Cool Stuff
LA Music Scene
August 2, 2002

Pope Jane at the Coconut Teaszer
Peter G. Lancellotti

On July 24th at the labyrinth setting of the Coconut Teaszer in West Hollywood, POPE JANE gave us a set to remember that marked their debut performance in Los Angeles. With commanding grace and the sensuous vocal style of Danielle Egnew, along with her crisp rhythm guitar licks, POPE JANE has entered the arena of the LA music scene as a band to be reckoned with! Once upon a time an all female band from Billings, Montana, they have gone through reinvention with brilliant new incarnations of music and band members that stimulate and titillate the senses.

On this auspicious occasion, the sounds of POPE JANE filled the Coconut with songs and performances that kept our eyes and ears affixed on the amazingly powerful vocal extravaganzas and ambrosial musical performances of all the band members. Kristen Coyner, an original member, on drums and brilliant background vocals, harmonized perfectly and lusciously with Danielle’s amazing range. Kristen is not a loud banger, but uses a kick to subtle perfection. I think it’s so sexy for a woman to play percussion! POPE JANE wouldn’t be its current reincarnation if not backed by the heavenly riffs of newcomers Paul Houston on guitar and Ernie Castallanos on bass.

POPE JANE is truly a band to watch and hear as their artistry continuously improves like a fine vintage wine mixing the undercurrents of classical training with current cutting edge new wave rock and pop. Visualize and hear stars exploding, comets and starships in the heavens, and sounds that impress upon us a spirituality and humor much needed for the soul to climb higher into the realms of our true beings and there you have POPE JANE. While all band members are involved with the songwriting lyrically, a most accomplished writer, Danielle Egnew paints canvases of humorous and risqué landscapes with lyrics woven into complex syncopated melodies that capture a diversity of spirit and energy in rock n’ roll. To watch her on stage, Egnew is as a sprite born of the elementals weaving magic in all her movements.

"Rock Star", one of their newest tunes has the predilection of what aspiring artists have in mind. The changes and nuances dance like faerie dust into your consciousness as you listen to how the band achieves a most harmonious revelation. I almost cried during "Lay Down Your Life" with its heart-rending message. "Thirsty", dedicated to a friend of the band’s who came all the way from Billings for their debut LA performance was done to perfection. Their entire set was inspiring and uplifting as the band is tight and never misses a complex beat.

With influences stemming from talents like Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Heart, POPE JANE is a compelling force and a most refreshing addition to the LA indie artist music scene. I hope and predict this band will go to the extreme, far and wide, to eventually top the charts of mainstream music radio. They will be releasing their fourth CD sometime by the end of this year. I can’t wait!!!!

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