Music Reviews
Charming Disaster

Charming Disaster

Our Lady Radium

Charming Disaster are Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris, two talented people with an unnatural attraction to the dark and mysterious. In the past they have written songs about con men, circus life, murder, mythology, and the paranormal. Their sound is neo-cabaret in the vein of the Dresden Dolls.

Our Lady Radium is a musical about the hope and promise at the dawn of the atomic age, and the album focuses on the life and work of Marie Curie. “Force of Nature” looks at her life and professional partnership with Pierre Curie. “Eat, Drink, Sleep” is about how Marie lost herself in work when Pierre died. “Hard Luck Hard Rock” is about the unfortunate miners who sought out the radioactive rock. Charming Disaster also graces us with some melodies about subatomic particles.

The closing track of Our Lady Radium tells the tragic tale of the “Radium Girls.” The Radium Girls were young women who were hired to paint the numbers on watches with radium paint. The paint made the numbers glow in the dark. When radium was first discovered, it was thought to be health restoring, not horribly toxic. The women who worked with radium paint sharpened the point of their brushes with their lips. Since radium was harmless, they used the radium paint as make up too. Radium has the effect of destroying bone, with many of these women dying horribly with their jaws literally falling off. It’s a grim reminder of unintended consequences when we don’t know what we’re dealing with.

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