Sad13’s Week in Pop
Our longtime friend, hero & inspiration Sadie Dupuis released her debut solo album, and one of the year’s best releases, under the Sad13 moniker with the brilliant Slugger LP via Carpark Records & we could not be more royally chuffed than to present her following big concept Week in Pop guest selections that close out the chaos that was 2016:
I read an essay by S.E. Smith in Bitch this month that suggested dystopian films and literature experience an uptick in popularity during times of rising fascism, economic and environmental uncertainty, the terrors of war—and daaaaamn does 2016 qualify! Smith also noted that apocalyptic flicks have an especially empowering appeal because of their tendency towards diversity—dystopian rebel groups have an M.O. of lifting up the underrepresented.
But 2016 feels like enough of a dystopia as is and I’ve never been fully engrossed by dystopias—there’s always too little water or way too much, IMO. So to cap off this year for Impose, I made a playlist to soundtrack an imaginary heist movie I’m going to produce (in my imagination, duh). TBH, after the results of this year’s election, heists seem pretty timely too. And maybe I’m getting ahead of myself but shouldn’t this movie should star Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams? IDK, just a thought! (Seriously tho, get at me Queens.)
Sad13 at The Vera Project in Seattle; photographed by Sam Leung.
Mannequin Pussy, “Emotional High”
Considering their album’s called Romantic, this song proooobably isn’t about strictly platonic BFFs, but danged if these clanging guitars and Marissa’s euphoric wail don’t remind me of bumming around the mall with my gal pals c. junior high. I can’t think of anything more triumphant than finding a friend in whom you can always confide, and offering that same emotional trust and generosity in return. “Emotional High” really captures that triumph. In this scene, Jessica and Phoebe drink rosé and scheme to rob one or several DAPL-supporting banks, redistributing the funds Robin Hood style to, hmm, Sacred Stone camps?? Planned Parenthood???
Sad13; photographed by Edwina Hay.
Stef Chura, “Slow Motion”
“Slow Motion” has been one of those tunes that merits mandatory inclusion-on-very mix I put together—it’s just a couple minutes long but so full of fun and character that you need to hear it again and again. Stef’s voice is super charming and her melodies make tried-and-true guitar progressions sound fresh. This song would totes play during our anti-heroes’ celebratory, high-speed getaway, after they’ve fleeced the bank and/or patriarchal megacorporation of all it is worth.
Rock & rolling with Sad13; photographed by Edwina Hay.
Eerie Wanda, “Angel Hair”
Is this a love song about pasta? If so, it’s the most romantic one I can imagine. An easy-as-a-dream surf guitar lead utterly drowns the lead vocals, which are like Cate Le Bon at her most Nico. Since both melodies are equally lovely and equally loud, there’s a really pleasant tension throughout “Angel Hair”. Gonna put this one in the post-heist scene, where the heroes have skipped town, found a diner, commandeered its jukebox, and slow dance ’til closing time.
Sad13 & her gang; photographed by Edwina Hay.
JinJoo Lee (a.k.a. #jinjootheguitargirl), “High School” cover of Nicki Minaj ft. Lil Wayne
Alright so this is just the guitarist from DNCE shredding like a maniac all over one of my favorite Nicki Minaj songs and recording it to webcam. I just thought you should see it, because, like, doesn’t she shred?? Revising my original vision: maybe there are three bank robbers and Jinjoo plays one of them, and plays an instrumental role during the heist scene by distracting the guards with her shredding.
Sad13 performing live at Monty Hall; photographed by Taryn Alper.
Told Slant, “Tsunami”
I kind of want to abandon this heist movie conceit temporarily because I can’t imagine “Tsunami” anywhere other than a coming of age story. Maybe this is the tune that plays when we get backstory on our protagonistas. I first saw Told Slant at The Middle East in Boston in 2014, and this song and its singalong chorus of “Isn’t this silly and aren’t you beautiful?” were unforgettable. Two years later, I toured with Felix, this time playing their songs solo. And when we ended our shows at The Middle East, it was cool to be one of the audience members participating. What’s awesome about this song is the most poignant and memorable lines fall outside of the call-and-response; “I don’t know how to talk to you without a can in my hands” really pushes me headfirst into my memories of awkward young me. I’m sure everyone’s heard Going By at this point, but, like, let’s all go listen again, shall we?
