Monday, April 14, 2008

The Primadonnas and The Summer of 1996

Here is the recording: Primadonnas Live on the Radio in Austin, TX

Noot d' Noot played with Judi Chicago this past weekend, and they reminded me of this great band from Austin in the 90's called The Primadonnas. When the Olympics came to Atlanta, I realized that I was looking at another summer working at the movie theater and generally not doing anything interesting, so I transferred to Austin, Texas to take some special Astronomy classes and have a great time. My favorite band during that summer was the Primadonnas, who put on the some of the best shows that I have ever seen. Once they played a house show with flashlight-lamps on their heads and spent the whole show with the room lights off and spinning their heads in synchronized circles. I wish I had a video of that one. They also made dolls of themselves for sale as merchandise. But they were the total package, including personas and back stories for the band and its members that they would adopt on the day of each show, including fake british accents. Here was their bio for the label that put out this CD:

"Three young scholars from Sussex, UK. Their story is famous and a little incredible, but unfortunately not without its share of heartbreak. After leaving the confines of their orphanage in England and stowing away on a submarine to America, they found themselves in Texas and proceeded to educate the masses on how to get shitfaced and puke all over your keyboard while still looking incredibly sexy."

They supposedly were in a skiffle band in the UK, and were trying to get back home to Sussex, but only were stranded in Austin temporarily. This was so new to people back then that some thought their story was true, and I would see people on the street go up to them and ask about their progress in returning back to the UK. They would totally roll with it every time, and never break character once.

This is a recording live on the radio in Austin, which has some of their best classic songs (Hong Kong Boogie is my favorite). They later did an album for Kill Rock Stars, but I never picked it up. It is important to note that all these songs are played live on two basic keyboards and an early sequencer. If they were around today, with all the currently available laptop/electronic gear, they would probably be one of the hottest bands out there.

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