If you're a white girl raised on En Vogue and Wu-Tang in D.C.'s hardscrabble northeast suburbs, it ain't easy fitting in when, at age 13, you move to cushy, Pearl Jam-lovin' Bethesda, Md. Still, in 1993, that's what Christina "Xstina" Harper did, clandestinely cultivating a love for Whodini and Pebbles and making hip-hop beats on her four track while singing big band tunes in her mother's swing band. Even while pledging a mean-girl sorority at Syracuse, Xstina kept true to the R&B diva deep inside, writing rhymes, singing backup for Dischord Records' freakout drag artist Edie Sedgwick, and waiting for the moment to express her inner Left-Eye.
With Big Gold Belt, that moment is here.
Born in the winter of 2008 when Xstina won a, well, big gold belt at a Williamsburg dance contest, BGB fuses Hot97 circa 1987 with cool-as-ice art-rock. Enlisting her boyfriend Luke Wyatt who’s Vernon Reid-ish prog guitar centers BGB in the studio and as much as his post-Miami Vice video editing shape the duo’s stunning live performances – Xstina’s produced a 12” that’s equal parts TLC, BBD, and ELO. Songs like “Wait” and “Ice Cream” sound like early Madonna – not in the lame way that lazy rock critics mistakenly think Lady Gaga sounds like early Madonna, but in the fucked-up way that Sonic Youth’s forgotten “Ciccone Youth” masterpiece sounds like early Madonna. Only Xstina’s got better legs.
Big Gold Belt's debut 12" was released by Sockets Records/Mud Memory Records. You will be able to find it in fine record stores by November or purchase below:
Big Gold Belt
$12ppd (International orders add $4)
2. Night Vision
3. Eyepatch & A Boombox
4. Ice Cream
5. Do Not Disturb
Big Gold Belt's video for the single "Wait":