Over the last 30 years, Sam Phillips has had one of the more unusual and varied careers in what can broadly be called pop music. Her first success came in the early ’80s via contemporary Christian music, under the name Leslie Phillips; she was, regrettably, marketed as “the Christian Cyndi Lauper.” Flash forward to 2013, and the alternative Lauper-less sounding artist is self-issuing Push Any Button, her first physical release of new material in seven years. It’s not a radical change in style, but it’s livelier and more fun than anything she’s done since her Virgin era. Many of the 10 songs contain hints of that intersection of rockabilly and country that the other Sam Phillips made his name with, and some include almost countrypolitan string arrangements. Phillips will be guest editing on magnetmagazine.com all this week. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that her prose and reflections are just as interesting and evocative as her songwriting. Read our bran new feature on her.
Phillips: Spending time online has given me a yen for big books with pictures to have and hold. One of my favorites is My Life And Times by Henry Miller. The first copy I saw was at a composer’s house in Los Angeles. I wanted to have it so much that my husband offered to trade a session (playing violin) for it. The composer accepted his offer, and I took the book home. Some of my other favorites are: Colette, A Passion For LIfe; Brassai, The Secret Paris; Self Portrait In A Velvet Dress; The Jazz People Of New Orleans; Shadow Eterniday; Two Hundred Days Of 8 1/2; Hank Williams, Snapshots From The Lost Highway; Pure Beauty. When you stack big books, they make lovely furniture, too.
Video after the jump.