Each week the Digital Trends staff selects three albums that we think you should know about. Not in-depth reviews, just passing on some music we like.
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One of the best live shows around, so if they come through your town, you should go! Trust us. You will have a blast.
Top Tracks: Fire With Fire, Night Work, Invisible Light
Biography: A genre- and gender-defying mix of rock, pop, and dance inspired by burlesque, drag queens, and glam rock, New York’s Scissor Sisters made a splash in late 2003/early 2004 with their neon-bright reimagining of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” the B-side to the band’s first single, “Electrobix.” The song made quite a name for the band, which features singers Jake Shears and Ana Matronic, keyboardist/bassist Babydaddy, guitarists Del Marquis and Derek G, and drummer Paddy Boom: along with becoming the calling card that got the band signed to Polydor in the U.K., “Comfortably Numb” was heralded “Single of the Month” by Dazed and Confused and Jockey Slut magazines, named an “Essential New Tune” by Pete Tong on Britain’s Radio 1, and also received considerable play by DJs including Felix da Housecat and Tiga. Scissor Sisters (whose name is slang for a lesbian sex act) came from the cutting edge of New York’s nightlife and gay culture, incorporating elements of burlesque and drag shows, as well as performance art, into their theatrical live shows. This was the perfect setting for their music, which gleaned the best of Elton John, the Bee Gees, the B-52’s, David Bowie, and many other artists with a campy sense of humor and impeccable style. After proving themselves as one of the city’s most dynamic live acts, Scissor Sisters won over British and European audiences on a tour early in 2004 that coincided with the release of their self-titled debut album. That March, they returned stateside for a South by Southwest gig with Junior Senior and the B-52’s before returning to the U.K. to tour with Duran Duran in support of the “Take Your Mama Out” single. The band continued to have a busy spring and summer, launching their first U.S. tour in May — coinciding with the stateside release of Scissor Sisters — and returning to Europe in June and July. These dates included two gigs supporting Scissor Sisters’ spiritual and musical godfather, Elton John, as well as appearances at festivals such as Glastonbury, T in the Park, Roskilde, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Late that year, Scissor Sisters were nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Record for “Comfortably Numb.” The band kept busy with touring and producing remixes during 2005, and returned with new material in fall 2006, when the single “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'” hit number one in England. The band’s subsequent album, Ta-Dah, also topped the charts in Great Britain. ~ Heather Phares, All Music Guide
Check out this great version of “You and I Undercover”
Top Tracks: You Are Dangerous, Bullet, You and I Undercover
Biography: Much like Southern rock revivalists My Morning Jacket and Kings of Leon, Steel Train take a post-punk approach to the hoary sounds of ’70s album-oriented rock. Taking their name from a Bob Marley song, singer Scott Irby-Ranniar and guitarist Jack Antonoff formed Steel Train as a New York busking duo in 1999, two years after Irby-Ranniar originated the role of Young Simba in the Broadway musical The Lion King. Second guitarist Matthew Goldman, bassist Evan Winiker, and drummer Matthias Gruber were soon added to the lineup, and the nascent five-piece signed to Drive Thru Records in 2002, releasing their debut EP For You My Dear early the next year. 2003 also saw the release of 1969, a concept EP of six songs from the titular year by the Jackson 5, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bob Marley, David Bowie, the Beatles, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Steel Train’s debut full-length, Twilight Tales from the Prairies of the Sun, was released in 2005, featuring several songs about the breakup of Antonoff’s relationship with actress Scarlett Johansson. After the resulting tour was completed, Goldman and Gruber left Steel Train and were replaced by guitarist Daniel Silbert and drummer Jon Shiffman. Trampoline, the band’s sophomore album and first to feature the revised lineup, was released in October 2007. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide
Anyone catch them on the season premiere of Entourage?
Top Tracks: Shake Me, Whatever Haunts You, Railroad Queen
Biography: Taddy Porter is Andy Brewer, Doug Jones, Kevin Jones and Joe Selby. Four young men, southern by birth, with a habit of rocking outright. The brothers Jones command a rhythmic Abrahams, devastating all in its path, steady on its brooding course, leaving a wrecked wake where the war was waged. All the while, Brewer and Selby man the cannons hurling shell after screeching shell of audio assault. Brewer howls familiar with all the pains and medals that lie typically in the tones of men with triple his years. His words describe scenes you’ve known before in ways which still ring fresh. Selby invades every earhole in the room with a brute force and welcomed trauma that stays with a crowd well after he’s done with them. This is Taddy Porter. Bred out of Stillwater, holding you at gunpoint and commanding that you shake your ass.
Check out a free download of this album that was made entirely on an iPhone!
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