Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged rock

Small Source of Comfort

Full disclosure: Bruce Cockburn (COE-burn) is Canadian; I’m Canadian. There aren’t that many of us. We’re the world’s second largest country, with a population smaller than California. So we back our homeys when they’re world-class: Angela Hewitt, Frederick Banting, Sandra Oh, Denys Arcand, Jim Carrey, Diana Krall, Leonard Cohen, Karen Kain, Tom Thomson, David Suzuki, Cirque du Soleil.

Elevator Art

For a band working without the backing of a label, Elevator Art has crafted a disc that has the sound of a group with a fountain of money at their disposal. Sure, money isn’t everything, but I can tell you from personal experience that it makes a huge difference when you are in a small band with nothing but sad, starving little moths in your pockets and a record that needs mastering, artwork, and printing.

1,000 Years

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Corin Tucker has been actively involved in music since the early 1990s when, as a teenager, she launched the riot grrrl band Heavens to Betsy. Around the same time, Carrie Brownstein was heading up queercore outfit Excuse 17. Eventually the two joined forces to form Sleater-Kinney in 1994.

1,000 Years

It is kind of strange listening to Corin Tucker with a bass player, and without the backing of Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss in riot grrrl band Sleater-Kinney. Admittedly, at first I found myself missing Brownstein’s guitar chops, and the rhythmic awesomeness of Weiss. This isn’t to say that Tucker is a guitar slouch, by any means, just that Brownstein is one of the best living guitarists out there, and Weiss delivers an amazing syncopated punch that other drummers just can’t match.

Grinderman 2

Being a female Nick Cave fan is perilous. I'd say that it's on par with being a female James Bond fan. In both instances, women are depicted as vixens, victims, or passive receptors for sexually frustrated man-boys with clear objectives. In the case of James Bond, his objective has always been to triumph over various manifestations of Cold War-style evil in the name of God (or God's emissary, the Queen), gold, and glory. As a feminist, I know logically that Bond is misogynist tripe. Yet as an Anglophile and Cold War wonk, I simply cannot get enough of 007.

Max's Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll

The iconic New York club Max’s Kansas City was the art world equivalent of the equally iconic CBGB; it was where all of the beautiful freaks and geeks; aspiring, wannabe, and legitimate artists congregated to see and be seen. Editor Steven Kash has done a magnificent job of compiling photographs that features all of the glitz and grime, genius and depravity that was the New York art scene of the 1970s.


If The Locals were an item of clothing, they would be a neatly pressed pair of designer vintage “distressed” jeans—$200 pants with holes, bleach stains, and grease marks already worked in. The Locals have a crafted sound that has been tweaked and molded into a perfect pair of pre-worn pants.

Fables Of The Reconstruction (25th Anniversary 2-Disc Re-Issue)

Call it what you will: alternative rock, guitar pop, college radio. For better or worse, R.E.M. were responsible for making it—and making it big. Even a casual listener knows when they hear an R.E.M. song. Theirs has always been a definitive sound: Bill Berry's frenetic drums, Peter Buck's jangly guitar, those literate stream-of-consciousness lyrics, and, of course, Michael Stipe's vulnerable voice, leaping from plaintive wail to cooing croon to murmur (pun intended), often within the same song. They started out weird. Pretty, sure, but still weird.


Think of the word mojo in the classic sense (energy and zest for life) before Jim Morrison distorted it, and it's really the best adjective to describe this album. Having listened to Tom Petty—with and sans the Heartbreakers—since high school, I have to agree with fellow fans that the guy just doesn't make bad music. Like many an artist going through major life changes—divorce, having a child grow into an adult, a new marriage—music tends to be worn on his sleeve.

Nobody's Daughter

It can often be shocking to step back from one's own life and think in terms of how much of your time has been devoted to a particular thing. For instance, I have been writing since I was seven years old. That means that at this point, I have spent over seventy-five percent of my life with pen and paper in hand. Similarly, I have been a steadfast Hole fan for sixteen years.

When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors

When You’re Strange is director Tom DiCillo’s loving yet flawed homage to The Doors. The film is comprised almost entirely of original footage of the band, shot between 1966 and 1971. It follows members John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and Jim Morrison from their first performance to heated recording sessions, and ultimately, to Morrison’s tragic death at the age of twenty-seven.

Songs for a Sinking Ship

Not many people have heard of April Smith, but I’ve become quite the enthusiastic fan. Her music combines elements of pop and rock, but her voice has more of a jazz quality that gives the end result a great mix and unique style. I loved her previous album, loveletterbombs, and I saw Smith perform live a couple of times, so when I heard she was raising money for a new album through Kickstarter, I signed right up to contribute.

The Runaways

There’s nothing quite like entering a movie theatre on a bright, sunny day and getting completely engulfed in both the darkness of the space you're in and the story being told.

Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway

Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway is kind of like Cherie Currie’s re-working of her first autobiography originally published in the 1980s and entitled Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story.

Don’t Act Like You Know Me

When I was a teenager, rock radio had its fair share of female voices. Shirley Manson, Gwen Stefani, and Courtney Love all wrote songs and fronted bands full of men, and gave us songs like “I’m Just a Girl” and “Celebrity Skin.” D’Arcy Wrentz played a mean bass for Smashing Pumpkins. On the indie front, Tori Amos, Liz Phair, and to some extent, Alanis Morrisette, all gave voice to the issues women face through guitar-heavy songs.

