Girl in a Coma
Girl in a Coma, hailing from the Lone Star State, formed when best friends Jenn Alva and Phanie Diaz met in Jr-high school art class over a mutual love of the Smiths, Nirvana, and skipping school. All they needed was a singer. Enter Nina Diaz, Phanie's then 12-year old little sister. Nina blew them away with her mesmerizing vocals, a powerful voice some critics have compared to Bjork, Patsy Cline, and the band's hero, Morrissey himself. The trio practiced for three years, gigged at local punk rock clubs, played a High School talent show, one kid's birthday party, and then hit the road, building up a solid and loyal fan base across the country.
In 2006, the Girls played for Joan Jett and long-time songwriting partner and producer, Kenny Laguna, at New York's Knitting Factory as part of a cable TV show featuring unknown bands. Jett and Laguna were so impressed with the band that they signed GIAC to their label, Blackheart Records, on the spot. The band's 2007 debut album, Both Before I'm Gone, was a critical hit with raves from Alternative Press Magazine, the LA Weekly, Bust magazine, among many others, with the album reaching No. 23 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and No. 21 on iTunes. "Clumsy Sky," the band's first single, won a 2007 Independent Music Award in the Best Song-Punk category. The last of the four singles released, "Their Cell," was recently voted by TV viewers into the Top 10 on Logo's The Click List show.
Since the CD's release GIAC has been headlining shows in venues coast-to-coast, playing on Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" tour, as well as opening for the Pogues, Social Distortion, Tegan and Sara in a cross-country national tour, and with Morrissey in both Europe and the U.S.
In between the constant touring, the band was busy writing songs for their new CD, the upcoming Blackheart Record's release Trio B.C. The creative process was a new and liberating experience for the Girls.
"The challenge for this record was having to come up with songs in a matter of a year," Jenn explains, "with Both Before I'm Gone we had 7 years with that material. For this new CD, a little over 18 months."
As with their first album, the end result is a unique amalgamation of eclectic influences: oldies, rockabilly, 90s alternative, and contemporary bands both indie and mainstream. And in a nod to their San Antonio, Texas background, the Girls place their cutting-edge rock sound in a familiar context.
"We chose Trio B.C. as the album title because it was the name of our grandfather's Tejano band way back in the 50s," Phanie Diaz explains. "He was our first musical influence. He would play us guitar and sing and we would love to watch him in the garage with a cold beer in his hand playing his records and singing along like he meant it. His passion is our inspiration. We hope to make people feel that way about our music."
Trio B.C. includes tracks produced by Grammy-award winning producer Greg Collins (U2 and Gwen Stefani) and Gabriel Gonzalez (formerly of Sparta and one of the producers of the band's debut Both Before I'm Gone). Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna produced two special tracks on the CD, "Vino," and "Joannie in the City," a snarling, post-punk rock cut featuring Joan Jett on guitar along with Jett's distinct vocals on background.
"The song is about females in the music business," Girl in a Coma's writer/singer Nina Diaz explains about her song, "having that tough attitude and doing what you want. Joan was the door opener for us all."
The rest of the album's cuts explore different styles and tempos with tracks ranging from the eerie and poetic love song "El Monte" to the fast and hard rocking "Static Mind." Other tracks include the delicate ballad "Pink Lemonade" and the more sonically experimental "Ven Cerca," Girl in a Coma's first Spanish language song, a cover of a bright 1960s Mexican pop song, but made modern and dissonant with feedback and fuzzy guitars reminiscent of Sonic Youth at their grungiest best.
When not on the road Phanie likes to Ghost Hunt. Jenn paints pictures. And Nina has a stuffed bear named Güenther. They all love tattoos.
LITTLE RED WOLF
MEGHAN ROSE - VOCALS/GUITAR/ACCORDION/PIANO
Meghan has an instrument addiction, which the band only encourages. She is proud of contributions with A Catapult Western and Atlas Improv Company, and enjoys band coaching for Girls and Ladies Rock Camps in Madison. Current projects: writing scores for Chapel: The Series, and for a new musical....about zombies.
KELLY MAXWELL - VOCALS/GUITAR/HARMONICA/PIANO
Kelly is a bit of a Renaissance woman. She also sings and shakes the tambourine for local disco supergroup VO5, acts in about a million plays and short films, and gives killer massages. She also designs most of the band's posters and art, because girl's got skills.
LAURA DETERT - VIOLA/BASS/PIANO/BELLS
Laura is likewise a multi-instrumentalist. She plays viola, bass, and piano, and spends much of her time chasing butterflies and snakes on behalf of the State. She's been in the UW-Minnesota and UW-Madison symphony orchestras and currently plays with the SOS String Quartet. She has also been in the bands Strange Talking Animals and A Catapult Western.
EMILY MILLS - VOCALS/PERCUSSION
Emily loves this band with all her heart. She would marry it if that were legal. Of course, being the loving type, she also moonlights as the drummer for Madison-based garage/surf/pop outfit The Shabelles. She does a lot of other artsy stuff, too, which you can learn more about at her website.
VENUS IN FURS
Gritty, dance-able surf punk. This all-girl trio creates a fast tempo, mostly instrumental party of sound that is influenced both by post-punk and classic surf rock music. The three serve up this sound with a highly energenic stage show, that will get you dancing. Venus in Furs teamed up just over a year ago - hitting the Madison rock scene full tilt, opening up for the likes of The Red Elvises, The Koffin Kats, MEN and Knuckel Drager. The group continues to grow musically and in their diverse following.
Venus in Furs features Vic on guitar, Marlo on drums, and Nat on bass. Vic began playing guitar when she was five years old. She made the rounds on the ska/hardcore scene in Hartford, Conn. from 1995 through 2000 with Golgo 13, opening for bands such as Mustard Plug, Spring Heeled Jack, Reel Big Fish and The Skatelites.
Marlo has been banging on drum kits since she was a youth. She has been in several Chicago based bands in the past, and is excited about Venus in Furs' momentum.
In addition to having played bass and guitar with punk-metal groups Damidol and The New Original Chosen Evil, Nat also directs video, with notable projects including "Drown Out the Daylights", a documentary highlighting artists on the Madison-based label Crustacean Records.
High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|