There's this man we know whom we call K.O. He is a smart man with an uncommon knowledge of early punk (and just rock music in general), and obscure radio stations you can only pick up at certain times of the day in certain areas of town (as well as just regular radio stations in general). Sometimes we ride in the car with him; when we do, we always exit the vehicle just a little bit smarter than when we entered, which is just about the best quality a person you're regularly in a car with can possess.
K.O. does not actively engage in the local music scene, but he talks like someone who does. That's where we heard about this week's Artist of the Week, Jealous Creatures, a punchy little rock quartet with all the verve you'd expect a female-led band to possess. He mentioned them Friday afternoon; by Friday evening we were smitten.
And as luck would have it, they've just released their new album, a bright, bombastic LP aptly called Little Heaven Big Sky. So we reached across the Internet to ask them about it, as well as other things. For fun, they snuck in a Big Trouble In Little China reference. See if you can spot it; first one to leave a comment identifying it wins absolutely nothing at all. Yippee!
Rocks Off: First, tell everyone everything they need to know about Jealous Creatures in exactly six words.
Lisa: It is useless to resist us.
RO: You know, we were a little surprised to find out that you all did not, in fact, have green eyes. Seems like false advertising a little.
Josh: We used to have a girl with green eyes in the band, but we lost her in a floating marital ritual to some old guy named Lo Pan*.
RO: How big of a difference is there between this new album and the first EP. You all sound to have wandered into a slightly more rounded sound.
Josh: More drugs.
Ian: I believe that's actually "drugz." And yeah, they were crucial to these songs.
Sarah: I think a lot of the difference in the sound was due to Frenchie Smith, who produced both recordings at the Bubble in Austin, TX (and liked to refer to his effects as "drugs"). He just approached this group of songs for the album with a different point of view.
Lisa: The chemistry in the band has also become more fluid. I feel like Frenchie was the mood master when we were recording. He's really got the "It" factor.
Josh: As a group, I think we've also just gotten better with arrangements.
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RO: Directly to Sarah: Not sure if you've noticed this or not, but, um, you're a woman. Have there been instances where you've been palling around with the indie boys and they've been like, "Aw, that's cute, a femme singer. Cute, cute, cute. Now move out of the way, sweetie." We mean, not in those exact words, but you know what we mean.
Sarah: I have not really encountered this problem. I actually have less patience with the girls I see who just hang out at their boyfriends' practices or watch guys dick around on guitars in music stores instead of learning how to play an instrument themselves. It also appears that Lisa is a girl as well. What do you think about this?
Lisa: Oh yeah, I am a girl. Holy cow, how did that happen?! I will admit though, when the gents offer to help me load the heavier gear, this lady doth not protest much. Seriously, I get a kick out of the moment when the guys realize that when I say, "Yeah, I'm with the band," it means I'm part of the band. It's nice to be able to go up there, rock out like my life depends on it and then exit the stage to props from the guys instead of a bunch of patronizing lectures about the novelty of being female.
RO: It seems like the title "Little Heaven Big Sky" is kind of a loaded one. Care to explain what's going on there?
Sarah: It's about looking around a shitty situation and finding out that there is a small, bright bit of happiness to which you can cling.
RO: Yes or no: The Texans will win a playoff game this year.
Ian: Finally, a question for the men! Josh, I'll let you have the honor.
Josh: I think they've got a real good chance against the Rockets.
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Lisa: Yeah, if they can just keep those bases loaded.
Little Heaven Big Sky is available at CDBaby, and other online retailers. The band performs at House of Blues September 4 and AvantGarden on Septermber 16. See Jealous Creatures' Web site for more information.