Since Brody Dalle, the tattooed Amazon goddess of a frontwoman, disbanded her So-Cal punk outfit, the Distillers, in 2006, her focus has been more maternal than nocturnal: She got hitched to Josh Homme -- the Queens of the Stone Age frontman with whom she had a daughter, Camille, that same year. But that's all about to change. As her new band, Spinnerette, made its NYC debut last night at the Bowery Ballroom, Dalle aimed to wrestle some of the spotlight away from her domestic life and put it back firmly where it belongs: on her voice.
But that voice, as Dalle explained to the Bowery crowd, didn't quite make the trip with her to New York: The singer said she woke up hoarse, alluded to having laryngitis, and claimed, jokingly, that openers Band of Skulls had given it to her. But no worries: Dalle coerced someone to "stick a needle in [her] ass" -- full of what we don't know. And while that medicine probably helped her walk on stage with her trademark raspy alto intact, a major side effect appeared to be general fatigue.
Early sound problems didn't help matters much, and Dalle seemed exhausted throughout. But that fearless (and distressed) voice of hers carried her, and her ragtag band, through the night. As did the under-21s in the front row with their red hair and bleach-blond Mohawks -- and the dudes with receding hairlines -- who let their Brody love show, screaming her name both before and long after she sauntered out in blue jeans and a black tank top to do her thing.
"Ghetto Love," "Sex Bomb," and "Rebellious Palpitations," all tunes from Spinnerette's self-titled debut (released today) were, like much of the record, layered blasts of glam guitar, catwalk rhythms, and sex -- lots of it. "I want you to be my daddy / Love you daddy / I want a daddy to tell me what to do," Dalle hollered on "Sex Bomb." Hardcore punk this was not. But for the most part it was a good time, particularly when Tony Bevilacqua, Dalle's partner in crime (and former Distiller), went ape-shit on his Fender Jazzmaster guitar.
While the ailing Dalle left without an encore, her career encore -- her rejuvenation in Spinnerette -- proved to be enthralling enough all by itself.