Moaning Lisa Smile – Wolf Alice

I was a loser in school. I’ll admit it. I still have PTSD whenever “teams” are chosen as an adult. I stand up there, just praying to God I’m not last.

So I know that feeling all too well – that feeling of standing out for all of the “wrong” reasons.

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But I also know what the elation of finding your own tribe feels like. You no longer care if you’re chosen last, because you don’t want to play the damned game anyway.

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That’s what “Moaning Lisa Smile” by Wolf Alice reminds me of.

In the video, the lead character struggles to make it work with a lineup of Heathers and Plastics. In the end, she’s adopted by a trio of glam-rock looking amazons who help her feel fierce and take control.

It made my little misfit heart sing.

Oh, and by the way: those “amazons,” are the other members of Wolf Alice. Kudos to them for playing along (and walking fiercely in those heels!).

But before I found the brilliance of the video, I was enthralled by the song itself.

As I posted about Bully a few weeks ago, I feel like Wolf Alice is filling an interesting gap in music.

The English band released My Love is Cool in June of this year, and they’re currently touring all over the world.

Their eclectic mix is intriguing. Initially, I hopped onto the 90’s influence that I heard from them, but they also have that glam rock touch where everything is just a bit over the top.

But don’t think for a minute that Wolf Alice’s approach takes away from their commentary. They tackle both irrelevance and social issues with ease. Their video for “You’re a Germ,” resembles a campy horror flick, while “She” delves into gender dysphoria and self-acceptance.

They’ve said in interviews that they’re not trying to strive for uniformity as a band. They embrace the fact that they’re four individuals coming together to form their sound, and I think that informs a lot of their efforts.

It’s been established that Wolf Alice took their name from a story about a girl who was raised by wolves. And it reflects in their sound. They have a sweetness and an ability to get caught in your mind, but they can raise up to a cacophony.

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Rumble – Kelis

Just like almost everyone on the planet, when I think of Kelis, the first thing that comes to my mind is the froth of “Milkshake.”

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But in case you were ready to shoehorn Kelis into the role of One-Hit Wonder, she’d love to prove  you wrong.

In “Rumble,” off of her 2014 effort Food, Kelis channels 60’s soul. It reminds me of trips to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Her sultry and raspy voice have a soulful vigor in the chorus that oddly reminds me of Stevie Wonder.

The polished track is perfect for a still-fresh breakup and is a great addition to more recent anthems of empowerment by other female artists.

Some listeners may argue that Kelis is trying too hard on her return to the music industry, but I couldn’t disagree more. This feels more genuine, and I feel like I’m listening to her talk to Nas during their divorce.

And, as always, as we all know by now, the horn section definitely helped my positive association with the song.

Here’s to hoping Kelis remains less “Milkshake,” and a whole lot more soul.

Black Me Out – Against Me!

Anytime I see a band live, I go through a period of “withdrawal,” where I play their songs over and over. And over…and over.

Since seeing Against Me! on June 27th, two songs have stuck in my head: “Because of the Shame,” and “Black Me Out.”

The latter is obviously what this post is concerned with.

When I was a teenager, I *felt* so much. I was like that rando that popped up in Mean Girls, but…ANGRY.

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If I heard a song that resonated with me, I would find myself screaming out the lyrics. Which, as I alluded to in my post about the Against Me! show, I haven’t done in quite some time.

Laura Jane Grace has been quoted as saying that “Black Me Out,” is one of her current favorite songs to play live. And it’s so easy to see why!

Regardless of your station in life, we all go through periods where we’re “reclaiming” ourselves. Where someone, or something – a seemingly evil entity – has snatched up your very being and toted it around in their pocket. Eventually you fight your way back, and there’s a period of frustrated empowerment. You make promises to yourself that you hope you won’t break, vowing to never let something like that happen again.

ANYWAY – this song is the anthem to that feeling. It’s such a difficult emotion to describe.

But, seriously, how can you not relate?!?

I don’t ever want to talk that way again
I don’t want to know people like that anymore
As if there was an obligation
As if I owed you something

Black me out
I want to piss on the walls of your house
I want to chop those brass rings off
Your fat fucking fingers
As if you were a king-maker
As if, as if, as if
Black me out

I don’t want to see the world that way anymore
I don’t want to feel that weak and insecure
As if you were my fucking pimp
As I was your fucking whore