Sad13 at The Vera Project; photographed by Sam Leung.
Empath, “Soft Beams of Light”
“Take heart, you no longer have to be part of someone else’s fucked up world.” Thrashing, cooing, totally destroying it, or reveling in a soft moment, Empath is wonderful at channeling emotion through noise. Do you think…that’s why…they’re called Empath? I’m sorry that I temporarily stopped writing 2 Dope Queens heist fanfic but I promise I will get back to it at some point.
Sad13 at Alphaville; photographed by Edwina Hay.
Alter, “Rise” (Live in Studio)
I just think this band rules and Wolf’s voice rules and I would like you to go see them live and so here is a video of them playing live. K. If there is a prom scene anywhere within my heist movie, I am casting Alter as the prom band.
Sad13 on the keys; photographed by Edwina Hay.
The songwriting debut of drummer Jordyn Blakely and bassist Alex Molini in Stove! Steve “Stove” Hartlett—the usual songwriter, guitarist and singer in what was once a vanity project named after his nickname—is one of my favorite friends and collaborators. So it’s cool to see Stove, originally started as a solo project away from Ovlov, turn into a collaborative effort, too. Jordyn and Alex put out a great record earlier this year in their band Jackal Onasis, but it’s lovely to hear Jordyn’s voice over a slower, melancholic progression that’s more in line with Stove’s canon.
Sad13 takes on Monty Hall; photographed by Taryn Alper.
Johanna Warren, “Hungry Ghost”
I’m a little frightened around Geminis. Johanna Warren’s Gemini I frightens me, too—good thing I like getting scared. “Hungry Ghost” is an exemplary showcase for Warren’s singular voice, which never loses clarity or timbre or gorgeous range but somehow manages to present as conversational. It’s also filled with a number of great barbs—”‘Cause if you can think it, I’ve already said it in a meaner way,” she spits. Johanna started her own Spirit House Records label/collective this year, aimed at representing queer, femme & nonbinary voices in the music industry. It’ll be exciting to see what 2017 brings from her as a labelboss/collective-member-boss. Johanna can you please do all of the film scoring for my imaginary heist movie? Thank u.
Sad13 live; photoraphed by Taryn Alper.
Flasher, “Erase Myself”
Okay, so let’s say one of the stars of the heist movie hosts a weekly post-punk dance night. And when they’re not heisting-against-the-patriarchy they like to spin this one Flasher tune. Let’s…let’s say that.
Under the blue lights with Sad13; photographed by Sam Leung.
Vagabon, “The Embers”
I watched Laetitia play this song every night for a month, and it’s beautiful as a solo tune—Laetitia could sing just about anything and make it engrossing. But I love the updated version of this song (f.k.a. Sharks), which she recorded, produced, and provided all of the instrumentation for. Because it rocks! And this video is beyond endearing, with gorgeous cinematography and super-cute dance moves from Dr. Vagabon herself.
Computer Magic, “Gone For The Weekend”
Danz Johnson’s guitar-playing debut for her ever-prolific project Computer Magic, and it’s a doozy. I love how spacious the verse is until suddenly the chorus kicks in—I’m loathe to call things epic but doesn’t this qualify? It’s got grit, it’s got cutes, it’s got a noisy, plate-smashin’ bridge, it’s got a bass outro, it should’ve been on the Go soundtrack (which I obviously mean as a compliment). EXCEPT IT’S ALREADY ON THE SOUNDTRACK FOR *MY* SUPER SICK HEIST MOVIE… alright okay I’m going to bed until 2016. Thanks for tuning in, friends at Impose, see you on the early side of 2017!
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