photo from MySpace
As an early birthday present, the lovely lovelies of Three Imaginary Girls have again asked me, Imaginary ChrisB, to once again offer some recommendations for the week ahead. This time I even have a theme (and one show and one record that fit said theme): crushes on famous people. I’m sure everyone has at least one, but it was my favorite Northwest alt-country chanteuse, Carolyn Mark, who put it best, “don’t come over baby, you’re not invited; love is so much better when it’s unrequited.”
If you find yourself at Neumo’s on Saturday night, you will find yourself in good company as The Teenagers will also be there. The Teenagers, an electo-pop band from France, are making their first tour across North America, and their first American stop is here in Seattle. Their brand new debut album, Reality Check hits stores on Tuesday (you can stream some of it on the band’s MySpace page). It’s a collection of sleazy, but catchy pop tunes with lots of drum machines and synths. Imagine, if you will, the guys from Daft Punk being in their early twenties and spending all of their money on pornography instead of Kraftwerk records and you’ll come close to approaching the music of the Teenagers.
Their newest single is called “Starlett Johansson” and it is, obviously, a love letter to the star of Lost in Translation and Match Point, yet with a chorus that goes, “you don’t believe in monogamy; I’m not jealous, Scarlett, will you marry me?” I’m not sure if Ms. Johansson would be flattered or bothered. Somehow, it is still an infectious and well-constructed pop song. Here’s the video:
And since Scarlett Johansson was in Bob Dylan’s video for “When the Deal Goes Down”, I can seamlessly make the transition to Cat Power, whose new album, Jukebox is almost entirely made up of cover songs (including songs by Dylan, James Brown and Billie Holliday), but the one new composition is “Song to Bobby”. It’s an ode to, yes, Bob Dylan. Like the Teenagers’ Reality Check, Jukebox also is being released on Tuesday, January 22.
Cat Power’s Chan Marshall (who was in Sleepwalkers with Donald Sutherland, who was in JFK with Kevin Bacon) has the most sensual voice in modern music. “Song to Bobby” is a linear narrative with Marshall singing first about becoming aware of Dylan as a teen and fades out with her asking over minimal instrumentation, “Can I finally tell you to be my man?”
Jukebox is not the best Cat Power album ever (I prefer The Greatest and You Are Free, the two most recent predecessors) but Chan Marshall’s harmonies sound as good as they ever have. I think it’s a solid addition in the Cat Power anthology and even a good starting point for prospective fans.
See you out and about!
Three Imaginary Girls and Chris Burlingame
(Three Imaginary Girls is a Seattle-based website that showcases the great music of the Northwest and beyond to music lovers worldwide. We post a Seattle live show calendar to help you fill your day-planner with loads of great shows, as well as record reviews, live show reviews, and an imagi-blog to entertain you throughout the day.)