Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Dresden Dolls – Dresden Dolls [#396]

The_Dresden_Dolls_-_The_Dresden_DollsSome time ago I was working in a help desk for a major university in the UK. It was at a time when software and media piracy was looked upon with the same fondness one might have for free toys in boxes of cereal. With that attitude and super fast internet, some of the computers in the main help desk became literal media suckers by day, downloading all manner of treats.

Often partial downloads would be left in folders on the computers on the main desk. These folders would be digital gold mines of interesting music and films.

One day I found a folder containing several music files. Some of the files were of the Ditty Bops, others were the Decemberists but the ones that struck a chord for me were those featuring the Dresden Dolls. Now we’ve met the Dresden Dolls on the music project before but in their constituent parts; Brian Viglione (who also played with Rasputina, Black Tape For a Blue Girl and Revue Noir) and Amanda Palmer. This is their first album. The one they released before everyone went Amanda Palmer cray-cray and reimagined themselves as hipsters.

I’m particularly fond of the Dresden Dolls, though not so much their solo works. I really like their quirkiness and how they’re like some naughty anti-christ version of the White Stripes.  We’ll see more of the Dresden Dolls later in the music project, so as it was an introductory album for me, here is an introduction for you, dear reader, if you have been living under some sort of hipster rock for the past ten years or so…

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Cabin Fever – Rasputina (#236)

220px-Cabin_feverCabin Fever – Rasputina

I remember the first time I heard Rasputina. I was amused. Not because of their quirkiness but because their lead singer told a joke about sleeve lengths. Its things like that that can cause me to seek out an artists entire back catalogue. These days, as discussed elsewhere in this project, I’m a little more cautious. Read the rest of this entry »

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Album #78 – Anthology Archive – Revue Noir

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 14.05.53 Anthology Archive – Revue Noir

This is another one of those music projects by bands I like but didn’t know they’d done.

Revue Noir is a collaboration between Sam Rosenthal and Nicki Jaine both former Black Tape for a Blue Girl.The Noir is rightly placed as this is as dark as 10 NeuroticsThe album covers several familiar songs from a variety of artists such as David Bowie and The Doors taking them to a very dark place indeed.

Think Dresden Dolls, with the lights out, in a mine, painted black. With your eyes closed. Or maybe imagine a dark burlesque evening where everyone there is hedonistically miserable and the stage act sounds like they’re about to break into some weird real life S&M.

That’s Revue Noir. Dark and sinister.

Another hipster album I think. For those wanting to sound enchanting, hip and dark or fans of the sexually charged Dark Cabaret revival of the noughties.

I couldn’t find a video of anything from this album other than this one which, curiously, was filmed at a burlesque evening.

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Album #65 – Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under – Amanda Palmer

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 13.36.42Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under – Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer, formerly Dresden Dolls, strums her stuff in antipodean climes. A clear difference from previous works under the name of Dresden Dolls but still an unmistakable sound.

Palmer is totally independent. She produces her own records, writes her own songs and markets herself through whatever medium she is able to. The record companies that tried to make her censor her body are probably spitting globules of regret like baked beans.

Angry lyrics interwoven by sleek musical passages and accompaniment, APGDU is a nice intro to Palmers work if you like your introductions live and hairy. There are no “greatest hit” tracks on the album nor are there any rehashes of studio stuff. Enjoyable.

 

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A Radical Recital – Rasputina (#38)

A Radical Recital by Rasputina

Sometimes on a musical journey you unearth a treat. On one such foray into the musical world I was fortunate to come across this delightful live set which introduced me to the bands rather unusual works. On first listen I was hooked and listening to it again I’m still filled with warm squishy feelings and squees. Radical Recital is a good starting point for those interested in exploring Rasputina.

If you are unaware of Rasputina, which I suspect quite a few people are, they’re usually a trio of musicians, 2 cellists and a percussionist (onetime Brian from Dresden Dolls) who play a weird Country/goth/rock fusion. It works. I believe the genre is New Weird America. It would be interesting to hear your opinions…..

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Music Project – Album #9: 10 Neurotics by Black Tape for a Blue Girl

10 Neurotics by Black Tape for a Blue Girl

Aside from Porcupine Tree’s In Absentia which is a concept album about a serial killing pervert, this is possibly one of the more….twisted….albums I have.

Each song on the album tells the story of some sort of sexual depravity, kink or perversion. Some very dark indeed.

Black Tape are a kind of darkwave caberet band. Think Dresden Dolls wearing gimp suits in an S&M dungeon (as opposed to an M&S dungeon; which is something else entirely). Interestingly Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls plays drums on this album. Which is nice.

Anyway, the story is that the lyrics, themes and topics dealt with in this album caused a lot of Black Tape regulars to quit the band. Zoe was at home when I was playing this album and even she commented that the lyrics made her feel uneasy. If you listen to the lyrics you’ll see why.  If you don’t you’ll probably think “Oh this is a nice tune”…kind of the way your folks probably did with Abba in the 70’s without realising the twisted sordidness of Benny and Bjorn’s lyrics. (Dancing Queen? Really? You do know what that’s about don’t you?)

No.

This is dark. Dark and happy. Dark and scary. Dark and disturbing. Much in the way that you feel dirty after listening to it and realising that Perfect Pervert is socially unacceptable on so many levels, Marmalade Cat is about Furries and Pleasure in the Pain…well…I’ll link to the video….you make your own mind up…but do try it, it has one of the best lyrics in  a song ever – “I wake humiliated by the reality of what I’ve imagined”

Black Tape are on the Projekt Records label. Take note. I will be mentioning that label again.

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