It is not easy to find good bands which have been around for a while, but have never been played on WFMU. If you manage to find one of those, you can add 10 points to your hipster credentials. Today it is my turn.
Les Reines Prochaines are an all-women multilingual feminist band from Switzerland, the country most famous for inventing the holes in cheese. It is a bit mysterious to me why you need feminists in a country that already gave women the right to vote in 1971, but whatever. (And since 1991 they are even allowed to vote in local elections in the canton of Appenzell Inner Rhoden.)
Founded in 1987 by Teresa Alonso, Regina Florida Schmid, and Muda Mathis, The Future Queens started out only with a synthesizer and their voices. In 1988, Pipilotti Rist and Fränzi Madörin joined in, and after several changes the current lineup consists of founding member Muda Mathis, Sus Zwick, Fränzi Madörin, Michèle Fuchs, and Barbara Naegelin. Over the years they have added more instruments, and apart from music and performance the members have been very active in other forms of art as well.
One reasons for their low profile in the USA might be that they have never performed here. Their only North American tour to this date, in 2005, consisted exclusively of Canadian gigs. They also don't seem to have an American distributor for their CDs. So here are a few of their songs as MP3, to whet your appetite for more (and hunt for expensive imports or browse the file-sharing networks). Even though the recordings do not capture the hilarity of their live performances, they stand well on their own.
Opfer dieses Liedes (Wicked Game) [MP3] - Nice cover version of the Chris Isaak song, starts out relatively normal, adds great background screaming in the second half. From the album Le Coeur En Beurre - Doublegras, featuring Pipilotti Rist, who also produced a video of this song.
Evening [MP3] - Sparse cover version of As Tears Go By by the Stones, from the album Lob Ehre Ruhm Dank.
I Wanna Be A Butch [MP3] - Why it is better to be a butch than a femme. Features the great lines (in German) "Even Dvorak started as a butcher" and "I am so looking forward to my first sheep". From the live album Alberta.
I Like The Sound Of Your Car [MP3] - Simply mind-blowing, from the album Jawohl sie kann's. Sie hat's geschafft.
Eating, Eating [MP3] - A New Wave Carmen singing about the pleasures of eating. Also from Jawohl sie kann's. Sie hat's geschafft.
Schöner Sonntag [MP3] - Beautiful song about a beautiful Sunday. First the singer is all happy with her breakfast egg, thinking about the perspective of not having to work and having sex with her lover in the woods. But things turn sour when she discovers that she has neither milk nor bread, and that the bakery is closed. To cheer her up, she visits the zoo and wins a giraffe, but unfortunately the giraffe isn't in the best mood either. OK, apparently it wasn't the most beautiful Sunday after all. From Lob Ehre Ruhm Dank.
Zum Tee bei Mimi & Rosa (The Lady Is Hungry) [MP3] - Another song about the joy of eating and food shopping. From Le Coeur En Beurre - Doublegras.
Der Urwald [MP3] - A primeval forest with lots of animals and a female zoologist, from Lob Ehre Ruhm Dank.
That's all folks!