Roxy Saint: The Underground Personality Tapes
By
J. Gordon
8/31/2004 4:06:39 PM

How long can the next big thing stay underground? We’ll be watching Roxy Saint to find out. Having just independently released her DVD (yeah, that’s DVD, not CD), The Underground Personality Tapes [StarBlue TV], she’s pushing underground up and into the streets--like it or not.

Equal parts musician, filmmaker, and pseudo-porn star, Roxy Saint is a step past the dark electronic sound of Garbage’s Shirley Manson, with the sinister sex-and-drugs dance vibe of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. In fact, this junkie- waif - performance artist - porno - rocker persona is a solo Thrill Kill if there ever was one.

Her self-produced, self-directed DVD debut is a collection of ten music videos, interspersed with bits of acted footage, conversations, candid shots and digital trickery. Experimenting with different personalities on film, from vampire lesbian to dominatrix to Hollywood whore, Roxy has mixed the media and sound together to push music and audio-visuals a step farther into the digital age. There are sad interviews with drag queens, drugged-up taxi rides down Sunset Boulevard, and American flags displayed in ways you’ve never seen them before. Roxy pushes into the shock rock realm, caressing her bloody crotch in the bathtub, and taking daggers to the breasts of her own personal harem of whores. Working collaboratively with Queens of the Stone Age’s producer Chris Goss, Queens Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri also make guest appearances.

The videos look like the cheap, low-budget creations of the 1980s at the birth of MTV, but no television of that age and few of this one would air her songs. The 1980s feels right for Roxy, though, with so much of her self-created persona owing a debt of thanks to the Plasmatics’ Wendy O. Roxy Saint has single-handedly guaranteed another blockbuster year for sales at Hot Topic, and will probably be the banner girl for the X-rated to fully crossover into the music industry.

Some of Roxy Saint’s philosophies come off as fairly intelligent…or at least, interesting. She disses celebrity and proclaims, “We are all the superstars,” and she says, matter-of-factly, “I decided everyone else is stupid and I am God.” Other times she comes off as ridiculously adolescent, but then you have to give her a break. I mean, what is she, nineteen or something?

Five of the ten videos from The Underground Personality Tapes are in the Top 30 of iFilm’s Top Rock/Pop Videos of all time, beating out bands like U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The White Stripes. And since February, iFilm alone has streamed-on-demand nearly a half-million requests for her videos.

Some, but not all, of Roxy Saint’s music is good enough to stand on its own without the crutch of gimmicky videos. Stand-out tracks include “Rebel,” “Firecracker,” “Face,” and “Superstar.” She’s got a cover of Iggy Pop’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” that’s a sheer celebration of degradation. Roxy Saint is not for everyone, and probably not good for anyone. That said, she’ll be a superstar in her own right in no time.

You can listen to samples and buy the DVD on www.roxysaint.com.

 

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