Pussy Galore

Poll Winner The Odd.

In a year when a gadfly like Babs Carlson could actually be considered a threat in the mayoral race, it shouldn't be surprising that the local music scene--with a power vacuum equal to that of City Hall--should once again display a shift in taste. Look at the record: Last year, a town deeply entrenched in guitar rock voted in favor of Brother Sun Sister Moon and Sukpatch--pop/electronica acts both. This year? With electronic music and DJ culture rising to prominence, we find ourselves secretly yearning for the perverse punk of the late '60s/early '70s--as reflected by this year's poll winners, the Odd.

If you've never heard of them, you've surely heard something like them--try the Stooges for a start. To date, they've got one six-song demo tape to their name, Journey to the Center of Your Jeans (recorded in the bassist's Flowerpot studio), and it's safe to say that they are not yet courting major-label interest. Among the more rousing tracks: "Street Fuck"; "Hyena" (a Radio K hit); and "A Woman Can Make a Man Do Crazy Things." Some might call this music sexy; others, shitabilly. Is it challenging? Hardly. Groundbreaking? Nope. Ambitious? Hell no. Politically correct? Fuck no. Refreshing? Why not?

Featuring former members from Bean Girl and the Glenrustles (guitarist Danny Haeg and bassist Rich Mattson, respectively), the Odd don't take themselves too seriously. But if you wanted to try to take them seriously--which is probably a bad idea--you might claim that their refusal to conform to any hot new trend reflects a disillusionment with the music business. The Odd are always ready to stoke a crowd with what it already knows--escapism, voyeurism, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. They deck out in soft-core glam-wear, and they put on a bit of a show, and it's clear that they mean to entertain--which sets them in contrast to the self-serious shoegazers of the indie-rock set.

"We have this song called 'The Royal Knights,' which is about the Royal Knights sauna that closed down on Lake Street," says singer Tommy Siler, who transforms himself onstage from an unassuming shlep into a low-rent Andy Warhol, with shaggy blond hair and celebrity shades. "One of the things about the sauna: Before they would let anything transpire between pedestrian and matron you had to go down on her. It would initiate you, so they would know you weren't a cop." Spelling it out for the lowest common denominator, the Odd leave no room for ambiguity. "The only problem with that song," adds keyboardist Mark Mallman, "was that it had way too many lyrics. Now it's called 'Eat You Out.'"

Iggy Pop claimed that he wanted a pussy that could walk and talk. L7 politely invited you to "smell the magic." The Odd just want to say the word pussy. Pussy! Pussy! And what to make of this is anyone's guess. Is it misogyny? Maybe. Idiocy? Definitely. It's most enjoyable if you try not to think about it too much. They don't.

"Once when we played 'Wet Pussy,'" Mallman remembers, "I looked out into the crowd and the floor was filled with girls dancing. It's all positive."

"Pussy is a metaphor for rock," Siler says.

"No it isn't," Mallman counters. "It's just a dumb song."

A new generation of sensitive singer-songwriters has just mounted the stage.

 
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