On Music: Off the Beaten Path | Rock Candy

On Music: Off the Beaten Path


Mark Hooper, a local music aficianado, scans myspace and other websites regularly and finds some bands you might not have heard of, and that you need to hear of. We'll offer Mark's musings and opinions here regularly on Little Rocking. Here's one for the weekend; check out these acts:

Off the Beaten Path gets in touch with its feminine side and introduces readers to a techno band with a hip female lead and to an "all-bird" band from Great Britain. How cheeky is that, eh? Let's party!

I am continuing my adventure through the nooks and crannies of MySpace, discovering musical oddities and wannabees. Today's recommended band comes from that hotbed of the whole grunge movement, Seattle, Wash. But, Lushy is not grunge at all, except perhaps in memory from past band experiences around the Seattle area.
Not as soothing as much of the electronica/trance music that is populating many of the massage rooms in spas across America, Lushy exhibits more of a pulse ... a bouncy, catchy pulse, too. Their brand of electronica is a reinvention of that hip style of mod '60s music that one would experience while watching a Peter Sellers film, circa 1966 -- or a Guy Ritchie British thriller, circa 2006.
Lushy hits you like the B-52's with a wide eyed, energized vibe. They are the continuation of the mission set forth by The Combustible Edisons. They are Luscious Jackson's vocal stylings laid over Martin Denny grooves. They are a hip, swinging, martini swilling quartet, highlighted by the flat-tone vocal stylings of Annabella Kirby (ala Nico or Astrud Gilberto) -- the provided finished product is a seductive lounge sound that has toes tapping and bar tenders shaking into overdrive, as listeners are seduced by the sweet sounds of Lushy!
Released in June 2003 (Dionysus Records), their debut CD is a 14-track smorgasbord of mod lounge odes. "Hidden Harbor" is perhaps too predictably an ode to Martin Denny, but this and the other tracks on this recording are designed to create a mood, not forge new and innovative in-roads into composition and arrangement.  Lushy creates a mood that is mod, relaxed, fun and nostalgic.  I look forward to hearing Lushy's sophomore project, and hopefully soon!

An all girl band from Britain? This isn't the Spice Girls? SOD OFF!
A quartet of British birds that rock it up -- deluxe! At first, pics of these rocking chicks conjured up memories of the Go-Go's - punky and poppy. But, there doesn't appear to be any goofy sensibilities about this sorority -- no one being overly domineering, no one being overly cute ... these chicks are here to rock -- punky and poppy, in the right way.
Jenni Drag sings the lead vocals with strong self assurance, while the other ladies provide harmonies that shine, staying  in tune, unlike the flat harmonies of the Go-Go's. More garage than their California predecessors, the Priscillas are also noticeably more accomplished as musicians -- as Guri Go-Go shreds away on hot lead guitar in front of a thick sound of Kate Kannibal's bass lines and Hege Hotpants' punk rhythm riffs on her kit. These cool birds keep their brand of short pop songs tightly grooving from start to finish!
LuLu meets Nanci Sinatra and Suzi Quatro at a Lena Lovich concert ... and the rest is history! Now if they would just release a full play CD ... the world is ready for it.  Rock on, you swingin' birds!!!
- Mark Hooper (give me a shout - nylhoop@yahoo.com)

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