Between a bevy of live outdoor music festivals, our portable players and tops down on our convertibles, you'll not be able to avoid some dancing in the streets this summer. Where do you we start? What do we want to blare out of our windows this summer or crank up at our Pre/Post Pride Party? Well, this is what I think.
Ladyhawke's weirdly subdued Anxiety hits stores this week. Fans of the lady may have noticed her getting progressively more electro over time, so it may be a shock to hear how simple and almost Sheryl Crow-ish this CD is. Not bad, but just an odd direction, especially for a summer disc. Hoping there's a few remixes off this one to liven it up.
Gender-fuck cabaret artist Justin Vivian Bond (Shortbus, Kiki & Herb) continues to shatter expectations and push envelopes with Silver Wheels, a collection of covers by artists as diverse as Mark Eitzel, Tracy Chapman, Kate Bush and Leonard Cohen. JVB's sings so much from the heart on these tracks, you can really tell (v)'s feeling it. Raw, emotional, yet joyous. Silver Wheels is out now at justinbond.com .
While you're feeling exposed emotionally by JVB, drop in the wonderful new Keane album. If you're a fan like me, you've been waiting (and wading) through failed attempts to top their genius debut Hopes and Fears, to no avail. Now with Strangeland, the boys are back. While not quite as exposed as H&D, Strangeland does get them back to what works passionate piano-based music lead by soaring vocals. Welcome back.
Kimbra, Goyte's sidekick on the "Somebody That I Used To Know," finally released her Vows to America, and it's not bad. Imagine a more accessible Lykke Li with a dash of '80s pop/soul tossed in from time to time. Much more interesting that Gotye's warmed over Sting shtick. Here's hoping she's less of a one-hit-wonder than her pal.
Finally, Scissor Sisters had some potential to completely derail the good will they created with their best CD Night Work by releasing "Shady Love" as the first single off their newest, Magic Hour. Thankfully that hideous throwaway doesn't represent the whole of the album. While on the downside, their lack of a live drummer and downplaying of co-singer Anna, has started to make SS sound like the Jake Shears Show; however Magic Hour's not as bad as some have said. The songs are still there, with key tracks like the Rihanna-esque "Only The Horses," old school Sisters opener "Baby Come Home" and the hilariously campy, Anna-led "Let's Have a Kiki," the SS keep the vibe fun and give us hope that all is not lost, despite the fact that it sounds like they've been hanging with Cazwell on the weekends.
Moose and Vox will spin many of these artist May 14 at Downtown Bar, in tribute to LGBT artists at this month's Clock Out Rock Out.