ASMW – Odd Girl Out

Some of you who have been around for a while, or have been on road trips with me will see this selection and might wonder ‘whassupwiddat?’. I have three points on that, which I’ll get into after an overview for the less initiated.

While we all tend to be music snobs after years of drilling down into many bands and b-sides, exploring the dark inner circles of the old banged-up record store, and raiding estate sale closets for obscure genres that we’d never have found on our own, I have a well-voiced music snob pet peeve for remakes. This is the point where those who have heard my arguments on them have their eyes glaze over, so I’ll put the full arguments on parade in another post.

My reasons for choosing a cover song to be highlighted this week? First, it’s a true cover. The lyrics are blissfully un-messed-with, the notation remains, but the style has been conformed to the artist. When this is done correctly, it can often lend whole new meanings to the same song or arrangement. Second, It’s K’s birthday, and I felt that a girlband that rocks, and that breaks out with intense energy and a fresh outlook was just perfect to celebrate her big 7th. Third, The other song by Odd Girl Out that I was going to use really kicks in at about 27 seconds, so the demo clip you get here would not do it justice.

Odd Girl Out is a post-punk pop all-girl band from Baltimore who sound a lot like Joan Jett or Letters to Cleo. I got the cover of the Bangles’ Eternal Flame on spotlight here as a dedication for the people in our lives who can light up our whole day just by saying our name.

When you guys finish with your personal flashbacks to big hair, DeLoreans, and jokes about Regan’s memory lapses, Hit the “More From This Artist” button to hear clips of some of their other tracks, including a really kicking “Lost in Translation”, a playful nudge at home in “Smalltimore”, and even an ode to “MySpace”.

Shred and Wail

The whole thing was a little confusing at first. I mean, the name of the l said “upstairs”, but walking into the building, you had to go down a flight of stairs, then weave your way through a small throng of people to get to an open, cobbled courtyard (complete with a water fountain), then take one of the long staircases up to the “upstairs” area to get to the namesake of the place.

My first impression of Andrews Upstairs was that it’s very upscale, especially for the show I was there to see. It is really intimate, with room for a crowd of possibly 250 or 300 people, and has tiered levels, the top and furthest back with arranged tables and seating, the middle with ledge and high-top tables and no seating, and the bottom level being standing room in front of the smallish stage. The stage has levels and exposed sets of stairs, giving both a dramatic and geometrical feel to the place.

When The White Leppard Crüe descended from the stairs that led behind the dark curtains into the celestial heights, it was like 1986 all over again. Three rock stars (they were short by one guy that night) with torn concert shirts, hair as high as the rafters, and ready to kick ass… The show was on!

The show was high-powered and resplendent, oozing with tunes from the likes of Ratt, Poison, Guns N Roses, Motley Cruüe, Whitesnake, and Def Leppard. I tried to capture some clips with my voice recorder to share here, but the clips I got were highly overmodulated due to the extreme wattage of the show being way too much for the recorder’s sensitive widdle inputs…

The stage lights, fog machine, and and the roaming colored strobes were really cool, but not overstated. The crowd was pretty cool, if slightly overdressed, but I expected that given the part of town it’s in. The show raged in full pace for about three and a half hours. There were two or three small audio issues that were patched up very efficiently.

They said that they would be playing there again in November. Solid!