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August 19 2004

Music Review of PJ Harvey's new album. Music review obviously written by a hardcore Buffy/Angel fan.

I just thought this was interesting, along with the blog entry linked to the other day, in the lumping together of Buffy with female rock musicians with the message of empowerment. And as a fan of bands like Le Tigre and Sleater-Kinney, the tying together of my interests like this makes my heart tingle.

Maybe the reviewer needs to flip to Alias, where a smart, capable female who can handle herself is the centerpiece every week.

I've always had much better luck finding female singer/songwriters that I can relate to, as opposed to males. Alanis, Fiona Apple, Jewel, Shirley Manson, Sheryl Crow -- there's a lot of great women out there on the music scene.
I totally agree MindPieces. There are quite a few guy bands that are really great, like Matchbox Twenty, but I relate better to the women who aren't afraid to stand up and speak their mind and to hell with anyone else. Some good songs/singers performed on Buffy, and I especially thought Michelle Branch's "Goodbye" on Tabula Rasa was very poignant and fitting for the situation(Tara leaving Willow and Giles leaving Buffy). I almost cried, of course than I cheered when Buffy and Spike made out;)
I had a crash course in PJ Harvey when I went to three U2 concerts in one week and she opened all three. Pretty good stuff. Favorite songs were "Man-size", "Down By The Water" and "This is Love". I also found an awesome live duet of "Satisfaction" she did with Bjork on the web. She's worth checking out if you haven't already.
I love PJ Harvey! I've been a fan of her since 1994. I haven't heard her last couple of albums because I haven't been keeping up with new music. My favorite PJ Harvey album is To Bring You My Love and Four Track Demos is good too.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the article, but...

randygiles: Le Tigre=greatness and Carrie Brownstein said she would consider running for president with my dog in 2012. *cough*just saying*cough*
Yay, randygiles! Yay, PJ Harvey!

Since this is almost the relevant topic, I'll now be ornery. While I agree with Illyria that the use of the Michelle Branch song in "Tabula Rasa" was an example of the best kind of song use in BtVS, because it sort of obliquely commented on the events, two other notable ones have always just irritated me: the way the Sarah McLachlan song comes in full bore in "Becoming Part II", without any pause for breath *almost* ruins the mood there for me. Don't dislike the song, just its use there. And then, oops, it's another McLachan song at the end of "Grave", again too loud and jarring. The song is beautiful; just not right there, right then. I know most or all of you will disagree with me here - my personal taste is for little or no music (or at least, music with lyrics) following moments of great emotion. In those two scenes, I felt that the songs were *almost* dictating the emotion we were meant to be feeling. I'd rather just feel it naturally, thanks all the same. Much of the music in BtVS and AtS plays a wonderfully subtle complementary role; those two scenes deserve to be treated more gently. Just IMO, natch.
Well I obviously have VERY different tastes from most of you guys (Michelle Branch, Matchbox 20? :0 ). But I tend to gravitate to a lot of all female or female lead bands also.

Rasputina,(a remix of one of there songs is on the Buffy soundtrack CD, {the original version is better}), My Ruin, Jack off Jill, Hungry Lucy.

Mmm Mmm Good...
I only know Harvey's 'Down by the water' (was that the title?) so I can't really comment. She always seems interesting though.

And yeah the last 7 years or so have seen almost exclusively female solo artists. With Spice Girls/Britneys on one end and he Fiona/Alanis/Jewel types on the other. It's almost like male solo artists just weren't 'in'. Well there's Justin but...that'd be a Britney to me. Sowwy. John Mayer is the first male solo artist of the type I mean that I've seen in a long while. Strange how that goes. And I heard that Alanis' new album isn't doing so hot.

As for the Machlaclan songs in Buffy, I can see it being interruptive, but I never really felt it that strongly. Although I do agree the one in Becoming comes too quickly. Needed some silence there first.
I loved 'Dry' when it first came out, it was a revelation for me and Sheela-Na-Gig is one of my favourite songs. Saw her in concert back in '94, she has enormous stage presence.

There's only two performers I've seen who just look incredible on stage her and Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth.
I also loved 'Dry' and saw her live back in those days. Then I kinda lost interest for some time, but re-discovered her with the new record. And - hey! Whedonesquers know and like Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth etc., how cool is that?
I love Sleater-Kinney! They live in my city and I've seen them in concert 3 times. They have great energy on stage.
And now Carrie Brownstein lives in Berkeley (like me and formerly SoddingNancyTribe) where she is a grad student in journali?5{out hunting her down and buying her a beer. She deserves it.

Warm fuzzies for nerddom crossing over into the music tastes as well. Next thing you know, we may even like the same books and movies!

Whedonesque rules, but you knew that.
Pitchfork Media, Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney? I did a double take to make sure this wasn’t an e-mail from my brother-in-law! I only have to ask “what does___ sound like?” and he gives me a pile of new CDs. I have also been a fan of PJ Harvey since “Dry”. I love her voice and while have only seen her perform on TV, I think she has an astonishing dramatic charisma and seems quite fearless. Plus she sang a duet with Nick Cave on his “Murder Ballads” album which caused me much delight.

“my personal taste is for little or no music (or at least, music with lyrics) following moments of great emotion. In those two scenes, I felt that the songs were *almost* dictating the emotion we were meant to be feeling. I'd rather just feel it naturally, thanks all the same.”—SoddingNancyTribe

I’m agreeing with you and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Love PJ Harvey. Can't stand most of the other whiney Lilith Fair crap (Sarah Maclaclan, Jewel, Alanis, etc..) They just seem so smug and godamn earth-mothery to me. Give me a f*cked-up mess of a woman like Courtney Love over those lovebead-wearing flowerwomyn anyday.

