"Girls Wanna Rock." It's a song on the 2003 CD "Bad Girls," from Northern Virginia's all-female group the Sirens, but it's also quite obviously the band's motto. These four cool chicks -- Cindy Chambers, Tammy Hooper, Kristin Gray and Melissa Duncan -- have a no-nonsense, but still fun, style. "We play hard, we play fast, we play loud," Chambers said in a recent interview.
Still, she said, "Promoters may not know what to do with us."
Recently, the band played on a festival bill with lots of other, but quieter, female musicians, including gentle folkie-type Lisa Loeb.
Guess which act did a blistering cover of a Black Sabbath tune? "We like the diversity," Chambers laughed, and she was talking as much about her band's wide-ranging audience as she was of the many sounds of women in music.
The Sirens were formed in January 2002 and that same year were semifinalists in the "World's Largest Battle of the Bands" competition at Jaxx. It's a place they've played many times since. "It's got a great stage, great lights, good people. And they love good rock and roll," Chambers said, adding that this weekend's show marks another special occasion: "It's Kristin's first show back since she had her baby."
It's great, too, for the Sirens to share the stage with the Misfits, a band with whom they've been favorably compared and which now features Marky Ramone of the legendary Ramones, an oft-cited influence. "When we saw the Misfits listed on the Jaxx schedule, we thought that would be a great show for us," Chambers said.
The Misfits formed in 1977 when two New Jersey boys -- singer Glenn Danzig and bassist Jerry Only -- named their new band after Marilyn Monroe's final movie. Then as now, the Misfits played primitive punk rock with a B-movie horror show spirit and created a hard-core following of "fiends" (as fans are known) that exists to this day.
Dressed in black leather and horror makeup, with a skull painted on nearly everything they touched, the Misfits inspired rock acts from Green Day to Metallica, Slayer to Marilyn Manson, though few of the followers have exhibited the same sense of ghoulish charm. Danzig left the band in the mid-1980s, and, after a long legal battle, Only resurrected the outfit and has led various incarnations since then.
The year 2001 marked the Misfits' 25th anniversary, during which Only recruited the latest and highest-pedigreed lineup of the band, with drummer Ramone and guitarist Dez Cadena of Black Flag. Last year, they released "Misfits Project 1950," containing punk covers of classic 1950s-era hits such as "This Magic Moment" and "Dream Lover," and guest performances by '60s girl-group icon Ronnie Spector and Jimmy Destri of Blondie. Not so scary after all.
On the band's Web site (www.misfits.com), Only summed up the Misfits' future this way: "We plan to continue as always, [to] eclipse the past, block the sun and drag humanity by the throat into a world of darkness filled with ghouls, goblins and creatures of the night, where we are king." In other words, it'll be Halloween in May when the Misfits come to town.
-- MARIANNE MEYER
Jaxx is at 6355 Rolling Rd. in West Springfield, at the southeast corner where Rolling meets Old Keene Mill Road. Admission for all ages is $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Advance sales are available through www.ticketmaster.com or 703-432-SEAT. Doors open at 5 p.m. These other bands are also on the bill: Coitus, Die Cheerleader Die and Brain Dead. Jaxx (www.jaxxroxx.com) has a basic meat-and-potatoes menu. The nightclub's hotline is 703-569-5940.
We're not afraid of your Live! suggestions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.