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  • Venus Feature (Winter 2005)

    Record Shopping with Princess Superstar
    The rapper and DJ gets her vinyl on in NYC

    A few days before heading out for a European tour in support of her recent full-length, My Machine, Princess Superstar decided to feed her inner DJ muse with a mid-afternoon stroll to Satellite Records on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The task—buying new tunes to take with her—didn't seem too difficult, except that she wasn't in Berlin, Paris or London.

    "I usually buy records in Europe," said the raunchy, raspy-cute-voiced Superstar (nee Concetta Kirschner) as she perused the aisles of the vinyl and turntable hub, looking for a starting point. "I haven't bought a record in the States in six years. What makes Europe so great is that they're willing to mesh different genres together. They want to be innovative."

    Likewise, the bleach-blonde artist doesn't like her own music being labeled. "That's what I've always hated—the genres. Is Princess Superstar rap? Is she punk? Electro? I hate that," she said.

    My Machine does it all: rock, house, hip-hop, and everything in between. Even with her current affection for DJing (she had an epiphany at a club, fell in love, and started spinning techno and electro three years ago), Superstar keeps busting her usual hilarious rhymes. Song after song, the album tells the story of the almighty Princess Superstar and her Duplicants taking over the planet (listen to the catchy-as-hell "10,000 Hits"). "I wanted to make a concept album because nobody's making it," she said.

    Since recording her first four-track demo Mitch Better Get My Bunny in 1994, Superstar's musical tastes have morphed. Back then, the NYC native said she would have gone record shopping at Rock & Soul instead of Satellite. That nearly extinct demo, which got kudos from critics, features Superstar rapping and playing guitars with samples and keyboards. "I loved hip-hop so much," she said. "It was a good way to make my friends laugh, and what started making people laugh and shit turned into a career."

    Having become somewhat of a celebrity in the last decade, Princess Superstar now receives lots of attention. During the shopping trip, she was interrupted at least 10 times by Satellite staffers, who took turns handing her records. Superstar's own albums—namely My Machine and her side project DJs Are Not Rockstars (with Alexander Technique on four turntables)—sold really well among the vinyl-heads.

    After an hour of trial-and-error listening, posing by turntables for photos, and telling stories of her musical adventures, Superstar made her last selection. "We finally found a winner," she exclaimed giddily, holidng up Limacon's "Catch" 12-inch.

    How did she know? For Princess Superstar, it was easy. "You can tell in three drops of a needle."

    PRINCESS SUPERSTAR'S SHOPPING LIST

    1. Tom Vek, "Nothing But Green Lights." Superstar said, "Tom Vek is amazing. The first time I heard him was through Trevor Jackson's remix of Vek's "If You Want," which I play in ever DJ set. This is a great track. My friend Kaos did a cool remix of it, which is not on this record, but I also like these remixes."
    2. Freeform Five, "No More Conversations (Part 2)" (Alter Ego remix b/w Soul Mekanik remix). Superstar said, "Alter Ego can do no wrong. I have no idea who Freeform Five are, but after 'Rocker' and 'Geht's Noch?,' which are also in every DJ set [I do], I had to buy this."
    3. DJ Hell, "The Final Countdown." Superstar said, "He's my buddy from Berlin. I want to support him 'cause I love him, [though] I could probably get this for free."
    4. Limacon, "Catch." Superstar said, "The dude [one of the store's managers] gave me a lot of records."

    Words by Marisa Torrieri; Photo by Amy Whitehouse

     
    Article reprinted without permission.