Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Vodka: more Jenny Wade! (Part one in a series on bands who were never sexually harassed by Bob Guccione Jr.)

So, Jenny Wade came up in a recent piece on the early 90's band Timber. Jenny is known to many as the lead singer of Rude Buddha (not the current Rude Buddha...an older band). A friend of mine had a crush on her, and thusly I heard their records long, long ago but I'll be damned if I can remember thing one about them. Anyone want to do a Rude Buddha piece someday?

Anyway, after that and after Timber, Jenny was in a band called Vodka who are, shall we say, underrepresented on the internet these days. Neither fantastic nor terrible, they have a handful of songs worth preserving and their full-length CD is well worth plucking from the dollar bin. Also, the family tree is interesting.

The group was made up of Jenny on bass and vocals, Greg Talenfeld on guitar, Bob Bannister on guitar and keyboards, and Celia Farber on drums.

Jenny is apparently essentially retired from the music biz. Greg Talenfeld would go on to be a producer of note. Bob Bannister is a well respected guitar player around town. Celia Farber is a journalist, like her dad.

Vodka strike me as the sort of band who might easily have ended up working with Kramer. I'd locate them in the same general wing of the Museum of 90's Rock that holds Mold, Lida Husik and Bongwater (musically, not lyrically), among others. Whisps of psychedelia flutter around the edges of 60's-inspired but 90's-sounding well-produced guitar pop/rock. When they try to get less melodic and more jagged the going gets tough, but a handful of tracks with repetitive verses building to a semi-anthemic chorus work really well.

A song called Christmas from their King Jesus EP was either rerecorded or remastered (I'm not sure which) for their full length She's My Dream as XMAS, and it's probably the best thing they did.

I didn't like it initially, but the title track from She's My Dream ended up growing on me a lot. Here's that. I should probably insert a note here that Jenny Wade's voice is kinda unusual and quavery. I suspect it's a like-it or hate-it proposition. I like it.

Another favorite is Martin Luther (Green & Pink & Blue) on which Celia Farber sings. Again with the anthemic chorus. I keep thinking that Celia would have been well-suited to sing Reflex as well. Just a hunch.

For more of the Farber singing voice, you might want to check out her sister Bibi Farber's website. My favorite thing from that is this wonderful picture:

That's Bibi smiling radiantly in the center as Celia looks on from the margin. Photo taken by Ulla Farber. Some might say it explains a lot, though I personally don't subscribe to crackpot conspiracy theories.

XMAS by Vodka
She's My Dream by Vodka
Martin Luther (Green & Pink & Blue) by Vodka
Reflex by Vodka

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