Music of the Week
By Lauren Harris
It's tough to know whether we should be thanking Larry Tee for unleashing electroclash upon the world, or annoyed with him for coining the hackneyed phrase. In any event, the electronica OG is back with his most star-studded affair yet, Club Badd, which seems an apt title for any album featuring Perez Hilton. With a track-listing that reads like the Penthouse letters section, Tee is back with more of the same lascivious fun he's built his twenty-year career on. Amanda Lepore and Princess Superstar are part of the line-up, as is the disturbingly young video store Amanita, who won't be able to listen to this record for at least fifteen years.
Former Polyphonic Spree member and Sufjan Stevens' right-hand woman cemented her status as indie rock dream girl with her 2007 Marry Me, and thousands of skinny-jean-wearing gents said yes. After an agonizing two-year wait, the Texan shredder is releasing Actor, which she produced with the help of Modest Mouse knob-twiddler John Congleton. Citing Prince as her sonic inspiration for this album, St Vincent (born Annie Clark) took an unorthodox approach to the songwriting process, viewing her favorite films, and then beginning each of the eleven tracks as a prospective score for the film (including everything from Sleeping Beauty to Badlands).
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Already into his middle-period Dylan phase at the ripe old age of 29, Conor Oberst set off down south a few years back and hasn't yet returned. After firmly holding the reins for the bulk of his career (first with Bright Eyes, and on the last Mystic Band album) Oberst has loosened his grip to allow band members to perform the songs they wrote. 'The outfit is back stateside, and has made it as far north as Texas where they recorded the album following the fall leg of their 2008 tour. A bawdier, less melancholy affair, Oberst seems to have sloughed off his teen angst in favor of more assured vocals and happier topics.