Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Trans Substantial Rock: Gender-Bending Duo Bitch and Animal Go Where They Want and Do What They Want on Their Latest Album, Eternally Hard. (Music)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Trans Substantial Rock: Gender-Bending Duo Bitch and Animal Go Where They Want and Do What They Want on Their Latest Album, Eternally Hard. (Music)

Article excerpt

"What Animal and I do best is improvisation," says 28-year-old Bitch, a self-identified "queer elegant queen" who hails from Detroit but now, with 25-year-old partner-in-art Animal, calls Brooklyn, N.Y., her home. "I think of us more as performance artists than musicians, really."

Indeed, after one listen to the duo's sophomore disc, Eternally Hard, with its torrid brew of sexually and politically charged spoken-sung lyrics, stripped-down instrumentation, and assorted tribal-edged percussion, you'll understand what she means. Not that the two aren't more than adept on their instruments--Animal's percussive use of djembes, steel drums, gongs, and even body parts is inspiring, while Bitch is equally skilled on electric bass and violin (and both even play ukulele). But there's no mistaking that their emphasis is on their process rather than just the music for its own sake.

Take "Sparkly Queen Areola," their ode to the illegal-to-display-in-most-states part of a woman's breast. The song debuted as a brief chant on the pair's 1999 album, What's That Smell? and reappears on Eternally Hard in a more musically complete form. "Animal was playing around on the keyboards and just started singing out of nowhere, so we rolled tape and she just laid it down out of her ass," Bitch recalls, laughing. …

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