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Sweets from the Minibar

Gerty

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Album Review

This is a charming and unpretentious collection of old-fashioned new wave music by Shirlé Hale and David Koslowski. The duo recorded the basic tracks in their bedroom studio in Durham, NC, then Chris Stamey (the dB's, Yo la Tengo, Le Tigre) finished the job as producer. Mitch Easter (Let's Active frontman and R.E.M. producer), Jon Wurster (Superchunk), Carrie Shull, and Corey Sims (both of the Micro-East Collective) make guest appearances, but Hale and Koslowski handle most of the instruments themselves, including drum machines and assorted keyboards. They also wrote all of the songs, except for a cover version of Julian Cope's "Head Hang Low," and demonstrate a flair for constructing catchy hooks. Hale is a better vocalist than the less-forceful Koslowski, as revealed by listening to the Hale-dominated "Magnastar" followed by the Koslowski-dominated "As Far As I Can See," but they are both at their best when trading off each other on tracks such as "Short Drive Home." There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about this music, of course, but it's still very appealing. If you like the Cars, Human League, Berlin, and similar bands, then there's a good chance that you'll enjoy Gerty.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Gerty, the indie rock three-piece from Baltimore, MD, came together in 1996. Guitarist David Koslowski had grown tired of playing with Liquid Bike, while his girlfriend Shirle Hale had taken a break from playing bass for the riot grrl act Womyn of Destruction. Hale had done some recording on her own, and luckily, Koslowski found the tape. He was so impressed by the emotional depth of these tracks, he encouraged Hale to call upon their old friend Miyuki Furtado. Furtado knew Hale from their days of...
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Sweets from the Minibar, Gerty
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