Queen Kwong, “The Strange Fruit”: A ‘Ten Dimes’ Review

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There’s a handful of powerful female voices popping up across the airwaves over the past couple years.  From the dark, gothic rumblings of Chelsea Wolfe, to the folk songstress Laura Marling, or perhaps the guitar virtuoso Marnie Stern or emerging pop artists Sky Ferriera or Lana Del Rey?  All of them have something to say and are making no bones about getting their message across.  In some ways closer to the Marnie Stern vibe comes Carre Callaway – a young woman whose actually been in and out of the scene since 2009, when discovered in New Orleans by none other than NIN’s Trent Reznor.

She’s the solo artist behind the moniker Queen Kwong and she recently collaborated with Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit, Black Light Burns) on her new single, “The Strangest Fruit.”  This was my first exposure to her as an artist.  I then tackled the smattering of EP’s and singles over on Spotify.  It’s interesting to see her growth as an artist in just three short years.  She’s equal parts Iggy Pop & The Stooges (“Eddie the Kid” single (2011)), post-punk a la Kim Deal (‘Bitter Lips” single (2011)), alterna-grunge a la Hole, or even Black Light Burns-like frenetic guitar work (2012’s “Long Gone” single).

“The Strange Fruit,” is another animal entirely.  Sparse keyboard notes, a shuffling percussion, and cinematic guitars take this track into shoegazer territory yet it holds a pop sensibility.  It’s rather brilliant stuff.  But Levar Burton really said it best.  Check out the video for the track below (sorry, no Wes cameo…)

Those Mockingbirds is your new favorite band in 2014!

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Looking for something to do in and around Boston this weekend? Sick of the music scene and need a band to come along and totally change the face of rawk? Then you’re looking for Montclair, New Jersey’s own Those Mockingbirds! I’m not going to mention the many accolades the band has already received because, quite frankly, the tunes speak for themselves.

Just one listen through “How To Rob A Bank” (Stream it below) or “A Ballad From Hell” (Here it here) should assure you that you’ve made an excellent choice should you choose to venture to one of their three (3!) shows in the area this weekend.

It’s hard to describe Those Mockingbirds to the uninitiated. There’s some Clutch in there (Check out some of the riffing in “…Bank”), some Von Bondies in other spots and enough “Whoa-oh” sing-a-long moments to bring a classic Misfits record to shame. But Those Mockingbirds is none of the above. Something else entirely, they pave their own way and that’s just fine by me.

Their first full length, Penny The Dreadful, should see the light of day this summer. Meanwhile, you can get all your TM needs over on their official Facebook page or better yet catch them live as they hit Pittsfield, Providence, and Cambridge’s Middle East this weekend with New City Ghost, Islands In Motion, Arms & Ears, Nemes, and Friendly People.