Brijitte West And The Desperate Hopeful “S/T”

“I’ve been bitter, I’ve been twisted/I had my big chance and I missed it…”The exceptionally dazzling, Brijitte West, was the Undisputed Queen of the “Last Call” NYC Post-Glam, Rock’n’roll Scene, back in the early 90’s, when the Big-Three Entertainment Corporations were elbowing groups like Pillbox, Circus Of Power, the Lunachicks, the Waldos, the Throbs, and D-Generation aside, to make way for grunge, trust-funded novelty acts, and conspicuous-consumption oriented, sterilized, commercialized hip-hop.
As leader of the much exalted underground sensations, NY LOOSE, the bewitching Brijitte, had effortlessly, seduced the D.I.Y. punk’n’roll underground, with several whiz-bang 45’s, and a memorable appearance on the cover of FLIPSIDE MAGAZINE, that graced “more bedroom-walls than paint”, before promptly, going on to sign with some major-label. NY LOOSE toured with Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson, and made a big-budget video to accompany their presence on the soundtrack to “The Crow”. I saw her absolutely tear it up, while on tour of the mid-west with the notorious, Rev. Horton Heat, about twelve years ago, and was impressed by how hard she rocked.
The Desperate Hopefuls are a totally different thing, though. Nobody’s trying to be crossover-metal, here. It’s more like a burger and fries throwback to the glorious heyday of the Ramones, or Holly And The Italians!
Like a heavenly cross between Edie Sedgwick and Joan Jett, her return to rock’n’roll seems perfectly timed to appeal to anyone who purchased a ticket to see that movie about “THE RUNAWAYS”. She was our generation’s original “Suicide Girls” pin-up kitten. I know I dragged that Flipside cover from apartment to apartment, from town to town, for well over ten years, and it’s probably still in storage, with my notebooks and old demo-cassettes….BRIJITTE WEST has been favorably compared to Wendy James, Penelope Houston, Deborah Harry, Jeni Foster from Princess Pang, that All-Girl Band, Fluffy, and Brody from the Distillers…but really, there was no one like Brijitte, before or since, and she easily might have become one of the biggest stars in the world, as it would not have taken much proper promotion for her to have eclipsed Madonna, Natalie Imbruligia, or Courtney Love, or any ex-members of the original Guns N Roses, back in her NY LOOSE days, except, for what some have referred to as, the corporatist, “Anti-Rock Conspiracy”. American’s have suffered an onslaught of really awful, vapid, bullshit, corporate pop for ten, or twenty years now, with the tight restricting of radio play-lists, the relentless mergers and big-media monopolies, and the steady vanquishing of authentic rock music from retail-stores, radio, and MTV.
Recent years have seen real rock’n’roll all but banished, ghettoized, to second-stage status, at overpriced rock festivals, over here. Obscenely absent from the charts. Almost invisible in America. They even shut-down C.B.G.B.’s….
Brijitte ain’t nursing anymore misguided major-label ambitions with the Hopefuls, that’s for sure. Instead, she’s made a Fan-Club record for the hardcore faithful. This is her rock’n’roll love letter to YOU!
Lotsa dese chunes are short and sugary, like the Heartbreakers, or Mini-Skirt Mob, sixties girl groups, or The Sweet!!! FANTASTIC! Fun stuff….”Mess Of Myself” is awesome teen-pop, a bit like the Eye-Liners, out of New Mexico. All those Waldos shows she witnessed, back in the day, really seemed to sink-in, here. What’s cool is how she can REALLY sing when she wants to, but mostly, she’s here to rock, not exercise her vocal chops, y’know? Really good bubble-gum punk with an obvious sincerity. “Bitter And Twisted” is beautiful, people. I did NOT expect to like this even half as much as I do! Some wonderful songs on here. “Long Island Lolita” is way, way, catchier than any of that syrupy stuff cynical song-doctors write for the Disney Tarts, pop-ska-models, commercial country waifs, and R&B blow-up dolls, in the States, nowadays!
