The purpose of doing these Buzz Artist posts each month is, and has always been, to showcase artists who are exceptional and, at least in my opinion, don’t get the recognition that they deserve. It is a way to shine a light on some artists who people may not be already familiar with in hopes of gaining them some new fans and getting them just that little bit closer to the success that they are clearly worthy of. When it came to selecting the Buzz Artist for the month of May, however, there was one main band that came to mind – Scissor Sisters. This was a bit of a point of contention for me, in many ways, because it is a little difficult to call Scissor Sisters a band who don’t get the recognition they deserve because they are actually quite massive in many places. America is not one of those places, though. Throughout the UK, much of Europe, Asia and Australia, Scissor Sisters are huge stars. They sell shit loads of records and are highly respected by fans and critics alike. That having been said, though, if you mention the Scissor Sisters name stateside, the most frequent response you will get is “Who?!” It’s a little difficult to put into perspective for me because they are one of my absolute favorite artists of all-time and the band behind two of my top 5 favorite albums of all-time and I know of their success in other countries. Still, it has always saddened me that so few people I talk to here in America are familiar with them at all. I have found that the majority of my readership here on the blog comes from America, aka, probably a lot of people who are not at all familiar with Scissor Sisters. It is for that reason that I have selected Scissor Sisters as my Buzz Artist for May!
Scissor Sisters were formed in 2001 by lead singer Jake Shears and multi-instrumentalist Babydaddy, who have always been the main songwriters for the band. They named themselves after a lesbian sex act, found a few other members, vocalist Ana Matronic, lead guitarist Del Marquis and former drummer Paddy Boom, and set out to create a sound that they said was inspired by “the scuzzy gay nightlife scene in New York.” They released their self-titled debut album, my second favorite album of all-time, in 2004, led by an amazing cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” and the brilliant single, “Take Your Mama,” a song about coming out to your mother by taking her out into that “scuzzy gay nightlife scene” mentioned previously. Their follow-up record, “Ta-Dah!” was released in 2006 and featured two guest appearances by Elton John, including his playing the piano on what is widely considered their “fan favorite” and biggest hit single, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’.” In 2010, their third record, “Night Work” was released and saw Scissor Sisters moving in a slightly different direction, as this record was their first that was not mainly self-produced but featured productions by one of my absolute favorite DJs and Dance music producers, Stuart Price. This record took a much more “dance” direction but still maintained that signature Scissor Sisters sound. They have released 14 singles throughout their career and one of the things that is so brilliant about the band are the visuals that they have created to coincide with their music. I have selected a number of my favorite music videos throughout their career to share here, including the video for their newest single, “Only The Horses,” which is the lead single off of their upcoming fourth studio album, “Magic Hour,” which is set for release on 5/28/2012.
Take Your Mama
I Don’t Feel Like Dancing
Land Of A Thousand Words
Fire With Fire
Any Which Way
Only The Horses
In countries where Scissor Sisters are well-known, one of the things that they are most famous for are their live shows. They have toured the US, as well, and I was fortunate enough to see them twice. The first time I saw them live was in 2004, shortly after the release of their debut album, and this remains one of my all-time favorite concert experiences, (out of well over 40 concerts I have been to.) As their single suggests, I actually took my mother with me to see them, although I had come out to her years before, and she fell in love with them and their music, as well, and is probably an even bigger fan of theirs than I am at this point! The energy of their live shows is insurmountable. They always walk the line of good taste in the best possible ways and their stage presence is insane! The energy coming from the band members, particularly Jake and Ana, is the easiest thing in the world to get swept up in and intoxicated by. They are set to embark on another US tour in June and, while they are unfortunately not playing anywhere in my state, if you are able to get to see them I cannot recommend it highly enough. They are absolutely amazing! To give you a little taste of what they do as a live act, I have collected a little selection of live performance videos to share with you all. These videos range from in-studio performances at radio stations, (definitely check out their BBC Live Lounge cover of Kylie Minogue’s “All The Lovers,”) to over-the-top ruckus performances at some of the biggest musical festivals in Europe to even a performance from their arena tour across the UK to promote their second album, “Ta-Dah!” Yes, you are getting a taste of the full spectrum of their performance styles and abilities.
Filthy/Gorgeous (T In The Park 2004)
Return To Oz (Brighton Academy)
Take Me Out (unknown venue)
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (T In The Park 2007)
Land Of A Thousand Words (Trafalgar Square)
Lights (Google Sessions)
Any Which Way (featuring Kylie Minogue) (unknown venue)
Invisible Light (One Night Stand, featuring Ian McKellan)
Skin Tight (unknown venue)
All The Lovers (BBC Live Lounge)
Only The Horses (The Voice UK)
Like I said before, Scissor Sisters are the band between two of my top 5 favorite albums of all-time. Their music has meant a great deal to me over the years and I cannot even begin to describe how highly I recommend checking it out! I put together a little sampler, featuring tracks from each of their albums including 3 tracks from “Magic Hour,” which isn’t out until May 28. Included are some of their biggest singles, like “Take Your Mama,” “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” and “Fire With Fire,” as well as a couple of my very favorite album tracks of theirs, like “Skin Tight” and “Paul McCartney.” I selected songs that I felt, in many ways, would give you the best idea of the range of their music – gorgeous ballads, up-tempo rockers, catchy dance tracks, etc. If you never ever download anything else I recommend here on the blog, I urge you – DOWNLOAD THIS. It will be well worth your while and, I promise, you will get hooked! If you enjoy this little taste, definitely go check out their full-length albums. Every single one is wall-to-wall brilliance!
SCISSOR SISTERS SAMPLER
- Comfortably Numb
- Take Your Mama
- I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’
- Land Of A Thousand Words
- Paul McCartney
- Fire With Fire
- Any Which Way
- Skin Tight
- Shady Love (featuring Azalea Banks)
- Only The Horses
- Let’s Have A Kiki
So, there you have the Beausic Buzz Artist for the month of May! Like I said above, of all the things I have ever recommended, I really hope that you guys check this one out! I don’t even begin to have the words to describe how much this band has meant to me over the years and I just know that they will mean just as much to you! Aside from all of that Scissor Sisters talk, though, I also just wanted to say how excited I am for this week’s Friday Feature, as well. It is the last Friday of May and you know what that means, don’t you?! It’s time for another Spotlight post! Let me just say this – it’s a big one! I can’t wait to share it with you all! In the meantime, though, I wish you all a beautiful week and a beautiful life!