Music

GrooveOut Shorts: September 2008

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Jennifer O’Connor, Cameron Carpenter, Lea DeLaria, Chaz, Le Sorelle Marinetti, Sick of Sarah, Andrew Suvalsky, Danny Tenaglia , Naked Highway, Amanda Palmer, Matt Zarley, Athens Boys Choir, Judith Owen, Whore’s Mascara

By Nancy Ford and Eric A.T. Dieckman

HerewithMeJennifer O’Connor
Here With Me
Forget about pronoun changes for this amazing, relatively new female voice emerging pure and whole in a field of iPod clones. When she sings about her baby, she means it, and she calls her “she.” Delicious, especially “Days Become Months.” Keep your eye on this one. Matador Records (matadorrecords.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Cameron Carpenter
Revolutionary
You can’t tell a book by its cover, and this punky-looking, accomplished classical organist (who is openly bi) proves it with this. As a six-year-old, he wore a white sequined tux (by choice) to his organ recital. Need we say more? Telarc International (www.telarc.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

LeaDeLariaLea DeLaria
The Live Smoke Sessions
What — a comedian who also sings? That’s just crazy. Regardless, this hysterical Renaissance dyke gets serious with this unspeakably lush set of jazz and pop standards by Arlen, Porter, Kahn, and others. Smokin’. Available September 9 from Ghostlight Records (www.ghostlightrecords.com) — Review: Nancy Ford

Chaz
The First One

If you like Luther Vandross-styled R&B, Chaz will disappoint. If you prefer R. Kelly, you’ll still be disappointed. Some of the instrumentals on this disc are enjoyable, like “Chemical Reaction” can be infectious, but Chaz’ songwriting and vocals add a forced syrupy quality that is difficult to listen to. PRK Group. Details: www.myspace.com/ChooseChaz. — Review: Eric A.T. Dieckman

LeSorelleLe Sorelle Marinetti
Non ce ne importa niente

If those World War II-era warblers, the Andrews Sisters, had been Italian — and brothers —
they would have been in direct competition with this musically pleasing drag trio. Quirky, nostalgic, and molto campo, especially when these “sisters” (Mercuria, Turbina, and Scintilla) deliver their swinging Cher medley. Details: www.lesorellemarinetti.it. — Review: Nancy Ford

Sick of Sarah
SickOfSick of Sarah
Olivia is currently booking this five-female, Minneapolis-based, indie band that is also being called the new Sleater–Kinney. Weird name, appealing music; “Bittersweet” stands out. Adamant Records
(www.adamantrecords.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Andrew Suvalsky
A World That Swings
Full-on jazz and pop collection from this openly gay vocalist includes respectable renditions of more contemporary writers like Carole King and Lennon/McCartney tunes, but also dips admirably into the Porter and Arlen realm. Pleasantly swingy. Available September 9 from LML Music (www.lmlmusic.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

FuturismDanny Tenaglia
Futurism
It’s been six years since we’ve heard from this experimental electronica producer/DJ, but he’s back now with a double CD. From Yello’s trippy, drippy “Indigo Bay,” throbbing all the way through to Tenaglia’s own “Space Dance Vox,” Futurism is a must-spin for techno fans. Tommy Boy Entertainment (www.tommyboy.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Naked Highway
ShortyShorty the Pimp
This latest release from the electro-glam, NYC-based threesome is enjoying plenty of Logo rotation. And why not? The video was shot “in the real-life ghetto,” lead singer Boccari pants. Pleasingly dancey. Details: www.nakedhighway.com. — Review: Nancy Ford

Amanda Palmer
Who Killed Amanda Palmer
The dramatic, drum-banging tendencies made famous by this Dresden Dolls front woman are unmistakably recognizable in the very first seconds of her debut solo album. Palmer later plunges deeper with the cut’s final cut, “Another Year.” Impressive. Available September 16 from Roadrunner Records (roadrunnerrecords.com). Details: www.myspace.com/whokilledamandapalmer. — Review: Nancy Ford

HereIAmMatt Zarley
Here I Am
This hunky openly gay singer/songwriter made the Top 20 finals in the American Idol songwriter competition with this EP’s title cut. Gently poppy in a Clay Aiken, not-quite-Christian-rock sort of way. Details: www.mattzarley.com. — Review: Nancy Ford

Athens Boys Choir
Bar Mitzvah Superhits of the 80s, 90s, and Today
With lyrics like “We were talking ’bout my bris before our first kiss,” the Choir (actually, the solo Katz) charts previously uncharted territory with his Jewish transman rap. Then, just when you think you’ve never heard a wackier disc, comes the thoughtful “Mourner’s Prayer” to inform us that Katz is more than funny. Twinkle Toes Records (www.athensboyschoir.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

MoppingUpJudith Owen
Mopping Up Karma
Even if this articulate pop artist were nothing to speak of musically, the rich, cleverly titled album and cover art would be enough to catch our eye. Fortunately, she catches our ear, too, especially with the lush “Ruby Red Lips.” Courgette Records (www.courgetterecords.com). Details: judithowen.net. — Review: Nancy Ford

Whore’s Mascara
Like This But Sexy
This electronica club trio describes their sound as Pet Shop Boys and Human League with a 2009 mindset. But unlike WM, those two groups’ music, especially their vocals, stand up to their edgy lyrics. What have we, what have we, what have we done to deserve this? Details: www.whoresmascara.com. — Review: Nancy Ford.

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