Pamela Under Water w/Dreamsploitation

Sure Thing: Thursday, February 26 at The Company House, 2202 Gottingen, 8pm

Pamela McInnis knows how to do up a birthday right. For her 30th birthday party Thursday night, she is releasing a new CD, Last Night's Lipstick, at The Company House. Expect baked goods.

A former member of The Middleclass Pushovers and Museum Pieces who's also played with a lot of bands around town, McInnis released her first self-titled album in 2006 under the moniker Pamela & the Underwater, backed by a flotilla of musicians including Benn Ross, Gina Burges, Tyler Messick and Andy March. For Last Night's Lipstick, McInnis says by phone message, that she decided to strip this album down to "me and one guy"---just herself (on vocals, bass and keys) and Mike Corbett (beats and keys), who also produced and recorded. And the name is changed to Pamela Under Water, to reflect her stripped-down venture.

Although they're just a duo now, Last Night's Lipstick is still a full-sounding, at times ethereal, album. On the opener "The Path Itself," McInnis's pretty, controlled voice opens up into the occasional rock growl, reminiscent of Ani DiFranco. Fans of Jenn Grant will appreciate the build, and the twists and turns, of "Perfect Storm." "Siren" takes a gothic turn, where you can hear glimmers of Sisters of Mercy in the bass line and Siouxsie and the Banshees in McInnis's drawn-out annunciations.

At The Company House on Thursday, McInnis is going to debut her new band, made up of Dave Chisholm and James Chisholm. There will also be a casual fashion show of McInnis's cute clothing line, Cranky. Available at Elsie's (1530 Queen) and Clothes Horse (upstairs from Elsie's), McInnis's clothes are both simple and flirty (and affordable). Although she has her "fingers in many pots," music, says the singer, is still her favourite. Don't forget to say happy birthday.

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