The latest CD release from the cult band is full of fun and consciousness raising.
The band BETTY has been on lesbians’ radar since they penned and performed the theme song to the culture-defining TV series The L Word. But they were a band before that, and they’ve been a band ever since, touring the world, pushing for equality, for justice, and for fun—for all women.
Their latest CD, BETTY On the Rocks, is perfect for your playlist, from spring to summer and into Pride and beyond. As always, Amy and Elizabeth Ziff and Alyson Palmer have penned passionate, playful and plucky anthems with upbeat melodies and driving rhythms, in a range of pop-rock and New Wave styles.
This album is lots of fun, reminding us of the pleasures of a lesbian life—and of the importance of unity and joy for all women. The album kicks off with the dance-worthy “Sticky Rice,” a team effort inspired by the dessert at one of the band’s favorite Thai nosheries. “Best Kind of Perfect” is a dreamy, sweet pop tune, and is followed by a nifty, New Wave redux of Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice.” For your lesbian pleasure is “Little Boi,” a lusty little ditty with the line, “be my son in the day and my daddy at night…” Anything but coy, it’s an homage to seductive older dykes getting it on with a younger partner: “Come here little boi, I know a game we can play, I’ll be December, you can be May…”
And it doesn’t end there! Check out the raunchy lyrics to “Barnyard”—including some nice fiddling. “Let’s play naughty, it will feel really nice…” Sounds good to us. But there’s a serious side to the album, too: the poignant “Jerusalem,” the mellow “Everybody Is Somebody,” and the moving “Remarkable,” inspired by Anne Frank and offered as a tribute to the migrant spirit.
Alyson Palmer’s striking, impressionist “Unbound” is adorned with loving backing harmonies from the Ziffs. But the real anthem of the album (and of their live gigs, if you’ve been, and if you haven’t you should) is “RISE,” a plea for social justice, which starts out a cappella and then launches into the protest power anthem that we really need right now.
In these troubled times this album is strongly aware of the dark forces at work, especially against women and girls, and it gives us the juice to fight. Hold your ground, stand, unite, and draw strength from other energies, and from all of those who have gone before you. They are all honored here: folk, rock, pop, post-punk, New Wave, electronica—from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and on. These eras also had their troubles. They got through them and so will we, with a little help from the BETTY effect.
Watch the video for “RISE” here: