Anyone who plays the ukulele and admits to having worn neon bathing suits in high school is fine by us, which is why we’re like, totally 100% behind Kay Kasparhauser, frontwoman of local band The Prettiots. Though Kasparhauser says she “wouldn’t be disappointed or insulted if someone underestimated us and thought we were just some kids making pop,” there’s a sense of charm and self-awareness – particularly to their lyrics – that makes The Prettiots much more than that.
“Won’t you please just be perfect right away, not too nice or too mean and hopefully not gay,” she sings on their track “Dreamboy.” Unsurprisingly, many a music blog has drawn parallels to The Moldy Peaches, albeit really adorable, feminine Moldy Peaches.
With the Prettiots playing Trash Bar tonight at 8:30 p.m. [Update: the show was just canceled. Bummer], we got on the phone to chat with 23-year-old Kasparhauser (who shameless admits to living at her parent’s house in the West Village) and find out if she’s found her Dream Boy.
I started out trying to make the music I’m making now but by myself. I put a violin string on my ukulele and I played with a bow and a loop pedal and it was weird. So then I would open for Supercute!, which is my drummer, Rachel Trachtenburg’s old band. I was like, “The music I’m making sounds weird and kind of terrible, you should play drums for me in attempts to make it sound less weird and terrible.” And she was totally down. Rachel suggested Lulu [as a bass player] because Lulu had toured with Supercute! and the three of us has just been the best pairing.
Lulu just turned 18 and Rachel just turned 20, which is crazy. I am the old woman, but they both have more experience being in a band than I do. I feel like I should lie about my age. I should say in interviews that I just turned 21.
I have this one video on my YouTube page of me blowing bubblegum bubbles and I got some weird messages from bubblegum fetish forums being like, “I love that bubblegum video you posted. Could you post some more, maybe with blue bubblegum?”
I started playing ukulele when I was 17. I had broken my ankle and I was on the beach in California. I couldn’t go swimming and I was bored out of my mind. My fingers are kind of weird – they dislocate and stuff – so playing the guitar is kind of painful for me because it’s big… And I have that weird, unfortunate disposition that’s really common with people in my social group which is I need to do the special thing. I need to do something no one else is doing.
Both of my parents work in music so I’ve been going to concerts with them since I was super young. In high school, I would always go see the cheesy jam bands of the boys that were juniors and seniors when I was in eight or ninth grade. There was one band called Lonely Trout.
I was reading that profile on you on the Opening Ceremony blog, and you mentioned you would wear bathing suits to school…
I think they thought, “She’s a lost cause.” Especially because I would get positive feedback – style blogs would feature me and people really egged me on. No one was like, “Maybe you should chill out with the wearing of trash as jewelry.”
The first few shows that I played I was completely alone onstage and playing really weird, experimental stuff. For those I was really afraid. Then I started playing shows with other people and it was like, “Oh my god, this is why people do this.” I also mess up a lot and I’m just super honest about it. I’ll say, “Hey everybody, I totally forgot the words to that one. Sorry about that. Hope you still think this was worth the $10 you paid to get in.”
Yes [laughs]. I wrote the song after I went through this big breakup and I was doing the “single early 20s girl” thing and just not really comprehending why that was something people did. Like, why would I sit here at this bar pretending to be interested in your dumb tattoos? So we can maybe make out and then you won’t call me? I’m not interested in that. But yes, I have found a very dreamy boy and he’s really great.
I think everybody has to go through it at least to some degree. It’s good to make out with someone you’re not totally into making out with and then go home and be like, “Man, I wish I hadn’t made out with that dude.” How many nights have I spent in the basement of some Lower East Side venue or bar trying to look cute? I’m jaded, and I sound like an old lady, but I’d much rather go home and watch Law and Order by myself.