Leslie Sisson
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Leslie Sisson

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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Sunday, March 20, 2005

River City ~ Dispatches from Austin
South by Southwednesday
Written by Scotty P.

This is the second in a series of articles written for PROGRESSIONSESSION (http://prosession.blogspot.com) chronicling the writer's experiences at the 2005 South by Southwest music festival.

I think they should open South By Southwest in a fashion similar to the Olympics. Have the bands parade down 6th Street with a flag or a banner, with crowds gathered to cheer and wave. But to make it exciting, at the end of the street there will be someone with a bullhorn, screaming: Now go find a venue! Go find a venue!! The musicians will scramble, equipment in tow, around downtown Austin in a frantic effort to find an open stage. Brawling would ensue.

It could be a FOX special: A thousand bands. One hundred clubs. Twenty four hours.

It was unseasonably cold last night, in fact the temperature dropped close to freezing. But judging from how far away I had to park, the chilly weather didn't deter anyone. I camped out at a place called the Velvet Spade, which I remember as Caucus Club (but it has gone through many other identity changes in between). Tonight, I indulged a serious indie-mood-rock jones. Dour, hip-looking bands playing serious music. But for the most part, I heard some great sounds. I consider my first night of SXSW a rousing success.

The club had two stages, which I've decided is the only way to go pay one cover, choose between two bands at any given time. The sound was great inside, and I arrived just in time to hear Aero Wave, whose SXSW write up promises beats that are sure to satisfy every manic depressive's musical needs. But the mellow, pulsing sound proved contagious from the start, building into a hum of energy that they never quite opened the lid on. And it was all the better, Aero Wave's music is based more in anticipation than any kind of pressure-relieving explosion. I was entranced by the music and quite taken with singer, with her denim jacket, jet black hair and bizarre habit of chewing gum throughout the entire set. The gum didn't seem to affect her singing at all. She had soft voice that floated in and out of the music perfectly.

And after the show, she gave me a cd. Score! Aero Wave was listed as being from New York, but their drummer explained that really only Leslie was from NYC, and most of them were from Austin. I decided not to pry for details. Another show was getting started. - River City: Dispatches from Austin SXSW

filed under: Music To Do It To by Lux Nightmare

It's no secret that the right music can set the tone for the perfect night of getting it on… and that the wrong music can destroy even the best chemistry. But how to find the right music? Enter "Music To Do It To," Sexerati's latest feature. We scour the airwaves (or at least Last.fm Radio) in search of all the hottest make out tracks. Know a band we should feature? Send us a tip.

Band: Aero Wave
Sounds Like: Intense indie-pop vocals over electro-static sounds and beats. Leslie's voice is soft, beautiful, and seductive, and she sings with a heartbreaking intensity that's beautifully showcased by her electronic beats.
Perfect For: A hot and heavy make out session. Aero Wave is all about anticipation: a slow, soft build that's far more satisfying than a quick and easy climax. "Lost Loop" is a particularly good album to listen to when things are getting to that oh-so-close place.
Where to Find It: On MySpace or on Aero Wave's website.
- Sexarati: Music To Do It To

Vexed and Glorious Write-Up
Wednesday, March 20, 2005

Aero Wave
Written by Melleners

Leslie Sisson is the only member of Aero Wave as far as I can tell. It's certainly not easy to find information about this band, so I could be completely wrong. Check out the website and you'll see what I mean. Talk about cryptic! The music's great though - electronic with sweet female vocals. The combination reminds me a bit of Mirah and her voice reminds me of Angie Hart (of Frente and Splendid). You can download 4 tracks from the site and see for yourself. I don't know about any release dates, but I do know that they played SXSW on the 16th and possibly are looking for a record deal. You can check out her other project The Killing Fields. She's also apparently a member of a roller derby team and goes by the name Rolletta Lynn. Interesting! - Vexed & Glorious

