Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leslie Keffer

The first time I came across Leslie Keffer seemed like a revelation: noise music with a real feminine side. Using mainly guitar, vocals, and electronics, she makes noise music that doesn't sound like noise, and isn't easily mistaken for anyone else.

Her first release on her own Action Claw Records, was 2003's Dielectric Lull. She followed it with several tapes and cassettes (Pollutes, Devestates, Represents...) many of which were packaged in hand-sewn fabric cases.

She has performed live with Tusco Terror and in duos with both Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. Her 2007 release on Ecstatic Peace, Feels Like Frenching (probably my favorite record title ever), is almost like a noise version of shoegaze. The static, drifting, and psychedelically glamorous music on this record sounds infinite and even strangely soothing. Her latest release, Give It Up is a bit of a departure, with beats, vocals, and pop elements. You can hear some of Leslie's more recent songs on her Soundcloud, which open up and expand on this sound even more.

Leslie also created the world's first and only noise tabloid, Noisebloid.

Here is a list/guest-post of some of Leslie's favorite records and how she came to love them.


The first records I really got into when I was in grade school were:

Madonna- Like A Virgin, True Blue, You Can Dance, Like A Prayer
Whitney Houston- Whitney

My dad and my late step-mother used to hold flashlights on me and my sister and we would have all the lights off and they would shine the flashlights on us like spotlights and we would lip sync all these songs from these tapes and make up these dances. One year we got Star Stage toy microphone stands. They were these kid toys that lit up and amplified your voice and put an echo on it so we could be real stars. I can only imagine how annoying this thing was after about 10 minutes out of the box.

Other songs we would dance to (i.e. cassette singles):

Cathy Dennis -Move To This
C.C. Peniston - Finally
U2 - Pride In The Name Of Love
Martika - Toy Soliders
Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror
Janet Jackson - Escapade
Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is A Place On Earth

As I got a little older, like 6th grade I got more into Tori Amos. Serious obsession. The red hair, the fairytale whacked-out lyrics. I loved her. Under The Pink changed my life, and I was so fanatic about her I would save up all my money from working at Arby's so I could go see her or buy her bootlegs at the nearest record store to my hometown, Quonset Hut, which was 30 minutes away. I was also completely into REM. Life's Rich Pageant is their best record, or at least my favorite. Michael Stipe was my first crush. He has pretty eyes and a deep, sexy voice when he talks. I finally got to see him naked last week when he posted nude photos of himself on his tumblr, but it was so penis-y and hairy....i guess it was a good thing REM broke up the same week.


I also fell in love (like everyone in the early 90s) with Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Hole. I had a crush on Thurston Moore until my best friend's older sister told me he was married to Kim, who I basically worshiped and wished was my best friend. I was horrified! So I just stuck with Michael Stipe because no one knew if he was gay or straight and I was a prude so it was safe. I even liked Dave Matthews back then. I mean y'all know what goes down at a DMB concert. When I got to college I started listening to indie rock and riot girl stuff. This boy I liked, my first real love, liked all this stuff and he got me into all kinds of new and weird music. And he could take me to shows. He got me into Helium and took me to cool local shows like the Party Of Helicopters. It all blew my mind and inspired me. My favorite bands then were Low, Helium, Stereolab, and My Bloody Valentine.

We broke up my sophomore year and I was depressed and hated all the music he got me into because it reminded me of our relationship. My friends were going to raves and were DJs. I started going to these parties and dancing all night. (Like the DMB concerts, we all know what went down at these raves.) I was introduced to techno, house, drum-n-bass, electro, you name it. It was some of the most memorable music and times of my life.

After I graduated college I started messing around with radios and making music like I make now. This was about the time my friend Issac introduced me to Kate Bush. He couldn't believe I was so into Tori and never had heard Kate Bush. He made me a tape and I heard Hounds Of Love and Running Up That Hill and it changed my life. The album Hounds Of Love has definitely influenced how I make and listen to music. Listening to Kate Bush brought me back to my pop roots and now I'm a hardcore pop fan again. Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, and my new absolute favorite, Robyn. BUY BODY TALK BY ROBYN PEOPLE!!! No excuses. One of the best pop records ever. I mean its a tie with Hounds Of Love for my favorite record of all time, and in my opinion, if you can place with Kate Bush, you've made a perfect record.


Anonymous said...

uz the bomb

Reid said...


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