Jim Beal Jr., EXPRESS-NEWS MUSIC WRITER
Updated 06:41 a.m., Thursday, October 27, 2011
Girl in a Coma with Pin~ata Protest, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Pearl Park
Amphitheater at Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayson St.
“Mature” and “rock 'n' roll” are two things
that bands and fans do not necessarily want to go together. Rock is
supposed to be wild, carefree, rebellious and fun.
The members of Girl in a Coma — sisters Nina Diaz (guitar, vocals,
lyrics) and Phanie Diaz (drums) and lifelong friend Jenn Alva (bass)
— might not readily admit to maturing, but the band has learned
some things since its first rehearsal a decade ago, when Nina was
“I'll never write a song about a boyfriend, never get a boyfriend's
name tattooed on me and never even mention a boyfriend on an album's
liner notes,” said Nina with a wry smile.
Even taking songs about boyfriends out of the equation, Nina finds
no shortage of things about which to write. Tuesday, the hard-touring
alt/etc. local rocker will celebrate the release of the band's fourth
CD, “Exits & All the Rest” (Blackheart Records).
The Texas leg of the celebration tour has already started. Saturday,
Girl in a Coma and punk/conjunto purveyors Piñata Protest,
just off the tour road, will team for a free 6:30 p.m. concert at
the Pearl Park Amphitheater at Pearl Brewery.
“Even though we're separate genres, they're more punk rock,
we're out for the same thing. We like playing shows with them,”
Phanie said about Piñata Protest. “They're starting to
tour and they're building up a fan base. They embrace San Antonio
and the culture just like we do.”
“Exits & All the Rest,” produced, engineered and mixed
by Mike McCarthy, has a big sound that fuses the band's energy with
the yes, maturity, of a trio that has logged a lot of hours working
“It's us just getting better as musicians,” Phanie said.
“We wanted to do something different with this record. We knew
we wanted to record in analog and we wanted to capture us as live
Girl in a Coma started gigging about the time downloading music started
taking off, the business end of music began its ongoing upheavals
and focus turned again to individual songs.
“We make our living being on the road,” Phanie said. “A
lot of our fans wait to buy our CDs and our vinyl from us. Now it's
all about iTunes.”
“We've had songs in the movies ‘Machete' and ‘Prom,'
which is cool,” Nina said. “Now we're trying to get placements.”
“We try to do in-stores at record stores when we tour,”
Phanie said. “We love record stores.”
“This is an album,” Alva said. “This is not a single.
All these songs belong together.”
The lyrics are Nina's department and have been from the band's beginning.
“Smart,” the CD's first single, was not immediately embraced
by the band.
“As long as the song is, is as long as it took me to write it,”
Nina said. “It felt like a cheesy song.”
“It had the word ‘sunshine' in it,” Alva said.
“‘Sunshine' freaked them out,” Nina said. “As
soon as I changed ‘sunshine' to something depressing, they liked
“I think we like it now,” Alva added.
And it's a cinch Girl in a Coma fans are going to like wishing the
trio bon voyage at the Pearl.