to articulate why.

  12. This is a really great feature Crystal! I can personally attest to the awesomeness of an An Horse/Kaki King double. I saw them play a show together here like last year I think I almost had an awesomeness induced aneurysm.

    Also, Kate McGarrigle, so freaking sad. That whole family is insanely talented. I really loved her contribution to the Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man documentary.

    Also, Vivian Girls, yay! I think I am the only one who cares about them hahaha.

    Also, The Middle East rocks, peeps should check out their video for ‘Blood’, it breaks me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWlIEBPKl7M


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