The Situation It's past midnight on a Sunday at Capitol Hill's Oddfellows, and I'm the fifth wheel on a girls' night out with the chick-rockers of Eighteen Individual Eyes—Irene Barber, Chrysti Harrison, and newlyweds Jamie Hellgate and Samantha Wood.
EIGHTEEN INDIVIDUAL EYES With Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Virgin Islands, Eastern Grip. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272. $7. 9 p.m. Sat., Sept. 25.
Intoxication It's a fact that when girls get together for drinks—beers and pear ciders, in our case—we get giddy, and we get giggly. But this is a tame night by Eyes standards.
"We were at the Satellite, we were getting wasted on the usual tequila, we were having lots and lots of shots," says Harrison. "And it just led to Jamie showing us her fire-crotch."
"And then we went to Mama's and I did it again," says Hellgate.
"Mama's had better light," says Barber.
"I think I closed my eyes," says Wood.
How They Got Here The girls practice and socialize at Hellgate and Wood's Greenwood home. The couple celebrated their nuptials last month. "It was at the Georgetown Ballroom. There was a lot of drinking, our friend DJed it. It was like a big pizza party," says Hellgate.
Tonight, they'd all spent the early part of their evening playing Rock Band. "The only song we couldn't beat was [by] Dashboard Confessional," says Hellgate. "It was hard."
Shop Talk After releasing their debut EP, the haunting and valiant Slightly Frightened, Mostly Happy, in January, the band put on the brakes a bit. "We took the summer off to write," says Barber. Was it productive? "No," admits Harrison. "We have one new song."
"We spent the summer just brainstorming on all the songs we're going to write this fall and winter," Barber says. "Gaining inspiration, how about that?" For inspiration, she says, "Songs are always about love. Or being in love with the idea of being in love. The tragedies of love. That's all there really is, I think."
BTW: So what's it like being an all-female band in the rock-and-roll boys' club? "I think the advantage is, when we take the stage, people at least stop and pay attention," says Hellgate. "And we get a lot of positive comments from other women."
Plus there are important hygienic advantages.
"The band smells nice. Our practice space always smells nice," says Barber.