These Girls don’t cry — they go wild!
So there I was, having paid to get into the back room of Pianos where bands play. A horrible all-guy band was assaulting the room with sour noise they probably thought was LSD Rock. But it was clearly being done without the benefit of LSD. It also lacked rock!
I scanned the dim room for the Girls. Nowhere to be seen.
Once the group on stage was done and started to pack up, I saw someone who I thought resembled Hannah enter. She was with someone I didn’t recognize at all but who seemed somewhat familiar. Then someone else came in who looked vaguely familiar. Then I saw Sora, who looked like Sora. Then Liz came in, and her hair should have warned me, but I was so dense. She’d traded in her classic ‘do for devo-grunge.
When Sora went over to the woman who looked like Hannah, I had to admit it probably was Hannah, so I went over to chat.
The small rumblings of the night’s quake began then.
That vaguely-familiar-looking woman next to Hannah was Caitlin! She’d done up her hair in wild asymmetrical ponytails and had on eye makeup that would kill any man who looked at it from the wrong angle! Even up close and in-person I still couldn’t believe it was her!
Then Rachael came over. She had been the other vaguely-familiar-looking woman I’d seen. Her hair was curlier than ever, had a sheen, and was gathered into a band that made it fall over one shoulder. And she was not only wearing lipstick, but she was also sporting a pair of post-retro-mod-blue glasses!
And all of the Girls were in jogging outfits.
I’d been warned the Girls would be doing something different with their fashion. But jogging outfits with new hairstyles and makeup? I had to admit it was different.
(Right now, the women reading this can’t believe how incredibly dense I was. They are poking each other in the ribs and rolling their eyes, exclaiming, “How stupid can a man be?”)
After they set up their instruments, they all gathered together and ran into the restroom!
Yeah, I still didn’t catch on.
Next thing I new, I saw five bodies streak across the room onto the stage.
I grabbed my jaw because it was about to explode off my face in surprise.
There before me were the Girls — all but Sora in jogging shorts and arm-baring shirts! And I mean short jogging shorts. The kind that makes a woman’s legs double in length, triple in shapeliness, and quadruple in their appeal.
And then they began to stretch!
(Now the women reading this are rolling their eyes, saying, “And he was surprised by this? The jogging suits were the giveaway! Hello you stupid man! They’re used to cover jogging shorts!”)
The audience began to frighten me somewhat. Two women, two grown women any man would jump on with eternal thanks to the gods, were staring at Hannah as her back was to the audience and were giving a commentary about coveting her ass! I looked at them. I looked at Hannah’s ass. I looked back at them. They were not doing it to shock me. (Good thing for me I always leave my ass at home when I go out. They would have laughed at it if I’d brung it.)
Then the Girls started to play.
It wasn’t the sound of The Bitter End.
It wasn’t the sound of last week at Pianos, either.
It was different.
Even though I grilled them all later (except for Liz, who I can easily see and hear play), only Sora admitted to playing differently. She had tried new Vox effects for her guitar.
The sound was not bright or crisp. It was dirty, dark and smudgy, like a ruined urban alleyway. It was like they’d taken the bright elevator of their Bitter End sound and went at it with spray paint and markers and tagged it all up. Then tossed in a match and set it all on fire! They abandoned smooth and went with grit grit grit. They were there to do some damage with their music.
And the audience loved every damned minute of it!
How dirty and gritty did they get? After their first song — the eponymous Girls Don’t Cry — Hannah had to call a time out. She’d broken one of her strings. One of her electric guitar strings. A string made of steel. That’s how nasty they got with the music!
During the brief intermission, Caitlin got down and funky with some beat-me-up bass and Liz joined in on some mean drumplay.
Hannah had to play That’s The Sound using her amplified acoustic guitar while her electric one was being healed off-stage. Yeah, they were there to mess with their sound.
Oh, I’d mentioned Sora wasn’t in jogging shorts. And she hadn’t changed her hair. What she did was put on a wig that was an afro that’d I think escaped from the 1970s TV show Baretta. She also had on a pair of large sunglasses that were brother to the pair worn by Audrey Hepburn in Two For The Road. And she managed to play with both on! And once again she drove the audience into a frenzy with her cover of the Violent Femmes’ Add It Up.
And this audience wasn’t a MySpace crowd, either. They openly growled when Liz brought up their MySpace page. They were there to have some music kick them around.
But The Girls weren’t there to kick. They were there to stomp. And they stomped them good.
They shook the place with a Girlquake!
Last week at Pianos Liz broke one of her drumsticks playing. This week she must have used titanium rods to get out the beat; she hit the living hell out of those drums, again adding some stuff that the audience went mad over. I’d said previously she made her drumming look easy. Last night she made it look hard, and she played it hard too.
Hannah added some vocal effects of her own that hadn’t been in their previous repertoire. I think she’d been waiting for this night for a long time.
Caitlin, who always looked shy, looked and played dangerous. She’s the one who’s making it look easy now, leaning back with her arms stretched down, just plucking at that new bass.
Rachael did her keyboard thing, sticking to the notes, but she deviated from the song rhythms with her voice, massaging the verses to suit her mood. And she was plenty moody.
Sora I suspect of saving her voice during the night for her big cover number. Either that or she found a new way to sing while looking too cool to be singing. She probably did!
They kept some of the moves from last week. The microphones behaved too. They also did some new ones. With their closing number, with the final vocals done by Liz, Liz shot out from behind her drums, grabbed a mic, and dropped off the stage to rip into the audience with her voice. It was then that I saw she’d again been playing in her stocking feet — and also saw that her legs weren’t bare at all. They were wrapped in a shiny gold leotard!
It was a night of surprises!
And of course I didn’t have a camera with me to get any pictures. But one of their producers caught it on tape. And some of it is destined to show up on YouTube. I’ll say when. Stand ready.
After the show, a guy came up to Hannah and had her autograph his frikkin chest! If you come across some Asian guy who smells from lack of bathing, that’ll be him. (If you also come across some autographed skin being auctioned on ebay, don’t tell me.)
I first saw the Girls at a free concert in McCarren Park in Brooklyn last summer. I’ve seen them go from Girls to Grrrls. This week they became Rokk Chixx. I’ve been told they’re working on two new songs. What’s next for them?
Come and find out for yourself! Their next playdate is March 14th at The Bitter End.
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