The realm of guitar gods, much like the beardo deities promoted by organized religions for centuries, is overwhelmingly dude-centric.
Whether biblical originators (see Clapton, Hendrix and Paige) or post-modern satirists (see Angus Young and Nigel Tufnel), we know the routine: We worship at the altar of extravagant shedding, our fists and/or devil-horns in the air, paying homage to the pain-faced man prostrating himself before us.
Indie guitar heroine Marnie Stern isn't just vital because her Van Halen-speed hammer-ons make guitar store rats of all colors turn envy-green--or that she records with math-rock drummer Zach Hill (of Hella, and most recently, the Mars Volta side project El Grupo Neuvo De Omar Rodrigez-Lopez). It's that Stern stamps her infectious personality onto a sonic terrain that so easily blurs into mechanical riff porn.
Once you catch up with her semi-screech of a voice and the pulverizing angularity of her songs, inspired melodies breathe forth and lyrics act like surreal existential cheers, heroically battling the frightened couch-potato in all of us. What are they saying? "Hey, get off your ass. Go be your own god."
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Sharing the stage with Stern on this SXSW-heavy bill is transgendered electro-popster Edie Sedgwick, Sedgwick's Dischord label mates Medications, and experimental Canadian rockers dd/mm/yyyy. Doors open at 8 p.m.