I didn’t “discover” Amy Winehouse until I read a review of “Frank” (in a newspaper, of all places), and I didn’t blog about Florence + the Machine until hearing “Dog Days…” a few months in advance of the Summer 2009 official release. Still, I was able to be the first to tell friends and readers about those incredible talents, and most paid no attention until mainstream crossover success put their music in constant radio rotation (then they asked me what the stories were….) Let’s not let that happen with Lana Del Rey!
25 year old Elizabeth Grant’s stage name is a mash-up of 40’s film siren Lana Turner and the 80’s-era Ford Del Rey cooked up by a management team assembled by her millionaire New Yorker dad (I’m guessing they liked the Brazilian car’s name more than the model itself.)
In early 2010, her first EP “Kill Kill” was briefly available on iTunes before it was inexplicably pulled. What followed was likely some fine-tuning, grooming, 21st Century music marketing and the resulting critical acclaim. Still, her appeal is plainly evident in that first effort, video below, and in a gushing review from her hometown lake Placid Newspaper HERE.
I’d imagine it was via that EP producer’s connections that she ended up in Berlin in September 2010 for an MTV Unplugged session with Mando Diao (I yakked about them in 2005). The band’s other guests at that session included Ray Davies and Juliette Lewis, and Lana did their little heard B-side, “Chet Baker.”
Over the year that followed, she recorded a two song EP, “Video Games/Blue Jeans” which hit the top ten on iTunes Albums Chart within hours of its release this past October. A performance on Later… with Jools Holland, followed by some strategic song placement on TV (CW’s Ringer and Gossip Girl, as well as a British reality show and soap opera) has established “Video Games” as the song you will be finding (and turning up) on radio stations all over the dial (“Best New Track” by Pitchfork Media.)
“Blue Jeans,” IMHO, is even better:
“Born To Die,” the title track of her new LP due January 23, 2012, was released on video last week:
My favorite track however is “Kinda Outta Luck,” the over-the-top film references notwithstanding. Now you know everything I do.
Swedish trio Roshambo was not the easiest band to Google, as they share their name with a number of lame cover bands in the US and abroad (quick; someone TM that name!!) Like The Hives before them, these kids pay homage to American garage rock, in all its spartan glory. How new are they? Well, I got to be the 208th “Like” on their Facebook page (which is in Swedish); the childhood friends from Karlskoga started the band in 2009. You can listen to all three of their tracks there, but they’re streamable and downloadable (for now) at Bandcamp. The EP “Stress Me” came out in September. No official videos yet, but here’s a live performance video of my favorite track “Cigarette Lemonade” (I got to be the first comment there!).