Elevate Difference

Reviews by Mónica Teresa Ortiz

Gina Villalobos

The fourth studio album from indie folk rocker Gina Villalobos rolls off right away with “Take a Beating to You” and from then on out, Villalobos and her voice go on a journey both swift and slow. With honest and painful lyrics penned mostly by Villalobos herself, the record rises to the top of the alt country/rock genre and may be a breakout hit for this year.

Trio B.C.

Four years ago, I stumbled onto Girl in a Coma—a strict accident, finding them in the first place—but after that discovery, keeping up with GIAC has become a habit, it has become compulsory, and a pleasure—as if their success has suddenly been tied to my own. Two years ago, after the release of Both Before I'm Gone, I caught up with them at the old Club 101 in El Paso, on one of their relentless tours.

It’s Blitz!

Karen O. is back, and she’s dancing—or so she makes us think. The original hipster band from New York released their third album and it’s a love letter—it’s my love letter and yours, read aloud under the scattered light of a disco ball. This album combines the sensibility of MGMT’s enthusiasm, along with Karen O.’s personal finesse and emotional depth and a spot of New Wave. She is this generation’s Hope Sandoval and Beth Gibbons combined, without affectation, without orchestra, and with a lot of attitude. Karen O.’s voice simultaneously kisses you, fucks you, and kicks you out on your ass.


After the release of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson put together the Alan Parsons Project, a British progressive rock group that put out several albums that could be considered “concept” albums—not too unlike what the Mars Volta does now. 1979 was the original release year for the album _[Eve](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NJVWU0?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000NJVWU0

Trailer Park (Legacy Edition)

I was twenty and living in Austin when I first heard Beth Orton. She laid the soundtrack to my existential search for love and self and meaning. Trailer Park is the kind of record you listen to while laying on your bed, questioning your life, your love, or playing against the background in a movie scene where you walk along the railroad tracks, hands in your pocket during a particularly emotional moment.

Chicana Sexuality and Gender: Cultural Refiguring in Literature, Oral History, and Art

Debra J. Blake, a professor in the department of Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota, revisits an old topic in her book Chicana Sexuality and Gender.


With Kandinsky on the cover and a name like Vertigo Butterfly, I desperately wanted to like 1932. But I couldn’t. Maybe the music is too moody. Maybe I had secretly hoped for some type of Jen Wood impersonation. Maybe I just couldn’t get past the operatic dramatic voice of Luray Hodder Kuca. Whatever it was, 1932 was a Black Tuesday for me – it just crashed. The arrangements are good – fantastic even. John Kuca, Jr does an excellent job putting together the instrumentation and backing vocals.

Welcome to My Bad Behavior

Do you miss Dolores O’Riordan and the Cranberries? I do. While edibleRed’s Welcome to My Bad Behavior doesn’t make me forget that I’m still waiting for the Cranberries to reunite, their new CD is an adequate replacement. Although not nearly as distinctive sounding as Dolores, edibleRed’s lead singer Collette McLafferty is a chameleon that can swing from classically trained vocalist to full-on rocker.

Both Before I’m Gone

Nas says hip-hop is dead, but after checking out rock trio, Girl in a Coma’s debut CD, Both Before I’m Gone, rock fans can relax. After the dismantling of Sleater-Kinney and Le Tigre, devoted fans of female rockers have been waiting for an act that follows the legacy of these two pioneers, but doesn’t sound overproduced. While other bands (who shall rename nameless) sell out by featuring their songs on over-hyped summer movies, there are still bands with a woman at the mike that scratch and claw and kick for their independence.

Miles Away

I come from the country – from the wide open farms and rolling feed yards of Texas anyway – and I ain’t never heard anything like Gina Villalobos. Released by Face West Records, Villalobos’ third album Miles Away scrawls its own existence into alt-country. Villalobos rough-hews away with a sweet intensity and her heart beats in her voice as she sings, “I got aces on my mind” from the track “Tied to My Side,” recalling country giants Willie Nelson, Patty Griffin and Neil Young.