‘Wrap It Up’- music: dirtie blonde, matt kearney, que billah, jefferee star, etc

Trying to ‘wrap up' a whole bunch of events didn't leave me much room for some of the best new things that I discovered this month. Normally I just listen to NPR, and while they often do stories on new bands (like the Arctic Monkeys, but they kind of panned them), it's more or less in one ear and out the other. Last month I felt like I was attracting new music in a greater amount than usual, and since I am rotten at keeping things to myself what better thing to do than tell you all about it? Besides- I've never written a music review, so it seemed like something fun to do.

When I went over the River East Arts Center for the Red Room Event they had this cute girl singing with her band Dirtie Blonde. Her name's Amy Miriello, and as silly as this sounds I kept thinking ‘looks like Britney, rocks like Janis'. I felt like I was looking at and hearing two sides of the same coin.She has a warm warbly voice, less raspy than Stevie Nicks- but she's been compared to her, too. How funny that it's so hard to describe someone without immediately going -it's like ‘this'. I got a free 3 song cd by the band and I ended up really like the track ‘Walk OverMe', which is a simple but twisted girl meets boy song. The first line is ‘Are you for real? Are you yessing me to death?'. The whole song is sweet, because of the voice, but it rocks with this little cynical trill. My other favorite is ‘Change the Water' which has such a rollicking good-time feel that putting it on makes me smile. Hear them at: http://www.myspace.com/dirtieblonde .

I was following my friend Suki around Milwaukee Avenue one time, like shopping- but she's got way more cash than me- and I picked up this free cd by Matt Kearney at Untitled. I didn't really like it. From the faux artsy hip ep cover to the lame faux folkie music I was not bowled over. It got even worse when he started to rap. I listened to it a couple more times to figure out what was wrong, but while it grew on me in a soothing aural wallpaper kind of way? I still don't like it. Oh well. I also scored this cool MYLO sticker for Destroy Rock and Roll. I'd ever heard of MYLO before so I jumped online to see what I could find out. I found a little sound-bite at http://www.breastfed.tv/flash.htm and I liked it. It was some guy reading a list of 80's rock names over a cheesy synth loop and it was fun. However, since I didn't get to hear the whole thing I can't say whether or not it got more interesting later on. I'm big on dj mix cds, but if I were I'd buy that Paul Oakenfold cd over this one from what I heard on the website.

Next up was Que Billah, who made a surprise appearance at the Depaul ‘Red Karpet Affair' on February 14th. He hit the stage doing Public Enemy's classic ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos', and it came off well. Not too hard, not to imitative- Que had his own flavor and he rocked it. I also liked his ode to modern love ‘Ain't Got No Minutes' which was funny as hell. On the way out one of his boys gave me a copy of Q&A entertainments mix cd ‘Take Me Back 2 Chicago- Special Valentine's Day Edition'. His version of R&B classic ‘Night and Day' has a sweetness to it that may be the reason he's being pushed by the Source as the next big thing out of Chicago. Wait, are you supposed to say that rappers are sweet?

Dawdling pays off, because the longer it took me to write Wrap It Up the more ideas I got for the music column. My next discovery was Jeffree Star, internet superstar and boyfriend kleptomaniac. He had these amazingly hilarious songs up on myspace.com but then today as I was writing this? I looked to check the link and the whole thing had been hacked by this genius named <3 Fabulous who has this kick-ass song by Femme fatality called Dr. K on his profile (www.femmefatality.net). It definitely revved up my output and put a wiggle in my butt. It's got that hard electronic/goth thing that's always a real party starter. What can I say? I'm fickle.

Other new music: The Brakes, Field Music, The Fields -- and my new favorite song and video- ‘Blackened Blue eyes' by the Charlatans. I heard them on the NME site when I was looking for more stuff to write about. Also there's new stuff coming out by the vines, they're re-opening Biggie's murder case, and Roxy Music (‘Love is the Drug'- also covered by the amazing Grace Jones back in the day) might be on the way back. Oh yeah- there was a story on the Arctic Monkeys, too -- . ;-D

Next up: Wrap It up takes on the Chicago art scene. Stay tuned!