Tuesday, July 19, 2011

L.A. Vampires - Goes Ital: Street Wise (Not Not Fun 2011)

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"Brown's diva persona on So Unreal-- consolidated across a few very Cindy Sherman-esque videos-- was that of the hollow glamour queen. Her Streetwise persona is that of the cool, older girl on your block who is tough enough to be a bully, but who uses her powers to steer the younger ladies in the right direction, telling them which boys are scrubs, how to apply lip liner, and above all, how to be fierce and real. On a Summer afternoon, you'd be likely to find her sitting on a stoop playing TLC, Salt-N-Peppa, and Ace of Base cassettes on a boom box. For this record, Brown teamed up with Daniel Martin McCormick of Ital, Mi Ami, and Sex Worker, and his hand can be felt in the tight, '90s house stylings.

"Tons of Love," with its blaring bass and Brown's cooing vocal, is arguably the most dance floor-ready track on the EP. "A Woman is a Woman" takes us into a sultry, psychedelic hip-hop groove that is both seductive and ominous. The song's refrain-- "A woman is a woman/ And she should show it to the world"-- demands that disco feminists everywhere let their true selves be known. It's the sort of call for "realness"-- ever ill-defined-- that we associate with period pop queens like The Spice Girls. The record closes out with the tranced-out, Ibizan sprawl of "The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth." Brown's final album with her psych-rock band Pocahaunted was called Make it Real. Whereas her previous releases under the LA Vampires moniker have embraced artifice, Streetwise shows us how to perform authenticity." - Altered Zones

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