Friday, November 24, 2006

We Give Thanks For Dolly, Lady Sov, and Gabriela

Since I'm in Charlotte for Thanksgiving with the in-laws, besides the mad delicious deep-fried turkey I had, I'm thankful that Priscilla emerged from her cranberries-coma to send this column in:

3 Women I'm Thankful For:

1. Lady Sovereign. Or perhaps, in this case, we should be thankful for
the production crew who FINALLY got her album out after all these
years. Hasn't it been way too long since someone rhymed "bikini" with
"Lamborghini" and got away with it? Public Warning is the disc I've
been waiting for since hearing circa 2004 that Jay-Z had found the next
Eminem, except, you know, funnier and 5' tall and British. And female.
I really have no idea where the Eminem connection comes in, honestly.
Sov's delicious upbeat album has top billing in my ride these days, as
I cruise down the city streets to her throwback Easy E beats and
infectious voice, triumphant that short white girls can finally have
their day in the hip-hop sun. I'll admit it, the Queens in me wants to
take offense at her hilarious tirade against fake tanners, but she
makes it up to me by bringing in another favorite lady (Missy Elliot)
for a worthy "Love Me or Hate Me" remix. Side note for NYC carnivores:
Lady Sov's sticker is already slapped up on the walls of the Burger
Joint. Is there a better sign that this album is beloved?

Lady Sovereign - "Gatheration" mp3 buy

2. Dolly Parton. I had one of the best Thursdays in recent memory last
week when I trekked out to Mohegan Sun to see Dolly, her sequins and
her wig perform in concert. Told unintelligibly to expect a
"honky-tonk good time!" by a Good Ole Boy at work, I was on the edge of
my seat as Dolly entered the stage on a rising platform in a plume of
smoke and fog. A self-proclaimed "sexty" years old, Dolly Parton is
more energetic than I've ever been, and belted out almost 2 hours'
worth of her hits in a voice that hasn't changed since she was 20.
She's irresistible and adorable, poking fun at her cartoon self and her
love of plastic surgery, giggling through sweet stories about her
backwoods family of 14, and giving us the dirt on whether Kenny Rogers
had ever made a grab for "the girls." My favorite part? Like all good
rock stars, Dolly employs eye candy to hop around on stage, all muscles
and overalls, to dance and play-act and bow at her feet, etc, even
though she's "old enough to be that boy's mm.... lover?" Sigh. I WILL
always love you, Doll.

Dolly Parton - "Jolene" mp3 buy

3. [Rodrigo y] Gabriela. Alright, fine, it's not just her, they're a
co-ed acoustic guitar duo. Two metalheads from Mexico City who
hightailed it to Dublin (oh, THAT old story) where they write inventive
folk-rock instrumentals with flamenco-esque intricacy. Rodrigo's
speedfreak finger-picking is flawless and beautiful, almost enough to
make you forget that his partner's beating the crap out of her own
guitar in the background. Gabriela's contribution is insane, as she
uses every part of the guitar to make music, be it strings or
percussion or (I'm almost positive) woodwind. At times it sounds like
there are up to 4 guitars at work, when I know it's just the two of
them, un-overdubbed (except on one track). She's amazing, and reminds
us all that women have a place in classical guitar even when they're
not wearing ruffled skirts. I think to appeal to rockers who might not
sign up for an acoustic Mexican act, R&G get back to their roots on
this album, boldly remaking "Stairway to Heaven" and Metallica's
"Orion." (The latter of which I might be upset about if R&G didn't
completely own it. Which they do.) The album is solid, and comes with
a bonus DVD showcasing some of their fun live performances. If only
Guitar Hero had a track or two of theirs. Seriously.

Rodrigo y Gabriela - "Tamacun" mp3 buy

Oh yeah, and I'm pretty thankful for my mom, who loved me enough to
make me a Thanksgiving feast even though I'm a fussbudget about
poultry. But it's not like she put out an album or anything. Happy
Holiday, kids!

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