First is the rhythm: a tessellated electronica heartbeat (Gillian Sandman). Then the voice: a honey-colored, R&B-inflected baritone. (Samoncé Smith). Last, the performance: all ratchet ballet and Afrik vogue, twerking and pirouettes. Shirley House isn’t just a band: it’s a community, a family. With the help of choreographers, singers, engineers and visionaries—we’re creating something bigger and more complicated than just a single track or lone dance step. With your help, we’ll be able to create our first music video, and bring the Shirley House experience to a larger audience.

Help us make the 1st Shirley House music video! | Indiegogo Someone please by me the $750 reward, I want Shirley House to write me a song about pizza, Beyonce, and gifs.

“When I started Goldie and the Gingerbreads, my thought wasn’t Let’s get rich! It was, Hey! This will be different! I’d met Ginger Bianco at a gig. She was a drummer, and when I saw her play, I said to myself, “Hey! I just met another punk!” I’d never seen an all-girl band before, never heard of one, but when I met Ginger I thought, why not? But we quickly found out there were no other serious chick musicians out there. We had to go through a lot of girls, and it took years to put together the rest of the band.”
“Janet Wygal (The Individuals, Splendora, I Ride the Bus): I had a side band called I Ride the Bus with my sister Tricia and we opened for The Replacements! That was really quite memorable because they were just so wild, and so drunk! But really good! It was one of their early shows in the area and I think it was just sort of their recklessness that was so appealing. And obviously the songs were really great, of course.”
An Ode to Maxwell’s by Jesse Sposato. A now-closed Hoboken gem!
“But song-poems are also uniquely fascinating. Their particular badness is of the kind that record collectors, for example, love to attend to: the mixture of dread earnestness and camp, the mixture of mastery and inability, the collisions of historical eras, the inexplicability of certain cultural tendencies.”

In 1987, at a family arcade in New Jersey, I’d hoarded enough Skee-ball tickets for a real prize—not just some ratty stuffed animal. I claimed my bounty with fervor: a single-tape boombox small enough to keep under the covers and muffle the sounds of my parents’ endless fighting. In the dark, the volume at just one bar, I’d lie with my ear pressed against the speaker mesh, my index finger poised, waiting to hit record on any of the groups I loved—Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Exposé, Kool & The Gang. Then I’d spend hours sleuthing out each nuanced lyric, the staccato start and stops, until the vocals faded and the tapes finally gave out.

A year later, in the neighborhood of 3 a.m., I awoke to a smashing sound against the wall I shared with my parents, so I turned to my radio, moving the metal knob an imperceptible hair at a time until I stumbled on the local college station. The sounds I heard changed everything. A baritone DJ yelled, “This one’s for Saddam Hussein. Fuck you!” Then four ticks of drumsticks before the furious guitar of “Chemical Warfare” began. I was so stunned that I didn’t hit record immediately—unblinking in the dark, muscles stiff—but a few bars in, I scrambled to press that red square.

Songs Of Our Lives: Dead Kennedys’ “Chemical Warfare” by Lisa Nikolidakis.

In Episode 15 of Make/Work, host Scott Pinkmountain speaks with trumpet player/composer Nate Wooley. Wooley’s playing has been widely praised by everyone from the New York Times and DownBeat to trumpet icon Dave Douglass who called him “one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today.” He’s constantly performing and recording internationally with such folks as John Zorn, Thurston Moore, and pretty much everyone playing contemporary free jazz and improvised music.

“I saw this quote by Steve Earle that said, “Write about what you know. Everybody knows something.” And that was it, that was my motto. It was just good to remember that I have experienced my life. I have questions about things, be they very mundane. So I was waking up every day and writing in the morning and then recording at night, and whatever I woke up with on my mind, I would write about that. It’s inexhaustible, you know?”
“To my surprise, I loved L.A., especially in January and February—months which, back in New York and Ohio, had always walloped me with a serious dose of seasonal affective disorder. So there was the sun and also—perhaps more importantly—there was KCRW, Southern California’s NPR outlet as well as the home of Nic Harcourt’s toweringly great Morning Becomes Eclectic every weekday from nine to noon. Each morning, Nic would unleash a steady stream of yet-to-be-discovered gems that—in those medieval pre-Shazam days—had you leaning in extra hard to catch the name of the song and artist in Nic’s soothing Aussie baritone when it was over.”
“When you go on a stage—or even in a café or a room—and you play it’s all happening right then and there: the exchange, the art, the communication. Performance is in the moment.”
“If you have a daughter under ten, I suspect, you know the Frozen soundtrack much better than you wish you did. I have seen the film more times than I have seen any recent film, I hate to admit, and in almost all cases I have seen this film involuntarily. I hate the song entitled “Let It Go” as much as the next parent, and if I never hear it again, especially the Demi Lovato version (which sounds like Celine Dion), that’ll be fine with me. Why then do I like “Love Is an Open Door?” The other “hit” from the soundtrack, which is only marginally different in terms of its conceptual vocabulary?”

Swinging Modern Sounds #50: The Big 5-0!

Rick Moody on the soundtrack of Frozen, among other things.