Saturday, 9 April 2016

Colour Me Wednesday - Anyone and Everyone

Colour Me Wednesday have always perfectly towed the line between personal and political, and their new EP Anyone and Everyone sees the band embracing their personal side.

As always, the band show their talent for creating infectious melodies that lead to repeated listenings, each one progressively louder. This especially applies to Two-Fifty For You Girls.

In Your Shoes is like nothing they've yet done before. It's a slower and dreamy track, with the keyboards adding to the songs reflective atmosphere and perfectly complimenting Jen's soaring vocals, while also showing that the band aren't afraid to experiment. Musically, it feels like a naturally progression from the title track of their album, I Thought It Was Morning.

Don't Tell Anyone is my personal favourite track, I love the harmonies and backing vocals. Lyrically, it's not the most positive song, but it's sung and played in such a way that I can't help but feel happy when I listen to it.

This EP is the perfect soundtrack for saying goodbye (and fuck you) to winter, and optimistically throwing away your Vitamin D supplements. It sounds like daisy-fueled daydreams and bright colours. With each release, Colour Me Wednesday seem more confident in their sound, and I can't wait to see where they go with their next full-length release.

If you're still on-the-fence about buying this EP, then let the fact that each CD comes in a unique, handmade cover from the band themselves push you over that fence (it's also available on a pretty white vinyl, and/or cassette). Have a look for yourself here.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Bad News for Kesha's Court Case

Kesha's ongoing legal battle received a huge blow yesterday, when a New York Supreme Court Justice dismissed all but one of Kesha's counterclaims against Dr Luke (Lukasz Gottswald). The counter-claims were made in another attempt to free Kesha from her contract with Sony, and stated that both Sony and Gottswald have violated the New York State Human Rights Law by exposing her to sexual harassment and "gender-motivated violence", which can be qualified as a hate crime.

The Judge, Shirley Kornreich, disagreed, writing that "every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime" in her decision, a hugely offensive statement that I'll get back to later.

The truth is, Kesha's claims have been dismissed purely based on technicalities; one of the main reasons that that any abuses that happened were "outside New York and beyond the legal limit." Kornreich also declared that Gottswald's emotional abuse didn't reach a high enough level of "emotional distress".

It's a pretty well-known fact that victims of rape and sexual abuse are often slow to come forward, and it's largely due to their stories being dismissed or used against them so often, something we're seeing being played out in the public eye with Kesha right now.

To further prove the point of this case being dismissed purely on technicalities, Kornreich also acknowledged the reasons Kesha kept quiet for so long, but admitted these were irrelevant under the law.

Back to Kornreich's statement of "every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime", a statement that shows just how dismissive the law is when it comes to rape. The suggestion here is that there are degrees of rape, and that for for them to be taken seriously, they must adhere to strict legalities. Kesha's claims of being assaulted on a airplane and raped in a hotel room in 2008 do meet the legal standard of "physical violence", but were dismissed due to the five-year statute of limitations.

Kesha's lawyer has called this a "first-if-its-kind case" which, in some ways, is very true. But, as I've said in my previous posts about this case, there are so many ways that this case isn't unique. We've seen these themes play out so many times in sexual assault cases. Crimes of this nature are taking place every day and, as Kesha said herself on Facebook "unfortunately I don't think my case is giving people who have been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that's a problem."

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Colour Me Wednesday + Baby Brave - PUKE - Retro Bar, Manchester

Tonight was my first time at Manchester's Retro Bar, and it's a great gig venue; the bands play in the basement, which provides a close, intimate setting. I'm looking forward to, hopefully, seeing more bands there in the future.

The night was kicked off by Primeministers of the United Kingdom of England (or PUKE), which is actually members of Manchester band Claw the Thin Ice playing Presidents of the United States of America. I enjoyed this version of the band, and can honestly say that, of the two cover bands I've seen in my life, they were the best!
Next up were Baby Brave who, you may remember, I fell in love with back in February when they played at The Eagle Inn. Having arrived at the venue without any time to do a soundcheck, their first couple of songs basically filled this role - at first, I thought they sounded great but, once the bass became more audible, I realised that now they sounded great.

Oyonaxx is still my favourite song of theirs, but I'm also now developing obsessions with Jitters and Rock Paper Scissors. They also played a new song which, unfortunately, I can't remember the name of now. I can tell you that it also belongs on my list of favourite Baby Brave songs.
I've been a fan of Colour Me Wednesday for a few years now, but this was my first time actually getting to see them play. They didn't disappoint, and played a good mix of material from their new EP Anyone and Everyone, their split EP with Spoonboy, and their album.

Towards the end of their set, Jennifer and Harriet commented that they were both losing their voices ("talking too much shit in the van!"), but it didn't show.

After ending their set with Purge Your Inner Tory, they came back on for an encore of Sweaters, which just happens to be my favourite song of theirs, so was pretty much a perfect end to the night!