Just because they call themselves Two Nice Girls doesn't mean they play nice, soft rock. In fact, the quartet yes, there are four women in Two Nice Girls likes to play hard and loud to a young audience.
"We have a lot of women fans whose age range is between 16 and 24," said Kathy Korniloff, a band member. "We get a lot of women who are excited over girls playing our guitars very loud, and we get a lot of men, too.''
The Austin-based group includes musicians Gretchen Phillips, Meg Hentges and Pam Barger. It's scheduled to play tonight at the Bottleneck, 737 N.H.
In the home of the Texas state capitol and the University of Texas-Austin, Two Nice Girls has gained a considerable reputation for on-the-edge rock music with a message.
"WE'RE PRETTY popular," Korniloff said in a recent telephone interview from Austin. "We're one of a handful of bands that are the darlings of the media here. In some ways I feel we're one among a lot of incredibly talented bands, but on the other hand we do draw a lot of attention, which isn't necesssarily good, because we're on the road so much we don't play in Austin much.''
The group has its routes deep in Austin topsoil: One song, called "The Queer Song," is based on a melody by Texan Buddy Holly. The group has recorded three albums, including two with the current lineup.
"We've all been living here a long time, I've been here 12 years," she said. "I met Gretchen in 1985, and we started playing together as a trio with another drummer. At that point we produced an album with a lot of incisive political songs, but then our drummer left. Then we added Meg and Pam. So for the past 3 years we've found a cohesiveness for our past two albums.''
THEIR MOST recent album, called "Chloe Liked Olivia," includes "The Queer Song" as well as others about women's rights and rape. But Korniloff said their political message comes more from their alternative sexual orientation than an agit-prop agenda.
"I would say that we are political, because that's what we're being called by a lot of people," she said. "We are women who are all out, a group of people who aren't afraid to talk about it. It sounds political, but inside it feels like the natural thing to do, to express our feelings about our sexuality. It's political to other people.''
Basically, the quartet likes to play loud and have fun, too one publicity photo shows them dressed up like the '70s disco group the Village People. And their stage performances are frequently quite different from their their well-produced albums.
"OUR LIVE stuff we play a little faster than on the recordings," she said. "We give it a little more volume. I thoroughly believe the live performances should be different from the recording.''
The quartet enjoys the relatively open cultural atmosphere found in Austin, which most recently was portrayed in the Richard Linklater film "Slacker," which has yet to appear in the area. The film is about the young people of Austin who meet to discuss issues for long periods of the day.
"We've known those people (slackers) for years, and it's great to see people from Austin have that kind of success," she said.
Korniloff, now 31, majored in English and radio, television and film at the University of Texas. Although she had a taste of the business world, she's happy to have found Two Nice Girls.
"I was fortunate, because I held a position in a corporate environment, and I quit to do what I wanted to do," she said.