– Sainthood

The poised, charismatic sisters that make up the indie power-pop twosome Tegan and Sara always seem to be a step ahead of their game. Their music blends pop alt-rock with healthy dose of just what pop needs, integrity and passion. And then there’s that little spark that only a handful of bands have that makes them stand apart from the rest. They know their fans—what they wear, what they eat and what they want.

Malaikat dan Singa

The music of Arrington de Dionyso (also of the band Old Time Relijun) lies somewhere in a crazy Venn Diagram where Sonic Youth, Nick Cave (circa [The Birthday Party](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004T0N7?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkC

By the Throat

I have a difficult time choosing music. On the one hand, I have respect for those who are masters of their craft. On the other hand, I identify with heartfelt lyrics and an impassioned performance. Finding musicians who are both masterful and vulnerable is like finding a unicorn. These rare individuals are listened to for decades and deemed timeless. Within seconds of listening, it is easy to determine that Eyedea is a highly-skilled DJ. He blends hip hop and rock in a way that is both seamless and surprisingly unique. For this alone, I give him a gold star.

Arminico Hewa

When I was twenty, I flew off to Japan one spring with a stated mission “to be alone.” While this may sound more glamorous than it actually was, I did accomplish my goal. Unable to speak to anyone, wandering between cities and sights in dazed confusion, I was undeniably alone. It was either the best ten days of my life or the strangest—and really, it was probably both. Japanese band OOIOO recreate the strangeness of that experience.

Lizzie Borden (09/10/2009)

How do you spin a nursery rhyme into a full-length musical? In this case, the uber-creepy poem in question is, thankfully, based in reality: the eponymous Lizzie Borden who reputedly “took an axe” and “gave her father forty whacks” was a real life New England girl accused—and acquitted—of murdering both her parents in the late nineteenth century, so there’s more than enough material to mine.

Here Come the Vikings

Astrid Williamson is a Scottish-born musician, who has been compared to Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac and lists among her influences the canon of American singer-songwriters, such as Bob Dylan and [Joni Mitchell](http://feministreview.blogspot.com

Nests Of Waves And Wire

In case you were wondering, tartufi name means truffle in Italian. According to this San Francisco duo, it's a moniker left behind by a former member, rather than one either would have willfully applied. They just sorta stumbled into it.

Trio B.C.

There are a few deciding factors that determine the lasting star power of a band: it all seems to boil down to great songs, a distinctive sound, and a story to run with. Girl in a Coma meet all the criteria in spades while snagging a few extra gold stars and honorable mentions for having an amazing vocalist with a unique resonance all her own. They are also exciting live. They are the best band in the world is all. In reality, they comprise of guitar bass and drums helmed by Nina Diaz on vocals, Jenn Alva on bass, and Phanie Diaz on drums.


Lush, sonic waves are a departure from the four-track loving woman who previously sang about an anonymous character—“Person Person”—and this is where we must weigh in on what I’ll call the Jefferson debate. Perhaps you’re old enough to have been a Jefferson Airplane fan back when Grace Slick’s voice hadn’t been co-opted by '80s synth. Perhaps you don’t think it was fair for the band to switch directions and keep the Jefferson moniker when Starship was born.

Ani DiFranco (03/18/2009)

At the Ani DiFranco concert in Pompano Beach, FL, a woman next to me hadn’t heard Red Letter Year. But she wouldn’t have missed the show: “If it’s Ani, then I’m there.” I confess. I’m the same. I don’t have the new album. But it’s Ani. So I was there. Allie Evans, who works on Ani’s tours, talked about the audience response: “The economy may not be strong...

My Pussy Rocks Panties

These vibrant cherry red briefs are 100% cotton and made in the U.S. by independently-owned Girlie Pants, who prints their designs on American Apparel underwear. The thing that makes these panties unique is the front stencil, which stands out because the caricature on the front is of a hand with two fingers up in the classic and universal rock fork symbol. Above the hand in little black writing are the words "My Pussy Rocks." The fingernails on the hands are painted black, and there is a black band around the wrist.

Offend Maggie

Some people find Deerhoof unlistenable, with sometimes manic, screeching vocals over strange instrumentation. Some critics think they're twee, and some think they’re the best of noise rock. Most cannot slap a genre label on this expectation-bending band. There is occasional yelling and human-made sound effects, "Beep beep!" You have no idea where the songs will go, or when they will end.

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

The Silver Jews are one of those bands shuffling around in the back of the club, the members sort of trading places with each other, not sure which one should settle behind the front man, who takes the stage.


Recently I was in my car listening to Raw Power and cringed to note that Iggy Pop's music is now being used to promote cruise lines.

You May Already Be Dreaming

I stepped onto my balcony in the bright, cool morning and put in my earphones. Once I pressed play, everything seemed to slow down. As though following the tempo of this album, traffic slowed from its _Grand Theft Auto _pace and enjoyed the sunshine. Having been compared to The Mountain Goats and Iron & Wine - with lyrics like “I’ve been dying for a year and ten days” or “It's so hard to love your body from the ground” - Neva Dinova’s music has that special something you can’t quite figure out.