Friday, June 08, 2007

Miss Derringer

Miss Derringer, citing a "[heavy influence]" from outlaw country and girl group pop, sings about "honkytonk subjects like prison, poverty, sobriety, God, death, marriage, murder, and alcohol" (source).
MISS DERRINGER has trouble describing their sound. "Goth Country" is the newest moniker being thrown around. However, Miss Derringer are heavily influenced by many various American musical styles such as early rock-n-roll, outlaw country, early-60s girl groups, punk rock, new wave 80s pop and blues. The band's lyrics tell alcohol-drenched stories about murder, prison, dive bars, and God. [from their myspace]
Singer Elizabeth McGrath, an LA-based artist, is described by the LA Times as "more of a performer than she is a singer," comparing her to Amanda Palmer, saying that, "her woozy, weary rasp is perfectly imperfect for Miss Derringer's cabaret- and country-tinged ditties" (source).

It's fun stuff, along the goth/country lines. I've only been able to hear the tracks they have up on their myspace (anybody got more?), and all the songs are easy to catch on to, with a good, driving beat. It's an outlaw country feel that has definitely been filtered through an alt/goth lens. It's partially encapsulated in the band name, "Miss Derringer," the idea of baby-dolling up morbid subjects. I'm not always a fan of the type of art that the trend would seem to call to mind (and I'm sorry to say that I can't appreciate all of Ms McGrath's pieces, though some are very excellent, especially those with the ), but thankfully the music doesn't at all tend towards that artsy-mall-goth direction, instead lyrically suggesting a more mature approach, more outlaw than taboo for the sake of, more raw than glossy. (As an aside, I don't think anybody has managed to capture the delightful gothic sensibility that Edward Gorey embodied, and despite the influence claimed by artists, they can't quite separate from the cutesy elements that are defining the style nowadays. It's just not my cup of tea, I'm afraid.)

I had read about Miss Derringer on Wikipedia (I was doing that thing where you look up something for no reason and keep clicking on linked subjects and see where you end up. I must have been reading about Social D, whose drummer co-produced Miss Derringer's latest album.) and gave them a listen, so now I'm recommending them to anyone who wants to hear what might happen in Blanche got drunk while listening to Mike Ness solo albums and lost their ironlace-like sound in favor of a poutier, twangier rendering.
* Sweet! As the wise Ken says, it's our lucky day. Check out his comment for a link to Miss Derringer's Lullabies.


Anonymous said...

Well it’s your lucky day, young lady!. . . Miss Derringer is really a pretty good band when you’re in the mood for some honky-tonk flavored old-school punkabilly hard country (which I am quite regularly), they remind me a lot of an 80’s cow-punk group called trigger and the thrill kings( . . here's Miss D's album "lullabies". . . enjoy!. . .

Anonymous said...

this is some cool stuff - F#ck Amy Winehouse -- this is the Dead meets Dylan meets Social D. Great!


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