Dirty Excuse
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Dirty Excuse

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Rock


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by Bryan Bruchman


Guitarists Sarah Michaels and Alicia Godsberg teamed up to answer our questions about their band’s new record, "You Need Us…" which was recorded mostly live in just a couple of days.

What exactly is it that we need you for?

You need us, Dirty Excuse, to get you out of trouble. You need us more than
you know. . .

You recorded all 11 tracks for this record live - how'd that process work?

Sarah traded her repair skills for time so we were able to get into an awesome studio (Brooklyn Recording) and work with top notch people (Andy Taub and Yohei Goto) and gear on a very limited budget. Because we’d played these songs so much together we were able to keep the energy and loose vibe of a show even in the studio. We only did two short days of overdubs - all the drums and 99% of the playing was all live, first & second takes.

Within the first 5 seconds of every song on this record I feel like smashing a beer bottle over somebody's head. Is that effect intentional?

We don't intend to hurt anybody and no one has been hurt as a direct result of our high-energy rock, but sometimes when we're playing I want to start breaking shit too.

The last track, "Pretty Good," seems like it could be telling of your experience being in a rockin' (mostly) female band in NYC - "you play pretty good for a girl" - is that something you've heard from the boys in the scene?

It’s really a sarcastic response to all the sound guys and assorted jackasses who are condescending and dismissive before the show, then ass kissers after they see us destroy. Ladies, you know what I mean.

I love the vocal breakdown in the middle of "Junior" - the song has a much more bluesy feel than the rest - where'd that come from?

It's a tribute to the late great Junior Kimbrough (Fat Possum Records).

Do you all ride to your shows on big black motorcycles with streamers and flames on the sides? Even if you don't you should lie - that's what I like to imagine. And that you run over a few old people on the way there.

Just flames, no streamers - we are badass bitches, you don't wanna fuck with this shit.

When and how can we get your record?

We’re putting it out ourselves and trying to get an independent label to distribute it. We'll play anywhere, anytime... and that's also why you need us. - the deli (music recipes from the big apple)

"Brooklyn’s Dirty Excuse suggests a female-fronted George Thorogood and the Destroyers, offering stripped-down, bluesy rockers brimming with over-the-top swagger." - Time Out NY - Time Out New York


You Need Us - 2007



The story of Dirty Excuse begins in the summer of 2000. Sarah Michaels’ band Slut’Em Go! set-up a show with Erica Stoltz’s Lost Goat. The two bands played a packed, blistering show in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Though Lost Goat was based in San Francisco, two years later Erica returned to her home town of Brooklyn, NY for good.
Michaels and Stoltz picked up where they left off. Based on an invite to play Dean Johnson’s HomoCorps in 2003, at now defunct CBGB, the girls threw a band together. The line up was vastly different from the current and included Matt Holford of Dare Diablo on keys and Michael Warren of Pio Mazzotti and Slut’Em Go! on drums. Wanting a more stable band situation, as well as a double guitar assault, Erica and Sarah put their heads together to come up with players. Along came Alicia Godsberg, a guitar ringer who was lending her talents to many bands at the time, including Karyn Kuhl, but wanted to find a home for her rock. With the help of then drummer Johnathon TeBeest of Rasputina, the band started gelling and recorded a demo with Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording. When Johnathon moved back to Minnesota to enjoy the simple life in 2005, Alicia recruited Sonny Ratcliff. It was a match made for maximum rock delivery.
The band has been kicking ass and taking names ever since. They are known for their high-energy live shows, vocal harmonies - reminiscent of Heart meets a Motown girl group, and ripping guitar solos. In this spirit, the band recorded You Need Us in late 2006. The self-released debut album is available now from CD Baby. In 2010 drummer and multi-instrumentalist Gary Langol took over behind the kit, and then band is set to make its second full length recording in 2011!