Two San Antone sisters tiptoe through the decades
By Margaret Moser, 3:07PM, Mon. Aug. 25, 2008
The best CD I’ve heard all month came out last year. He Loves Me Not is the lovechild of Petals, the two-woman band consisting of sisters Brit and Stef Kagan. Their clean, fresh, garage rock pop is driven by punchy vocalizing, together and separate, but don’t mistake this for fluff. The nine songs that weren’t composed by them were co-written or composed with their father, Harvey Kagan, the longtime San Antonio bassist who recorded with the Mendocino-era Sir Douglas Quintet.
There is so much substantial going on in the heads of these young women that belies their adorable baby faces. The unfettered sensuality in “A Mother’s Son” is repeated with seductive call-and-response in “Hey Stranger.” Their buttery voices chime and twine on “Again,” “Mystery,” and 1980s exuberance of “Downtown to Get Up.” He Loves Me Not is packed with lessons learned from the Bangles, the Sundays, a hint of the Breeders, and healthy dose of Lone Star sister acts like the Ginns and the Damnations. I played this CD all weekend and still have it in the mix.
Here’s how I found Petals: I’m interested in a darling blues-rock trio of teen boys who call themselves Natural Fear, headed up by Stevie Ray Vaughan-channeling guitarist Justin Jacobs. Natural Fear invited me to a July show they were playing at the Red Eyed Fly with Petals on the bill. I couldn’t go but I checked out their Myspace page and read about Petals playing too. I thought their name was cute (really, it was that simple) and clicked to their Myspace page to listen to a few songs. Bingo! A fan is born.