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Girl in a Coma’s new cover album: Bowie, Selena and beyond
By Michelle Messick

Forget girl power. Toss girl power to the wind while going 70 mph in your Dodge Neon, ’cause Girl in a Coma is pure, ass-kicking WOMAN power. The San Antonio-based band is coming to El Paso with some new-ish tunes, their Chuck Taylors and a whole ton of bad ass-ness in tow.

Following up their sophomore album, “Trio B.C.,” comes an album of cover songs called “Adventures in Coverland.” It was originally released as three volumes on vinyl or for digital download – a somewhat unusual choice in this day of iPods and CD players.

“When we first released it, we wanted to only put it out on vinyl ’cause it’s kind of hard for people to get music on vinyl nowadays,” drummer Phanie Diaz says. “And if you get all three volumes and put it together, it makes a board game.”

“Adventures in Coverland,” to be released Oct. 19 as a full-length album, is a 10-track piece of heaven. It starts off with “Si Una Vez” where singer Nina Diaz invokes the almighty Selena, and continues with covers of The Beatles, David Bowie, Patsy Cline, Velvet Underground and Ritchie Valens. Their rendition of Joy Division’s “Transmission” will change your life.

Three bonus tracks will be added to the full-length, including an acoustic version of their song “BB” and Spanish track “Yo Oigo,” which is featured in the new movie “Machete.”

“At first we had so many (songs) to choose from, and we wanted to pick stuff that had influenced us and also be able to educate the kids,” Diaz says. “There’s people out there who don’t know who Joy Division is. We also wanted to make people understand why we sound the way we do. So we had to narrow it down, and we picked stuff we grew up with. Jenn and Nina are big Patsy Cline fans.”

When it comes to working their way around a riff, Jenn, Nina and Phanie obviously don’t need any aid. But it does help to know that they have one of the goddesses of rock, Joan Jett, working in their corner.

“We’re so close to her now, she’s like a sister,” Diaz says. “We can always call her up for advice and its great ’cause she’s been doing it for so long. It’s amazing. It’s one of those surreal types of things that you’re just amazed that you’re doing.”

Girl in a Coma force is unstoppable and El Paso totally digs it. These girls aren’t strangers to the Sun City scene; it seems like every time the seasons change, GIAC is back again.

“It’s a part of Texas and we have a really good following there,” Diaz says. “There’s a band down there called Ralpheene that are really awesome that we like hanging with and this bar Lips. We also recorded out in Tornillo, which isn’t too far from El Paso. We just like the place and the people. It just feels like home to us.”

In between playing drums and spare time being awesome, Phanie is busy ghost hunting in her spare time, so catch her and the girls at Thursday’s show. Then check them out on tour with the Dresden Dolls and look out for a new album, which they’ll be recording with a super-secret new producer who just so happens to be a she. (Say that 10 times fast.) And no, it’s not Joan.

Girl in a Coma
with Sweetest Downfall
Thursday, Sept. 23 – 8 p.m.
House of Rock, 8838 Viscount
$5 for 21+, $10 for 18-20
For info call (915) 595-2530