When they perform as The Dirrty Show, Kayla Williams and Melody Stang sing about stuff that was described as “totally inappropriate” by your elementary school teachers.
From The Titty Shake to Hairy Balls, some of their titillating tunes deal with exactly the kind of sexual/anatomical subject matter a younger, more immature you might have snickered over.
But then The Dirrty Show gets dirrtier still.
The bulk of the Red Deer duo’s material features X-rated titles that can’t be named in a family newspaper, presumably without sending the coffee cups of our more sensitive readers clattering to the floor.
From describing masturbation to virtually every other known sex act (and some you had no idea existed), Williams and Stang plunge headfirst into hard-core erotic musical comedy that’s only for the 18-plus crowd.
But the Ponoka natives, who teach music in their regular jobs, would strongly argue that this doesn’t mean their act is inappropriate. In fact, they believe it’s highly appropriate to bring some of this deep, dark, murky, Freudian stuff out of the closet/bedroom/bathroom and into a live concert venue near you.
And plenty of people would agree, judging by The Dirrty Show’s sold-out CD release party at The Vat last month, and the duo’s appearance at the full-house Bull Skit comedy nights at the Scott Block.
Despite a foul language barrier, the group that performs in Edmonton and has plans for Calgary gigs, is getting some after-midnight airplay on an Edmonton campus radio station. Stang and Williams were even asked to sing on radio in Red Deer — although the DJ had to bleep out all the F-words.
And on Saturday, The Dirrty Show opens for and appears in The Vagina Monologues at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre.
All this interest shows “people really get a kick out of (provocative songs) that you don’t hear every day,” said Williams, 26, who along with Stang is a Red Deer College music grad with a silly, provoking sense of humour.
“None of this stuff is new. We’re just putting it into a song and singing about it. But everything is truthful, we don’t make it up — although we might exaggerate a bit,” said Williams, a singer/pianist who started performing in musical theatre roles in high school.
Whether people like The Dirrty Show’s lyrics (and several have registered disapproval — including an older man who “aggressively” weighed in via the Internet that nobody wants to hear songs about women’s “monthlies,” read: menstruation), they tend to appreciate the duo’s lush musical production, as well as William’s soulful voice.
Both musicians perform less controversial “regular” music as well, with Williams’ vocals showcased to great effect in YouTube covers of Beach Boy tunes. (Williams recalled this is how she met her idol, Brian Wilson, who liked her online renditions so much he asked to meet her after one of his concerts.)
Guitarist/pianist Stang, 25, has known Williams since childhood, but was the quieter one growing up. She was more into the underground music scene, listening to artists such as Hawksley Workman and Royal Wood.
Although Williams’ mother is eager to see a live performance of The Dirrty Show (her daughter is less sure about wanting to see her mom front and centre in the audience), Stang’s Christian parents had more of an issue with the duo’s material.
Stang said she’s still talking it through with her mom and dad. But she believes it helps her case that so many men and women are receptive to hearing two women singing funny, catchy, ice-breaking songs about bodily functions.
Recently, the duo was even invited to play at a local wedding and a 50th birthday party.
“We’ve come a long way since the ’70s,” in terms of folks being open and comfortable with their sexuality, “but there’s still a long way to go,” added Stang. And that’s a shame, because “sex is such a big part of who we are as people — (yet) you could be married to someone for 25 years and still be afraid to say what your favourite sexual position is.”
Although the duo wrote a few tunes with seemingly serious undertones — including one about the futility of rape whistles — Stang maintained there’s no advocacy intended in any of the song’s lyrics.
“The only advocacy is to get people to be more open-minded and more expressive. It’s like there’s some kind of taboo not to bring up sex.”
Williams recalled how scary and secretive it felt getting her period for the first time. She believes that girls shouldn’t be ashamed of what happens to their bodies. “We should be able to talk about the things we all go through — things that make you laugh, the things that make you cry. . . . ”
The Dirrty Show’s self-titled CD is available at live shows or from iTunes.
Doors to Saturday’s performance at the Memorial Centre open at 7 p.m. The Dirrty Show will play from about 7:15 to 7:45 p.m., and The Vagina Monologues begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.