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The Lemon Lime Lights' Eastbaynian folk-punk hybrid

Wednesday, Jan 22 2003
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A proud byproduct of "Eastbaynian" culture, the Lemon Lime Lights fuse the hybrid traditions of freak-scene stars past (Charming Hostess) and present (Mark Growden) with the legacy of Gilman Street. Absent razor-edged guitars, the multigendered septet pits genteel instruments -- cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, glockenspiel, accordion -- against a rock-solid foundation of electric bass and drums. As the Lemon Lime Lights' moniker suggests, this sound is a tart concoction, an acquired taste that often appeals to tequila lushes and Corona enthusiasts alike.

The songs on the band's debut seven-track CD, You Call That a Waltz?, are tight and trashy, with serpentine clarinet lines, interlocking percussive motifs, and swayable rhythms that more than make up for a dearth of hummable melodies. Vocalists JD (who doubles on the squeezebox) and Lisa (the cellist) steer tunes like "Ebola" and "Lick My Pussy" with an insouciance that's all attitude. JD apes a carnival barker coaxing listeners into a tent of oddities, while Lisa sings like an aloof wraith who dares (and scares) with her come-ons: "Lick my pussy while I suck your cock all through the niiiiiight ...." Sans the inimitable Eastbaynian soundtrack behind the voices, you'd swear this was the Barbary Coast, circa 1849.

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Sam Prestianni

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