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Sound and Vision: Pop’s Greatest Gender Benders – Songs That Sound Better Sung By the Opposite Sex

One of the best releases of 2012 to date is Boys Don’t Cry, an album of covers recorded by Anglo-Pakistani singer-songwriter Rumer (nee Sarah Joyce). As a vocalist, Rumer is soothing and smooth, strictly middle-of-the-road enough to earn her an invitation from U.S. President Barack Obama to perform at the White House in May, the month her album came out — but that’s not to say she doesn’t have a slightly subversive streak.

After all, who chooses to release a collection of remakes for their second full-length studio album. (Rumer’s 2010 debut, Seasons of My Soul, earned her widespread acclaim, two Brit Award nominations, and a platinum certification in the U.K.)

Then there is the theme of Boys Don’t Cry (whose title was not inspired by The Cure song, which is not among the album tracks): Everything on it was written and performed by male artists in the ’70s. Somehow Rumer makes quintessentially guy songs like Ronnie Lane‘s “Just for a Moment” (about an instant of clarity in a drunken haze) and Neil Young‘s “A Man Needs a Maid” (title: self-explanatory) sound strong enough for a man but made for a woman.

Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Pop’s Greatest Gender Benders – Songs That Sound Better Sung By the Opposite Sex’

50 States In 50 Weeks…Week 48: West Virginia

Fun Facts: State Animal; Black Bear, State Songs; “West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home,” “The West Virginia Hills” and “This Is My West Virginia,” State Flower; Rhododendron

Home of: Brad Paisley, Bill Withers, Don Knotts

The Venues:

The Empty Glass in Charleston hosts local talent and up-and-coming touring bands of a variety of musical genres. Not far from Charleston in Nitro, WV is The Brickhouse where folks are doing their best to keep the all ages music scene alive by booking nationally-touring indie acts like Rookie of the Year and Four Letter Lie.

The V Club is a newcomer on the West Virginia music scene, opening its doors in Huntington in 2006. Since then, acts like The Avett Brothers, Tantric, Josh Ritter, the Hackensaw Boys and Junior Brown have graced their stage.

The Music:

Chelsea McBee – Though she’s only been playing her claw-hammer banjo since 2005, Chelsea McBee is fast making her mark in the folk/Americana scene. Her song “Mountain Girl” earned her a Top 10 finish in the OurStage Americana/Alt. Country Channel.  Born and raised in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Chelsea is taking her old-timey sound on the road this summer: She’ll be playing Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and New York City.

Zeroking – Huntington’s Zeroking aims to make music that appeals to both hard rock and metal fans without compromising their own vision. Sounds like a difficult task, right? These guys are up to it, having opened for Staind, Soil, Nonpoint, Three Days Grace & more.

Check out these and other great West Virginia artists in the playlist below! Who are your favorite OurStage West Virginians? Where do you like to see music in West Virginia? Let us know in the comments!

 


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