That loose country vibe pervades tracks like "The Other One", "Quit You Once", and "Never Know" as well, each relatively interchangeable but so tasteful and uncomplicated their redundancy doesn't hurt, especially when Sisson starts chiming in with some breathy harmonies that fit the limited musical field like the last piece of a (simple) puzzle. After that it's back to songs like "Anna Paula" and "Seven Seventeen", the latter a deceptively sweet meet-cute number, and each with Sisson again playing a subdued Stevie Nicks to Kenny's mellow-mode Buckingham. - Pitchfork

SPIN Earth Salutes Bands with the Best Bangs

By alianagrant
Jan 13, 2010 in San Francisco, USA, North America

You may or may not have seen it coming, but as the inevitable follow-up to the masculanized Best Beards of 2009 list, we decided to give some love to those who can't grow anything short of peach fuzz on their faces.

Choppy, pixie or moppy, female musicians have recently reclaimed bangs as a must-have accessory and have been sporting them everywhere from the covers of Nylon to the Fillmore stage. So in honor of this re-emergent hair trend, we've compiled a list of ladies with the best fringe in music and salute them not only for their tunes, but their lust-worthy bangs as well

Sarah Assbring - El Perro del Mar
Beth Orton
Zooey Deschanel - She & Him
Leslie Sisson - The Wooden Birds
Victoria Legrand - Beach House
Alice Glass - Crystal Castles
Au Revoir Simone
Beth Ditto - Gossip
Chan Marshall - Cat Power
Maura Davis - Denali
Emily Haines - Metric
Leslie Feist - Feist
Jenny Lewis
Joanna Newsom
Mica Levi - Micachu and the Shapes
Sharin Foo - The Raveonettes
Vivian Girls
Alison Mosshart - The Kills
Laura Burhenn - Georgie James
Julie Doiron
Kate Thompson - The Love Language
Eleanor Jackson - La Roux
Natasha Khan - Bat For Lashes
Lily Allen - SPIN Earth

Guns N' Roses was the first rock poster ever to hang on my wall, right over my bed, alongside Salt-N-Pepa. Maybe it was the teased hair I tried to mimic, the torn jeans under scuffed cowboy boots, the air of not giving a damn. Maybe it was because I couldn't see Slash's face, or maybe he was just smokin' hot. Whatever the reason, Duff "Rose" McKagen was the star of that gallery, catching my eye each night before before the lights went out. I was too young to understand fantasizing back then, so it was more like innocent fascination, like many crushes to follow. - eMusic

• Still at the A.V. Club party, The Wooden Birds are an even more sensitive bunch than We Were Promised Jetpacks, led by Andrew Kenny, the man who brought us all of those beautiful American Analog Set albums. Kenny has called The Wooden Birds his Luna, referring to Dean Wareham’s more songwritery move after Galaxie 500, which seems about right. He has Matt Pond playing guitar, but the real secret weapon is other guitarist Leslie Sisson, whose vocals perfectly complement Kenny’s. [MH] - The Onion

Leslie Sisson, The Wooden Birds and Matt Pond PA

* Band(s): current: The Wooden Birds, Matt Pond PA, former: Aero Wave, Western Keys, Black Lipsick, Tanworth-in-Arden, future: Leslie Sisson (solo)
* Instruments: guitar, voice, piano, bass, flute, cello
* Age: no comment
* Years playing: since first grade
* Hometown: Dallas/Austin, TX
Living Now: Brooklyn, NY
* Full-Time Musician: yes - also teach college film editing
* Has Record Deal: The Wooden Birds are signed to Barsuk Records and Matt Pond PA is signed to Altitude Records
Record Label: The Wooden Birds are signed to Barsuk Records and Matt Pond PA is signed to Altitude Records
Owns Music Rights: the two bands above do, but not me personally

How would you describe your music?

