Commentary and photos by Jeff Rey
© Copyright 2004 NEON, blue door productions
All rights reserved
Although it was an early, first set at the Mercury Lounge, Boobytrap had brought in a staunch (and vocal) following, including Jasper Coolidge of jenyk/dot/com who seemed to be in a frenzy of photo imaging from the first powerful opening chords of show-starter “The Trap.” And this is a photogenic band. Boobytrap is also starting to get a reputation for their fashion sense and they were resplendent in stripped ensembles (curiously, stripes have been in vogue with rock bands since, well, since there’s been rock bands). Singer Christina Poletto moves about the stage easily, pulling the audience in with knowing glances and her sultry, seductive vocals. Many of the songs deal with relationships - the deceptions, joys and complications they bring about – songs that the timbre of the right female voice often express best. And Christina has that voice. But by the same turn, this has the danger of being maudlin subject matter, so drummer Janet Hicks and Judy Minn on bass keep the rhythm of the tunes bouncing along so you can just groove to the beat if that’s where you want to be. The involved interplay between the guitars of Frankie Kimm and Mariela Azcuy also kept things interesting. I’m told Boobytrap hasn’t been together very long, but you’d be hard pressed to guess that from the musical repartee the two have going.

The nine-song set included “Take A Ride,” “Secret Code” and “Someone To Blame,” three of the band’s most developed songs and also the three that appear on their CD demo. But while the production on the recording features an airy, power-pop group, live Boobytrap transforms them into harder, more intense and much more dynamic rockers. I probably don’t have to tell you which version I prefer.

As compelling a focal point as Poletto is, one of the highlights of the show was the exotic looking Frankie Kimm’s lone solo turn at the mic. The audience seemed to agree and it would be great to see her featured more. Boobytrap is a band that knows how to put on a show, from their moniker (wink, wink) to their stage image; and most importantly through the solid set of music they deliver. You can  hear a couple live tunes from that night at their website.
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Feb/Mar 2004
Left - Christina Poletto and Mariela Azcuy
Right - the 'exotic' Frankie Kimm
Girls Girls Girls
I had to admit their name was clever, though still it did seem somewhat kitschy. And singer Christina Poletto told me Boobytrap had only been together a very short time. So although female-fronted groups frequently do it for me, “all girl” bands are something else all together. This is from a guy whose first exposure was the traumatic experience of seeing Goldie and the Gingerbreads when even the great Genya (Goldie) Ravan couldn’t save them from being a “gimmick” act of irritating musicianship. I shouldn’t even be saying all this – after all I did have a female-fronted band for a long time myself and even played in versions of that band where I was the only guy – so gender isn’t an issue. It’s just that there’s something about that all-women band thing that kept me away from seeing even a hard ‘n heavy group like the Runaways in their heyday. I dunno, I just have a hard time getting it out of my head that they’re still so often just female versions of manufactured boy bands like New Kids On The Block or ‘N Sync. I know, I know. It’s just my own personal problem. So though I was intrigued, that whole thing was kinda tugging at me when Boobytrap invited me to their gig. I’m a jerk of course. Hopefully the above review will tell you how much I enjoyed Boobytrap’s show.

I should know better. I used to frequent a club somewhere in the East 80s that was called Private’s. When it first started up it was an invite-only venue run by a management company who used it to showcase both established and upcoming acts that were seeking to hook up with major tours. I saw some great and interesting bands there – Aerosmith, Elliot Murphy, Wilson Pickett, Mary Wells – and the list goes on. But, on the night Joan Jett and the Blackhearts came in to showcase their new band, I had such distaste for the Runaways that the co-founder of this publication (who, to our utter dismay, was often compared to Ms. Jett) and I found sanctuary and amusement in one of the pinball machines against the back wall of the joint. And while it was a hot machine that I could pull free games out of almost at will, I shortly thereafter came to appreciate Jett’s substantial talent and still regret being such an arrogant idiot and missing the chance to see a budding star in an intimate venue that night. I ain’t getting fooled again.

As a footnote, NEON eventually interviewed another principal of the Runaways - Lita Ford (see the NEON archives).

- drummer Janet Hicks and Christina Poletto

Right - Mariela Azcuy and Judy Minn
If you aren't careful, these women will snare you with their sultry & seductive sounds ...