There are a lot of serious female shredders out there these days. Perhaps the most mind-blowing of them all is Marnie Stern, whose intimidatingly technical playing I can compare only to Eddie Van Halen.
Over three albums — her new “The Chronicles of Marnia” is out March 19 — Stern has melted my face with her axe skills and odd be-bop vocal style. She also puts on an insane live performance: I saw her play at the Rock & Roll Hotel, and she blasted the place so hard I thought the building would achieve liftoff.
Stern is on the venerable indie label Kill Rock Stars, which helped all-female bands Team Dresch, Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney make a huge mark on music in the ’90s. KRS has also re-released early records by punk matriarchs the Raincoats and proto-punks the Delta 5, whose female guitarist, Julz Sale, is an unsung dance-punk hero.
So it was disappointing to see KRS pumping Stern’s new disc with a cheesy “Win a Release-Date Date With Marnie Stern” promo. I guess I expected something less patronizing and more in keeping with her talent, like a guitar lesson. What the heck, KRS?