Editor’s Note: In the immortal words of the Beastie Boys … “HEY LAAAADIEEEEEES!” OK, that was immature. Can we start over? Ahem … It’s Ladies’ Week on the blog, and all this week, we’ll be checking out … I mean … LISTENING TO some super talented female musicians. Hope you enjoy!
If you’re looking for high-grade political snark, The Colbert Report is the place to go. But the show also has a history of hosting some impressive musical performances — Wilco premiering “Wilco the Song” and Paul Simon singing “Getting Ready for Christmas Day” are two of my favorites — and Colbert just stepped up his game even more, holding a multi-day, in-studio music festival called “StePhest Colbchella ‘011.” In addition to rock star training sessions with Jack White and some characteristically awkward interviews (I’m still trying to figure out what makes his chats with musicians so enjoyably painful), the week-long celebration gave us performances by Bon Iver, Talib Kweli and the incredible Florence + the Machine. Relative newcomers — the band was nominated in the “Best New Artist” category at this year’s Grammy Awards — Florence Welch and her backing band did a moving rendition of their song “The Dog Days Are Over,” from their debut album Lungs. Florence’s voice has tremendous power and weight behind it, bowling you over like a wave that came out of nowhere and left you upside down with sand all up in your bathing suit. And I mean that in the best way possible, of course. I recommend checking out the video here (and all the rest from StePhest Colbchella ‘011, as well) and the album version below. And click here for Lungs, which is worthy of every bit of the critical praise it’s earned since it was released two years and two days ago.