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PERPETUAL CHANGE — Year End Music Review

| Dec 20, 2010
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In our TGForum companion Transvocalizers column, I presented a brief review of a Christmas project released 5 years ago, Carols Across America that featured Donna Sachet on one track. I also offered some year end music shopping suggestions for all you procrastinators out there.

Well, for some of us (myself included), procrastination is an art form. If you’re reading this and you still have gifts to buy, here are some more music suggestions, this time taken from the artists and CDs I’ve featured in Perpetual Change.

Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes

January started off with a review of Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes House Of Joy CD. Produced by Robert Urban, Mapes presents a mix of bluegrass, folk, gospel, and southern rock that showcases his songwriting and vocal talents, as well as his commitment to the community.

Two of the songs on the project, We Are Angels and Freedom were included on the National Equality March CD released last year.

Mapes also covered the 1967 Bobbie Gentry song Ode To Billy Joe. Mapes version favored acoustic guitar and turned out to be somewhat darker than the original.

All in all, Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes House Of Joy was an excellent way to start the year.

Sara Davis Buechner

Classical pianist Sara Davis Buechner was featured in a two-part interview, February and March, and two of her albums, Rudolf Friml Piano Works (2003) and Joaquin Turina, Mujeras Espanolas (Women of Spain) (1990) were reviewed in September.

I chose two recordings by Ms. Buechner out of simple curiosity on my part. As a working musician and reviewer, I like a lot of classical music, but know little about the genré. However, I do know true musicianship and talent when I hear it. Buechner’s playing is superb and is a great listening experience.

As a member of the trans community, Buechner has achieved international acclaim in a genré that can be very conservative and set in its ways. For anyone who love great playing and great music, Sara Davis Buechner has an extensive catalog of CDs.

The Shondes

The Shondes are a band from New York City that has carved out a unique niche in the contemporary/alternative music scene. Sometimes described as feminist Jewish punk, their music can be hard to classify at times. It has definite elements of Hebrew klezmer mixed with punk, jazz, progressive rock, and even classical sounds. This all makes for an interesting listening experience and there’s absolutely no way to be bored with The Shondes.

They were first featured in this column in May 2007. Their first release was 2008’s The Red Sea. Perpetual Change featured a review in May of their newest album, My Dear One, with a follow-up interview in June featuring band member Elijah Oberman. The band has also recently released Lines and Hooks + 3, an EP of out takes and leftover tracks from the My Dear One sessions.

The Shondes are one of the most unique and musically interesting bands I’ve come across. Check them out at their website.

While these are the artists I’ve featured in reviews over the last year, there are also projects by Beth Isbell and Lipstick Conspiracy that also make excellent gifts of music.

Memphis Blues

Cyndi Lauper’s newest, Memphis Blues made a major dent this year, and although there’s no real trans connection here, she is a GLBT icon of sorts, and this is an excellent album by any standard.

Another very interest act that has come to my attention is the British band Deluka, with front woman Ellie Innocenti, who looks like a Chrissie Hynde clone — only younger. They are an electronic indie band who make what could be called danceable rock music. They released a self-titled EP in 2009, followed by You Are The Night full album in 2010, and a remix disc of their Cascade song. I mention them here because I simply forgot to include them in the Transvocalizers column. For those looking for more danceable fare, check out Deluka.

Well, I hope these suggestions will help in any last minute shopping frenzy you might have to suicidally participate in. Good luck — and don’t forget to give the gift of music.

As always at this time of year, Merry Christmas to all TGForum readers and please have a safe and happy new year.

Author’s Note: To the best of our ability, we’ve made sure that all artist contact information is accurate. Most of the artists mentioned here can be contacted through MySpace, Facebook, and twitter., cdbaby, iTunes, and other online music sources will have many of the CDs listed.

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Category: Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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