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Joan As Police Woman

Who? Formed out of the ashes of the Dambuilders, Black Beetle and Those Bastards Souls, Joan As Police Woman is the brainchild of Joan Wasser (vocals/violin/piano). With Rainy Orteca (bass) and Ben Perowsky (drums), Joan As Police Woman came together in 2002, and made their album debut with a self-released eponymous EP two years later. It wasn’t until 2006, however, that Joan As Police Woman gained momentum among the indie rock elite — Wasser and co. impressed the U.K. with Real Life, a soulful indie rock-tinged collection of smoke-filled, lust-driven, hypnotic moments of unfound love and love lost. Real Life will finally see a domestic release this spring, out on the L.A. label, Cheap Lullaby.

What’s the Deal? Armed with a keyboard and an electric guitar, a solo Joan As Police Woman seduced the sweltering SXSW crowd at the Ale House (310 E. 6th St.) on Thursday (March 15). Decked in a fuchsia blouse, denim clamdiggers and beige heels, Wasser’s bewitching performance shifted between sexy and sweet — a sultry mix of Judee Sill, Carole King, Mary Timony and Cat Power, especially on songs such as the haunting obsession of “Christobel” and “Eternal Flame” (Wasser said, “I guess I only write songs about obsession.”) and the soft-rock pop of “The Ride.”

Fun Fact: Since the Dambuilders’ breakup in 1997, Wasser has crafted quite a resume of session work. She has appeared on albums by Rufus Wainwright, Sparklehorse, Sheryl Crow, Dave Gahan, Antony and the Johnsons, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Scissor Sisters, and Adam Green. MACKENZIE WILSON

Now Hear This: Joan As Police Woman – “The Ride” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:Joan As Police Woman at

Talk: Are you ready for Joan As Police Woman to arrest you with her soulful brand of indie rock?