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editor's note
stellastarr*/Monsters Are Waiting
April 27, 2006 Ė Chop Suey Ė Seattle, WA
by Ashley Graham

My general assumption of stellastarr* has been for the longest time that the members of this band have no personality whatsoever. Iíve never heard of them being particularly appreciative or loving toward their fans, and Iíve never read an interview that I didnít find a little off-putting. I saw frontman Shawn Christensen do an acoustic in-store performance once and it was really horribleóand he made no move to suggest things were off (and it was obvious to all), and when the set was over he marched out (granted, if he hadnít, tomatoes might not have been long off).

Still, Iíve never been able to avoid the fact that I find stellastarr*ís music unbelievably catchy and inescapable. Iíve never been able to insult the dynamic on the records, even though I have such strong inclinations against the people behind it. I even like it enough to bother correcting my computerís insistence on a capitol ďSĒ at the beginning of their name and complete confusion as to why any word should have an asterisk at the end of it. (Hang in there, little Ďputer, weíre getting closer.)

Up until April 27 I had never seen stellastarr* live, though Iíd regrettably missed them twice before. But, if I hadnít missed them, this stunning review likely wouldnít be here. The reason being that I like to be wowed by my favorite bands, and instead of leaping out of my stereo and onto the stage, stellastarr* only confirmed every bias Iíve ever had against them. With limited exceptions, Christensen and crew were cold and boring and the music, though louder than loud and mind-bogglingly well performed, was exactly what my Sanyo boombox from 1992 can offer me from the comfort of my own home. A disappointment, but good information to remember in the future.

Oh, and of all the high-horse-riding opening bands Iíve seen, Monsters are Waiting rank way on up the list. Too much attitude and not enough of anything to back it up. Ick.