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Attention Chicago friends and fans: BETTY is in town. Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe not. If you haven’t, here’s your chance. If you have, this is a rare Midwest appearance for the band, so scurry and pick up tickets.

BETTY’s official press kit bio describes the band this way: BETTY is a five-piece pop rock alternative band from New York City. Fronted by three full-on females, the band’s unique sound is based on the “spine-tingling harmonies” (Billboard) of songwriters Amy Ziff, Alyson Palmer and Elizabeth Ziff layered over propulsive guitars and a fat-bottomed rhythm section. Add to that mix BETTY’s “superb songcrafting” (KALX Radio), lyrics with “a Fellini-esque flair for combining the surreal and the everyday” (The Washington Post) and unpredictable onstage antics and you wind up with what National Public Radio calls “a fun, sexy romp through a musical freak show.”

So, I’m not exactly sure what they’re trying to get across by describing themselves as “three full-on females,” but describing BETTY has always been a challenge. I first saw them when my friend Rachel arranged for them to play my college. Margot and I did on-campus publicity for them. They put on a great show back then – and their new musical, BETTY Rules, is also a great show. I’ve seen the band just a couple of times between college and last night (at the Ark in Ann Arbor, at last summer’s Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival…) and while they’ve changed it up a little over the years, the core elements that made them great back in ’91 are still there: the comedy, the cabaret, the excellent songs, the expert musicianship, and the electric on-stage personas. (Click ‘Keep Reading’ for more)

[BETTY lyrics = 1]

The reason BETTY (Back when we did publicity for them they were very touchy about being represented as “BETTY” instead of just “Betty”) is in Chi-town now is for a limited run of their musical, BETTY Rules at the Lakeshore Theater. It’s a musical/cabaret show about the band’s journey from 1985 in Fairfax, VA to now. And it’s a spectacular good time. Funny, sometimes poignant, frequently rockin’. Plus, if you’ve ever been to Michigan, there’s a special treat for you in the show. It’s also a great show for people who are currently in up-and-coming bands (or not-that-up-but-certainly-coming-dammit bands). The show runs until June 20th. Go see it. You’ll thank me later.

P.S. I also enjoyed the opening night party at the Avenue Tavern. The band eventually showed up and mingled, which was cool. Plus, I got to meet Elizabeth Ziff. She claims the band remembers their gig at the Mawr (way back in ’91) as being a lot of fun. I think she was probably talking out of her ass on that one – but what the hell. It’s a really nice ass…

P.P.S. Thanks to Jay for the invite!

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