Girl Trouble is a band known for longevity and lasting appeal, having spent close to three decades carrying the torch of the local punk and garage-rock scenes. But with just five albums released in that time, and nearly a decade gone by since the last one, "The Illusion of Excitement" – prolific output, not so much. “We're horrible, I know,” admits K.P. Kendall, the band's frequently shirtless, go-go dancing frontman. “But I don't feel as bad when I hear No Doubt just got their first album in 11 years out.” Well, if procrastination is good enough for Gwen Stefani, we suppose. Besides, there are signs that the quartet – also drummer Bon “Von Wheelie” Henderson, guitarist Bill “Kahuna” Henderson and bassist Dale Phillips – could mend its slackerly ways, even at this far into its career. An unusually busy stretch for Girl Trouble kicked off last night at Tacoma's Swiss Tavern with an opening gig for surf-guitar legend Dick Dale. The band has two more big shows next month and plans to release not one but two CDs in 2013. (Okay, one is a reissue.) And that's not to mention “Strictly Sacred,” the Girl Trouble documentary that Tacoma director Isaac Olsen has been raising funds to make; Olsen being the guy who helmed “Quiet Shoes,” the feature-length comedy that starred the band and other local musicians back in 2010. Here's a more detailed breakdown of what Girl Trouble has coming our way.
Hurricane Sandy benefit this weekend
Girl Trouble was recently tapped to play a benefit show for New York's Norton Records that will be held Dec. 2 at the Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W. in Seattle. Like Seattle's Light in the Attic, Norton specializes in reissuing forgotten or unheralded tunes from yesteryear, which have included material from Tacoma's own garage gods the Fabulous Wailers and the Sonics. But much of the label's inventory was damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. “Pretty much anything after '66 sucks as far as they're concerned, unless it's a throwback band that does garage,” Kendall says. “Me and Bill used to joke about tying (label co-founder Billy Miller) up and making him listen to 'A Night At the Opera' by Queen.” Sunday's benefit will kick off at 6 p.m. with a lineup that also includes Seattle power-pop favorites the Young Fresh Fellows, Tacoma's F***|ing Eagles, the Tripwires, Less Than Equals and Sonics tribute band the New Original Sonic Sound.
Advance tickets are $12 and can be ordered through Ticket Web http://www.ticketweb.com/"www.ticketweb.com).
Countdown to Christmas
Call it a tradition in the making. The fourth annual installment of the holiday show Girl Trouble has done these last few Decembers with their garage peers, the Dignitaries, is set for 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma. “We play half of a Girl Trouble set,” Kendall explains. “Then those guys play an instrumental and I go off and get in this really rank, old Santa suit.” The holiday set should include some “Sleigh Bells,” done in the style of the Ventures' Christmas album, of course. There will be some Elvis tunes, maybe some “Linus & Lucy.” (You know, that Charlie Brown song.) “I'm trying to get Bon to sing again,” Kendall says. “It's really hard to get her to try and do it, and I love to get back on the drums, too. But I think I may have her talked into it this year to do it again.”
Girl Trouble and the Dignitaries will be joined by Tacoma's Si Si Si; http://www.thenewfrontierlounge.com for the latest details.
New (and old) material on the way
And the rumors are true: Girl Trouble is, indeed, working on the long-awaited follow up to their “Illusion” album. Kendall reports that his band has finished three-quarters of the project with Sam Olsen of Tacoma band Red Hex at the helm. “I don't know what we're gonna do,” he says. “We're probably gonna end up putting it out ourselves.” A new cut the band has been playing is called “Blood Makes the Grass Grow,” its provocative title coming from a banner that cheerleaders at Washington High School made when Bon attended in the '70s. “This song is pretty vague and nondescript, other than that violence ensues,” Kendall says. “I would say it's more like something that would have been on (Girl Trouble debut album) 'Hit It Or Quit It.' A lot of the stuff off of 'Hit It or Quit It' is (like) the Cramps and Gun Club (and) this is more back toward the Gun Club style.” “Hit It Or Quit It” was the first album released by Sub Pop Records back in 1989. It was only issued on vinyl and is fairly hard to find today. But Kendall says Olympia's K Records has agreed to re-release it in CD form.