The original (by TV On The Radio) is one of my favourite songs and I wasn’t entirely convinced it would be suited to Anna Calvi’s dark, gothic, dissonant weirdness, but it works amazingly well. The song is ostensibly about a dood transforming into a werewolf, but clearly it’s about sexual awakening and raw, animalistic fucking (“My heart’s aflame / My body’s strained / But God I like it”, “Feeding on fever / Down on all fours / Show you what all the howl is for”) and Calvi’s knack for stripping songs down to their bare bones, the primal howl of her guitar, the way she purrs, hisses and coos her way through the song (if it wasn’t about sex before, in her hands it most certainly is)…it just feels right, even it’s all a million miles from the walls of feedback and punk rock fervour of the original.
Further listening, yo: TV On The Radio, Bat For Lashes, PJ Harvey, St Vincent, Torres, Laura Marling, Hooverphonic, Agnes Obel, EMA
Spotify Playlist: http://open.spotify.com/user/greatwhitebob/playlist/5gqa25QD8uiLeFcfsVRRUV
Released in September of 2013, “Ha Ha Ha” was the first single to be taken from The Julie Ruin’s Run Fast album. The Julie Ruin are the full-band realisation of feminist icon/riot grrrl/punk rock goddess Kathleen Hanna’s 1998 solo project, Julie Ruin. Trading in that record’s heart-on-sleeve urgency and bedroom-born, cut-and-paste pastiche for more straight-forward songcraft, The Julie Ruin find themselves at the peak of their powers on “Ha Ha Ha”. Even a six year struggle with Lymes disease has done little to dampen the sheer blunt force of Hanna’s vocal; her snarling, Valley Girl-inflected vitriol is as instantly recognisable and wildly caustic as it ever was.
Also well worth checking out is the Kathleen Hanna documentary, The Punk Singer, chronicling her time in Bikini Kill and Le Tigre as well as the health issues that kept her from touring or recording for the six years prior to the formation of The Julie Ruin.
Further listening, yo: Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Bush Tetras, Sleater-Kinney, Dum Dum Girls, Waxahatchee
Elton John – Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Taken from 1972’s classic, Honky Chateau, “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” is an immaculate pop ballad recorded at a time when Elton could do no wrong.
Gary Clark Jr – Bright Lights
On “Bright Lights” – coloured by shades of Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues” – Gary Clark Jr bridges the gap between Dan Auerbach and Albert King, and does so with a guitar tone that frankly gives me the horn.
Lissie – Pursuit Of Happiness
Lissie’s cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit Of Happiness” taken from the excellent Covered Up With Flowers EP.