Season's Greetings, Sweet Cuenicorns!
First off, big news: THE BIRTHDAY SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT! If you follow me on FB, you've probably already heard the news: It will be Saturday, January 4 at 9 pm at the Venice Cafe (STL). Ages 21+, $5 cover. The Terrible 2s and I are opening the show, Ellen the Felon and Mattronome are playing a set after us, then BRUISER QUEEN is headlining! I just attended their "12 Bassists of Christmas" show recently--definitely one of the best shows I attended this year.
Speaking of this year, I promised y'all a list of artists to check out. Here goes!
Middle Class Fashion: They're a sort of indie-pop 4-piece, led by Jenn Malzone on piano and vocals. Not only a great a musician, I just love her lyrics (I'm a lyrics person, for sure). Brian McClelland is easily one of my favorite bassists, and he's got a hell of a voice too. They get compared to Ben Folds (Five) quite a bit. They put out a great album this year, Jungle. Go buy the crap out of it--you won't regret it.
Ellen the Felon and Mattronome: While we're on the subject of catchy, piano-driven tunes, do check this duo out (obviously you can do that at my birthday show--hint, wink). Apparently it's called Cabaret Pop, this type of music. I just call it really effing good. They too released an album this year, Bang Bang Bang. After weeks of listening to the new MCF album, Ellen's album was the reason MCF finally escaped the clutches of my car's CD player. True story.
Tonya Gilmore: ...then Tonya Gilmore released Phantoms Fill the Sky, and Ellen's CD also finally escaped my car stereo after several weeks of solid listening. She technically is a former St. Louisan, now residing way over in Oregon for the last few years, and she just keeps impressing me more and more with each album. She plays both guitar and piano, sings, and has a full band on this album. It's beautiful and dark and expansive. This lady's a 21st century murder balladeer, and damn, is she good at it.
Sleepy Kitty: With a definite '90s-influenced guitar sound, this duo will rock your face off. But then Paige Brubeck (singer/guitarist/loop pedal pro) sings, and it is the absolute opposite of grungy. The clarity of her vocals and the precision of her harmony loops are just insane. They have an album coming out in January, and they put out a few singles in anticipation of the album. There's not a bad song of theirs, so whatever you go out and find of theirs will be solid.
Pretty Little Empire: They're pretty much straight indie rock, which I know is such an overused label for music these days, but they execute it in a way that is anything but overdone. Lead singer Justin Johnson's voice is emotive without compromising tonal quality. These guys are just great songwriters, too. They put out an album this year too--it's self-titled, though it's their third album. I'm listening to it as I type this post, actually. Needless to say, it comes with a high recommendation.
Bruiser Queen: Perhaps you saw this one coming. Seriously, these 2 are a blast to see live. Even in their recordings, there's a palpable energy (which is hard to capture for some folks in the often-sterile environments of recording studios). Also a rockin' and rollin' duo, but singer/guitarist Morgan Nusbaum's vocals are huge and fierce. Bonus: occasional, awesomely sarcastic facial expressions at live shows. Damn, are they a fun live show. ::coughcoughBIRTHDAYSHOWcoughcough::
Well, folkies: I hope I gave you something worth your time in link-clicking and Google-searching. Have a great rest of 2013, and I'll catch y'all next year.
Kittens & Unicorns,