Zoot Woman: Grey Day (2003)
Zoot Woman is a three-piece electronica band from the UK. They released their debut EP in 1995, and in August 2014 they released their fourth full-length CD. During that time they’ve picked up a range of high profile supporters. They’ve been included in monthly “free” CDs from Mojo and Uncut, they’ve had songs on CSI and in cosmetics TV campaigns, and they have a vocal fan in Noel Gallagher (describing them as “Krautrock at its best“. I hear more New Order than Kraftwerk, but maybe that’s just me hearing New Order in everything electronic.
Thalia Zedek: Body Memory (2008)
Most biographies of Thalia Zedek include comparisons with Patti Smith and Nick Cave, and this track goes a long way to justify those references. The Chicago Tribune described Zedek’s voice as having “spellbinding power” and a “raw, barbed-wire twisting intensity matched by few rock singers.” With a viola dominant in her current band, the Cave parallels continue, as it can sound like she’s hired The Dirty Three for back-up.
ZZ Top: Tush, live from Crossroads Guitar Festival (2004)
Before ZZ Top and MTV crossed paths to create some of the most memorable music videos of the 1980s, ZZ Top had been building a reputation as technical masters of blues-inspired rock. Their willingness to show their sense of humour was already evident in these early days, and 1975’s “Tush” gave the band their first top 20 hit. ZZ Top’s line-up of Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard has been unchanged since they signed to London Records in 1970. “Tush” has been their most frequently played song through their career of almost 45 years.
Warren Zevon: Carmelita (2003)
A quick glance at the backing musicians on the 2002 compilation “Genius” says a lot for how highly Warren Zevon was regarded by his peers. Names such as Phil Everly, Lindsay Buckingham, Bobby Keyes, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, J D Souther, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Jackson Browne, Linda Rondstadt, Graham Nash, Roy Bittan, Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell, the members of REM and one Neil Young all appear in the credits, while others like Bob Dylan paid tribute through live performances of Zevon’s songs. Lyrically, Warren Zevon worked with a shade of black humour that others would never consider approaching, causing no shortage of headache for his record label – despite a track describing werewolves mutilating little old ladies in London becoming a global success. I’d love to dig deeper into the Zevon catalogue, but I have no idea what could be lurking there.