The Home News & Tribune - On The Go 10.31.97
By Chris Jordan
On the Go Writer
Leave the Farrah wig at home
Saran Song hosts an unusual Halloween party
Demons will be expunged tonight at Suran Song in Stag's Halloween CD-release party tonight at the Budapest Cocktail Lounge in New Brunswick. "We're going to exercise the need people feel to match up to the Victoria's Secret catalog or a model ideal," Song said. So that means watch out, Pamela Anderson. Duck for cover, Cindy Crawford.
Through the magic of her multimedia "high lo-fi" approach of three screens, a couple of projectors, chemical suits and costumes. Song is able to morph into a supermodel while performing her original music. In doing so, the hope is that the untenable model ideal will be shattered.
"We want people to get out from feeling pressured to make your body conform instead of enjoying what you've got," Song, the band's lead singer and songwriter, said. Not only will the supermodel urge to be exorcised, but Barbie, Supergirl and newsman Jim Leher also will take hits in Song's thoughtful and tuneful presentation.
She employs visual tricks to get her message across. For instance, she appears to be nine feet tall while standing on a table with an elongated skirt tied around her waist. For each character assumed, Song performs a corresponding song. When she's Pamela Anderson, Song performs her original composition, "Pamela's Secret." As Barbie, Song sings a cover of Redd Kross' "Jimmy's Fantasy." The show is a way of acknowledging the whole underbelly of society," Song said. "The seamy part that usually gets covered up."
To a newcomer, it might seem the New Brunswick-based Suran Song in Stag is haven for art majors with a lot of time on their hands. But there's talent on board. Song, 27, has written a cache of indie-style rock songs to express her unique performance-art vision. The band's new record, "Shiny Objects," crosses Liz Phair-ish rock with Sonic Youth's guitar ambiance. As a singer, Song's voice has a cool delivery and a playful lilt to it. Ween drummer Claude Coleman produced the record and area guitarists Dave Urbano (Aviso Hara) and Brian Sugent (Blisters) lent their skills.
Suran Song in Stag was formed in the fall of 1995 when Song, Urbano, drummer Jay Reynolds and bassist William Weis began playing at area clubs and art galleries. Since then, the band has developed a following from North Carolina to Boston, and has received airplay on Eatontown's WHTG-FM and Rutgers' WRSU-FM.
"It has grown a lot," Song said. "We're trying to find an audience through playing out consistently. We're trying to find the people who are interested in it and get it."
Song encourages guests to come in costume. But choose wisely unless you want to become part of the act.