Sunday, March 07, 2010

Best of the Naughts: Star Death

Three pieces of astronomical detritus falling to earth and shattering the noise barrier. From the death of stars comes the roots of life itself: bursts pop, Blue yells, Tobi flips, Aleta knocks, in and out of constant rock frenzy and song.

I mused many times over the name. This was one band that never seemed to crave stardom. Death to the stars! Who do they think they are, anyway, lording it over us all? It's just a sickness, the way they hook you on their star lives, all carefully revealed through cunningly calculated media outlets. The Star Death are the anti-stars, the black holes of celebrityhood. They seemed to play and write songs without the slightest hint of that creepy sick need to be famous.

The Star Death was a powerful trio to hear live, and were somewhat responsible for inspiring me to start watching local bands again at the end of the late 90s. I was intrigued by their feminist politics, more so than I even knew at the time, and loved the way they built abrupt changes of mood and timing into their songs. Most people my age, even when they liked punk, were put of by Blue's screaming fits and ever-changing vocal style, which goes from little girl lyrical to tuneless proclamations to outraged screams of defiance.

Blueberry was the leader of the band, and was also well known as a solo singer-songwriter around town. She was extremely cordial when I decided to try shooting documentaries about local bands in my spare time. Toby was the bassist, and very easy going and able to play extreme runs of manic notes while she played. The drummer was a quiet kid named Aleta, who had some decent chops as well, and who seemed tireless as she banged out entire sets of challenging material.

The Star Death put out at least 2 CDs, and the video above is taken from their first CD, The Sweetness Killers. Part of the images on the tape came from them actually playing the song, though I gave up on syncing it after the first few notes. The first part of the video contains some drunken male obscenities that could offend the ears of younger listeners.