Having collaborated with various members of the Throbs, Ramones, Circus Of Power, White Zombie, Stiv Bator’s Evil Boys, Electric Angels, and Black Halos, Brijitte wisely moved to England in recent years, and took some time-off, to nurture her family. Her latest disc, “Brijitte West And The Desperate Hopefuls” marks her long-anticipated return to the lime-light. A woman as uncommonly attractive as Brijitte can do whatever she wants. Fortunately for all of us us die-hard fans of flashy, trashy, punk’n’roll, what this radiant, rock-revivalist wants, apparently, is to kick-start a new wave of underground, trashy, punk rock revolution. The thing about songwriters is they can only get better with age. Her lyrics are stronger than ever. She’s penned some lusty, personal, lovesongs here, that are almost as sexy as vintage Divinyls. (“Hey Papito”, “Hard To Believe”, and “All Roads Lead To You”…) I hope she’s sent a copy of this to “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” radio-show!
Like you and I, she struggles with sinister urges and conflicted impulses, ‘wants a slice of greasy St. Mark’s pizza, and doesn’t know how to shaddup and just be “good”. Nice girls don’t play rock’n’roll. Several of her new tunes reflect her struggle to gracefully balance her responsibilities, with her history, creativity, and that relentless, show-people call-of-the-wild: that yearning for the stage, roar of the crowd, etc., etc., that never fades away. She’s a true entertainer, she’s got it in her blood. She’s experiencing the disharmony of her own divided loyalties, the friction between family and fame, of transitioning from ingenue to matriarch, and her refusal to let her dreams die, to merely become a dull-eyed, lumpen housewife in a “Swiffer Wet-Jet” commercial. Several tunes also display a high-volume conscience, and self-awareness…not always, characteristics that are typically present, with someone so heartbreakingly beautiful. She has empathy, and is seemingly endeavoring to own her mistakes, and face up to the sometimes startling effects she has on others. Her lyrics are really potent on most of the new songs. (“I was unaware of the state I was in/You put the needle back to start the record again…”) Then, at the end, in an adolescent relapse, a fit of artistic fury, she shrugs off the shackles of the whole rat-race guilt trip, with the snotty and emboldened, “It’s Not My Fault”. It’s an encouraging sign, when one of the most desirable women on the planet chooses to continue forth, making this heart-on-her-sleeve type of emotional, sincere, sleazy, underground, upbeat, glamour punk.
‘Cause, essentially, she’s doin’ it for us, kids…all the gutter-snipes and “Velvet Goldmine” true believers! A couple of her newest songs allow us to glimpse her sentimental side, her sweetness, abiding sense of duty, and gnawing sense of regret when she errors, or lets the team down. “How To Be Good” is really lovely. A Charmer! This album allows us an intimate peek into the life of an aging rock’n’rollin’ dreamer, trying to face herself, stay true to her higher ideals, reclaim her personal sovereignty, cease all the fruitless second-guessing, and determine what she wants to do with the rest of her time on the planet. She has dueling instincts, like John Lennon did. Part of her, most-values the staying home to read “Goodnight Moon”, and bake bread, but there’s another part of her that feels the pulsing throb of the highway’s call, the train-song, the throbbing pulse of the neon lights beckoning her back to the lip of the stage. There’s some snarling, mid-tempo pop, and some slinky ballads. Several songs rock as hard and nasty as Dictators, Donnas, Buck Cherry, or Stereo Junks. “How To Be Good” features guest-vox from the Mayor Of Coney Island High, Jesse Malin. This album TOTALLY surpasses all expectations.
It’s just so heart-felt and listenable. I think she’s been listening to “Alternative Chartbusters” by THE BOYS, Campus Tramps, and 16 Forever! This record isn’t for everybody. It’s only for the people who love courageous, sexy, rebellious, filthy, defiant, meaningful, sincere, daring, soul-baring, dirty, low down, and high flyin’ rock’n’roll. Hey. Ya wanna get a milkshake ‘n’ go roller-skating?
(-Anguish Young)

