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  • Surface Review of Strictly Platinum


    Photo by Wah

    Princess Superstar is on stage at the legendary no-wave/new wave haunt, CBGB's. Dressed in identical all-white outfits with shining silvery ties, the rhythm nucleus of the band hites into a funky backbeat introducing the star of the show, Concetta, The Princess. Concetta is a maritime fantasy tonight, with her teased blond hair, naval uniform, and oversize aviator sunglasses. She has a look that could ground the Imperial Naval Brigade. Later, Concetta tells me we are in the middle of Fleet Week, the time of the year when the Navy is docked in New York. Is Princess Superstar paying homage to America's fighting men, or did Admiral McAlister (who we thought we saw in the back) dock the fleet for more earthly reasons?

    From humble beginnings great things have sprung. Princess Superstar started as 4-track noodles in Concetta's bedroom. "It was so crude," she says. "When I wanted to loop something, I brought out my tape to tape, hit play, stopped it, rewound it and played the same section over and over again." It was these four tracks and their unusual loops that originally got the East Village rocking. At her friends urging she formed a live band that began to gradually shift toward an emphasis on organic musicianship. Princess Superstar's first album Strictly Platinum (Fifth Beetle) is a stylistic melange that weaves through white trash rap sound a la Beck or Luscious Jackson.

    Although Princess Superstar can rock, Concetta is mainly a rapper. And its her tongue-in-cheek middle class raps that have won her rave reviews and a sizable following. "I'm from a white middle class town in Pennsylvania," says Concetta, "and it's these experiences that influence my music." In perhaps her most self defining song "I'm White," Led Zeppelin sings on ode to Princess Superstar. When this fades away, Concetta busts rhymes about the middle class ('I'm white/I'm from pennsylvania/I don't have gold/I don't have a pager'). On "Blue Beretta" Concetta, while sending out shouts to rappers, drops props to MC-I "Calling my friends and family." But, don't doubt to her commitment to the old school. "We have a guy who does the centipede at some shows," says Concetta.

    In Canada, Concetta is a star. Sold out shows, magazine covers, and devoted fans followed a recent Canadian tour. Although fame has not come quite as quickly in the U.S., Concetta is ready for it, but with a sense of humor. When asked the best part of being famous she easily replies, "We were the first band to play the Masonic Temple in Toronto. They actually opened a sealed room for us."

    — Wick

     
    Article reprinted without permission.