Sound Check: March 2009

News and reviews of queer women in music.

Earlier this year, there were reports that L Word actress Daniela Sea had joined up with legendary post-punk guitarist/singer Blake Schwarzenbach for his new project, The Thorns of Life. The trio are supposed to be hitting the studio, recording music that will likely become a a full-length album to be released sometime this year. They are working with producer J. Robbins, who has worked with Ponytail, The Dismemberment Plan and Schwarzenbach’s former band, Jets to Brazil.

The Thorns of Life

However, it still isn’t clear whether Daniela will be the bassist playing on the album. The band is keeping tight-lipped about details, but some critics are speculating that J. Robbins will end up playing the bass himself.

Daniela has a very musical past, including as part of her girlfriend’s band, Bitch and the Exciting Conclusion, and as part of The Gr’ups and Cypher in the Snow. If she ends up on the full-length with Schwarzenbach and drummer Aaron Cometbus, it would be her most high-profile musical exploit to date.

Daniela Sea

Also in the studio right now are The Shondes, The Gossip, Panda and Angel, and Tegan and Sara, who are working on preproduction in Vancouver with producer Chris Walla (Walla produced 2007’s The Con).


Dance Yourself to Death

Photo by Karen Baer

If the demise of The Organ has left you looking for a new dance band full of gay women, you’ll love Dance Yourself to Death. The Canadian band’s debut LP, Ready for Love is contemporary new-wave music that’s easily adapted to dance floors.

Together since 2005, Dance Yourself to Death is finally making a name for itself with this album. Featuring JD Samson’s remix of the track “Sea of Love” as well as ’80s-infused pop like “We Are All Made of Stone,” the album is solid and reminiscent of the GoGos.

Vocalist Jen Markowitz has a distinctive sound that is more akin to modern-day dance singers like Kim Ann Foxman of Hercules and Love Affair, and growling rock women like Joan Jett. It’s a happy medium that makes Dance Yourself to Death a pleasing combination of rock and dance.