Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006 Page: 34 of 60
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Shirts, denim, belts, and
Diesel - G Star - Big Star - Energie - Paper Denim & Cloth
AG-I-Seven - Sacred Blue - Blue Cult
5926 W. Northwest Hwy.
(just west of Preston Rd.)
Saturn now offers an option no other car
company does: the option to change your mind.
Introducing Saturn's exclusive Vehicle Exchange Program:
Purchase or lease any new 2006 Saturn, and if you're not completely satisfied, you have
up to 30 days or 1,500 miles to exchange it for another new 2006 Saturn. It's that simple.
The Saturn Promise:
A Friendly No-hassle, No-haggle Buying Experience
Saturn of Irving
200 E. Airport Frwy.
Irving, TX 75052
Saturn o/Lewisville Saturn o/Plano
1515 S. Stemmons Frwy. 4041 W. Piano Pkwy.
Lewisville, TX 75067 Piano. TX 75093
& ■OTOE Sjtifn Coponm Sawn tnd -ci tn topiuttc uadmrti tf Sxim Cof&Jkxt
^ r i
* *| 1 Queer-straight Canadian
/ OT ?l k 1
T^/| duo The Vertical Struts
VyJ- ^ J\J
LL I drum and strum fun punk
STRUTTING THEIR STUFF: Straight guitarist Biesinger, left, and queer drummer Trevor make killer garage rock together.
By Gilbert Garcia Pop Music Critic
The Vertical Struts
"The Vertical Struts"
When it comes to
weird band lineups,
drum-and-guitar duos are
rare — and with good
reason. As numerous acts
have shown, bands with-
out bass is a tricky sound
to pull off. That holds
even truer for a duet,
which lacks the luxury of a second guitar to keep
time or make an extra racket.
Latest to hop on to this small bandwagon are
Alberta's The Vertical Struts. Pairing a straight
boy and a queer one, this Edmonton duo dive
headlong into their lo-fi punk experiment with
aplomb. On their self-titled debut, the pair find a
new wrinkle to their limited palette — taking the
drum and guitar sound for a cool spin.
In most cases, the two-person guitar and drum
combo rely on a very noisy guitar to fill in any
sonic gaps. Think of Jack White's endless use of
feedback and distortion. Last year, when lesbian
duo The Moaners released their debut, guitarist
Melissa Swingle used bluesy slide guitar riffs to
achieve the same effect. The Vertical Struts, how-
ever, turn this fonnula on its head.
Guitarist R.E. Beisinger's riffs are barely
processed at all, much less distorted. Instead, he
and gay drummer Trevor Anderson work like a
mini rhythm section, fueling their electric dervish
with crazy rhythms and a whole lot of shouting.
Throw in the incessant counting of tracks like
"The Chief Fox" and the questionable time keep-
ing on songs like "It's Just I Gotta Know," and
you've got a group that harkens back to
the days of two-chord punk.
And it certainly doesn't hurt that
Beisinger 's dopey vocals are remi-
niscent of early Jonathan Richman.
In spite of being decidedly
unpolished and extremely noisy, A
there's just no denying how
much fun "The Vertical Struts'
sound. With only two tracks —
the ballads — breaking the
three-minute mark, the I
songs on this record hit and
run before you even get a chance to tire
of them. At less than half an hour total, Beisinger
and Anderson's 11 -track album leaves you want-
ing more. Before this record, many could have
assumed that the days of no-bass bands were
over, and bid good riddance to silly gimmicks.
This album shows there's still much more to
Mary J. Blige
Hip-hop has its share
of talented rappers, but no
one straddles rap and
R&B as effortlessly as
Mary J. Blige. Mining a
traumatic past for her
song material, Blige's
street cred has never been
in question, and her passion has always seemed
more genuine than most.
The rough and tumble days are well behind
the singer, and she finds herself even more ful-
filled by her marriage. But the tough times still
remain her muse.
Originally thought to be a retrospective, "The
Breakthrough" doesn't feature a greatest hits col-
lection, but does find Blige looking back again at
her troubled past. Tracks with titles like
"Baggage" and "Father In You" speak for them-
selves, while anthems like "Good Woman
Down" find a wiser Blige dispensing advice to
young women who've seen parts of themselves
in her songs. Though she may have proclaimed
More Drama" in 2001, drama
is still what makes Blige tick.
And on this record, it's what
makes her shine.
— Gilbert Garcia
Move over, RuPaul. Take a
★ step back, Madonna. Transgender
plastic surgery heroine Amanda
Lepore is an official disco queen.
Ten remixes of her infectious ditties went up on
the iTunes music store this week, and child, they
are sublime, booty-shaking hits: "Champagne"
and "My Flair Looks Fierce." With the help of
underground queer rapper Cazwell, Lepore busts
rhymes better than Busta Rhymes.
34 I dallasvoice.com I 01.13.06
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006, newspaper, January 13, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238891/m1/34/: accessed July 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.