Record Shopping with Princess Superstar
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 taskbuying new tunes to take with herdidn'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 hatedthe 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 albumsnamely 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
Words by Marisa Torrieri; Photo by Amy Whitehouse