Indie rock/pop

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

Guitarist and singer in both The Wooden Birds and Matt Pond PA. Sing and write parts on the Wooden Birds record(s) and hope to participate on future Matt Pond PA records. Involved in music video production for both bands as a director/editor & head up merch for both bands. Also working on a solo record I hope to record this year, playing all the instrumentation myself.

Describe your gear.


Fender Tele Thinline guitar, Fender Blues Jr amp, assortment of Boss pedals including Tremelo, Delay/Reverb, Overdrive, EQ

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

The First Time

Absolutely, at least in rock and roll, which to me, has been a male dominated field since its inception and still is. Guys seem to become attracted to rock music at a younger age and thus start learning rock instruments, such as guitar, early on, which gives them a head start on their skill level. Ever since I picked up a guitar, I knew I had to keep up with the boys from the start which motivated me to practice constantly. I've been told I play guitar better than many guys, which is a compliment. I play a lot of lead guitar now in my bands and it's amazing how the response has been geared towards the fact that I'm a chick doing dude's work. Touring constantly the past year has opened my eyes to how much of a boys club music really is. I'm okay with that, but I feel like there's a little extra effort for me to prove that I can fill those shoes and not just be in a band because I'm a trophy girl, but because I'm a good musician.

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Old School / New School

"Yes, thanks to the growth of music accessability via the internet and the increase of females in music playing primary roles rather than something ornamental like a cute token chick bass player, I think more and more girls are starting off at a younger age getting into music and learning instruments. There also seems to be a flux of classical instruments in bands lately, such as cello and violin, instruments that girls typically begin playing at a young age. "

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?


The best advice I've gotten: be yourself and be true to yourself. Advice I'd give: make as many friends in music as possible (sincerely, not 'networky'), don't burn bridges, don't sleep with your bandmates (unles you were sleeping with them first), and warn your bandmates when you're hormonal.

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

The First Time

Guitar and voice are my current primary instruments. My dad, Joan Jett, The Go Go's, Heart, & The Bangles played guitar, so I wanted to. I began playing piano as a little kid, then flute in school, then cello, then guitar. My dad didn't originally want me to play guitar nor be in a band because he thought guys in bands would try to get in my pants. He had a change of heart when he heard me sing and now he's my biggest fan. - NPR

As fun as it would have been for everyone at Rumsey Playfield, the band managed to fill their two-hour set with songs from their latest record, 'Forgiveness Rock Record,' as well as old songs like 'Lover's Spit,' 'Hotel' and 'Anthem of a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl,' which featured Leslie Sisson of Wooden Birds, who joined Lisa Lobsinger onstage midway through the song. - Spinner


"Harmony" LP (2011): http://lesliesisson.com/music.html

Radio Play: Change, Waiting, Little, Blues



Austin/Brooklyn-ite, Leslie Sisson, is the lead female vocalist and guitarist in The Wooden Birds while also moonlighting in Matt Pond PA. Her past includes time in Western Keys, Black Lipstick, The Killing Fields, Pavo, Tanworth-in-Arden, and Aero Wave on guitar, bass, keys, cello, flute, voice, as well as guest performances for American Analog Set, Windsor for the Derby, Rhythm of Black Lines, Mark Gardener of Ride, and recent cameos with Dan Mangan, John Wesley Coleman, and Broken Social Scene.

In The Wooden Birds, Pitchfork describes Leslie’s voice as a "subdued Stevie Nicks", The Onion calls her the "real secret weapon" on stage, Consequence of Sound says she's the "strongest asset" in the band, Austin Chronicle features her "striking lead" with "effortless harmony", Ft Worth Weekly compares her to a "twang-less" Dolly and Loretta collaborator, while Andrew Kenny sees her as an indie rock indie rock Emmylou.

Leslie's self-released debut solo record Harmony produced by Louie Lino (Nada Surf/Matt Pond PA), is out now, with an aresnal of special guests, featuring members of The Wooden Birds, American Analog Set, Matt Pond PA, Broken Social Scene, Nada Surf, The Definite Articles, Experimental Aircraft, and more.