By day Karma Bennett works for one of the fastest-growing indie publishers in the country. By night she can be found singing and dancing with wild abandon, or DJing for more than 39,000 followers on her radio stream (http://www.blip.fm/daretoeatapeach ) at Blip.fm. She has been working on a novel since 2006, but pursuing her writing career since the age of six. She would be ever so appreciative if you'd comment on her blog at http://www.futureisfiction.com.
5 things Karma Bennett heard March 12, 2011
5 Old Acts Still Worth Geeking Out Over
After spending months drafting a bunch of Best of 2010 lists, I've been reading a great deal of hype lately about this or that new band you supposedly simply must hear right now. Occasionally though we all come across someone great that isn't even remotely new. Like that kid I knew who would listen to nothing but Bob Dylan and Django Reinhart or my mother's late but no less fervent obsession with the hard rock band Tool. No one wanted to hear about their new found obsessions because they lacked the hype. They lacked the aura of cool that comes with being in on the next-big-thing. There is always the danger of someone saying, "Seriously, you didn't know about that already?" So often we keep our late discoveries to ourselves. In the name of rejecting hype, here's 5 nowhere-near-new legendary musicians I've only just obsessed over in the past five years.
Country isn't exactly my genre, like most kids of the 80s my knowledge of country ends and begins with Johnny Cash. For most of my life, Patsy Cline was just that girl who sings, "Crazy." Then my friend @Callie_hoo (http://twitter.com/callie_hoo) sang "Walkin' After Midnight" at Karaoke. I had to find out more about the singer behind this intriguing song. It turns out Patsy Cline's legendary status is on par with Elvis and John Lennon. She was arguably both the first country singer and the first woman to land a pop crossover hit. She was truly the first respected woman in country music and thus opened a lot of doors for female musicians.
Patsy is a crooner, and the heavy use of steel guitar in many of her songs makes them sound as Hawaiian as they do country. If you're looking for sad songs to drink through lonely nights, Patsy will be there to hold your hand.
While Wanda Jackson is also known as a country singer, she's more importantly the Queen of Rockabilly. Her voice can best be described as fierce. Her style, spunky. There's been a bit of a resurgence of appreciation for Mrs. Jackson lately, culminating in her releasing an album with Jack White. She recently covered Amy Winehouse and Bob Dylan, but I still like best her early work when she was touring with Elvis Presley. Check out "Fujiyama Mama," "Mean Mean Man," "Let's Have a Party," and of course her best known song "Funnel of Love."
My friend told me this great story about Howlin' Wolf, how he didn't trust those thievin' white men, so when a bunch of them called him up and asked him to record an album he was worried they were going to steal his material. He agreed reluctantly, and frequently felt the need to explain to them that he was not to be trifled with. The artists he was recording with tried to impress upon him that they were huge fans indebted to him for their own fame. They being famous for being Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts.
If you're curious about the Blues Howlin' Wolf is a great place to dive in.
Back before the queers were in love with Barbra Streisand, every drag queen wanted to dress up like Dusty Springfield. A closet lesbian for many years, she was an iconic woman with a big blond beehive and thick make-up, living up to the spirit of drag. Her voice is capable but rarely boastful, pretty but also smoky.
Of course, I knew Dusty Springfield songs, everybody does. But most people don't realize just how many Dusty Springfield songs they know. "Son of A Preacher Man," "How Can I Be Sure," "Spooky," "I only Wanna Be With You," "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten," "Just a Little Lovin'," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," and "Wishin' and Hopin'," are among the most recognizable of Dusty's 70 singles. At her induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Elton John called her "the greatest white singer who has ever lived."
The 13th Floor Elevators were (arguably) the first psychedelic band. They would probably be more famous today if lead singer Roky Erickson hadn't been put in a mental institution for three years for possession of a joint. The band had a wacky habit of performing all their live shows on LSD. Fun trivia, but really it comes down to the music. Erickson has a fantastic voice that, like the music, goes on fantastic journeys. It can be both upbeat and meandering. To top it all off, their music has a unique wavering sound produced by Tommy Hall's strange way of playing the electric jug. Hall wrote the many of the lyrics, which explored in detail his psychedelic philosophy.