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January 2003 : Devil Doll, Stereo Total, Katastrophy Wife

Devil Doll : Queen of Pain. (Lucky Blue Bird rec). Picture the smoky, dark, uderground clubs from another time. Try to imagine yourself caught in the speakeasy in an American film noir, along with a handful of Humphrey Bogarts (he and she) and other charmingly sweet and sour gangsters. It smells like hard liquor, cigarettes and obscure illegal trades of sex, drugs and money. This is another time, another place, this is still really happening, this intimist cabaret atmosphere. Under the blinding light, on the small stage, an impressively beautiful creature is laying her deep voice and eternal pain on a round bass line, on a sensual tenor saxophone or on a jazzy piano. She talks about love and loss, promises and lies, sex and sorrow, tears and violence (King of Brooklyn and its grave cello: I want to kiss you, then punch you in the face). Hers and yours, these tough, broken-hearted gangsters'. The ones hiding, as they always do, under their borsalino hats the tear that will bring salt to their cheap bourbon. This is definitely New York music, from Union Square to Brooklyn, with numerous stops at the liquor stores. Devil Doll is actually from San Francisco (see, they don't only have sex parties for open-minded people there), with some Latino influence (You are the Best Thing and the Worst Thing), leaping rock jazz (Heart Sized Crush breaks into waves of rhythm altering with flying piano-brass parts, punctuated with throat deep anger), and simple whispers on a bass (it's been raining since the day you left me/ trying to drown/can't seem to die). The Queen of Pain is lifting up her broken-heart to take you where you thought you could never be, where you thought you'd never go again. From St Christopher (every time you look at me, I say something I don't want to say/ every time you raise yr voice and tell me I don't have a choice, I pack my bag and walk to the door, I'm telling you now, I won't take no more / yeah you, I'm talking to you, with your fucked up hair and your bad tattoos, will you ever learn to shut your mouth) and the Things you Make me Do, to If I Died in your Arms ('you know I would give you my heart, even if it's torn apart / (...) and I love you much more than I should (...) If I died in your arms, would you dare say that you loved me and I was the one?') : 18 tracks you get hooked on after the first time you listen to them, but watch out, the lady has a gun. For more info:

Stereo Total : La Musique Automatique (Kill Rock Stars).

Massive keyboards and automatic rhythms and samples for a tongue in cheek German-English-French tribute to popular music from the 60s and on. 15 tracks to keep you warm through the Scandinavian winter and to let you dream about these Summer plans of yours... I have the feeling you're going to head south on the national 7.

Katastrophy Wife: Amusia (Anathema).

But who the hell am I to say? I'm just another trashy aggressive queer feminist in Oslo land , who scrubbed up knees in front of the stage, for one I thought was one of the real queens of riot grrl, Kat Bjelland. But no time to weep! Her album is fuckin' good! Well produced, and it contends some great tracks!*Anathema* Pretty car* widdershins* Git go*( I could swear that Nina Hagen was singing on the track* Haunted*) Get your pretty asses out there and by it! She is still master of screams and fuzz. No wonder that her favourite vocal and artist is Diamanda Galas.(Thanks for the drink and for giving the fans a fantastic concert!)


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