Kiria “Let me In” Single

Pink punk princess KIRIA is back with “Let Me In”, the third single from her full-length debut album “Radio”.
“Let me In” deliciously mixes Brit Pop melodies and violins (reminding of MORRISSEY or the MANIC STREET PREACHERS) to bubblegum punk hooks and glam rock handclaps. A great song to start the day with!
You’ll also find an unrealeased track to go along with this single, “Johnny Kissed Madison”, a mid-tempo punk rock’n’roll song with dirty guitars à la STOOGES.
Catch KIRIA live in London (Feb. 25th – Pure Rawk Awards 2011/March 4th – Club Antichrist, feat. special guest Paul Kaye) and in Nottingham (April 9th – Bitchslap Fest with the DOGBONES and five more bands.)/Laurent C.

Jennyfer Star

A new promo CD, a new project… hear STARLET SUICIDE’s singer talk about her new songs, downloading, Sweden, books she enjoys, etc.

So here you are as a solo artist, is STARLET SUICIDE definitely over ? How do you feel about the future…band or solo?

JENNYFER STAR: Right now I´m pretty sure I will remain as a solo artist. But only time will tell I guess.

Can you tell us more about the songs of your new promo CD?

JENNYFER: “As Good As It Gets” was a song I wrote earlier this year. I had been sick a lot, one infection after another. And with the band I never had time to recover, since you can´t just cancel a gig cuz yer sick.. So all of the infections and stress led to a deep depression with panic attacks and shit. So I just felt I had to write something about it. I´m really sick about be so troubled all the time. There is always something that bothers me you know.. I guess I´m a neurotic wreck haha.. So I asked myself if this is “as good as it gets” and the answer came clearly.. “there just has to be a twist about it. It turned out to be a real hit song and I´m very happy about it! “Be The Same” was something I wrote after I got out of the depression, had decided to leave Starlet and the spring had arrived. I was out walking my dog in the morning, hungovered after one of the first nights out for months, but I felt like everything´s gonna be fine. It was kinda like a happy song first, but the re-arrangement made it kinda melancholic. I like that there´s a certain feeling about this song. It´s kinda dreamy. And I like that it turned out so different than I had imagined it. The music is pretty blue and the lyrics gives a feeling of hope. “Power ballad” might be the right category for it. I also recorded a cover song. Betty Blowtorch´s “Size Queen” which will be on a tribute cd for the band (due to be released Spring 2008). It´s a real killer, a party song and I´m happy that I got the opportunity to be on the tribute cd since Betty Blowtorch is one of my favourite bands. This song, however, is not on the promo cd, but it´s available for download on my website:

According to you, what are the main musical differences between these new songs and the ones in STARLET SUICIDE?

JENNYFER: For me, it´s pretty hard to say. Since it´s still MY music… But I guess that the new songs aren´t as much glamrock as the later Starlet stuff and not either as punky as the early Starlet stuff. I guess it´s more plain rock, with a Jennyfer Star-edge of course 😉

Have you already played these new songs live, or will you?

JENNYFER: I haven´t played them live yet, and right now I don´t know when I will start playing live again. I feel pretty comfortable with having the summer off, for once. I have been playing so much for the past years, with no time to relax and think it all through. So I guess I need this “break”. I´m writing a lot of new stuff though, and it feels really good!

What about your fanzine Cherryfuck? Does it still exist?

JENNYFER: Actually, we just decided a few months ago that we should let Cherryfuck go. We had a lot of fun with it and maybe we will do another fanzine some day. But for the past year/s we have been to busy to run it and it also felt like that was the past. There were many things with Cherryfuck we weren´t proud of. Like that mental illness was always in the focus. Sure, it needs to be in focus, because it sucks and there is a lot of ppl not understanding, but at the same time we felt like we need to focus on other things instead.

