When I was in college the first time, I had the good fortune to see Andrew W.K. live. This is not about him…not yet. This is about the band that opened.
It was a little punky band led by a 16 year old girl named Noelle (hence the band’s name at the time: Noelle). Their lead guitarist, some guy who decided he deserved a doubleneck, wrote the songs, which was a little bit sad because their songs sounded like they were written by the 16 year old fronting the band. This isn’t a bad thing, somehow…I was struck by the sweetness of her voice against the crisp crunch of the music, as it contrasted with her sheer confidence. At a time when female rock was personified by Gwen Stefani or worse, this girl struck me at the core.
A couple years later I found out they changed their name to Damone, and were releasing an official record on a real label. Their debut came out nationally, and while not perfect, it was everything I’d hoped for. There are some embarrassing bits, as there are with all creation one makes in their teens. So it goes. I was happy.
Then something must have happened, because suddenly Noelle grew up, kicked out the twit writing songs about the mall, and served up a disc of glam-inspired youth riot sounds that felt, well, relevant to anyone who had ever been young and wanted to live that youth. I have a soft spot for the cheese that they evolved from, but their second album showed a band with all the promise in the world. Which is why they don’t exist now, obviously.
This song, possibly the best they ever wrote, pumps me up and rejuvenates me every time, and while it’s clearly just mindless live-life-balls-deep-or-vag-deep-since-I’m-a-woman rock, it does suggest two very important life skills: put yourself in danger (take goddamn risks), and don’t answer if anyone calls (live the life in front of you, or maybe just literally, put down your damned iPhone for a freakin’ second). Those are my interpretations, at least. I think the real meaning is “this sounds good, we’re gonna rock it.”
I did have the good fortune to run into Noelle and the band’s new guitarist in Logan airport the day I moved to Texas. They were charming and gracious, and somehow I think I managed to be, too. I didn’t want to take too much of their time, but we did talk long enough for it to count as talking. If you ever read this, Noelle, I hope I left a good impression. We should meet at the spot some time. Maybe see you there? Or not.
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