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Five musicians you need to know

I recently started writing  for Below is the first article, “Five musicians you need to know”.

You’ve  filled your phone with the latest Melissa Etheridgek.d. langIndigo GirlsBrandi Carlile, and Tegan and Sara. So that’s it? You think you’re all set in case there’s a spontaneous queer music party on the next block? Not even close. While those more mainstream artists certainly have their place in the lesbian music collective, the multitude of new artists is growing by the day and the level of talent isn’t lacking. Don’t get overwhelmed. I’m here to get you started with a look at five artists that are sure to expand your listening horizons. Whether you’ve got a broken heart or you want to dance around, there is something for everyone on this list. Your ears will thank you.

Meshell Ndegeocello
Meshell Ndegeocello has always pushed the envelope with her music. From blurring the lines of musical genres by incorporating rock, jazz, R&B, funk and hip-hop into her sound to writing songs about provocative topics like race, sex, politics, religion and feminism, Ndegeocello, over the course of the last 20 years has consistently put out some of the most authentic and honest songs possible.

She has a new album called, “Comet, Come To Me” coming out in June. Here is one of the new tracks, “Conviction.”

Mal Blum
With quirky, self deprecating lyrics along with perfect melodies, it’s easy to connect with Mal Blum’s music. Her 2013 release “Tempest In A Teacup” manages to show vulnerability and be funny at the same time. It’s this characteristic that has given this album earworm status for me. It also helps that she is friggin’ adorable.

One of my favorites off the album is “Valentine’s Day (Let’s Stop Cheating On Each Other),” which highlights Blum’s sense of humor.

Allison Weiss
Allison Weiss’ “Say What You Mean” is full of songs that say the things you wish you could say, but you just can’t find the words. Weiss does this without an overabundance of analogies and platitudes. The songs lament about broken hearts, but over a catchy beat with completely relatable scenarios.

The skill with which Allison Weiss is able to articulate the angst over a broken relationship without sounding depressed is quite a feat and even if you’re not in the midst of a breakup, the album says something and remains fresh. This album has been in a constant rotation for me since it came out last spring, even though I was not suffering from a broken heart. Weiss is, however, saying some of the things I wish I had during my last breakup.

Check out this acoustic version of her song “Making It Up” from her latest album “Say What You Mean”.

Hannah Thomas
Georgia girl Hannah Thomas can’t be pigeonholed. Part rock and part country, she brings an energy to her music that cannot be contained. She’s been touring and writing relentlessly since she was 16, kicking ass and taking names along the way. I think that her talent truly shines when she performs live, so if you get a chance to see her perform, take advantage of it.

One of the highlights from her last release, “Goodbye On Wasted Time” is “Watch Out For the Deer,” a fan favorite that makes hanging out in a parking lot sound like a hell of a lot of fun.

Sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady, form the core of this group whose music has been described as “freak folk” and “New American Weird.” Their sound, at first listen can sound a bit baffling, but the more you listen, the more haunting and lush it sounds.

What I love about CocoRosie is that they pay no mind to what they think others might want to hear and are doing this for themselves and seemingly, loving every minute of it. I had the chance to see them in New York knowing very little about them. My first thought was that it was a cacophonous spectacle. Then I really listened to them and paid attention to the layers of their sound and saw it for it’s beauty.

Check out “After the Afterlife” from their latest release, Tales of a GrassWidow.

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Sia– Chandelier
The xx– Shelter
Delilah– Breathe
Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden– Hangover
CocoRosie– Lemonade
School of Seven Bells– Secret Days
Jessie Ware– Still Love Me


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Where are the old shows?

I have had people email me asking what happened to all the old shows. They are slowly getting added back to the Archives section on the main menu. In July, Rubyfruit Radio suffered a catastrophic website problem and  the database that WordPress needs to make things work was lost. Things are having to be put back manually and that takes some time.

In the meantime, I am adding new content and little by little the older shows will be back. 🙂



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New episode featuring some great new music.

Lake Street Dive– Bad Self Portraits
Tune-Yards– Water Fountain
Elizabeth & The Catapult– Please Yourself
Daughter– Human
This Is The Kit– Earthquake
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down– Holy Roller
Meg Myers– Desire

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Friday 5: Sagit Shir of Hank and Cupcakes

Friday 5: Sagit Shir of Hank and Cupcakes

This was originally posted May 4, 2012

I first heard Hank and Cupcakes 2 years ago while looking for some cover songs for a show. I stumbled upon their version of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” and I was mesmerized. I still think it’s one of the most brilliant covers I’ve ever heard. To me what sets Hank and Cupcakes apart is their live show. H&C features Sagit aka Cupcakes on drums and vocals with her husband Ariel (aka Hank) playing bass and looping everything else. What you get is two people creating an enormous sound. Words fail me on how fantastic their live shows are (check out a video below).

Their new album “Naked” will be dropping in June and I can’t wait. The new songs I have heard have all had a fantastic energy to them and in a word are amazing. Be sure to check out the new album and do not miss them when they go on tour.

I had the chance to ask Sagit Shir aka Cupcakes, a few questions.

Where did the name Hank and Cupcakes come from?

The name H&C is a consequence of the fact that we are both big Charles Bukowski fans. If you’ve read a Bukowski book, you know who Hank is. Cupcakes is actually one of Bukowski’s real life lovers. The idea for the name came up while we were watching a documentary about him called ‘Born Into This’ which we highly recommended

How do you approach your songwriting and where does your inspiration come from?

Songwriting for me is a daily routine, something that needs a lot of discipline and consistency. I try to start every morning with song writing – While my mind is still relatively uncluttered- The best songs come to me when I’m not being judgmental at the moment of writing and I just let the ideas flow out without putting any pressure on myself to deliver. When I manage to be in that open place, inspiration can come from absolutely anything.

You are a classically trained pianist. What prompted you to pick up the drumsticks?

My mother used to play rhythm games with me when I was very young so I might have had an early taste! But I truly fell in love with drums at a beach in Tel Aviv which I discovered when I was 18. It was a kind of hippie beach and every Friday they would have a huge african drums jam, playing into the sunset. I stumbled upon one of these jams and was immediately hooked. I came back to the beach every night that summer and learned to play with people who were always hanging out there jamming.

Recently in the comments for Liquid Mercury on YouTube, there were a bunch of people on there saying that you were copying Lady Gaga. How do you deal with critiques and criticism like that?

Truthfully, it makes us smile and even a little happy because it means that our music is expanding and reaching new people beyond our circle of fans and that is always a good thing. We encouraged our fans to respond to the comments but it was all in good humor. We’re very confident in our music and don’t feel threatened by this kind of criticism. On the contrary, if ‘Liquid Mercury’ reminds people of Madonna or Lady Gaga we take it as a compliment.

What can we look forward to in 2012 from H&C?

We’re hustling & bustling at the moment getting our new album -’Naked’ – ready for print and will be releasing it in June followed by a U.S and later European tour. We’re already hard at work on our next music video for the song ‘See Through’ and have started writing new material for our next album!


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