Commentary and photos by Jeff Rey
© Copyright 2004, blue door productions
All rights reserved
Summer 2004
"Go East, young women, go East," sang the siren.  And Boy Skout heeded that harpy’s call and relocated to NYC from San Francisco in the dead and dread of a New York City winter. If ever there was a group destined to be a New York, New York outfit, Boy Skout (alternately known as Boyskout and BoySkout) is it. We caught them for the first time at Pianos as a trio - their keyboardist/vocalist having recently departed. And we had heard that the transition to a threesome had punked them up a bit more. Never seeing them before, I don’t know. I do know they’re a very powerful band with the current line-up.

The vocal delivery and dynamic guitar of the classically cool Leslie Saterfield (think a rock 'n roll version of Katherine Denueve’s Mariam Blaylock) soon had the girls (and guys) up in front of the stage, getting the hunger and wondering what it’d be like to live in her attic for an eternity or two. And if that isn’t enough, Hannah Reiff comes on like a current day Ellen Ripley. With legs spread wide, she slyly wields her Fender bass like a techno death blaster and we helpless aliens in the audience know we are dead meat from the get go. And rounding out the cinematic analogies (this
is a very visual group) is Carrie Walker Mills driving this band of road warriors from behind her kit, laying down lethal shake-yur-butt beats, adding powerful vocals and occasionally fiddling with a laptop to add the missing-in-action keyboards, etc. When an equipment malfunction caused a mid-set lull, Saterfield kept things going with a dead-pan, hilarious recollection of her school girl days followed by an a cappella straight-ahead version of “Harper Valley PTA.” If this bit isn’t a regular part of their act, it should be. Boy Skout is sugar and spice and also everything not so fuckin’ nice. Cool.
With their politically-charged grrrl-on-grrrl punk themes and free-style rhythms and beats - Boy Skout are blazing a new trail in indie music ... be prepared
b o y  s k o u t
Boy Skout - from top: Carrie Walker Mills, Lesllie Satterfield, Hannah Reiff
The group was formed out of the volatile SF music scene in 2001, releasing their debut School of Etiquette on Alive Records last year. The recording features such powerful songs as “Girl On Girl Action,” “Secrets” and the can’t-get-it-out-of-yur-head riff of “Back to Bed.” The rather provocative video for that one (directed by Saterfield – I told you they were visual) features the panty-clad members of the band displaying their – uhm - camaraderie. Whew, and I thought just the audio of the song was addictive? And okay, you can see it for yourself on the Boy Skout website and also hear some of the great songs off their CD. A short summer tour will kick off in July with a longer one scheduled for September.

Postscript: Though we spoke with Leslie Saterfield just before press time, we've since heard that she's back in San Francisco reforming the group. Check for updates on Boy Skout's website.
33 1/3 Series