Michelle Shocked went out of her way the other night at Yoshi's in San Francisco to destroy what was left of her career with remarks against homosexuality that sounded more like the sentiments of Freddie Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church than that of an alternative folk singer who many in the audience assumed was gay.
Well, don't assume anything, folks. Gigs have been canceled, aside from perhaps a new career playing for…the Westboro Baptist Church. Of course, Shocked would be best served in therapy where she could work out where this self-destructive behavior took root.
In the meantime, rushing to delete Michele Shocked songs from your playlists is likely on your agenda, lest her "Anchorage" song suddenly pop up during a party and ruin it with heavy discussions about the meaning of life and who's Michelle Shocked. ("Anchorage" is the only song I know of hers.)
Let's find five artists to replace Michelle Shocked on your playlists.
5) Trixie Whitley -- "Breathe You In My Dreams": Talent runs though the Whitley bloodline. The daughter of the late Texas bluesman Chris Whitley, a restless musician who rebelled against easy definition, Trixie is proving just as artistically ambitious. Her time as the lead singer for Daniel Lanois' supergroup Black Dub provided her with the experience and the confidence to find her own voice and now she's laying her soul bare night after night.
4) Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside -- "Rockability": Should people turn their ears to Portland, Oregon the way they've turned their eyeballs towards Portlandia, they will discover this acclaimed quartet (Seth Avett of the Avett Bros is a fan) of 1950s-styled rockers led by Sallie Ford, who's been compared to Billie Holiday and Tom Waits, but don't let that stop you from enjoying her for who she is.
3) Sandi Thom -- "In The Pines": This Scottish singer has already outraged the British Isles with questions of authenticity after her grassroots web following showed alleged signs of PR tampering. But the reviews have been convincing and whether it's her take on Leadbelly's "In the Pines" (done by Nirvana as "Where Did You Sleep Last Night") or her folky take on "November Rain" (yes, that "November Rain"), or her duet with Buffy Sainte-Marie for "Big Ones Get Away," she's either going to force young people to play acoustic guitars or to throw their phones!
2) JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound -- "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart": Their cover of Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" has both made Wilco sexier than they ever were and made this uptown Chicago post-punk-soul-band the band to watch. Tired of seeing bands who wear whatever they found on the floor that afternoon? Check out these Dapper Dans!
1) BOY -- "Little Numbers": We don't have a choice here. This song has already been in every commercial you've ever run across, or I have to start watching more TV to find out what else is out there in the world. This Swiss-German-pop duo are not even boys! They're two young women! Oh, the audacity!