Wednesday, August 08, 2007

a nice review by Stylus man Mike Powell of White Noise's reissued/remasteredAn Electric Storm, a record that's been tickling my cochlea recently too on account of having to squeeze out some words on it for next month's issue of The Wire

i love that voice. you know the one, that Sixties white girl voice, that's strong and soaring and piercing and pure but doesn't really owe anything to soul or R&B, yet neither is it particularly folky either. The two female singers on the White Noise record, Val Shaw and Annie Bird, have that voice, but neither come anywhere close to Grace Slick (the paragon... truly a goddess), or Dorothy Moskowitz of United States of America (especially the witchy "Garden of Earthly Delights") or even the chick (Michal Shapiro?) in Elephant's Memory who sang "Old Man Willow" (you know, Elephant's Memory, the band/song playing in the Plastic Inevitable-style happening in Midnight Cowboy). Also supreme exponents of that voice are the singers in the Carrie Nations, the fictional girl group in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which on certain nights is my #3 favorite movie of all time, a movie so artificial and misconceived and right in its wrongness it's hallucinatory, and then running right through it there's these great songs, which I find genuinely searing, with singing like a force of nature.

Trish Keenan of Broadcast has dedicated her existence to achieving that voice.

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