Live Review: Starfucker's Second to Last Show as a Band... Sort of

Who: Starfucker

When: Friday, October 9, 2009

When: The Vera Project

As fans of Starfucker already know, the band will no longer exist by month's end. Well, sort of. They announced in September a contest for fans to submit new band-name suggestions by e-mail or at the merchandise table at its shows. Why? Because the guys have flirted with big-time success in the last year without ever actually reaching it. The F-bomb just doesn't fly in mainstream media.

At the second to last stop of their national tour, Starfucker played a synthesizer-fueled hour set that had the crowd dancing up a frenzy. Frontman Josh Hodges told me during an interview a few weeks ago that he hoped the music he and his bandmates created would speak for itself, regardless of what they were called. I regarded his optimism with skepticism. That is, until last night. These guys have their work cut out for them, but they've got a hell of a package to offer.

Portland's indie-pop quartet started off the night with cheeky songs like "Boy Toy" and "Biggie Smalls" off their EP Jupiter. They maintained a cool façade and avoided interacting with fans until halfway through the set, at which point they really loosened up. They then began dancing in fits of seizures. Vocalist/ guitarist Ryan Biornstad even engaged in some crowd surfing.

"This is a new one... I'd say it's the best song I ever wrote," the shaggy-haired Biornstad deadpanned later as the band launched into Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Most entertaining was that the guys, who couldn't hide their Cheshire Cat grins, were visibly amused by their choice of cover song.

It's easy to imagine Starfucker moving up in the indie music circuit and taking its brand of sarcastic electronic music to a venue like the Showbox or Neumos. What it comes down to is that I, like many fans, don't really give a damn what the hell the band calls itself as long as it doesn't change its sound.

That being said, I haven't lost my cynical outlook on the name change entirely. The merchandise table at last night's show cleared out ridiculously fast. Do you all just really love Starfucker? Or are you thinking what I'm thinking? ("Vintage Starfucker t-shirt!!! The last in band merchandise before the name change! Only $150!") That shit's got eBay jackpot written all over it. Kudos, entrepreneurs.

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