The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Blood Red Shoes, Deap Vally- what do all these bands have in common?
This was a fairly easy question: they all consist (or sadly consisted, as for the White Stripes) of only two members, one of them playing the drums, one of them the guitar. There is no bass. This constellation usually creates a ragged, coarse sound which is no less true of Deap Vally. Some call their music primitive, some even cacophonic, as the guitar riffs are usually distorted, the vocals often snarled. However, it is original and worth discovering.
There is a flamboyant, cocky way about them that one is only used to from Jack White or, from ye olden days, Led Zeppelin and the like, bringing to mind 70s Blues Rock. Their songs sound like A LOT of testosterone was involved in the production process- however, Deap Vally are an all-female band.
Originally from San Fernando Valley in California, these two lovely lasses met at a crocheting class. Needlework is not the first thing that comes to mind when you look at them or listen to their music. Their songs make it very clear that Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards are not to be messed with. What makes them so interesting as a band is that with blues rock, they have chosen a musical genre traditionally ruled by guys, and pretty chauvinist types, too (see Robert Plant). Jack White broke with that tradition, but as for female musicians, there are hardly any female songwriters in this genre. There was Janis Joplin in the 60s, but her lyrics were mainly based on the free love ideal of the hippie generation (and she wrote few of them herself). Deap Vally have a more self-indulgent approach to life, as you can see from some lyrics from their brilliant new album, Sistrionics:
1. They will not take any crap from guys – ok, you get that in Beyoncé songs a lot, too, but certainly not in such grand words:
“I thought we agreed /you wouldn’t have the need/ To spread your seed/ But it’s a fact/ You broke your contract/ You’re gonna pay tenfold/ You’re gonna be alone when you grow old…”(Lies).
“Doin’ things that are bad for my body/ doin’ things that are bad for my health/ doin’ things that are bad for my future/ ’cause I can’t help myself” expresses their determination to live life to the fullest and not caring about the consequences (Bad for my Body).
“Gonna make my own money/ gonna buy my own land” is a pretty obvious feminist statement that does not need explaining, does it? (Gonna Make My Own Money).
When: November 17,
How Much: 18.30
By Britta B
Photo provided by jaswooduk (Creative Commons)