Apr 27, 2010
Sia and Girl in a Coma at the Vic on 4/26/10
Admittedly, I am no punk rocker and never was. The closest I ever came was on senior punk day in high school when I wore my hair in a side pony (not very punk you say?) and a shiny pink zipper jacket with a TON of make-up. Oh, I also liked the B-52's (new wave not equal to punk you say?). So, not having heard of the band Girl in a Coma (now for obvious reasons), I was taken a bit off guard (my inner punkrocker was always hard to locate). The band name, I have now learned, was modified from the Smith's song "Girlfriend in a Coma". Sounds so much better doesn't it? The band consists of Nina Diaz (lead vocals and guitar), her sister Phanie on drums, and Jenn Alva on bass. Their records are released on Blackheart records, co-owned by Joan Jett, who does actually make an appearance on their recording "Joanie and the City". The band is a San Antonio based punk band that displays moments of rockabilly and 60's Latino rock (listen to song "Ven Cerea" for a sample). When the band mellowed a bit with "El Monte" (see video below) you could (finally!) appreciate Nina Diaz's throaty and complex voice. She is very talented (and I was not a believer!). She sounds, in this song, like the sibling of Brandi Carlile (who is fabulously talented). So, the band is nuanced and there is a bit of something for all of us, even if you are not a head banging punk rocker like me. For more visit www.girlinacoma.com. Their sophomore release "Trio B.C." is getting good reviews. All in all they get a 4 out of 5 guitar rating (especially if you are a punk fan).
This was my 3rd time seeing Sia solo and have also seen her with the band Zero 7 at least twice (I have seen Zero 7 since Sia went solo and it is not the same). The stage was decorated with quilts, pom poms, and knitted microphone covers. Her band were also dressed in paper (or other light material) white jumpsuits. She is a trip. Early on in the show she requested a "signer" from the audience to come up on stage to enhance her performance for the hearing impaired. Emily, and later Alison, joined her on stage to assist. Emily, at first, attempted to sign but apparently was not all that familiar with the songs. Which begs the question: why did you volunteer to come up on stage and sign? Needless to say, the pair of women shortly became additional stage ornamentation sans demonstrable skill. A bit later, Robert, an avid and experienced signer, volunteered to join the band on stage and did the job well. We ran into him after the show and he did not get his money back (since he did not actually get to see the show after all) and his only payment was an avocado. Sia performed her new song "Clap Your Hands" and had audience members on stage to dance with her (see video attached). She is an extremely engaging performer - you just want to take her home because she is so personable, cute, and funny. I visualize a moppy headed Sia Doll (stuffed and small, not blow up and plastic you pervs) that you could play with. Sort of a Raggedy Sia doll. I do need to mention that she appeared on stage wearing head gear that consisted of a metal wire beakish device that had lights on it. That is all I can say about that contraption. Not sure what it meant but she did refer to it as some sort of "penis head". On to the show: as usual her voice is a phenom and belongs to its own universe. It is impossible to duplicate. In fact, I cannot even compare her to anyone else. Hard to imagine how such a big voice is in such a small person. Having previously seen her at Martyrs, I have to say, the Vic is a poor substitute. The sound is far superior at Martyrs and you can get much closer to the stage. I am not in love with the Vic in terms of sound. The only other disappointment was that there was no encore (really?). She did so much schtick on stage that she had no time for another song (but it was only 10pm!). Was the band that inflexible or was it the venue? No one will ever know. Only because I have seen her in better spaces and no encore... the show gets a 4 out of 5 guitar rating.