"Und jetzt, aus der entfernten Stadt Seattle, eine wunderbare 'rock-und-roll' Bande, Die faulen Apfel. " ("And now, all the way from Seattle...
“Und jetzt, aus der entfernten Stadt Seattle, eine wunderbare ‘rock-und-roll’ Bande, Die faulen Apfel.”
(“And now, all the way from Seattle, a wonderful ‘rock-and-roll’ band, the Rotten Apples!”)
Sometimes, it’s good to be bad.
At first glance, this isn’t necessarily how you would want your daughters to turn out: covered in tattoos, chain-smoking, guzzling wine and cursing their way through rowdy punk-rock practices.
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Well, they don’t call themselves the Rotten Apples for nothing.
No, it’s not your glazed-over, “America’s Next Top Model” view of the glammed-out, made-up and faked-up “ideal” young lady. But if you like aggressive, old-school punk, played by real women with real passion for music, this is your band.
The Rotten Apples have been around since 1999, and the only real problem with this band is that singer Dejha Colantuono has so much going on. She has moved to L.A. and back, and bounced in and out of several other bands (Daylight Basement, Ragazza, Atomic Bombshells, the Pin-Ups) — in addition to running a beauty salon.
A few months ago, German label Trash2001 (www.trash2001.de) contacted Colantuono and told her they would fly the band overseas to record the next Rotten Apples record.
Colantuono didn’t hesitate to agree, despite the little detail of not having any new songs at the time.
“We got in gear once it happened,” the spunky singer said the other night. “Personally, I work really well when I’ve got deadlines.” The German recording offer and concurrent European tour helped her focus her attention on this band: “I didn’t really know what I was doing with the band, we’d play whenever, take off for a while … “
In a few months, Colantuono and her Rotten Apples wrote a dozen songs, putting them together in all-night, wine-fueled sessions in the singer’s West Seattle basement.
If you haven’t seen the Rotten Apples in more than a year, you might be shocked to see Colantuono has completely changed over her backing crew: adding guitarist Kimberly Morrison, bass player Bambi Nutt and drummer Laura Derig, veterans of (respectively) New Fangs, the Razorbabes and Hell’s Belles.
Nutt remembers the first Razorbabes show, at downtown dive Gibson’s (now closed, R.I.P.), when members of the Rotten Apples kept telling her to turn up her bass; she nodded, and pretended to do so, intimidated by the tough-looking ladies. “I remember going to their shows and thinking, ‘I want to be in this band!’ “
Derig was similarly smitten with the Rotten Apples: “I told them, if you ever need a drummer, give me a call.”
Morrison had a previous stint in Rotten Apples, and, after playing in other all-female bands, had made a decision: “All-girl bands are [expletive] retarded! I remember thinking, ‘I’ll never be in another all-girls band!’ “
So much for vows. When her friend Nutt joined Colantuono’s band, she eagerly re-enlisted.
Judging from a few new songs the Rotten Apples played, the sound is as good as ever. The dynamic Colantuono pulls the sound together, with her commanding, urgent vocals detonating the cynical, furious songs.
“I think it’s still basically the same — but edgier,” Colantuono said. “We’re phasing out the poppy punk stuff … It feels more serious. More grown-up.”
But still rotten to the core. In a good way.
Before heading to Germany, the Rotten Apples rock the Funhouse at 9:30 tonight ($6, with LD and Her Pretty Pretties and the Heavy Hearts). Expect old songs like “Road Rage” and “Love Career” as well as “Give You Mean” and other new jams.
• The Trucks, a newer crew of musical women, recently released a sassy, sexy electro-pop CD on Clickpop Records. Kristin Marie Allen-Zito sings lyrics like “I turn into a bitch / when I’m hungry / I wear my panties / for a few days too long.“
The second song … well, even the song title is too nasty to name here.
There’s even a rocked-out song or two, like “Messages.” Silly stuff, but musically wise. “Why The?” will never make it on the radio, though it’s certain to get hoots of concurrence from women at shows.
With energetic keyboard and synth-jams, the Trucks are a sure bet to be big crowd favorites.
The Trucks roll down from Bellingham to play Fremont’s High Dive at 9 p.m. Saturday ($6).
Also on that bill is Water Kill the Sun, a talented, veteran band sporting a new lead singer. Ian Schuelke‘s vocals are now jammed between Gavin Gregory‘s keyboard notes and Krispijn Larrison‘s guitar.
• Grunge isn’t dead — it’s just been in a coma.
Open Choir Fire, one of the most evolved of the neo-grunge bands slinking around town, plays the Rendezvous at 10 p.m. Saturday ($5).
Tom Scanlon: firstname.lastname@example.org