If Bangs Could Kill

I like Ciara a lot. I think she's cute and fun. In her new single, "Go Girl", you can call her CiCi or "the Energizer Playboy bunny." T-Pain produces, so expect a lot of vocoder/auto-tune. It's not jaw-droppingly exciting, but I can see a lot of people having fun with it at the clubs.

The video comes off like a pastiche of recent pop videos. It must be those pesky art directors. Ciara does a catwalk strut in a shadowy hallway a la Lady Gaga, and then freaks out in a elevator like Britney on Madonna's current tour.

And then there's the wig. Those bangs, artfully cut just above the eyebrows! It's a little bit 20's flapper, a little bit Sunset Boulevard. Just in time for Halloween. My earliest recollection of this look was Britney's pink wig during her ill days.

The look has certainly caught on!


Roisin Murphy at Mansion NYC

Photo by It's ok to sweat.

I had a really incredible time watching Roisin Murphy make her U.S. debut in NYC last night. She played about 3/4's of Overpowered and a couple songs I wasn't familiar with (possibly from her earlier work). There were costume/coat changes after each song. Here are five points:

1. Her voice was perfect. She owned the stage. She was very happy to be there. The sound in the venue was great minus a few technical issues at the beginning.

2. She has fantastic chemistry with her band. She playfully assaulted AND seduced her musicians a couple of times throughout the set. She gave her backup singers a real pounding near the end of the show.

3. I liked the musical twists she added as she was transitioning or ending her songs. She amped up the dance elements "Dear Miami" and "Movie Star" while adding a rock guitar solo in "Primitive." She minimized the synth-heavy "You Know Me Better," which also sounded great.

4. She was rocking her signature bra-less white shirt a lot of the times. My favorite outfits were the brown, turkey-like hunchback number she wore during "Movie Star" and the plaid deer coat during (I think) "Let Me Know."

5. The venue was small, intimate and gorgeous. I think the crowd was a bit comatose at times, but that might be a NY thing. I was surrounded by a group of people that went bananas during ever song. But I could see a lot of people just staring in awe/confusion.


Soothing, Sober October

In these dire economic times bundled with a minor bout of homesickness, I'm finding myself veering away from the dance and pop music that has frequented my listening habits lately.

The final quarter of this year sees releases by Britney Spears, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, Eminem, Guns and Roses (!), and more -- basically a mainstream music lover's dream come true.

But as the New York Times wrote this past Sunday:
"Looking at Billboard No. 1 songs from 1955 to 2003 for a study to be published in the journal Psychology of Music, he found that in uncertain times, people tend to prefer songs that are longer, slower, with more meaningful themes."

At Virgin Records this past week, I purchased Fleetwood Mac's first (white) album. Rumours is pretty much ingrained in my mind already, but I had this insatiable need to hear "Rhiannon" and "Say You Love Me." Oddly enough, this was the first time I realized how much Christine McVie sounds like Jon Anderson of Yes. Fun fact: I went to college with Lindsey Buckingham's niece, who was obsessed with Justin Timberlake.

I've also been listening to Belle and Sebastian's Tigermilk, their first album and the only one of theirs I never owned. And then there's the new Antony and the Johnsons' EP, which has the stunning "Another World." I also like "Hope Mountain" and "Crackagen," but it was a bit overpriced for a five song EP.

I didn't see his show at the Apollo last week, but reviews were a bit disappointing.

My love for dance pop gets a shake up this Friday when I see Roisin Murphy debut in NYC. I'm also hoping to catch Designer Drugs play a set on Saturday.