My Bitter Valentine


The Stretchmarxxx‘s Thursday night show at the Pub might be billed as Bitter Valentine, but that doesn’t mean scorn will greet any happy couples who intrude on the expected mopefest. “I think it would be a great date,” opines singer Venus, erstwhile Goddess of Love and current Kansas City music-scene heartthrob. “It would be like a great dessert, the cherry topping on your evening.” The trio will do its best to accommodate lovebirds, keeping onstage sneering at hand-holding fans and covers of antiromance anthems to a minimum, but ladies might be timid about tempting their significant others’ cheatin’ hearts. “We’re going to dress a little fancier,” Venus teases. “I’m thinking of wearing a prom-type thing.”

As a result of the group’s combustible combination of high fashion and low-down dirty rock, a fair number of lonely souls might end up nursing wildly unrealistic, alcohol-fueled dreams of making Venus and bassist Camille Hendren their Valentines. Still, boyfriends who plead “I want to go for the music” should be given more credit than caught-in-the-act porno hoarders who blurt, “I’m reading it for the articles.” The Stretchmarxxx blends rock-star stage presence with perky riot grrrl assertiveness, as if Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna had decided to collaborate on sloppy, simple songs instead of brawling backstage. These sexy pistols can provide the enchanted-evening crowd with the perfect antidote to a few hours spent in a stuffy restaurant, as well as offering cathartic thrills for sullen singles.

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