Commerce City or Bust

The exuberant rock of the Commerce City Rollers.

Gaylord speaks of her in-concert alter ego in the third person, like a pet owner inexplicably fond of a murderous mongrel. "I definitely have to dissociate myself from whoever that is. I don't know who she is," she claims, laughing. "It's interesting, because people see me for 45 minutes and they assume that's who I am. The positive aspect is that I get away with a lot of haram, which is Farsi for 'taboo.' I can do whatever the hell I want and be whoever I want to be. And I think there are a lot of people sitting there sipping their cocktails, hoping that their boyfriends aren't completely going crazy because I do whatever I want.

"I think that takes a lot of endurance," she continues. "In doing that, I think I liberate other people to feel comfortable. I hate nothing more than to see people really concerned about climbing the social ladder instead of just being, 'I'm scared, I can't offend anyone, I can't be myself sexually, I can't push myself off a cliff...' If I want to, I do that."

Unfortunately, Gaylord's deliciously licentious performances tend to convince many observers that it constitutes the whole of her. "People don't see me as a mother who works full-time at a women's employment agency, supporting women constantly," she points out. "Also, it's a bummer when you work your ass off to support a band and you worry about them and about keeping a practice space, going to practice, writing songs, recording. And then you play a show--which is one one-hundredth of all the rest of the energy it takes to do a band--and then you walk into a bathroom full of women who go completely dead silent. Or it is assumed about you that you want to have sex with someone's boyfriend and you don't even know who that person is--nor do you give a shit. Those kinds of things are big downers. I find myself saying 'Retract your claws' a lot."

For their part, Gaylord's compadres admire her combination of libido and chops. "I would never want it to be thought of as a gimmick, because she holds her own and can play," Madison insists. "I think Maranda presents herself as a very strong woman with a strong will."

"She's going to say what's on her mind, and we're going to back her up all the way," Allen adds, prompting a go-team flurry of kisses and shouts.

"On stage I'll say things like, 'Hey, girls, let's talk about our bathtubs. You know that the real love of your life, the one that never lets you down, is your bathtub,'" Gaylord explains. "I've never once been like, 'Hey, you cute boy, c'mere.' It's not in my personality. I'm more like, 'Gimme another shot of whiskey' instead of pushing my tits together. I don't have time to do that. I'm playing!"

Commerce City Rollers, with Abdomen. 9 p.m. Thursday, January 2, Skyline Cafe, 777 West 29th, 296-3232.

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