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Friday, January 14, 2005

Neo-Cabaret is the New Punk Rock

In my last post, I said that I would talk about Nellie McKay. In this post, I shall. Ladies and gentlemen, I have occasionally pimped bands on my website. But, I am relatively certain that no band I have pimped has had such an immediate impact on me as Nellie McKay. Metric took me a few months before I figured out "hey, this band is awesome." Sleater-Kinney took me at least a few days. And that was well before the blog. Whereas Nellie went straight onto my "obsessions" playlist in iTunes* with the two songs I downloaded, then I purchased her CD, and was re-blown away by the sixteen songs which I had not previously heard, which sound like Ella Fitzgerald and Eminem singing about animals and drinking....sometimes at the same time. If you don't believe me, well, that's why god invented LimeWire. Try a few of these and tell me you aren't going to buy her CD.

"Sari" - a key change that blows my-sister-the-musician's mind. Hip-hop style that blows my mind. Witty lyrics. Catchy music. Wide range of vocal abilities. In fact, the absolute only thing wrong with this song is the pun of a title. The first time I heard it I immediately played it again. Twice.

"Ding Dong" - the song that got me started. "My cat died so I poured myself some gin/did she die from old age or was it for my sins?" What's brilliant here is that it's a pop song which sounds like a conversation. And the witty lyrics.

"David" - awww. Nellie has a crush on her old college professor. And it's really, really catchy. Have I mentioned that she has a great voice? Which makes it more catchy.

"Respectable" - Nellie's young, and she sound like a teenager here crying out that her art makes her better than people who get jobs. And that capitalism is lame. And makes people unhappy. But you know what? It's catchy. (there's a trend here, by the way. Are you picking up what I'm laying down for y'all?) It's joyously catchy. It's funny and touching. It makes a cliche seem not a cliche. And I'm pro that.
- Rowan Kaiser, 3:36 AM
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