Thursday, June 26, 2008

80s Divas Want Your Ass on the Dance Floor

Laurie and I arrived too early to see Rollerball last night which meant we had to watch the two opening bands. They ranged from insufferable to tolerable in presentation. By the time Rollerball got on the Someday Lounge stage, my ears were TIRED. But I knew right away we were in very good hands. This is a really tight, flowing, jazzy, groove-laden band, collectively led by Mae Starr, lead singer and keyboard player (she plays a mean red tambourine stick too).

I wanted to see Rollerball because their jazzier stuff reminded me slightly of forgotten 80s band, Weekend. But live, they more resemble a grittier version of Romeo Void if Romeo Void were an art-rock band. Mae Starr is such a confident musician and her voice is powerful, dark and dare I write: compelling.

Here's some strong women performers from the past. We could use a bit more of this if only to have more fun with music.

Grace Jones - Pull Up To The Bumper, 1981. A style-maven who made androgyny so pretty. Even though her voice was criticized by some as not technically proficient, no one could ever deny her supreme star power. Plus she looked like she could deck you one, but good.

Nina Hagen - Zarah, 1988. I don't use the word "bitch" lightly but Nina Hagen is one fierce bitch. She can really sing too.

Danielle Dax - Big Hollow Man, 1988. I'm not familiar with Danielle Dax's tunes but she was a big deal in Europe after singing in The Lemon Kittens. Only in the 80s could someone's solo career fail due to being too pretty, but I sense this is what happened to her. She was a fine Goth performer as well.

Lene Lovich - New Toy, 1981. Nobody seemed to take Lene Lovich seriously, even Lene Lovich, but she's wonderfully wacky. I liked her braided hair aesthetic--not everyone can pull that off. I didn't realize her big hit Lucky Number was from 1979! The same year as Patrick Hernandez' Born To Be Alive. Great year for music.

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