The women have been busy, and we have a lot of new releases to look forward to. Here are just a few.
Before Aretha Franklin was the Queen Of Soul she was recording for John Hammond at Columbia Records, but they had her doing show tunes. She moved to Atlantic in the late sixties, they utilized her gospel background, and she released some outstanding records. That’s when she was crowned the Queen! After another down period in her career, she hooked up with record mogul Clive Davis in the 80′s, and he brought her back to the top. Now, decades later, she celebrated her 70th birthday last week and announced that she and Clive were going to work together for a new album. No release date yet.
One of Aretha’s great recordings for Atlantic was a cover of Carole King’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. Carole also recorded the song on her legendary Tapestry album. Now we’ll be able to hear the demo she recorded for that song, and other demo’s like the Monkees hit Pleasant Valley Sunday, It’s Too Late, You’ve Got A Friend and others. The Legendary Demos will be released April 24th.
One of my favorite singers in the whole world is Kelly Hogan. When she’s not singing with Nekko Case, Hogan is killing us with her amazing voice…and wonderful, wacky sense of humor. Just saw her this week at the Vic open for Magnetic Fields. If Kelly sang once a week in Chicago, I’d try to make it to every show. She was doing songs from her forthcoming release, I Like To Keep Myself In Pain. Brilliant title. She asked some of her friends to write songs for this album. Her friends include the afore mentioned Magnetic Fields, Jon Langford, Andrew Bird, M. Ward, John Wesley Harding, Robyn Hitchcock, and Robbie Fulks. What a list. And great songs. She did a month of Monday concerts a couple of months ago at the Hideout to get familiar with these songs, and they were great then. Booker T. Jones plays on the album. Can’t wait to hear the final results. Release date is June 5th. If she could attach a serving of her banana pudding with each record, life would be perfect.
There are some bands that don’t just have the proverbial “chick” singer, but a woman who holds her own. Thanks to the Pretenders, Eurythmics, Heartless Bastards and others, it’s a better world for women in rock bands. Best Coast is a band from L.A. that features Bethany Cosentino. On May 15th, they’ll release their second album, The Only Place. I wanna hear her sing a Shangri Las cover someday.
And then there’s Garbage. Where have they been???? Missed them! But they’re back! And from what I’ve heard so far, Shirley Manson sounds great. Not Your Kind Of People will be their first album in seven years. It will be released May 15th. Let’s not wait another seven till the next one, please.
We’ve done some of our best shoe gazing to the music of Mazzy Star. Well, after a 15 year break, Hope Sandoval and band mates are back. They released a single in the fall, and are due to put out a new album sometime this year. Here’s one of the new songs.
Norah Jones contributed some vocals to Danger Mouse’s project Rome, a tribute to spaghetti western soundtracks. So when Norah wanted to work on a new solo album, she called on Mr. Mouse to produce. Good idea. Little Broken Hearts will be released May 1st. This Happy Pills song is under my skin. Love it.
There’s more to come, and you’ll be hearing it on the radio. Now if only we can get Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Patti Smith, and Ronnie Spector to record again, and bring Dusty Springfield back from heaven, I’d be over the moon.