Little Miss Messy
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Little Miss Messy

Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Review of _Boring_Stories_"

“Produced by Mitch Easter” may well be the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for the North Carolina recording scene, a badge of honor and a stamp signifying quality. But Durham, N.C.’s little Miss Messy most definitely brought their own boatload of skills to Easterworld for their debut, Boring Stories for Naughty Children. The band’s ‘80’s-new-wave-via-‘90’s-indie-pop shimmer must have intrigued Mitch, but Little Miss Messy’s centerpiece is clearly the corrosively crystalline vocal range of Carlotta Valdez. LMM follow in the tradition of women with forceful voices fronting bands that present an equally expansive and explosive backdrop for their compelling chanteuse. Valdez raises everyone’s game with her impressive vocal instrument, especially on the Waitresses/Blondie off-kilter pop rumble of “Stop” and the Katrina-and-the-Waves-tributes-Let’s-Active stomper “Just Another Boy.” Mitch Easter may have produced it, but Little Miss Messy played the hell out of it and made it easy for him. - Amplifier Magazine (May/June 2004)

"Review of _Boring_Stories_"

Remember "progressive rock?" When I was spinning vinyl at my beloved college radio station during the late-80s, we called the eclectic pop we played "progressive rock," not "alternative rock," which is obviously the better known label now. But at the time, I thought progressive rock worked better, because it meant more.

See, maybe I was naïve, but it seemed to me that REM, the Violent Femmes, 10,000 Maniacs, the Pixies and They Might Be Giants were doing more than just creating an alternative to the big-hit bands like Aerosmith or Whitesnake. As I sat there listening to Mike Buck's [sic] shimmering guitar or trying to work out exactly what Black Francis was singing about, I really believed I was bearing witness to, well, progress. Not just a new twist on the boring old song formulas, but something genuinely new. And now, I find I miss the experimentation of the 1980s. Where did you go, IRS Records?

Enter Little Miss Messy. Their CD, Boring Stories for Naughty Children, on the North Carolina-based label Dalloway Records, is produced by, get this, Mitch Easter. Mitch Easter, for goodness sake!

Mitch Easter... Easter... Where have you heard that name, you wonder? Wonder no more. He produced many 1980's progressive rock bands like The Connells, Let's Active, Waxing Poetics. But it was Easter's work with REM that we still salivate over. He produced Chronic Town. Let me repeat: Chronic Town. That wonderful EP that we still listen to with amazement. And Murmur! Radio Free Europe, for chrissakes. Okay, just tell me to shut up and climb back into my hole now.

The point is that just like the brilliant work Easter did on those early REM albums, he (with, one presumes, the blessing of the band) has chosen on most of the tracks on this CD to limit the effects and put the music very "close" to the listener. That is, there's very little echo/reverb/ digitization here, so more of the music, mistakes and all, comes through. This is what commercial radio won't accept, and what a shame. I once heard guitarist Mark Ribot (best known for his work with Tom Waits, the Lounge Lizards) bemoan the excessive use of echo because of the "distance" it puts between the artist and the audience. I couldn't agree more.

If you liked the sounds coming out of Athens, Ga., and other college towns in the southeast in the 1980s, you'll find a lot to like in Little Miss Messy's songs.The driving bass and repeated guitar riff of "Where is My Mind?" reminds me of a terrific song called "Look Alive" by Pylon, a defunct band that was rival to REM in the early 1980s. One of the two potential hits on the album, "Sweet Stacy" starts with a riff honoring REM's "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" then turns in a different direction. The other potential single, the CD's opener, called "Wrong," is a mid-tempo folk/punk thing that has a towering chorus.

As always, the songwriting genius may belong to somebody else, but the band's success or failure will depend largely upon its singer. LMM's Carlotta Valdez, can sing about "fucking me sore" with real punk passion. But on several tracks, Valdez shows she really can sing, a bit sweet with a touch of growl. Valdez recalls (for me, at least) Martha Davis of The Motels or Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees. My colleague here at work, Evan Hessel, who is a decade my junior and by my own estimate 2.6 times as cool as I am, says Valdez' voice reminds him of Nina Persson, of The Cardigans.

I don't know if this means progressive rock is making a comeback, but I'm happy. Now if only they'd send me the vinyl... - 2 Walls

"Review of _Boring_Stories_"

This is the debut record from Durham, North Carolina's Little Miss Messy. It is produced by Mitch Easter (REM, Pavement). This band is truly hard to describe as they hit on a variety of styles from pop to blues to borderline grunge. The tie that binds most of the songs together though is a pop edge that makes you want to sing along in almost every song. This is undoubtedly a very capable band of musicians. While the music is well performed, it's Carlotta Valdez's voice that seals the deal. She has strong voice that takes command of the songs without losing its femininity in the slightest. The songwriting is particularly noteworthy here also. The songwriting is definitely above par for the world of indie rock, which says a lot considering the band covers such a variety of styles. I would say that Little Miss Messy has created a debut album that is worth some attention. Fans of edgy guitar pop should keep their eyes on this band.

Key Song: "No More" -

"Review of _Boring_Stories_"

Little Miss Messy delivers good pop rock on their so very solid album 'Boring Stories for Naughty Children'. Just about every song delivers- if you put this album on and dig the first song, you're in for an enjoyable listening experience. And it is an eminently listenable album. While the band itself is from hot, humid and hurricane pestered North Carolina, half of the group originally hails from the left side of the country. Dan (guitar) and Carlotta (vocals) grew up in Seattle. They are admitted 'recovering grungeaholics' and this influence is evident. The bass player, a 'former punk rocker and self-proclaimed jazz enthusiast' gives a solid underlying groove that helps these songs to come alive- as on the song 'Former Occupant'. And the drummer's not bad, either. But what really distinguishes the group is Carlotta's vocals, at times lending some melodic grace, at times sneering, and pissed off... She sings well over the songs without making them sound wussy. She helps to energize their whole sound. The band is harder hitting, without sounding like a thousand other bands- largely because of Carlotta's lovely voice. And she no doubt gives them an edge in a performance as well. I'd go see them. Little Miss Messy does Raleigh's music scene proud. God bless them. -


self-titled 6 song EP (2002)
Boring Stories for Naughty Children (2004)
full length album Dalloway Records
Producer: Mitch Easter
This album has received national college radio play and reviews. LMM music has also been recently featured on MTV's reality TV show "Made" Episode 505.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Little Miss Messy is a War of the Worlds: east meets west, boy meets girl, sound meets fury. Echoes of Olympia, Washington-- less anger, more girl. This female-fronted band was born when musicians from both coasts collided in the alluring tobacco fields of North Carolina. The result? An amalgam of pop-rock, vestiges of west-coast grunge and lilting lyricism coupled with bluesy guitar riffs.

One ill-fated move and an ad in the local paper brought Seattle natives Carlotta Valdez and guitarist Dan Hill together. Hill honed what is much of LMM's signature sound playing in several college indie-rock bands including The Atomic Swerve.

Miss Valdez is recuperating from a career as a concert pianist, a pursuit she discovered was much like digging ditches, but paid less. The dream of perfection (and a carefully planned kidnapping) brought to completion a marriage of like minds.

Drummer Steve Carter is a veteran of the Chapel Hill scene whose talent and wit have left him in high demand. Bass player and rocker girl Mary Anne Barckhoff brings an exciting obsession for music

This tour van is out of control.