Concetta Kirschner meets me at the Dunkin' Donuts on Park and 18th during a lunch break from her day job wearing a brown, slightly disheveled business suit straight out of Faye Dunaway's Barfly wardrobe and inch-long fake nails with black and gold tiger stripes. "I'm struggling to type with these amazing talons that are so annoying," she says, "but so glamorous."
During office hours, Kirschner boasts an impressive WPM and well-honed secretarial skills. After work she's better known as Princess Superstar, singing and rapping about the trials and triumphs of making it big on her band's second album, CEO (released by A Big Rich Major Label, of which Kirschner is the founder and CEO).
Featuring rhymes like "I work nine to five like I was Dolly Parton/But I'm makin' suckers wish that they never went to Wharton" and nods to everything from punk to hip-hop to Taco's "Puttin' on the Ritz." CE0 is an intelligent spoof of all things corporate, right down to the pie charts that accompany the liner notes.
Kirschner prefers to limit Princess Superstar's live performances to one per month. At a December gig at Brownies, equipment malfunctions prevented the band--Kirschner, DJ Science, guitarist James, bassist Ski Love Ski and drummer Mike Linn--from playing many of their most popular songs, but Kirschner's energy and charmingly messy stage presence--complete with stage dives, a transparent rubber dress worn over functioning Christmas lights and writhing on the dirty bar floor--more than made up for any technical difficulties. "It is cool to be a wreck," she says, smoothing a wrinkle in her suit.
Day job and concepts aside, Kirschner is a full-time musician and performer, with a substantial following in Canada and plans for a spring tour. A survivor of countless futile meetings with record execs, Kirschner's success has thus far been a natural and satisfying progression from rather low-end beginnings.
"Princess Superstar started as me and my four-track. I didn't have a sampler or anything so I would literally sit there for hours and play a little sample of a song, pause the tape recorder, rewind and play the sample again," she says, examining her fingers, perhaps wondering where to place the blame for carpal tunnel syndrome.