You offer your songs to download for free… What’s your opinion on legal/illegal download? Weren’t records a better thing?

JENNYFER: I don´t really wanna take a side in that battle. I think both sides have good opinions. For me it´s all about getting my music out, and to offer ppl to download it for free will give me a bigger audience I believe. I do believe that records is a better thing, and if I download something I like I usually get the cd. Although, I like vinyl better than cds and most of the new stuff isn’t available on vinyl, so that kinda sucks.

Have you enjoyed any shows or bands lately?

JENNYFER: Yeah actually I went to a couple of shows last week here in Stockholm. Loud N Nasty played last Wednesday and on Thursday Crashdïet played as well as Sister. It was a lot of fun and a lot of beers included..

Do you have any explanation on the fact that there are so many glam/sleaze bands in the North of Europe, especially in Sweden?

JENNYFER: Actually I don´t.. Other than that we peeps up north must have nothing better to do that to play dirrrty rock n roll all nite long haha..

Do you enjoy books and movies? Any interesting ones you’ve read/seen lately?

JENNYFER: Yeah I read pretty much and I love to watch a good movie! I mostly read biographies/memoirs and one of my favourite books is “And I Don´t Want To Live This Life” by Deborah Spungen. (In case someone doesn´t know, it´s the story about Nancy Spungen, the girlfriend of Sid from The Sex Pistols, written by her mom.) It´s one of the books that really ment something for me. And movies, I recently saw all the Rocky movies. I never thought I would like that kinda movies but I actually find Rocky really cute hehe.. Usually I like to watch romantic comedies, chick flicks and psychological thrillers though. A few other movies I loooove is: Natural Born Killers, Gia, Love And A .45, The People v/s Larry Flynt, Sid & Nancy and so on…

If you could play on your dream bill (bands or artists from now or the past), what would it be?

JENNYFER: I´d love to play with Betty Blowtorch. They are probably the best band that has delivered true rock n roll the past decade. Also Joan Jett, that would be awesome!

Are you working on new songs? What’s coming next?

JENNYFER: Yep yep, I´m writing like a maniac hehe… And hopefully I will record some new tunes by the end of the summer or early fall. I think it will be a lot like the songs I have released now. So keep yer ears on me! “As Goos As It Gets” will also be released on a compilation cd that the fabulous fanzine “Bubblegum Slut” is putting together. It will be out in June so check it out!


England’s new candy pop sensation KIRIA is bringing back sexy pop punk with bubblegum hooks and attitude in the UK. She tells us about her debut album “One”, her songwriting and influences…. And you’d better believe her when she sings “I’m not one of those fussy, fussy girls”!

Can you introduce yourself? What have you released so far?

I’m Kiria. Pronounced Kih-re-ah. I landed on this planet to make some serious changes to the grey, tired world of Pop that this current age has tried to suppress us all with. I’m going to make you all so happy you will wear tight pink leopard print lycra and kiss each other all day long until you drown in your own happiness….
So far, I have released one track, called Live Sex On Stage, that was an expression of anger toward the current state of England’s pop charts, and from there on, the only way is up!

Tell us a bit about your first album “One”, where did you record it? Koochie Coo is your own label. Do you think that it’s better to do things by yourself in this Internet age? Will the album be distributed in Europe and America?

My first album, “One”, seemed to take forever to record and finish! I produced it throughout a difficult, insecure stage of growing up, so this album and the writing on it is a huge reflection of that strange, experimental insecure time….I’m so happy to have put it down, that the next ones are coming far more easily with my newfound confidence, and I’m getting more up to date with recently written songs, whereas some of those on “One” I feel I have grown out of already!
This album will be available across the world digitally, and in hard copy from my website. I much rather people ask for a copy so that they can have the lyrics, photos and artwork, which have had as much, if not more thought and effort put into them as the recordings!

