Girls, Girls, Girls: The SF Band Plays Bottom Of The Hill
Who doesn’t love Girls? Even better than the real double-X-chromosome dealie is the all-boy SF band of androgynous charmers, which performs at Bottom of the Hill Saturday, Nov. 21.
Inspirations such as Beach Boys and Jonathan Richman, Elephant Six Southern indie psychedelicists and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound-buttressed girl groupers, complete with sleigh bells and angel-headed harmonies, flit in and out of Girls’ Album (True Panther/Matador) to sublime effect, from the opening track’s ode to desire, “Lust for Life” with its up-front, out-and-proud opening lines as sung with almost-comic exaggeration by long-tressed Christopher Owens -- “Oh, I wish I had a boyfriend / I wish I had a loving man in my life / I wish I had a father / Maybe then I might have turned out right / Now I’m just crazy / I’m totally mad!” -- to the heavenly sounding, ironically titled “Hellhole Ratrace.”
The latter might be the sweetest song on Album -- the full-bodied live arrangement is slowed down, pared away and refashioned for maximum drama, as Owens plies his adenoidal croon: “And I don’t want to cry my whole life through / I wanna do some laughing too / So c’mon, c’mon, c’mon and laugh with me / And I don’t wanna die without shaking a leg or two / Yeah, I wanna do some dancing, too / So c’mon, c’mon, c’mon c’mon and dance with me.”
Owens may have one of the most intriguing, multi-dimensional artistic identities to come out of Bay Area music in a long while, as well as one of the most unique voices to come down the pike since Joanna Newsom. And standing apart from so many other local bands, Girls manage to inject a wry, are-they-serious-or-aren’t-they wit into some equally sophisticated songwriting. Girls are far too good to simply remain in the bedrooms they began recording in.
Girls play Saturday, Nov. 21, 10 p.m., at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., SF. Tamaryn and Dominant Legs open. $12. (415) 621-4455, www.bottomofthehill.com.