Mika Miko – We Be XuXa
2009 – Post Present Media
I guess Mika Miko are old news around here (here being coastal California), but to this recent Canadian transplant, and hopefully to some of you, they’re brand spanking new. This all-girl band from LA formed in 2003 and have put out a string of albums on labels like Kill Rock Stars and Sub Pop, while also releasing a few of their own albums.
The band sounds like a bunch of different things, but the first thing I noticed when I put on this, their most recent release, was that they totally have their shit together. I love female musicians (full disclosure: I am a female musician), but I really hate when girl musicians use the fact that they’re girls as some kind of marketing strategy. The way I see it, if a band’s biggest selling point is that they all have vaginas, the band can’t be very good, and I’m not very interested. I think that kind of thing ghettoizes all of the ladies who practise and sweat and work to be good on their own merits and don’t have to rely on cute outfits or girl-centric marketing. Anyway, Mika Miko can clearly play on the level playing field. They can all play their instruments, and they sing like they mean it. They don’t sound cute or girly; they sound awesome.
The music itself is a mix of punk rock with elements of funk and dance (but just a bit) thrown in. Parts of this album remind me of the Slits, though Mika Miko have a lot more cohesive, catchy-ass songs. Parts of it also remind me a bit of the Gossip, though none of the ladies in Mika Miko have Beth Ditto’s pipes, I think they all have Beth Ditto’s balls, which, combined with the totally good instrumental work, really works and makes for a high-intensity album that makes you wish it went on for longer than the 22 odd minutes (for 12 songs!) that it does.
Even though I didn’t know about these guys until just now (thanks be to the Maximum RockNRoll Top Tens), which means I’ve evidently been missing the boat, I hope that the fact that these guys exist means that we’re going to start seeing more girls in punk and rock ‘n roll and hardcore bands. I know I’ve been sick of Brody Dalle being the face of women in punk for quite a while. I hear these guys are great live, so if you see that they’re coming to your town, be sure to go and check them out, and buy some of their stuff! Hell, order their stuff now, get inspired, and start your own band. Long live Mika Miko!
Japandroids – Post Nothing
Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual
T Rex – Electric Warrior
Brian Eno – Here Come The Warm Jets
Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances
Jonathan Richman – Jonathan Sings