But even Polly Jean Harvey (and the obnoxious Ms Love) must bow down before the greatness of Patti Smith. She's in her 50's and still wails, stomps, sings, preaches to the choir better than anyone half her age. She is PEERLESS. (See her 70's albums 'Horses', 'Easter', 'Radio Ethiopia').

One of my new musical heroines is Brody Dalle of The Distillers. She used to be married to Tim Armstrong of Rancid, but she divorced him (because he turned out to be a nasty control freak), shacked up with another guy (Josh Homme from Queens of the Stoneage), changed her hair, changed her last name and put out the best album of her band's career to date (last years 'Coral Fang'). And she's still only 25.

It's a shame so many fierce women in music get virtually ignored in favor of their (comparitively mediocre) male counterparts. The punk scene of the 70's and the grunge/indie scene of the late 80's/early 90's are shameful testaments to this ongoing phenomenon. Seems like a "girl" would only get recognition by the mainstream music press if she were in a band with three guys (think about it.. Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Kim Deal of the Pixies? Compare their worship (in the male-dominated Lester Bangs-wannabe NME hack set) to the treatment doled out to grrls-on-their-own like Courtney Love, L7, Babes In Toyland, The Breeders, The Slits, The Raincoats. They're either vilified, snobbishly dismissed or simply not written about at all.

The "riot grrl" movement of the early 90's has been largely forgotten about by the music press (and thereby the general public), while the male-dominated "grunge" movement (that went hand-in-hand with riot grrl) is subject to endless slavish documentaries, MTV retrospectives, movies, books.. you name it. It's sad.

Ahem. Anyway. PJ Harvey rocks quite a lot. My favorite record of hers is either 'To Bring You My Love' or 'Rid Of Me'.

Sleater-Kinney? Also pretty damn cool.

But no-one comes close to Patti Smith.
I also don't know anything by P.J. Harvey aside from 'Down By The Water', and I can thank the excellent soundtrack to The Basketball Diaries for that one. I forgot to mention Courtney Love, I also really like her music, even if she does get a lot more press for her personal insanity these days. As for solo male singer/songwriters, the only one I really love is Ryan Adams, who I've been hooked on since the instant I heard 'New York, New York'.

I disagree with the usage of the Sarah McLachlan songs on Buffy -- I thought they were both perfectly placed. I'm not a big fan of hers, but those two songs are beautiful and definitely fit with the episodes. The only song on Buffy that ever annoyed me was that one from 'Doppelgangland'...about the chair in the girl's head or whatever. Stupidest lyrics I've ever heard, and I always cringe during that moment in the episode.
I dig Ryan Adams's work also, MindPieces, although he has a tendency to sound a little too much like other artists ("Answering Bell" could be Van Morrison, "Tina Toledo" *is* the Stones, isn't it?). But the boy is damn prolific and he has a fine sense of melody.

Bad Kitty: love the rant! Music journos have always been largely male and largely w*nkers . . . (can I say that on here?)

In a completely different idiom from PJ Harvey and some of the others mentioned (oh, I *love* the Breeders too, and I gotta namecheck Kristin Hersh/Throwing Muses), my favorite male singer-songwriters of today are Greg Brown - beautiful laid-back funny folk songs, - and Billy Bragg, who, while in his mellow 40s now, can still knock out a rabble-rouser or tender ballad in equal measure.
The only song on Buffy that ever annoyed me was that one from 'Doppelgangland'...about the chair in the girl's head or whatever. Stupidest lyrics I've ever heard, and I always cringe during that moment in the episode.

K's Choice, Virgin State of Mind. For some reason I've always been strangely attracted to the song, although I don't think it particularly fits in with the scene.

Hmm, I haven't heard of a majority of the people mentioned above, I feel so unenlightened heh. Evanescence has been in my CD player for the last two years and only been changed when one scratched and I needed a new one, so I'm not exactly musically knowledgeable. I think that's the right phrasing, I'm lacking an afternoon caffeine boost.
The only song on Buffy that ever annoyed me was that one from 'Doppelgangland'...about the chair in the girl's head or whatever. Stupidest lyrics I've ever heard, and I always cringe during that moment in the episode.

MindPieces, I completely agree with you on that. I hate that song. It's ridiculous.
Huh, and yet I like the "Doppelgangland" song. Sorta comes out of nowhere, the singer has a nice low voice, and it fitted in with the general otherwordly air of the episode. Go figure.
My absolute favourite song in the series is 'I only have eyes for you...' by the Flamingos. They performed the song live at one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shows two or three years ago, gave me the chills.
I remember seeing Kim Deal with the Pixies and Kristen Hersh with Throwing Muses a looong time ago in a very small club. In the male singer/songwriter category I used to listen to Robyn Hitchcock a lot and learned to appreciate Tom Waits. I also like Rufus Wainwright. I think.
It’s odd how very specific musical tastes can be.
Ah yes bloodflowers, I like Rufus Wainwright too. And I forgot to mention how much I love Aimee Mann. I was thrilled to pieces when she appeared on Buffy.
Eh, I prefer Aimee Mann.
Bad Kitty: You are my new favorite person.
I'm so delighted to see Buffy fans who love Sleater-Kinney. Buffy is to tv as S-K is to rock. If they'd ever played them on the Buffy or Angel soundtrack, I could die happy.

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