Grimes Wins Webby Awards


The 17th Annual Webby Awards have been announced and Grimes found herself on the winning the side. The 25 year old musician was one of many, including Lady Gaga and Frank Ocean, to win a Webby this year. The win shouldn’t be surprising to fans who have fought to see Grimes recognized for her talent rather than her gender. For women in the music industry it can be an uphill battle but the battle is even tougher when you’re young. Grimes is originally from Canada but has toured all over the world, specially in keyboard and synthesizer mixes for her songs.

Her songs “Oblivion” and “Genesis” caught the attention of fans but her social media presence has caught the attention of many media outlets. While most artists turn over their social media accounts to their PR team, Grimes has been content to run her own. In February she announced she was “quitting” the internet only to revive her Tumblr later on.

After the completion of her world tour she took to her tumblr to voice concerns that many female artists face. Music is a business and being a woman in the music business can mean compromising many values in order to get ahead. This type of standard does not sit well with me since music is a passion of mine and violating someone’s passion because you stereotype them as being a submissive female is never acceptable. Grimes seemed equally unsettled by the lack of inequality and stereotypes she faced during her recent tour.

While many in the media have been quick to jump in and bend her words to say she is “quitting” or “giving up music”, it seems like she is taking time to just process the experiences of her tour. Maybe this will mean a break but not necessarily the end of her music career. If we’re lucky there will be a lot of really great music produced from her experiences. I believe the naiveté of her previous albums is really amazing and I look forward to her growth as an artist.

You can read Grimes’ thoughts on her experiences as a woman in the music world here.

What do you think about the problems facing female musicians? Do you feel stereotyped based on gender?

Paramore Returns Post-Break Up

Paramore Trio

Bands, like all relationships, go through cycles and Paramore is no different. I have never been a big fan of the rock band but their lead singer has always wowed me with her vocals. If you aren’t too familiar with Paramore then you were somewhat out of the loop during the emo/screamo/indie rock boom of the early 2000s. This group stood out from the crowd because Hayley Williams wasn’t some meek female lead singer. Her stage antics matched and even surpassed the guys in her genre. Some even were shocked that a sixteen year old would have the guts to play music with the guys.

Paramore’s sound has definitely developed over the years and I believe Hayley has grown to embrace her role as a performer, defying stereotyped ideas of female singers. The new album is especially significant since it marks the band’s return without founding members Josh and Zac Farro. The departure of band mates can be tough as the remaining band members are forced to reevaluate the band. Should it go on, end, or be reborn as something completely different?

It seems like this new incarnation of Paramore has chosen to stay true to its roots while striking off in more daring directions. This is not surprising though considering the band has been known for taking risks in the past. Josh Farro had been one of the main sources for Paramore’s material so the song writing has been shaken up in a good way. The new album includes an amazing 17 tracks of new material that references everything from the band’s split to old songs that fans will recognize. Hayley Williams continues to take the lead with her complex vocals that can uplift and enrage depending on her mood at the time. Personally, I love the range she has and it is refreshing to hear rock songs that do give equal weight to the vocals and instruments.

The band is on tour for the summer so it will be interesting to see how fans react to the new material. Already sold out crowds have been wowed by Paramore’s new set. Glad to see a band from my adolescence is still alive and kicking and stronger after a split.

Beyonce Rules the World

Beyonce Super Bowl Performance

This year’s Super Bowl was owned by the Queen B, Beyonce. Fans of this super woman already know that Beyonce is the star of her own show on and off the stage, so it came as no surprise to me when she took the stage and brought the house down. Her stunning Super Bowl performance was followed up by a Grammy win at the 55th Annual Grammy awards for her hit song Love on Top. Mrs. Carter is not letting motherhood, marriage, or expectations stop her from running the world, literally.

Like many, I first fell in love with Beyonce during her years in Destiny’s Child. With the help of  Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland, Destiny’s Child reigned supreme in the 90′s. Their songs Survivor, Say My Name, and Bootylicious became my childhood summer jams. So when the trip reunited at this year’s Super Bowl half-time show, it was hard to contain my glee. I can only assume the combined glee of millions of Beyonce and Destiny’s Child fans are what ultimately cause the infamous Super Bowl power outage.

Mrs. Carter Show World Tour

Regardless of her incarnation, I think I will forever be a fan of Beyonce. She keeps reinvigorating the world of pop and R&B music, challenging haters to keep on hating and fans to keep on singing to the beat of her song. But Beyonce isn’t the only one changing the music world.

