Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Review of 10-28 show at Philly’s World Cafe Live!

"Hi, we're Sweet Soubrette and we play songs of doomed romance," says NYC's Ellia Bisker scanning the audience at the World Café Live.

"In fact, fans of doomed romance, look around the room now and make eye contact. Then later on, you can go to the bar and start something that will end badly." She puts extra emphasis on the last two words, and pauses for effect, before launching into a stunning rendition of her song "Unlucky in love."

Wry, unapologetic, sassy and flirty, this tiny ukulele princess is not your typical acoustic act. But her humorous – if jaded – outlook on love is refreshing, and her witty commentary sets the stage for an entire evening of mellow, comedic rock.

Covered head-to-toe in silver sparkles (including big, sparkly fake eyelashes), Bisker is pretty and poised, maintaining the perfect balance of passion and deadpan as she describes past loves – a "mystery man" who is "charming and disarming;" who "came off as smart, but it was actually snark."

Her voice is light and airy with a touch of vulnerability – like the Siren she describes in "Siren Song". She's accompanied by violinist Heather Cole, whose fluid, haunted melodies compliment her punchy playing, and add a hint of melancholy to the humor.

Bisker is tongue-in-cheek funny – Jeanine Garofalo funny – and the audience absolutely adores it.

--Kate Bracaglia,

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Review in The Deli Magazine

Sweet Soubrette packs "Siren Song" to the brim with bobbing vocals that sway from wispy to very straight forward. Hit or miss, each song explores very different elements from the Hawaiian influence with ukulele to country and even dreamy, electronic music. Some songs, like "Lucky to Be Here," are almost impossible to stop replaying in one's head after hearing them. The aforementioned track is echoed and glitch-y with layered vocals and an honest energy. The intensity of Sweet Soubrette bleeds in and out of the the record but you can pick up pieces of it in some of Ellia Bisker's tangled, strumming songs. With her sometimes Dolly Partonesque singing and multiple styles of instrumentation, she certainly has something unique to offer and is someone to keep an eye on. Also, who can resist mermaids and songs reminiscent of sea shanties?
-L.P., The Deli Magazine, Issue #16, Volume #2, Fall 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dear friends,

Some very exciting news to report: on Friday, I was the winner of the 2008 Mizz Greenpoint Pageant!! How ridiculous!! Then again, I've watched my share of America's Next Top Model...Tyra has taught me to be "fierce." The pageant took place at arty Greenpoint venue East Coast Aliens and a good time was had by all, especially those of us drinking wine out of the bottle backstage (OK, and onstage). reported on the event:

Pix of my incredible journey to the top are here:

Some more pix of the event are here:

And last but not least, a video of my ukulele anthem to Greenpoint (I think this is what won me my tiara!):

Enjoy! Be glamorous! Win pageants!
Ellia (a.k.a. Mizz Greenpoint 2008)
Sweet Soubrette

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May news and shows in NYC, Belgium, & France!

Dear friends,

Some exciting things are happening this month: a show in Brooklyn, a radio interview, some new reviews, and the start of my Europe tour! Full details are below.

1. A Show in Brooklyn
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Wed May 21, 9:30-10pm
Galapagos Art Space
70 N 6th St (between Wythe & Kent)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
$10 (night starts at 8pm)

Monkey Rock Records presents a night of contemporary folk, blues, and indie rock at Galapagos Art Space. I'll be playing a solo set with special guest Nick Loss-Eatonjoining me on a handful of numbers with his sweet sweet harmonica. The evening starts at 8pm and goes all night--other featured artists include Johnny Nicholson, Nathan Reich, Jordan Tarrant, Annie Lynch, Fiona Landers, and Garth Stevenson. Come for the whole thing or just stay for part of it--should be a great night either way.

2. A Radio Interview
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
WDPS 89.5 FM (Dayton, OH)

On May 22 I'll be doing an interview with one of the high-school student DJs at WDPS, "The Radio Voice of the Dayton Public Schools." My popularity with the kids appears to be an all-time high--one of my songs was recently quoted in an Atlanta teen's myspace blog, in which she also talked about the upcoming prom!!!

