Friday night I went to see Girlyman in concert at the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco. The trio of super-cute pop-folksters (they describe themselves as “delicious acoustic harmony-driven gender pop” are currently on tour promoting their third album, Joyful Sign, which was released last month. (The equally cute Chris Pureka opened for them.) Here’s Girlyman signing CDs after the show:
That’s Nate Borofsky on the left, Doris Muramatsu in the middle and Ty Greenstein on the right. Nate, as one of my friends said on Friday night, is a total manbian. (“He’s so cute I just want to hold him down and feed him candy!” said another of my friends.) Doris plays the mandolin, the guitar and the banjo, in a Girlyman-inflected style of bluegrass that she refers to as “girlygrass.” (How often do you get to see a cute Japanese-American girl playing the banjo, I ask you?) Ty handles the percussion and the guitar, and I think I saw her pick up the mandolin Friday night, too (and she makes the girls whistle).
Their albums are a joy to listen to and typically make me want to take a road trip in an old truck through the Southwest (I don’t know why, because I don’t have a truck, nor have I ever really wanted to drive one, and an old one would probably get crappy gas mileage), which makes them Not Your Mama’s Lesbian Folk Music! You can hear clips from all three of their CDs on their website.
But Girlyman on CD is simply not the same as Girlyman onstage. These three crack me up. It’s clear that they know each other well and they like each other a lot, which makes for fun, easygoing camaraderie onstage. And then there are the cover songs they sing. Unfortunately these aren’t on their CDs either, so you’ll just have to catch them in concert to hear them cover “Rock Me Amadeus” in German, “Wild Thing” sung backwards (that’s “Thing Wild”) and an absolutely amazing version of “Angel of the Morning.”
My only disappointment was that they didn’t do their rendition of “Hey Rose” (from their first album, Remember Who I Am) mashed up with Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle.” I saw them perform this hilariously brilliant combo when they were at the Dolores Park Cafe a couple of years ago, and I hereby request that they bring it back!