Gregory Jacobsen - vocals
Alex Perkolup - bass
Jon Beavo - keyboard
Jeff Goulet- guitar
Cory Bengtsen - sax
Kemi Dornihag - trombone
Sacha Mullin - vocals
L. Wyatt - vocals
Heath Chappell - drums
Lovely Little Girls is a theatrical art/prog band that delves into the grotesque. From subject matter that explores absurd sex, ridiculous gluttony, abject failure, and unceremonious death, Lovely Little Girls morphs rock forms into abstract black humor narratives.
Started in 2001 in Chicago by artist/singer Gregory Jacobsen, the band began as a performance art group that staged absurdist spectacles based on Jacobsen's tableaux paintings of odd characters and unseemly activities. The group eventually evolved into an experimental rock band that found its inspiration from no-wave and synth punk such as The Contortions and Nervous Gender. Bassist Alex Perkolup joined the band in 2006, bringing the songwriting to a level of ambitious composition that takes cues from Magma and Henry Cow. Performance still takes a large role in the group through costumes, roles, and staging.
The current incarnation of Lovely Little Girls features an extended lineup of trombone, baritone saxophone, and two additional singers. The lineup's 2012 LP Cleaning the Filth From a Delicate Frame (Skin Graft Records) uses show-tunes as a starting point, focusing on abstract storytelling through structure, ridiculous melodies, and multiple voices/narrators. It's Jesus Christ Superstar filtered through Dada, Captain Beefheart, Fred Frith, and Magma.
"Contortionist, no wave style music, with dirty, funky horns, and stop start action. Energized, inspired traffic jam. They can get operatic, or wax classic musical, like West Side Story. Different dimensions at work here, say, the rolling, hard hitting drums that back the arch, theatrical singing on one song, with structured, syncopated guitar patterns. The horns border on jazz, with charcoal harmonies, but this is effect, as they support the vocals, which are central, and are more lush and even."
-Gordon Marshal, Boston Flash Notes, 6/28/14
"The music of the Chicago avant-rock oddballs Lovely Little Girls is inspired by the paintings and drawings of artist/vocalist Gregory Jacobsen. It's the sort of artwork that can inspire lyrics like "Inflammation of the harelip," candy-colored grotesques that seem like carnival art intended to scare children with the threat of STDs. These characters are depicted in the band's Frith/Residents-inspired anarchic outbursts, sideshow skronk in [Henry Darger] Vivian Girls colors. The songs come mostly from the pen of Cheer-Accident bassist Alex Perkolup, who translates Jacobsen's deformed portraiture into an equally deranged sonic palette, a no-wave juggling act by turns horrifying and horrified."
-Shaun Brady, Philadelphia City Paper 4/23/13
The Glistening Vivid Splash (forthcoming, Skin Graft Records Spring 2016)
Cleaning the Filth From a Delicate Frame (Skin Graft Records, 2012)
"Demented circus music, a totally deranged singer yelping out the most disgusting and outrageous lyrics, and super-tight interlocking instrumental parts make this album an astounding addition to the already impeccable Skin Graft roster. This is the sound of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum after taking a bunch of LSD and hanging out in the bad part of town."
-Phil Plencner plencnerlabs.com/best-of-2012
"Cleaning the Filth from a Delicate Frame is an esoteric kind of party that requires a special ear. Nothing about these seven songs will interest 96% of the party rockers in the reading audience. They are impossibly constructed, mostly, but compositionally, run the gamut of many different genres. The players on this record, seemingly, could play anything. In my ears mind’s eye I hear a history of Chicago music and beyond: jazz, rock, metal, freak, Avant, prog, punk, even reggae, etc. It is a careening carnival boat ride like that fabulous boat ride in Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory; all at once, disturbing, thrilling, frightening, repulsive, confusing, passionate, fantastic, and most importantly something you’ve never experienced before. Sure, listen carefully and you can hear, Magma, The Cardiacs, Zappa, Sabbath, Roland Kirk, etc., but that is what always impresses me with projects like this. It is just a concentrated effort by serious and talented artists to create and have fun. Now, what one considers fun is what is at question here. That is what will cut the chaff from the grain, because this music is for musicians. Elitist as it may sound, you are just going to have to be coming from a musical place to listen to this record front to back because it is challenging music that is undoubtedly breaking new ground in arrangement and difficulty."
-Dario P, Decayke blog
Dilapidated Head & Torso Aggregations (self-released, 2008)
We now have a theatrical, RIO-inspired Zolo group in the USA. The Lovely Little Girls meet the 20-year cycle head-on with a fantastically Euro-styled art rock cabaret that wouldn’t be out of place on Rec-Rec. Their sound and their playing are spot on.
Glamorous Piles & Puffy Saddlebags (Apop Records, 2006)
To look at one of Gregory Jacobsen's paintings is to view a world of oozing fluid, hilarious meat, and demented animals. Set that vision to music and you get Lovely Little Girls, the band Jacobsen fronts. LLG walks a path of which the foundation is dada, psychedelics, and Beefheart, one that has been trod by Butthole Surfers, Tragic Mulatto, and Idiot Flesh. Swirling sickness of songs are propelled by Eleanor Balson, a drummer whose style creates more than a beat while maintaining a beat. There is an insight that female drummers seem to have (think Katherina Ex or Mary Duchess of Saigon) that leads them to a place where the drum steps outside of 1-2-3-4 but not into Mathland. Also a standout is Alex Perkolup, who plays a guitar that razors noise into piercing fragments, a crack horn section, and Gregory J., singing lines like "Pork chop sloshed tight in the pants/bottom smack chest chop soft pork pants" in a style that could be called Jack Brewer directed by Roger Corman. At twenty-minutes Glamorous Piles... is as exactly as long as it should be. Those who can slither into this filth and feel at home will be very much rewarded.
-Scott Soriano, Z-GUN Magazine
What makes Lovely Little Girls quite unique is the care for complex arrangements (layered vocals, refrains, etc.), creating quirky prog-no wave hybrids with even some Eastern influence. "Wretched Substitute" (great title!!) and "Lady Shoes Remain Attached" are impressive psychodramas of melodic detours and anguished explosions, full of theatrical uneasiness. The perfect visual counterpart is offered by vocalist Gregory Jacobsen's paintings and drawings, a tormented underworld mixing "Alice in Wonderland", Dix, Wolverton and various sexual disturbance case studies
split 7" with Panicsville (Nihilist Records, 2004)
The track done by Lovely Little Girls is...called ‘All The Children Of The World Born Up Dead on The Heaving’. And if the title doesn’t crack you up as a standalone, then you seriously have to hear the music that is hiding behind it. It’s like a happy psychotic version of DEVO laughing their asses off of being released from Michael Jackson’s favorite charity ‘children’. It’s a real fun track with a whacked sense of humor that would be a great anthem for evil minded moms, witches that appear in stories like, and other people who are regularly annoyed by childlike spirits and claim back their childhood to become themselves giggling laughing sarcastic fun loving elders. It’s good fun!
-Yeah I Know It Sucks blog