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Local ladies Von Iva are electronic fury
By: Merril Guzman
Posted: 2/11/09

San Francisco band Von Iva's provocative and aggressive approach to its songs produces a different kind of girl-power music. In an age where all-female bands conjure images of the Dixie Chicks, Pussycat Dolls and Spice Girls, Von Iva empower listeners with its demanding lyrics and punk attitude.

The band's newest EP, "Girls on Film," features six songs that are a combination of electronica, techno and dance music. At times, electric and artificial synthesizers provide an overload of sounds.

Von Iva's album brings the definition of girl power to a new high. If you're looking for songs to dance to, but only in the most unsavory of ways, be sure to catch them when they're in town.

People might find it hard to dance to punk music, but the band's songs pull it off with electric beats and catchy lyrics.

It's a perfect CD to listen to if you're feeling a little angst but are still ready to dance.

It has an energy that is unparalleled by many other female groups. In their concerts, Von Iva push the limits with lead vocalist, Jillian Iva, crowd surfing, rolling on the ground, climbing onto drum sets and pleasing the crowd with her provocative dancing. Shock appeal at its best.

The trio got its start in San Francisco and is composed of Iva, Kelly "Lay Lay" Harris on drums and Becky "Bex" Kupersmith on keyboards.

In their song "Guise," Iva sings, "show me what you got / well you said you want it / you want it / you gotta step to it / baby this ain't no one-way street you gotta come to me."

Talk about demanding. Female independence is blaring throughout the EP.

"You don't own me / can't control me / sick of crying / you're always lying to me / done with trying / so I'm going to leave," Iva sings in the chorus of the song "Birds of Prey."

Von Iva even manages to take a jab at female pop icons like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan in its song "LALA." In an interview with music Web site Rhapsody at the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, Harris and Iva said the song is about the media coverage and breakdowns of pop stars that happen in Los Angeles.

"Thanks to L.A. her time here is gone / now she's gone," the lyrics screech on top of an electric beat that pounds away in the background.

Despite the band's objection to the high-profile music lifestyle, last December Von Iva appeared in the Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel movie "Yes Man." In the movie, the band played as a fictional group called Munchausen by Proxy.

Von Iva are currently on the road with Semi-Precious Weapons and Nico Vega on their "Hell on Heels Tour." The tour, which started on Jan. 13, is currently in Indiana. The trio will be in the Bay Area on March 12 at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco and they will be at the Voodoo Lounge in San Jose on March 13.