It’s a difficult task to categorize Beth Lisick‘s music. Firstly, she’s a poet and therefore doesn’t do much singing at all. Instead, she relies on her keen observation of the world around her to create magnetic, if not sometimes bizarre stories.
Lisick fronted a four-piece musical ensemble known as The Beth Lisick Ordeal in San Francisco during the mid to late 90’s. They recorded just one album: 1998’s Pass, which was comprised of eleven spoken word pieces showcasing Lisick’s razorsharp wit and her bandmates’ beautiful instrumentation.
Since the album’s release, the band has dissolved; everyone involving themselves in different projects.
Lisick now performs in a musical duet called The Loins and the sketch-comedy group White Noise Radio Theater. She’s also the weekly columnist on Buzz Town for the SF Gate newspaper and has also published two books of poetry prose and short stories, Monkey Girl and This Too Can Be Yours, both published by Manic D Press.
A little bit about the musical selections below: ‘Nancy Druid’ became my first exposure to Lisick’s uncommon sound and I figure it’s also the best song to introduce people with. In it, Lisick begins telling the story of The Living Room Bar and the various people she encounters while regretfully paying $9 for her drink and standing in line for the bathroom. Priceless musical humor, I tell you. Must be heard to be believed.
On ‘Devil’s Vacation’, the topic shifts to an uncomfortable flight to Cabo San Lucas and the debauchery of young twenty-somethings.
And lastly, I’ve included ‘Gold Dust Twins,’ which didn’t appear on Pass. I don’t recall where I obtained it from, but I believe this song, along with a couple of others, are early tracks off a possible sophomore album. If not, I consider it an awesome find. Here, Lisick shares with the listener how she worked at a Gentlemen’s Club with another girl whom she never really got to know very well. And the song ends all too soon when the cops come to the door and you’re kept wondering, ‘What happened?’