Lisa Germano

Fall 1994 Tour

In our eagerness to catch interviews with the Pale Saints and Idaho, we somehow managed to overlook the most hermetic and enduring artist of the night -- Lisa Germano. We had seen her roaming about the bar earlier in the evening, a small woman with long, careless brown hair and the face of a precocious little girl. She looked innocent enough. As she began her set following Idaho, we discovered that, despite such semblance, she had clashed with the opening band. "This first song is dedicated to Idaho," she explained, "because I'm sort of a bitch sometimes..." She then apologetically did the title track of her recent album, "Geek the Girl." (Certainly she did not come off as someone to obscure her own faults!) She performed for about forty-five minutes. The show was enigmatic at times, and never dull or contrived. In "Cry Wolf", we saw a gentle vulnerability as offset by learned cynicism. And in hearing her songs, how could anyone not believe that this girl has endured a lot of abuse?

The amazing talent of Lisa Germano lies in her ability to maintain a captive audience, even as she self-indulgently laments over relationships in "A Guy Like You" and wishes she had "Cancer of Everything." In fact, this is her charm. Her complaints run much deeper emotionally than those of more famous losers and creeps, like Beck or Radiohead. She is spontaneous and straight forward, unabashedly revealing herself. It is likely that she penetrated the egos of the few spectators that night, reminding them of their own psychoses. Lisa Germano's own world is one which permeates with psychosis; but that is honey-drenched like a lazy drug buzz that numbs the pain of life. Her deftness at the violin, with which she weaves moods of cankerous despair, sets her apart from the standard songstress, especially when wedded with the inquisitive woman-child she lyrically portrays. Even the frightening "... A Psychopath" comes across as nearly a nursery rhyme, with its simplistic Dick and Jane phrasings -- "I hear a scream. I see me scream."

For the next week after the show, I could not help but immerse myself in the sensuous melancholy of "Geek the Girl." She haunts from the deepest realms of isolation and insecurity to make even the sharpest pains soft with narcotic poetry.

© 1994, Rational Alternative Digital