Scream Club makes rap wonderful and adorable.
Sarah Adorable and Cindy Wonderful finish each others' sentences. It's a pretty accurate indication of how in sync the two are. They confess to being best friends and agree that it's hard to imagine being happier traveling with anyone else. Luckily, they stay on the road an awful lot.
Adorable and Wonderful constitute the Olympia, Wash., rap duo Scream Club. For the last five years, the two have spent more than half their time touring both middle-of-nowhere bars and marquee venues.
"If someone's setting up a show, there must be enough interest in us," Adorable says of the quirky venues Scream Club has played.
They've got some road stories to tell. Take the time they played in a small, obscure, wholly conservative town in Oregon. The very outspoken agnostic lesbian duo was on the same bill as a Christian rock group.
Adorable and Wonderful, who play songs with such titles as "Fine as Fuck" and "Pee Pee in the Potty," appear (at least on the surface) to be the anti-Christ incarnate. At the very least, their abrasive and overtly sexual lyrics should have them marched out of damn near any fundamentalist establishment. During the gig though, Adorable says, one of the kids in the other band confessed to them that he might be gay.
"We can let go of our stereotypes of what Christians are like," Adorable says. "So if they're also willing to, we can have a great time."
Wonderful agrees. She says they had no problem playing conservative venues. "If we did, nobody told us," she adds.
Despite their cause-oriented lyrics, they're about the least judgmental folks one could hope to meet. For Wonderful, that just comes with being weird.
"No one's going to take you seriously if you're an outcast and being judgmental," she says. "We really don't want to put other people down with our music."
Then she adds sheepishly, "There is the line about the Pope"-referring to "Don't Fuck With My Babies," a synth-heavy funk-rap song that insists, "I'm gonna stick that sexist Bible right up the Pope's ass." The YouTube video for the song, incidentally, proclaims itself to be possibly "the first Sci-Fi, Hip-Hop, Anti-Bush Vampire video ever made." How's that for all-inclusiveness?
"In the future, I'm making it a point to be more universal," Wonderful says, referring to Scream Club's anti-religious lyrics. "I'd really like to write stuff I can play for my grandmother."
Granny may have to wait a while. Backed by prerecorded tracks reminiscent of '80s pop (the women love Hall & Oates, Britney Spears and "a lot of Top 40 music"), Wonderful and Adorable do just about whatever the vibe calls for.
They are what you'd imagine "two gaysymmetrical superheroes"-the term they use to describe themselves-would look like. At past shows they've been known to get naked as a way to liberate themselves and their audiences. It's not a sexual thing, they insist.
"I had a lot of body issues growing up, so if I'm getting naked it's like no one can make me feel bad," Wonderful says.
They've also pulled off less criminal tricks, such as "Seven Minutes in Heaven," a kissing game in which they put a couple of strangers from the audience behind the stage curtain for the duration of a song to see what happens. They've also invited audiences to stand in a circle and hold hands during performances.
These antics have garnered Scream Club attention from some big names. Electro-rap artist Peaches re-recorded "Fine as Fuck" with Scream Club; Beth Ditto of Gossip guest-vocalized on "If You Want It." Scream Club's tours are getting longer and critics and audiences are taking notice: All their time on the road is paying off.
They've begun to help other musicians as well. Wonderful and Adorable run a record label, Crunk's Not Dead, which features other queer and queer-friendly acts such as Romanteek, Ben Adorable, Jenna Riot and Nicky Click (who appears alongside Scream Club at the March 11 show). The duo spends much of its time on the road listening to the acts they've signed.
That is, when they're not listening to Britney. They're obsessed with her.
"For her to come out with that song ["Gimme More"] after she shaved her head and got her babies taken away-we're rooting for her," Adorable says. "If I'm in a long line at the supermarket, yeah, I'll pick up a tabloid.
We'd love to hang out with her."
Scream Club's Britney fixation comes as a surprise. Spears is a tragic pop figure who was a star before she was old enough to drive. She writes…well, no, she doesn't even write…she sings bubbly pop tunes about superficial subjects. Are Adorable and Wonderful being ironic when they profess their love for Britney, or is the crush real?
"If we're being ironic, it's in a truthful way," Wonderful says. "To me, music's not interesting if it doesn't have some emotional vulnerability. If I don't get an idea of who the person [singing] is, I can't get into the music." Britney is thus validated.