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Sex Styles: A Lovemakers live show includes tonsil hockey.

Get Down, Make Love

The Lovemakers don't pussyfoot with their intentions

AMBITION IS an ugly word in indie rock. It is uncool. Fame, should it happen, must appear accidental and mildly confusing, not unlike an unexpected pregnancy. That's why when the Oakland-based synth-pop group The Lovemakers jump-started their career by handing out free demos of their music at parties and other band's shows and even to random passersby, they looked like dorks. Any band that wants to give away its music is doing so because it could never sell that crap, right? Aspiration is inversely proportional to suckiness. Add to that the fact that band member Scott Blonde proudly announced that the group was in search of a major-label deal right out of the box—no Sub Pop, no Troubleman, no Saddle Creek, just Geffen, BMG or Warner Bros. if you please.

Well, the Lovemakers have scored a major-label contract all right, and they even scored a contract with a label that generally grabs the best underground bands that already have a national interest or buzz, Interscope. Queens of the Stone Age, ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs all had developed large followings in the indie scene before Interscope snatched them up.

That's why the Lovemakers' story is so unique. Not only have they scored an amazing deal with Interscope without having a national underground following, this band has also single-handedly made it OK for noncheesy bands to push themselves and actually be able to admit that they want to make it. Yes, friends, an indie band with the energy to promote itself is actually worthy of the fame it so desperately wants.

The Lovemakers formed in 2002, with Blonde on guitar and vocals, Lisa Light on violin, bass and vocals, and Jason Proctor on keyboards. Their sound has been compared to New Order and Berlin, placing them nicely in the canon of electronic bands that actually have pop songs jutting out from between the bleeps. The key is hooks, and this band has more of 'em than a nun's brassiere.

Onstage, the group has adopted the electroclash style of extreme sluttiness, with dildos, skimpy clothes, grinding and impromptu make-out sessions between Blonde and Light. The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart is producing their debut record due out in the Spring. The question now isn't whether the majors are ready for retro electronic bands, the question is whether or not the mainstream ready for the Lovemakers. Get a close-up view on Saturday (Jan. 8) as the Lovemakers play the Blank Club with Von Iva and Lolita. Tickets are $7, and the show starts at 9pm.

Katy St. Clair

Shoutouts

A group of DJs and promoters have banded together to aid tsunami-ravaged South Asia. A benefit show happens Wednesday (Jan. 5) at Club Glo, 396 S. First St., San Jose. DJs Golden Chyld, Soulo, Illtraxx, Rayzarkus, Hostyle, PG-13, J-Spin and Remy Reminisce spin hip-hop, R&B, breaks, soul and dancehall, with all proceeds going to support families affected by the disaster. Tickets are $5, but donations are welcome. More information at info@blufizz.com. ... San Francisco's finest reggae/dancehall night, Club Dread, opened its South Bay residency last Sunday at Pete Escovedo's Latin and Jazz Club. Selectors Robert Rankin, Spliff Skankin, Jennicyde, Adam Twelve and Bigga Happiness Sound, General Patton, Brixton Hitman and Humble Lion blessed the session. Check it out every Sunday night from 8pm to 2am, with no cover before 11pm.

Todd Inoue


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From the January 5-11, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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