|Remember when Keith Richards made love to a drinking fountain at the Alamo and was arrested for indecent mumbling? From that moment of passion, a boy sprouted into existence. "Behold! I shall rock thee!" he said, and hence bought a guitar made from a coonskin cap and the whiskers of a mountain lion. Not the best sounding guitar, but whatever, that's his trip. Along with a chum from the school yard, they moved onward to Austin to start what would later be known as "The Band That Changed It All" according to Rolling Pooh. After falling in love with a frog with a slender frame and sweet booty, the boy and she and the chum started to rock it and roll it. But alas, something was amiss! In walked Bigfoot and pulled out his chubby. His chubby, bald friend the eagle was sleeping in his fur, you see. The eagle played his four string wings and they rocked so very awesomely into the night. Black Lipstick I dub thee! It may sound like a crazy, crazy dream, but it's all true. I know, for I was there. — Bigfoot, 3:14|
The history of Black Lipstick can be told in many ways. Another version of the story, one more grounded in facts, show a band widely lauded by the independent press for raunchy riffs, tasteful beats, a four-octave monotone and clever lyrical wit, centered on topics which seemed important at the time (blowing off work, getting f'd up, getting by, stealing girlfriends and keeping them). Some stoner dude from a liberal arts college blogged that they sound like a cross between the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, The Clean and The Feelies on acid, in a blender, while having Tom Verlaine and Moe Tucker's Modern Love child.
Turn the page to 2005. The band has grown considerably, musically and emotionally, and Black Lipstick has recorded an album that is more confident, emotional and personal than ever before. Not to be overly dramatic — this record wasn't written for art's sake; it was written for sanity's sake.
Lyrically, the aptly-titled Sincerely, Black Lipstick primarily explores the passing of loved ones through open letter ("Viva Max," "..."), a tribute to a profound, human experience. Sincerely also retains and reinforces (forcefully) many of the traditional values Black Lipstick upholds, like living for the moment and appreciating it more than many. Listen to the swelling, crashing crescendos at the end of "All Night Long Forever," and you'll see what I mean. You can't help but flick your Bic.
Other highlights include the bombastic, driving "Bob Fosse," a life-affirming celebration of enthusiasm that would definitely have Tom Cruise sliding around on a hardwood floor. When guitarist Phillip Niemeyer calls out, "The louder I sing, the lighter my burdens get," a smacked tambourine and Keef-like riff TESTIFY.
"You can tell what we do by the kinds of trash we leave behind," declares Niemeyer in the feedback-washed rocker "No Mercy," while aiming one foot directly at our sacks. But don't flinch — the rock organ breakdown will block the blow and prove that some things are worth fighting for.
The most notable difference between this record and previous releases is the increased presence of BL's renaissance elf Steven Garcia, who set aside his bass and stepped to the mic and guitar for three songs, gracing us with some effing majestic riffage. Nowhere does he shine more brightly than on "Grandma Airplane," which boasts some of the most intricate, dense guitar layering on the record. Yes, Black Lipstick loves ZZ Top and the Fucking Champs — plop that shit in the blender.
History is nothing more than a chronicle of human experiences. Sincerely, Black Lipstick is a tale of natural history. Cycle. Rebirth. I will now put down my quill pen, close this leather bound tome and commence a really bad-ass solo.
• Black Lipstick Bio 2003
• Black Lipstick Bio 2001
• Converted Thieves CD (Peek-A-Boo Records, 2003)
• Converted Thieves CD (Glitterhouse [EUROPE], 2003)
• Sincerely, Black Lipstick CD (Peek-A-Boo Records, 2005)
• Sincerely, Black Lipstick CD (Glitterhouse [EUROPE], 2005)
Singles & EPs
• The Four Kingdoms of Black Lipstick CD EP (Peek-A-Boo Records, 2001)
• "White Jazz" 7" (Glitterhouse [EUROPE], 2003)
• Black Octopus Lipstick Project Foam Party CD EP
• One Ten Hundred Thousand Million LP/CD
(Peek-A-Boo Records, 2004)
• New Atmosphere for the Future CD (Contact Records [JAPAN], 2000)
• Out of the Blue CD (Glitterhouse [EUROPE], 2003)
• You've Got Your Orders, Vol. 2 CD (Chrome Peeler Records, 2004)
• Nevermind Glitterhouse is 20 3xCD (Glitterhouse [EUROPE], 2005)
Peek-A-Boo Family Tree
• Travis Higdon: The 1-4-5s, Golden Millennium, The Kiss Offs
• Phillip Niemeyer: Teen Titans, Roar ! Lion, The Kiss Offs