Best Girl Band - 2006
Believe the hype: Von Iva is the new purveyor of soul, and it's got the groove-drunk fans to prove it. Singer Jillian Iva, drummer Kelly Harris, keyboardist Becky Kupersmith, and bassist Elizabeth Davis-Simpson hit all the right notes with their sublime, high-energy blend of danceable bass lines and keyboard riffs. This white-hot quartet dispenses with the grating coyness of bands like the Donnas, fusing gospel funk with a gutter punk sensibility, fucking with all sorts of genre labels along the way and getting even the rhythmless to shake their rumps. The eponymous frontwoman is way sexier than Karen O., and her husky, blues-inflected voice consistently brings audience members to their knees. Sure, the highlight of a typical show involves Iva gyrating in stilettos and showering the adoring crowd with whiskey, but the other ladies hold their own, pounding through a set with three-minute anthems like "Dance Revolution" and "Not Hot to Trot." Von Iva's even approachable and unpretentious: Get to a show early and you might catch the musicians in the crowd, dancing to the opening band.