Shiragirl: Outside The Box
Imagine Chicks on Speed for the new generation " complete with their own unique, electro-punk style. Enter: Shiragirl " the fiercest girl band to hit the music scene in awhile. But classifying them as just a "girl band" is like calling Elvis just a pop star or Michael Jackson just a poor white guy with a bad nose " there is so much more to the story.
Starting three years ago, Shiragirl has covered a lot of ground in the underground music scene; crashing every Warped Tour being just one of their many accomplishments. Shiragirl consists of Shira (vocals), DJ Lava, Lux, Flash, and Marisa and currently auditioning for a keyboardist to add to their already unique sound.
Shiragirl's self-proclaimed philosophy of "make your own" hits the punk rock nail right on the head. They pride themselves in making their own sound, stage, and even tour bus (they painted it bright pink). They are rowdy; they are feministy; and they are just so goddamn trendy. Just like their musical predecessors (the aforementioned Chicks on Speed), Shiragirl has broken down so many walls between genres that they’ve become a huge melodious fusion of hip-hop, punk, electronica, metal, whatever; you name it they've got it. It's as if they've stolen thousands of car parts from famous musicians and have stuck them all together to create the ultimate work of art (or possibly a hot pink tour bus).
But redefining the term D.I.Y. or providing a stage at Warped tour for so many female indie artists is just a taste of what Shira strives to accomplish. Whether it be her music, her stage presence or even her Warped Tour stage Shira refuses to allow anyone or any label to control her destiny. She is determined to expand and explore with her music as she proves with her latest line up and stage performance. "This is Shiragirl." Shira says shortly after opening for none other than the original riot grrl and queen of rock, Joan Jett at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.
When asked what it felt like to be opening for a legend such as Joan Jett, Shira said, " It was an incredible honor to open up for Joan Jett! An original riot grrrl! We got contacted by Blackheart Records and asked to play the show. I'll never forget looking over to the side of the stage and seeing her watching... and my mind went black hahaha.... but it was an awesome experience and I feel so lucky to have gotten that chance."
Delivering what this writer believes is her most daring and energentic stage show yet, Shira gives us a taste of just what she'll be flaunting at this year's Warped Tour. Backed by a solid and experienced line up Shira now explores the stage freedom she has held back so often in the past. The result, 30 minutes of turbo charged Punk-rap-electronica at its best, flowing along so rapidly and smoothly when you finally take a moment and step back you realize you have entered a new sound and world you have never experienced before.
Review: Not Sold in Stores
Like I said, Shiragirl is the Chicks on Speed for the next generation – only tougher. For those of you not down with the riot grrl scene, allow me to refresh your memory. Chicks on Speed was an early 90s band electro-pop band charged with bold tongue-in-cheek hooks (think Bikini Kill meets Talking Heads). Now well into the new millennium, Shiragirl has picked up where Chicks on Speed left off with their debut album Not Sold in Stores.
Like it intimates, the album is independently produced and released – and is not sold in stores. The first track off the record, “Fake Teen Angst”, gets right to the point and takes a huge stab at MTV and the lack of authenticity in “radio-friendly” music. A few tracks later, “Kill It” uses this deficiency of originality in all forms of media as a motive for destroying your television. Just don’t take it literally and go on a smashing spree – Shiragirl is not responsible for any damaged property or goods.
The rest of the album sends a blatantly clear message out; it’s a big “EFF YOU!” to the materialistic masses of corporate America. Shiragirl has been doing it their own way for years now and are proud of it. “This is Not a Girl” is their anthem for any girl deemed “different” by others. It puts a spin on all self-deprecating songs about being unique and uses it as a mantra of sorts. This is not your average girl/ if its average that you like we’re through.
The second to last song on the album entitled “Oooh…” is NOT about sex. Or touching, pleasure, desire, passion, etc, etc. Au contraire, it’s about breaking the taboo that sex has become. The entire song is a whirlwind of sexual terms, claiming that the song is NOT about these things – when it so obviously seems to be. Again, Shiragirl is crossing the line and breaking the limitations on music. It’s a defiant cry against the forbidden fruit that sex has become in the media.
The album ends with a spoken word poem entitled “Naked.” Very Bif-esque. Shiragirl asks the question, are we ever really naked? The word naked is analyzed in its every definition from nudity to truth. It all leads back to the same conclusion, though. America is filled with nothing but commercial-driven, Cosmo-reading, nip-tucking, self-obsessed, self-mutilating, media-oriented, apathetic women. None of us are really naked – until we can face our true selves.