Satuday Video Roundup: Chicks That Rock, part deux

Three weeks ago we devoted Saturday Video Roundup to “Chicks That Rock.” Then we did an edition on some of the top male artists of 2007. My wife wanted to know why I included a number of male vids but only three from female artists. Good point, that. So today, here are some more Chicks That Rock v.2007.

We begin with one of my favorites, Sarah Nixey. She used to be in Black Box Recorder with the estimable Luke Haines, and this year she released her first solo disc.

Next, here’s a look at Darlington, England’s We Start Fires. No, they’re not doing anything that Elastica didn’t do, but they’re doing it really well.

Another of my favorites from 2007 is Minipop, a quartet hailing from San Francisco. They have that knack, kinda like Space Team Electra and Lush, for combining harder, noisier shoegazer elements with the beautiful and melodic. A New Hope gets better every time I listen to it. This is “Like I Do.” (While you’re at it, you might click over and give “Fingerprints” three minutes of your time, too.)

Once upon a time “pop” wasn’t a dirty word. Then Britney and American Idol came along and stole the word for the forces of evil corporatism. Well, Knoxville’s Jag Star is stealin’ it back. The Matrix is nowhere to be found here – Sarah Lewis is one hellacious songwriter, and there are six or seven tracks on The Best Impression of Sanity that could be #1 hits in a world where radio didn’t suck.

Up next, one of the year’s top R+B artists, Jill Scott, cuts loose with “Hate on Me.”

The most thoroughly unanticipated surprise of 2007 (for me, anyway) was The Choir Practice, a vocal ensemble started by Coco Culbertson of New Pornographers and featuring her NP bandmate Kurt Dahle, Larissa Loyva (P:ano), Olivia Fetherstonhaugh (FanShaw), some members of Pokiok Falls, Chris Kelly (Gay Straights), Shane Turner (Love and Mathematics), Ska-T, filmmaker Shira Blustein, Ida Nilsen (Great Aunt Ida), and artist Sydney Vermont. This is a really wonderful record.

If you’re around me long enough you’ll learn that I really like a lot of artists working in the dreampop/shoegazer genre, and once you know that you’ll have no trouble understanding why this year’s Blonde Redhead CD hit me right between the eyes. Kazu Makino’s etherial vox are the perfect counterpoint for all those wonderful layers of My Bloody Valentine-inspired noise guitar layers. Haunting, atmospheric, and a lot more adjectives….

The biggest problem with LoveLikeFire’s 2007 release, An Ocean in the Air, is that it’s not long enough. Tuneful, alternately plaintive and sophisticated, Ann Yu’s voice has that occasionally epic quality I’m starting to note more lately among our better emerging female vocalists. This is one of those discs I’ve just about played to death over the past month or two.

Well, there you go – now my lovely wife should be happy and hopefully you are, too. I heartily recommend the 2007 CDs from each and every one of the bands and artists featured above – they make great stocking stuffers, folks.

Thanks for tuning in. Now you can get back to your shopping and today’s slate of football action. See you next week, same bat time, same bat channel….

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