I recorded it at a North West London studio, at the time named “Panic” Studios – very apt for the teenage crisis I endured whilst writing the lyrics!

I think doing things yourself is a great idea, if you want to remain in control of your own future and creative output, but it’s not an easy way forward! Lack of funds, time and power to get things looking and sounding great is not a weekend job, but I strongly believe that if you love what you do, and you keep yourself focused on any mission you embark on, you will succeed in fulfilling your dreams, but not without much hard work, many tears and a lot of patience!

You have many sweet bubblegum pop melodies in your songs. How do you usually write a song? Do you start writing the music or do you have an idea about the vocal melody first and then write the music?

I only write a song when a melody or lyric has come to me and not gone away for some time. I used to dream the melodies/songs when I was sleeping, and jump up and record them straight away in case I forgot them, but now I am more confident, I figure if and when they are good enough to use, I wont be able to forget them, as you never do a great melody, so I record them when the time feels good for me. Never in any particular order, but I write all my lyrics on train journeys. My favourite if I have the cash is jump on the Eurostar and head for Paris and back….

Do you have a steady band or do you work with different musicians as a backing band?

I don’t have a steady band. Not for want of trying, but finding a group of people who can all grow together and get on Musically and personally is not at all easy, especially when you are all growing in different areas and at different rates of speed, as all animals do. For this reason I don’t get too comfortable unless something feels right, I keep moving and growing, and in that process, it is just a natural progression that you win and you lose some!

Your video “Live Sex On Stage” features Mike Strutter, how did that happen?

That happened very naturally. Paul Kaye (Mike Strutter) and I are cosmically linked Punk twins. We don’t need to make a concerted effort to communicate – we just know, which is amazing. He has made me feel like so much less of an alien than I always believed I was growing up! When I wrote that song, he immediately sprung to mind to be my partner in crime for the song/video. I called him up, he came to a short rehearsal, which we filmed and edited in a day, he slapped down some vocals alongside mine, and the rest is history! Completely organic from start to finish, the way the most fun stuff always is….

We can find different music styles on your album. Do you think that a good song can work in any kind of style?

I believe so! I get so tired of groups and niches and journalists and people who believe in the general rule that everything should fit in neat boxes. We only have one life, so we should fill it with as many things as we feel like exploring! The day I can’t experiment with my creativity and do what I like with my own feelings or Music is the day I’ll throw my stilettos on the fire….

Here are some girl singers, what comes to your mind when you hear their name?

– Blondie:


– Joan Jett:


– Wendy James:

Strong and beautiful, but I do not wish to be in a musical project with her again!

– Lady GaGa:

Nothing! It’s not about the Music….

– Wendy O’ Williams:


– Kylie Minogue:

Extremely adaptable. Pretty, made out of plastic, smiles a lot and doesn’t mind being played with – a bit like a Barbie doll!

– Lita Ford:

Great in rubber!

– Gwen Stefani:


– Lily Allen:

Posh kid wannabee poor kid!

– Katy Perry:

Dull clothes horse.

What are your favourite Morrissey songs?

Every Day Is like Sunday, The More you Ignore Me, The Closer I get and I’m Throwing My Arms around Paris!

Albums you couldn’t live without?

This week?! I have so many, they keep changing…. But, definitely Aladdin Sane by Bowie, Blank Generation by Richard Hell and The Voidoids, London Calling by the Clash, Marquee Moon by Television, Never Mind The Bollocks by the Pistols and (this week!) The Neurotic Outsiders album…. Is it true that you love boxing!? YES! I’ve been bullied in the past, and these days I like to know I can hold my own in this scary world….there ’aint no fucker gonna bring me down without a fight!

I guess you’re going to be busy promoting the new album. Any tour planned yet?

Unfortunately not yet! I am very busy in London, and so far gigs are only planned here, but I want to tour the world, I love travelling, and I just can’t wait to play in some different cities/countries, so it’s the first thing I want to get doing so watch this space!