Lesbian folk-rockers Bandmates shine on debut release
As often as they gig around town, it’s never been hard to catch indie locals Bandmates onstage. Whether playing as an acoustic duet or an electrified four-piece, the duo fronted by singer-guitarist Kimberly Cody and bassist-backup vocalist Susan Carson have been paying their dues. At countless open mikes, street fairs and music fests.
Given their devotion, it’s great to see Bandmates put themselves out there yet again.
Partners in life and music, Cody and Carson recently released a full-length disc “The Buddha and the Alien.” Simple and straightforward while remaining playfully in left field, the disc is a perfect insight into just where this group’s sentimentalities lie: folky, trippy and a little silly.
With 11 tracks barely cresting the half-hour mark, “The Buddha and The Alien” gives Bandmates just enough room to stretch their wings.
Like the imagery of the disc’s title, the album’s lyrics tend toward psychedelic rock with a decidedly ’60s vibe. Dallas’ queer scene is starving for more hippy chicks.
Cody’s vocals are animated, though occasionally affected. Carson remains the strong anchor both vocally and with her rock-steady bass lines.
Lead guitarist Lee Fortune is particularly impressive, dishing out bluesy solo licks with a seeming ease, while session drummer Scott Miles keeps the beat steady but uncluttered.
Early highlights include the bouncy “Seattleville” as well as the meditative title track. And while most of “Buddha and Alien” remains in a mid-tempo groove, tracks like “Ice in the Fire” and the record closer “Pressure” pack an emotional punch you’ll appreciate.
Bandmates perform Dec. 2 9:30 p.m. at Winedale Tavern, 2110 Greenville Ave. 214-823-5018. MySpace.com/Bandmates
LAST STOP: DALLAS HOMECOMING
It hasn’t been easy for the Dixie Chicks. Three years ago, the group touched off a firestorm in red America for saying they were ashamed of our Texas-reared president. By the way, Natalie, he’s not from Texas: Let Connecticut be ashamed of him. And they continue to face a backlash from many in the country-music-buying public.
If anyone was expecting this trio to quietly fade away, it certainly wasn’t the folks in their hometown of Big D. Dallasites have seen the Chicks claw their way to the top and who know just how tenacious these cowgirls are.
With mainstream country seemingly set to abandon them, the Chicks chose to jump ship. Earlier this year, they released the Rick Rubin-produced crossover hit “Taking the Long Way.”
Showing the sort of defiance that we’ve come to expect, the Chicks took their shots at critics early and often, releasing the in-your-face track “Not Ready to Make Nice” as the album’s first single.
As the story of their 2003 tour hits big screens in the form of the Barbara Kopple documentary “Shut Up and Sing,” the Chicks have again hit the road for a set of dates dubbed the “Accidents & Accusations” tour. With politics hopefully far in the rear-view, this tour promises to be a boot-stomping time. Expect the evening to be anything but dull. The Dallas gig at American Airlines Center is the Chick’s last tour stop.
American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. $49.50-$75. 214-373-8000.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, December 1, 2006.