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"Derelict Songs-Performance Review"

"... Howie Kantoff counted off time to launch Starina’s act- another rare treat featuring a rock duo playing a low-key unplugged set. Despite stomping with his right foot on a phantom bass drum pedal that didn’t exist for this gig, drummer Howie complemented Starina to create a full sound even without the bass player who ordinarily rounds out the trio. The sound was too full for Joey, who abandoned his seat and scurried away. After their fourth tune ended with a cymbal crash, it occurred to Starina to ask the host, "Do you have neighbors below?" Jack answered this the way any savvy house concert host should. "Yes, but I invited them."

Oxymoronic as it may sound, Starina at age 28 has a distinction of being a "young veteran" of the music scene, having already hit many of the better known venues in Chicago and having been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered. But, unlike her January show at Bottom Lounge (preceded by a promotional email noting, "Rock will be made. Please bring your own helmet,") this set showcased her ability to convey emotional intensity (her MySpace catchline: "washing her dirty linen in public") without cranking up the volume and without the benefit of Jeff Freling, her band’s low frequency fanatic on bass. Selflessly, she even indulged a request from her drummer.

"Do you want to do 'Broken Moon?'"

"Oh god, I hate that song." she fretted briefly. "But we’ll play it." This led to an encore, and a few songs later, the night came to a close.
-Derelict Songs - Rob Reid of Derelict Songs Blog

"Starina Back Home EP Review"

"...Her music is a slow leak, running in and out of your consciousness, but sooner or later, you will fall to it’s demand." -Jason Petros, Chicago's Independent Music Review - Jason Petros

"NPR, All Songs Considered,"

"Catchy with hook-filled, yet dark melodies and vocals." -NPR, All Songs Considered - NPR

"Indie Music in Chicago Podcast"

"Strong, distinctive rock vocals define Starina as an artist. Her music is the type that you can have playing while you are having your afterwork drink. A great songwriter and performer, her lyrics are both touching and inspiring. Her vocal talents are some of the best to be heard. Check out her video for Underdog."
- -Myke with a Y


Starina and the Vel Johnsons- Back Home EP
Starina -Debut EP
"Underdog" single featured on NPR'S national podcast program, "All Songs Considered"



Starina Catchatoorian had reached the end of her rope. In the late summer of 2009 she had went through a band break up, a relationship break up, and a lover break up. The result had taken its toll. In her own words she summarized it perfectly, “I felt done.” After a year and a half hiatus from playing music, she sent a spontaneous text to her friend and fellow musician, The Kid. The text said, “I need a drummer. Thoughts?” In a matter of minutes The Kid texted her back, “Howie Kantoff. Google him. He’s your man.” And thus, a new band was born. New songs emerged effortlessly from the pits of heartbreak and in a matter of weeks Howie (Poster Children) and Starina were playing their first gigs in Chicago as a duo. It wasn’t long before Jeff Freling (Rock Squad) joined them on bass. The group is currently working on a full-length album. Available now at is the EP "Back Home" with her one time band the Vel Johnsons, which was featured on NPR's national podcast program, "All Songs Considered," as well as her self titled debut EP. As far as the other breaks ups, Starina is moving on saying, “Well, people come and go.”