Lisa Germano | Reviewone of the decade's most painfully honest releases. September 1999
Geek the Girl
Lisa Germano’s third release, 1994’s Geek the Girl, is quietly devastating. Recorded on four-track in her Bloomington, Indiana apartment, it chronicled the depths of fear- and romantic hope-with dark humor and biting clarity. “I wanted it to be a fun record about the silly things girls do, but instead I went where the songs took me,” says Germano, who served time as a fiddle player for both John Mellencamp and Bob Seger. Unfortunately, Geek was overshadowed by the more aggressive grrrl rock of the moment- see Courtney Love’s retrebutional “fuck you” and Liz Phair’s ability to “take full advantage of every man” she met.
On Geek Germano was the one taken advantage of, channeling her resultant rage into discomfortingly pretty songs like “Cry Wolf” (“A change of mind in that backseat or dirty room/They say she got just what she wanted.”) and “A Psychopath,” where she samples a 911 call while numbly singing, “That thing of mace, where did I leave it?” Far too intense for casual listeners, it’s one of the decade’s most painfully honest releases. “Geek’s just one of those records you put on and it’s just so natural,” says Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, who later worked with Germano on her side project, OP8. “You don’t fight it. It just sinks into your skin. Some may find it depressing. But that’s because it’s pushing their buttons- and revealing things they don’t want to see.