Beyonce’s band, “The Sugar Mamas”, lit up the Super Bowl stage literally when leading guitarist and musical director BiBi McGill’s guitar exploded in pyrotechnics. The Sugar Mama’s are no one hit wonder though. This all female band has kept up pace with Queen B all the way.

So when will fans of Beyonce get a chance to see more of this wonder woman? She has already taken home more Grammy gold this year, rocked the Super Bowl, and prepared for the upcoming Mrs. Carter Show World tour. With all these events going on it is hard to know when Beyonce will have time to slow down.

Female Fronted Dynamic Duos


Did you hear? A new Noisettes album is out NOW! This is great news and an even better reason to celebrate. Female fronted bands make me swoon but dynamic duos take the cake. No one rocks the stage the way the Noisettes, An Horse, and Robots in Disguise can.

When asked about the Noisettes Shingai added,”We’re two divas with different record collections who constantly introduce each other to new sounds, whether it’s African music, jazz, our own modern hybrid of soul music or new adventures in dance music, there always remains the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll without the clichés. For us, making music means keeping our ears open.”

Who are the Noisettes?

The Noisettes make music that you can dance to, sing to, work to, and live to. I actually cleaned my kitchen today while listening to songs off their new album Contact. Bassist Shingai and guitarist Dan make a dynamic duo, playing off each other with ease on and off the stage.

Who are An Horse?An Horse Brisbane band

Switching gears, I lucked into an An Horse show a couple years back when a friend from out of town visited and needed to stay busy. The show seemed interesting enough, a cute lady guitarist and drummer boy seemed like an interesting change of pace. This Brisbane couple brought a world of sound and have been on fire since their introduction to America.

I was lucky enough to see them as the main act but they’ve also had the pleasure of opening for big names like Tegan and Sara and indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie. The 2009 album Rearrange Beds is a favorite of mine.

Who are Robots in Disguise?RiD Sue Denim and Dee Plume

Last but not least, Britain’s Robots in Disguise or RiD. These two rock queens, Sue Denim and Dee Plume, have kept me on my toes since the early 2000s. Their riotous lyrics and sometimes taboo songs (sometimes featuring robots) are not for the faint of heart but I adore them. What makes this group so unique is their lack of reliance on traditional instruments, instead choosing to go with electric vibes.

If their faces look familiar it is probably because the pair appeared several times on the hit British television show, The Mighty Boosh. Despite crossing over into television, Robots in Disguise have based themselves firmly in the world of rock and roll.

I can’t help but love these power couples in the rock music world and will keep looking out for more duos that take the cake.




Little Dragon Warms Up the Winter With Sounds of Soul


I was introduced to Little Dragon last winter and was instantly warmed by the soulful vocals of lead singer Yukimi Nagano. Could this music be classified as indie soul? Or perhaps electro-r&b? For those who don’t know about Ms. Nagano, she’s a Swedish born singer who helped form the band Little Dragon in 1996. Her sweet vocals landed her collaborations with top artists like the Gorillaz, SBTRKT, Swedish nu jazz duo Koop, and Raphael Saadiq.

But how did the name Little Dragon come about?

The band name was inspired by the temper tantrums Nagano would throw in the studio during the band’s early years. Her passion for the music created memorable moments while recording but that hasn’t stopped her or her bandmates from creating memorable songs.

Since their debut in 1996, the Swedish band Little Dragon has released three studio albums entitled Little Dragon (2007), Machine Dreams (2009), and Ritual Union (2011). Their continuous use of electronic sounds mixed with live instruments keeps their music fresh and different from the crowd.

Fans of Little Dragon come from all walks of life and their music bridges the gap between the new school and school sound.

“But you need to listen to it if only because rarely do young bands step forward so quickly with something this majestic and memorable and modern. Little Dragon’s evolution will be fun to listen to. Maybe even more than Prince’s next three albums.” - ESQUIRE

I’ve already added the “Feather” Fromwood remix and “Ritual Union” to my winter playlists. Both of these songs warm the soul while allowing my mind to chill out. These are the sounds that are perfect for a cold winter night.

“…Richly textured and highly vibe-y electronic music that could soundtrack both the dance party (“Night Light,” “Little Man”) and the chill-out room (“Crystalfilm,” “When I Go Out”). -

The introduction of Little Dragon into the US has been a breath of fresh air for the music scene that has become cluttered with solo acts churning out one pop hit after another. The sounds of Little Dragon are solid and authentic; Nagano’s vocals are rich because they are not because of effects. I’m hoping they will be able to tour once the weather warms up. 2013 is looking to be another exciting year of music.

“Little Dragon makes pop music for folks who think they hate pop music” - NPR

Thanks NPR for this little gem of a statement.