“Go-Go With Elettrodomestico”
Written by Jason Reed
October 28, 2017
This week I had the chance to sit down with Jane Wiedlin and Pietro Straccia of Elettrodomestico at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz, California to talk about their new collaborative project and album. As Jane and Pietro explained during the interview, their musical collaboration began as a cathartic release for some of the grief and existential issues facing these creative musicians in the days following the death of the late great David Bowie, whose glam sensibilities and gender non-conformity were admittedly huge influences on a young Jane Wiedlin during her formative years in the 1970’s.
Their ambitious new album entitled “If You’re A Boy Or A Girl“ is a compelling blend of indie rock (with catchy melodies, synth beats, electronic samples and energized vocal harmonies) that tackles themes such as gender identity and social alienation while still being refreshing, accessible and surprisingly fun. It is an album that, were he still around to hear it, Mr. Ziggy Stardust himself would have enthusiastically characterized as “out of this world.”
Pietro Straccia is an accomplished musician born in Detroit (on the infamous “8 Mile”), who lived in Italy as a teenager and who now calls the California Bay Area home. He has impressive “jack of all trades, master of all” adaptability is on full display on the album, making it clear why his worldly musical skills were a perfect compliment to Jane’s colorful and confessional lyricism. Speaking of Jane, in many ways the album is a perfect representation of the unbridled creativity and DIY ethos of her punk roots, while also demonstrating her ever present tenacity, nonconformity and liberating spirit that has characterized her illustrious career. Elettrodomestico has already enjoyed a great degree of both underground and critical buzz in the mainstream music press, thanks in part through word of mouth and a series of creative indie music videos filmed by their colleagues in the Bay Area. Given these impressive feats, it will be of no shock if “If You’re A Boy Or A Girl” makes it on many music critics’ “Best of 2017” lists.
After the interview I witnessed their band perform an impassioned set of songs off the album (along with a couple Go-Go’s classics for good measure) in front of a live audience. Playing alongside Jane and Pietro were drummer extraordinaire Dawn Richardson (of 4 Non-Blondes) and Joe Gore, whose ability to rock a ukulele bass is second to none (see here for further evidence). Their live performance was captivating, particularly given the synchronicity, energy and refinement on display that can take many bands hundreds of live shows to establish. It was clear how accurate Jane’s characterization of them being “on the same wavelength” was as they gracefully barreled through the solid set of captivating tunes while the audience danced and swayed in tandem.
Given that the name “elettrodomestico” literally means “appliance” in Italian, it is in many ways fitting to describe their stage presence as a “well oiled machine”. And like your microwave or coffee machine, whose efficiency and productivity contribute to your enjoyment and quality of life, once you experience the music of Elettrodomestico you’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without it.
To stay connected with the band and to order a copy of their new album, go go to www.elettrodomesticoband.com.