DRAG: Rupaul - Glamazon: I tossed and toiled this week on what dragtacular album I should review for my final week as Drag Music Director here at KXSC Radio, but then the ghost of Christmas Pringles came to me in my sleep and told me to stop being such a loser, so here I am! RuPaul, aka Mother Dearest, aka The Realness, is quoted by many as being the original drag diva. First coming into the spotlight in 1992 as the ”Supermodel of the World”, RuPaul is undeniably one of the most successful drag queens in recent history. Like the menu at Subway, my opinion of each album varies quite a bit, but I’d have to say that her magnum opus is her 6th studio album, “Glamazon”. Released in 2011, at the popularity apex of her hit reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, “Glamazon” is an eclectic dance-pop album that features some the best songs of RuPaul’s career. Join me, as I embark on a sensual journey through Glamazonia!
We begin with “The Beginning”, the aptly named opening track, as it the first song we hear on our RuPaul dance voyage. In it RuPaul chants: “This is the beginning. This is the beginning of the rest of your life”. Thanks Ru! That’s technically true! Immediately following this is “Click Clack (Make Dat’ Money)” which is about the joys of paying rent with your stripper day job. My jacket is too fancy to be ruined by the visage of my pasty white boy nipps, so we’ll move right along to “Glamazon”, the titular track of the album. If you see anything today, make sure you watch the music video for this song. RuPaul becomes a giant evil woman and she steps on Ross Matthews and it’s great. 10/10. The best lyric in this album goes to Track 4: “I Bring the Beat” in which RuPaul sings:
I am the UFO: United Funk Official,
Commanding you to bust-a-move or suffer with my missiles.
No harm is my intention, but if you disobey,
My Wrath will stop yo’ bootypop and blow this world away
Classic. Track 5: “Superstar” a good song, and the rest of the album is genuinely okay! Now get out of my van! I need to practice these pole dances for the trip back home. May we all be Glamazons until the end of time. PEACE! DAVID
Recommended Listening: RuPaul's (first) Christmas album "Ho Ho Ho." That is all.
FOLK: Crosbys, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far: I’ve never written an album review so please take a second and lower your expectations. Thanks, now let’s start. While I’ve loved almost every kind of music and musician in my life, when it comes down to it, folk music is my soul music. It just gets me. This compilation album by David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young – or CSNY- hits all the right spots: the best songs from their first three albums in one six times certified platinum album. Listening to this album is like living your favorite day over and over again. The sun is shining, you’re with your people, and everything is right in the world. Every second of this album is beautifully coordinated, from the vocal harmonies to the guitar solos to lyrics ranging across topics of protest, religion, and love… Basically it’s seventies counter-culture folk rock in a nutshell. Do yourself a favor and pick a nice day, put on some headphones, and listen to this one all the way through. Learn every harmony on “Helplessly Hoping.” Let yourself follow the music journey that is all seven minutes of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” Listen to “The Cost Of Freedom” too many times in a row. Then listen to it all again. LIANA
Video - The Entertainers: I could write a really harsh review lambasting Video for the band's undeniable arrogance and failure to manufacture hype about themselves by creating the arbitrary genre "Hate Wave" to describe their sound in attempts to make their commonplace garage-punk sound seem unique. I could also say that this album was so monotonous that I could not tell when one song ended and the next began while listening to this album, but that would be pointless. Why? Because I would not waste my time reviewing an album that I thought was a load of shit, and although it is pretty one-note, at least I could actually get through the whole thing. Admittedly, using the fact that I did not hate the album enough to turn it off as a baseline for determining if something is good enough to add is pretty cynical, but I guess all I am trying to say is that music can be relatively unexciting without being bad. This is actually fine; it just sounds like a worse version of the new Together Pangea release... So if you are into that, go ahead and play something off this too. ASHLEY
W-X - W-X: W-X is the latest venture of Tim Presley, who a lot of you know as White Fence. One of the promoter emails we got said that this album is for fans of "general clutter" and "disarray," and I'd say that's pretty accurate - in a good way. If you like White Fence but just wish it were weirder, then today's the day you've been waiting for. The album is eclectic, to say the least. You'll start vibing with a song and feel like you know what's going on, then Presley will throw you in a whole new direction. "Steer Clear," for example, is a catchy, lo-fi garage rock jam for the first three minutes, then suddenly it sounds like we're falling through different dimensions in outer space...but there's also a hip-hop beat in the back. It's an unpredictable listen that, as a fan of general clutter and disarray, I had a lot of fun listening to. I was delighted to find my loves of garage rock and squirty alien noises brought together in a scratchy matrimony. CAROLINE
RIYL: White Fence, The Fall, Soft Machine
Recommended Tracks: "Clean It, Glen" (13), "Hermit Stomp (Simple Times)" (19), "The Lurk" (2), "Restless Leg" (7), "Steer Clear" (3)
Grimes - Art Angeles: Art Angels is bizarre in the perfectly fucked up way you would want a Grimes album to be like. It takes Grimes' quirky bubbly personality and affinity for “guilty” pleasure top 40 hits and throws it in a blender of chaos and eclectic musical tastes. yea i used the e word. Art Angels has comparisons from Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Charlie XCX to Korn, Drum n Bass, and Dixie Chicks? What is going on?? IDK BUT ITS COOL. In the project packed with constant themes of girl power (more like FIGHT LIKE A GIRL kind of stuff), this maximalist piece of work features production influences from kpop, indie rock, hip hop, and hardddd electronic stuff. Not like EDM, more like shit you’d hear in a grimey (hahno) UK club. Art Angels is very much the Ronda Rousey of Pop albums. It's loaded from to back with her notions that she can't be pegged down to a particular box and refuses beauty conventions and our idealism of what a female musician should be, let alone a pop artist. It's aggressiveness generally comes out in cheerleader-esque chants, who are just as much athletes as any other. Something riot grrrl bands and electro-brat-pop bands also do.Having been inspired by Korn and NIN, the amount of harsh guitars and noises are generally absent. Its energy is found through catchy feminine pop chants. It's an album inspired by "Bro-art" but presented in the most cutesy/poppy of ways that never conveys weakness or any sort of diminutive stature. In that way it's a very powerful album. DYLAN
RIYL: Purity Ring, Zola Jesus
Shocking Pink - Dance The Dance Electric: This year The Shocking Pinks decided to rerelease their classic debut album Dance The Dance Electric. The band is made up of one man multi-instrumentalist, Nick Harte, and in a similar way to the Nine Inch Nails, his touring band rotates. Their early sound is a pretty classic alternative/indie sound that echoes bands such as My Bloody Valentine and James Murphey. The sound is pretty grungy and is done with lofi production, but still captures what a pop album sounds like. When I first turned on the song It's Hard to Breath I immediately thought Strokes but with messier vocals. The band identifies as being indie/electronic, but from what I heard on this release there is a lot of guitar and delay effects. In recent years the band has not been releasing any new music, however they are going on a world tour in the name of Dance the Dance's rerelease. The album is definitely a great listen and there is absolutely reason for the acclaim it received. It's release got them quickly signed to one of New Zealand's most famous labels. I would not recommend this for parties as much as I would for hanging out. HARRY
RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, The Strokes, Deerhunter
Recommended Tracks: "Lovehate" (1), "It's Hard to Breathe" (3), "Every 1" (4)