Amy Crosby - Vocals * Devin Strecker - Synthesizers, Vocals * Brandon Strecker - Guitar
It's all about juxtaposition for the members of Shitting Glitter; from their name to their musical style and androgynous fashion sense, this is a band that's not afraid to cross lines - only to blur or destroy them.
Musically, it's a mixture of Dance and Punk, with rock n' roll attitudes and pop sensibilities. Their synth-heavy concoction is bright yet edgy, inspired as much by new wave and electronica as it is folk rock and psychedelia. Influences run the gamut from Melissa Ethridge to Human League; The Dandy Warhols to The Indigo Girls. One reviewer described it as "Ani DiFranco holding the B-52's at gunpoint." This colorful metaphor perfectly sums up their blend of angst and kitsch.
Amy Crosby, lead vocals, weaves words of hard-earned wisdom through her experiences as a lesbian, actress, feminist and fun-lover from the softball fields of Albuquerque; to the rollicking nightclubs of New York City; to the glamour, garbage and gaiety of the West Hollywood Lifestyle. Her intimate and seductive vocals breathe life into her highly personal lyrics. With her brightly colored wigs and new-romantic meets trailer park couture, Crosby commands the stage: often intimidating, sometimes vulnerably charismatic, always passionate.
Vying with Crosby's aggressive and audacious incantations, Devin Strecker synthesizes a colorful and mystical sonic landscape of electronic beats and background textures, topping it off with skilled and studied keyboard playing. Classically trained, this former church pianist tickles the ivories as if his life depended on it, adding his choirboy vocal harmonies to compliment Crosby's powerful croons.
The younger Strecker, Brandon, adds the edge to the mix with his rhythmic and eclectic guitar stylings. Rounding out the sound and adding a rock and roll feel, Brandon understands the intricacies of mixing guitars and synths in much the same manner as Elliot Easton of The Cars and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran. In addition to his guitar duties, Brandon also does all the production work on the band's studio recordings.
Currently the trio is working on its second full-length album, to be titled Free Alongside Ship.
June 22, 2001 - It was Devin's 24th Birthday, and the first one he had celebrated in Los Angeles after moving from Kansas a year earlier. Amy Crosby and Yvonne "Mag" Edwards showed up as the most colorful guests, in wigs, sparking halter tops and glittery makeup. Amy was carrying a large canvas, and Mag carried a guitar. They took Devin in his bedroom and presented him with his birthday gift, "Grady," which was a painting by Mag. There were words written at the top portion of the painting, which had been done by Amy. The two then sat Devin down and performed the song Grady, which was the first time Devin had ever heard them play together.
After that, Devin begged to join them in their musical mayhem. A few weeks earlier a friend, Jen Kamerman, had coined the phrase "Shitting Glitter" after Amy's cat Arthur had tried to eat some tinsel off of the floor. The trio adopted it as their name and began to work up some of the songs Amy and Mag had written together, such as Post No Bills, Short Haired Girls Club, and Makes Sense.
Billy Rajah, a friend and fellow musician, agreed to help start the band and play guitar. He also recruited Roman on the drums, who played in Billy's own band, Brrn, and later went on to play with those evil Russian faux-dykes, T.A.T.U. The quinted booked their first rehearsal at Uncle Studios in Van Nuys and in the course of three hours, had layed down the framework for Strapping and Hero, as well as working on some of the afformentioned compositions.
Less than a month later, the band travelled to San Jose and performed for the first time at a friend's birthday party.
The quartet performed next at another birthday party, this time in Van Nuys. Goddess Room had been added as the newest song.
The band played it's first public gig on December 8th, 2001, at Jox in North Hollywood. It was the bar's 20th anniversary and it was packed.
Around the same time, the band was recording their debut EP, Hot Rod, at QP Sound in North Hollywood. Produced by Mary White, the three songs took about a week to record and mix.
At this time, Billy and Roman officially departed.
