Some People Have Real Problems

Finding Sia was like finding that little sliver of sunshine in a sky full of gray.

I initially bought the album out of pure curiosity–the fact that the album art looks like the kind of art you’d find on a Chicks on Speed CD definitely drove my decision. When I opened the CD and put in in my CD player, I was shocked.

First of all, she’s nothing like what you’d expect from Chicks on Speed. Where they break all kinds of musical rules causing people to cry out “that’snot music!” when confronted with a song by CoS, Sia embraces the sound of music.

Sia Furler, an Australian born singer-songwriter, has gorgeous, jazzy vocals, lyrical vision and just the right amount of quirk. Just take her 2008 release Some People Have Real Problems.

This is the kind of CD that makes you remember why we have full albums in the first place. If you decide to download a few of Sia’s tracks and be happy with that–you’re missing something. A lot of somethings. SPHRB is like a series of sonic portraits–each track on the album paints a picture of a character facing different problems–abuse, unrequited love, and heartbreak (among others).

Sia uses her voice perfectly to paint these portraits-in some places her voice flies up and reaches skyward, in some places falling, and in some places straight toward you, the listener. It’s easy to get lost in her voice.

In “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine”, the character is a woman sick of her coke-addicted partner and finally finds the voice to say “I’m leaving”.

“Yeah I’ve been your crutch, your smell, sight and touch/
Yeah I took you home when you’ve drunk too much/
But I can’t survive with you by my side/
See, I’ll never get laid, while I’m running your life.”

In “Academia”, Sia proves her songwriting abilities by making a a song that anyone could make (a song about love not returned) and owning it by the cunning use of academic references.

“You’re a difficult equation with a knack for heart evasion/
Will you listen to my proof or will you add another page on/
It appears to me the graph has come and stolen all the laughs/
It appears to me the pen has over analysed again/
And if I am a number I’m infinity plus one/
And if you are five words you are afraid to be the one/
And if you are a number you’re infinity plus one
And if I am four words then I am needing all your love”

 In songs like “I Go to Sleep” and “Death by Chocolate” Sia’s voice is exactly what you’d expect of a jazz singer: Sensuous, soulful and powerful.

SPHRP is definitely an album for those rainy days we all experience-where things in our lives become overwhelming and we just need a reminder that things are going to be ok. Sia’s got a voice that will soothe our shattered nerves any day.

Sia’s MUSIC

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Sunday Random 10!

Random 10:

1. Elegie-Patti Smith
2. Shick Shaving-Chicks on Speed
3. Burn Your Life Down-Tegan & Sara
4. Viz-Le Tigre
5. Empty Walls-Serj Tankian
6. Decide-Heavens to Betsy
7. Down by the Water-PJ Harvey
8. Made in Japan-The Great Kat
9. The List-Metrick
10. Bucky Done Gone-M.I.A.

Video:

There can never be enough love for M.I.A., so here is a “Bird Flu”!

Random 10 & Bitch arrives at BYU

I found this lovely image at BYU (Brigham Young University in Provo, UT…a college made up of many, many Mormon students).

bITch @ BYU

Needless to say, it made me happy…

And now, onto the random 10.

1. Carmen-Paula Cole
2. Bitch-Meredith Brooks
3. Ode to the Prostitute- The Bastard Fairies
4. Sleeping With Ghosts-Placebo
5. Nag-Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
6. Like O, Like H-Tegan and Sara
7. Contents Hot-Redhot Secret
8. Interlude-Mosadi Music
9. Solomon-Me’Sell Ndegeocello
10. Atonement-Opeth

This week’s video:

Random 10

1. Not the One – The Donnas
2. Something Wrong – The Hissyfits
3. Remnants of Percy Bass – Rasputina
4. Siren Song – Northern State
5. Universal Pussy – Chicks on Speed
6. Home Grown – Otep
7. Cooped – Rasputina
8. Don’t Drink Poison – Le Tigre
9. Tonight’s Alright – The Donnas
10. One Thing – Luscious Jackson

And for the YouTube video…


Don’t Wait Up For Me-The Donnas

Sunday Randomness

Random 10 Songs:

1. Someone New: The Catholic Girls
2. My Little Town: Meredith Brooks
3. Anthem: Arch Enemy
4. Please Don’t Tease: The Donnas
5. Love Life: Chicks on Speed
6. In the Background: Girl in a Coma
7. Lightening is my Girl: Melissa Auf der Maur
8. Precious Things: Tori Amos
9. Sexy Hypnotist: Luscious Jackson
10. Not Big: Lily Allen

This list brings me to the video of the week… I was going to pick the video from the list, but the randomly picked Lily Allen made me think of another video by an artist as vocal and outspoken as Allen who has *just* come out with a new album, Made of Bricks. Like Allen, she’s British, but that’s where the similarities end. Dear readers, let me introduce to you (if you haven’t already heard about her, that is) KATE NASH.