3. Some New Reviews
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Sweet Soubrette...sings beguilingly of love....with great spirit and sass. It's a short but sweet album, leaving the listener wanting much more."
--Collected Sounds

"All of the songs possess fresh, inventive lyrics and the arrangements are subtle and extremely effective…Ms. Bisker and engineer/musician/co-arranger Tim Cohan have produced a quiet, but engaging and original offering."
--Customer review on

"Sweet Soubrette is amazing. Hurray for ukeleles."
--Katie, 18-year-old myspace blogger, Atlanta, GA

4. The Start of My Europe Tour!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
On May 25 I embark on the first Sweet Soubrette tour, accompanied by violinistHeather Cole. If you know anyone in Belgium or France, please pass this along!

May 26: Le Rideau Rouge, Lasne, BE
May 27: Inside Out Club, 8:30pm, Liege, BE (the club is on a barge!)
May 28: Sans Souci Social Club, Brussels, BE
May 30: Paris Uke Fest at le Divan du Monde, Paris, FR
June 3: Piccolo Theatre, Aix-en-Provence, FR
June 4: Le Paradox, Marseille, FR
June 5: Le Paradox, Marseille, FR

Tour preparations are underway (mainly dress and false eyelash shopping), and some interesting things are in store when we return--including a special homecoming show! Stay tuned!

Sweet Soubrette

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Exciting News and April Shows

Dear friends~

Happy spring! Some exciting news and updates to report:

RADIO NEWS: Siren Song is getting good rotation on college radio, and has just charted at 183 on the RIYL chart. Feel free to call up your local college station and make a request!

I also did an interview on Fairbanks, Alaska’s KSUA last week with two nice DJs from the show Terra Firma. You can download the podcast here, or do a search for "Terra Firma" on iTunes.

TV NEWS: If you missed my recent appearance on the quirky NYC cable show Midnight Ukulele Disco, you can watch it here, along with tons of videos.

VIDEO NEWS: Some of the best videos are now posted on youtube, including my recent full-band performance in the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and a Magnetic Fields cover. Check em out!

UKE FEST NEWS: Last night I played in the New York Uke Fest with my new backing band (Mike Dobson on drums, Bob Smith on upright bass, and Sarah Loveland on violin, hooray) and it was a big success! Getting some really talented musicians involved in this project was the best idea ever. Stay tuned for upcoming full-band gigs, and for live tracks on the MySpace coming soon.

APRIL SHOWS: There are two of them, both free all-uke lineups. Details below!

Thursday 4/17, 10pm
Cluster F-uke! presented by Local Correspondents
With Craig Chesler, Kelli Rae Powell, and Bliss Blood, starring The Bicycats!
Bar Matchless
557 Manhattan Ave
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Thursday 4/24, 6-9pm
Uke Night at the Chelsea Market--with Kelli Rae Powell, Bliss Blood, and Michael Wagner
We will be playing tunes in the Chelsea Market all evening. Refreshments will be served.
75 Ninth Ave (between 15th &16th St)

Hope to see you soon!!
Sweet Soubrette

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Radio Interview!

My 3/28 radio interview with two charming DJs from KSUA's Terra-Firma show is now available via podcast. I heart Fairbanks, Alaska!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I have been invited to perform in the Paris Uke Fest in May at the illustrious Divan du Monde. I will be opening the two-evening program. My childhood friend Heather, the violinist, will be joining me for this. So exciting!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Janet Reno

There is a new song. It is about Janet Reno. It was inspired by Kelli Rae, who once had Janet Reno walk out of Banjo Jim's right as she started her set. We will debut it at our Pete's Candy Store show on the 27th.

Janet Reno apparently spends a lot of time in East Village juke joints.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2/12 Banjo Jim’s blizzard show report

Not a soul in the bar when I arrived last night except Wayne, the bartender. I removed the inch of snow from my head with a paper towel. We commiserated about the weather. 7:00...7:10...7:20...the 10:00 guy called to cancel his slot...the blizzard continued to whirl outside. Finally my friend Monica walked in. We chatted. I said the show was probably not going on. How many people do you need to perform? The answer was two: the friend she had instructed to meet her appeared and said he was there to see the show. I made them sit in the front. Played a set of funny numbers, with just Monica and her friend and Wayne listening (but really listening, and enjoying it, and laughing at all the right places). The next act came in about halfway through and they listened too, so in the end I played to 6 people. Monica's friend bought a CD. $7 in tips. 2 mailing list adds. I got a cab home in the slippery slush and basically broke even.