Mental Jukebox: Week of October 27-31

Monday: Maddie & Tae “Girl In A Country Song”

Stepping outside the box this week for some (not so new) songs beyond my usual genre of choice that have caught my ear of late. First up: A fun tune of female empowerment that takes several “bro-country” stars to task for their ‘stereotypical, one-dimensional’ representation of women in country songs. Maddie Marloe and Taylor “Tae” Dye are 18-year old country singer-songerwriters, Nashville-based by way of Texas and Oklahoma. They were the first artists to be signed to the newly revived Dot Records label. This is their debut – a gutsy first single written by the duo that challenges the country establishment. I’m fascinated by some of the controversy (and YouTube comments) the song and video have generated. Why I never — how DARE these females demand respect? The reaction is rather eye-opening. Good for them.

Tuesday: Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj “Bang Bang”

Expanding my horizons outside my usual preferences this week, with some not-quite-so-new tunes from other genres. It doesn’t escape me that this track provides a striking contrast to yesterday’s song…although I suppose one could call it a different kind of female empowerment? Regardless, I must confess that were I still a radio MD, this collaboration would have hit the turnta….ah, the airwaves straight out of the box. It’s a pretty undeniable hit. In fact it was an instant #1 in Jessie J’s British homeland. One listen and I couldn’t get it out of my head. You’ll want to turn it up loud and dance.

Wednesday: Sister Sin “Chaos Royale”

Sister Sin is a Swedish metal band, fronted by Liv Jagrell (formerly “Sinderella”, lead vocalist for the all-female Swedish metal band Hysterica). The band’s old-school style, which combines hard-hitting rock anthems with Liv’s soaring vocals, occasionally evokes intenser shades of Ann Wilson and Heart. The band formed in 2002 and has released four albums to date. They’ve toured Europe and North America with bands such as Motorhead and Ill Niño. Chaos Royale is the first single from the new album “Black Lotus” which was released this week.

Throwback Thursday: Mocedades “Eres Tú” (1973-74)

Spain’s 1973 entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, and that year’s 2nd place winner, “Eres Tú” became one of the few Spanish language songs to reach Top 10 in the U.S. Although the B-side featured an English version of the song (“Touch The Wind”, which had a completely different set of lyrics rather than a translation), radio stations preferred to play the original version. Mocedades are one of five musical acts from Spain to have scored a Top 10 hit in the U.S., and the only one to have a Top 10 hit sung entirely in Spanish. The song spawned several covers including a guitar instrumental from country singer Sonny James, an English version by Eydie Gorme, and a mixed English/Spanish version by Tex-Mex country singer Johnny Rodriguez.


Friday: Fearless Vampire Killers “Maeby”

How ’bout a little goth for Halloween? If you’re still mourning the breakup of My Chemical Romance, consider taking a listen to British Goth rockers Fearless Vampire Killers. This “theatrical alternative” five-piece band takes its name from a 1967 Roman Polanski comedy/horror film. The music is by turns driving, dramatic, raucous, melodic, catchy pop symphonia. They’re the darlings of Kerrang! Magazine, who hails them with: “Blending goth theatrics with anthemic melodies and curious rock twists. Meet the new band of our dreams.” The new album “Unbreakable Hearts” will be released on November 11th.

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