michelle shocked, my other favorite artist

amy, a commenter on one of my kristen hall posts, asked me about some of my other musical favorites.

i blab on so much about kristen hall, and kiki and herb, that you might think that’s all i like. but you’d be wrong.

although i don’t listen to music nearly as much as i did when i was younger, and although most of the music i do listen to when i listen to it was made before 1990, and although i very infrequently attend live music concerts, and although when i do attend them the artists giving the concert most likely got their start long before said year 1990, i do have some current musical opinions.

even though the subjects of my current musical opinions aren’t themselves very current.

back in the day, when being emo meant you were merely just another black-clad youth, i listened to my cure, and my smiths, and my siouxsie, and my pil, and my depeche mode, and my sisters of mercy.

and i listened to my skinny puppy, and my ministry, and my severed heads, and my moev, and my nine inch nails, and my legendary pink dots.

and i listened to my r.e.m., and my fetchin bones, and my love tractor, and my dbs, and my connells, and my royal crescent mob, and my mojo nixon.

and i listened to my alphaville, and my the the, and my new order, and my cabaret voltaire.

and i listened to my nirvana, and my mudhoney, and my sonic youth, and my dinosaur jr., and my jane’s addiction.

and i listened to my kristen hall, and my michelle malone, and my ani difranco, and my utah phillips, and my michelle shocked.

and of all those, the one i still listen to, and listen to the most, and go see whenever she plays in new york city, is michelle shocked.

she, and her music, is a little bit of everything and constantly surprising and enjoyable. she’s a bit of a troubadour and a story-telling raconteur (like utah phillips), and a bit of a brilliant acoustic musician (like ani difranco), and a bit of an incredible lyricist (like kristen hall), and a bit of a political animal (like michael stipe).

except that it’s all in one package. and she’s creative (each of her albums is completely different), uncompromising (she gave her label the stiff middle finger better than nearly anyone else ever has), and entertaining (self-effacing, spontaneous, and explosive).

not familiar with michelle shocked? if you like acoustic, start with texas campfire tapes; if you like folk, start with arkansas traveler; if you like protest rock, start with short sharp shocked.

but you’ll end up listening to all of them anyway, so start wherever you damn well please, or with whatever is accessible or handy.