At one of their usual nights out at Karaoke, Devin and Amy discovered Isaac Apodaca, aka Zaac Damon. Zaac had just moved to LA from the Bay area and was looking to play guitar in a band. He was quickly added to the lineup and the band prepared for it's CD release party, a high-concept affair based on a film by the band's friend, Denny Ready. Entitled "Kendra's Friday Night Varieties," the film's star was a plastic 99 cents store doll that had been given a whole personality and backstory by the band. Shitting Glitter held their CD release party at Jox, hosted by a life size Kendra (played in drag by Mr. Ready.) Several drag numbers were performed and finally Shitting Glitter took the stage for a 7 song set.
This time, the performance did not seem to go over as well, as the regular Saturday night JOX crowd seemed a bit perplexed by the reenactment of a stop-action animation movie featuring plastic transgendered dolls. Only a few copies of the CD were sold, and a rift started to form between Zaac and the rest of the band. Below and right is a photo of the band with Zaac Damon.
The quartet continued to rehearse but several weeks later Zaac departed and pursued solo endeavors.
Meanwhile, Denny Ready was finishing up production of the band's first video, Strapping, with footage from those first two JOX gigs. Additionally, the track was remixed by trance DJ Jonathan Morning.
Denny moved from Reno to Los Angeles just as the band was booking some bigger gigs, at venues such as The Joint and Rumors. A good friend of the band, Denny wanted to help out in any way possible. For the next few weeks he studied the bass guitar, having never played it before, and rehearsed with the band. Mag took over the lead guitar, and the band used drum tracks culled from Roman's sessions for the EP as well as some they had programmed.
The first few gigs were rough, with the new lineup still adjusting to their new positions. Discouraged but still determined, the band trudged on with their drum machine in tow, adding venues such as Westchester Bar and Grill and the 101 Club in Arcadia.
Little by little, the band started growing more comfortable on stage and added new songs to the lineup, including Mustache Rides Five Cents.
Lisa Miller was hired to play live drums and the band had several successful gigs in the incarnation.
Jen Kamerman (aka Jendra) and Ben Johnson (aka Benwa) were added as Go-Go dancers to further solidify Shitting Glitter's wild reputation for everything gay, colorful, and trashy.
The band was featured in the 2002 Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood. Rolling down the street in a white convertible Hummer driven by Jackie Enx, local transgendered Karaoke hostess, the band made a big impression with it's 'glam the morning after look', which was complimented both by the go-go dancers as well as Enya Buttox, the drag queen for social and economic justice, as well as - once more - Kendra (this time played by the band's friend Julie Orr.)
Tensions were mounting in the band, and personality conflicts were causing a lot of problems. Devin's brother, Brandon, had flown out from Kansas City to produce the band's CD, Post No Bills, but the internal friction prevented much from being accomplished.
Ultimately, Denny parted ways with the band just after they opened for The Sugar Daddy Show at the Garage, which had been the band's biggest gig. They had also already been booked to headline LA Valley Pride and were featured in several magazines to promote the event.
Luckily, Nicky Walker (from the band Nicky) volunteered to fill in on bass, and brought her drummer Andy with her. The band played the Pride event, as well as UC Irvine's "Coming Out Day" festival, as well as several other gigs.
Winter 2002 brought many changes to the SG camp, some that threatened to end the band. The relationship between Amy and Mag had come to an end, causing Mag to also depart from the band. Devin and Amy were determined to carry on, recruiting Brandon on guitar, Eddie Tycleus on drums, and Gayle Walker on bass.
Devin took over Mag's background vocals and also decided to take over the bass parts on the keyboards, thus eliminating Gayle from the lineup.
Back down to a quartet, the band scored it's most successful gigs to date, including LA Dyke March 2003, Santa Barbara Pride, Hard Rock Cafe, and The Knitting Factory.
In June of 2003, the band finally released their full length debut, Post No Bills, produced by Brandon Strecker.
The follow up was a dance EP, Sexy Clown Circus, released December '04.
We play all over Southern California, and we Love it. We have played while lesbians wrestle in oil at the front of the stage, while cops have arrested drag queens, While extreme go go dancers brawl and while bar patrons missing teeth complain.
Dandy Warhols, Scissor Sissters, Ani Di Franco, Missing Persons, B 52's, Devo, The Pretenders
Korg Electribe and some old drum machine, Roland & General Music Synths, Fender Guitars and Amps