Music

Sick of Sarah: 2205

Jer Fairall

Here's the band that your Ke$ha and Katy Perry-loving daughters and little sisters should be looking up to.


Sick of Sarah

2205

Label: Adamant
US Release Date: 2010-11-16
UK Release Date: Import
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

It is possible that no other era of popular music has contained as high a number of female musicians in such a wide variety of popular genres as the one we currently inhabit, but in purely mainstream terms at least, this has still failed to translate into as strong a selection of quality music and positive role models as it reasonably should. In a just world, then, the five young women in the Minneapolis-based band Sick of Sarah would be more widely known than they currently are, especially since their brand of spiky, hook-filled punk-pop is the kind that the radio eats right up. Yet Sick of Sarah craft their tunes with an unusual degree of grace and intelligence, delivering 10 songs brimming with melody and drama on their second full-length for Adamant Records, 2205. It helps that the band has a great asset in the rangy, expressive vocals of singer Abisha Uhl, who nails the biting cynicism of hard-driving songs like "Overexposure" and "Kick Back". She's also spot on with the wistful melancholy of slower ones like "Cigarettes" and "Shattered". It is the band's lyrics that really impress, though. They address the very complexities of adolescent female insecurity ("Imagine me at 17 / Depressed and thin, homecoming queen") and outrage ("You’ll never show enough skin / For them to let you in") that their more shallow, image-conscious peers either shamelessly exploit or outright ignore. If Sick of Sarah lack the critical and corporate support to storm the gates of MTV, their tuneful and thoughtful music nevertheless offers a much-needed antidote to the Ke$ha/Katy Perry commercial juggernaut.

7

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

Keep reading... Show less

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

Despite the uninspired packaging in this complete series set, Friday Night Lights remains an outstanding TV show; one of the best in the current golden age of television.

There are few series that have earned such universal acclaim as Friday Night Lights (2006-2011). This show unreservedly deserves the praise -- and the well-earned Emmy. Ostensibly about a high school football team in Dillon, Texas—headed by a brand new coach—the series is more about community than sports. Though there's certainly plenty of football-related storylines, the heart of the show is the Taylor family, their personal relationships, and the relationships of those around them.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Mixing some bland "alternate" and "film" versions of Whitney Houston's six songs included on The Bodyguard with exemplary live cuts, this latest posthumous collection for the singer focuses on pleasing hardcore fans and virtually no one else.

No matter how much it gets talked about, dissected, dismissed, or lionized, it's still damn near impossible to oversell the impact of Whitney Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You".

Keep reading... Show less
4
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image