Monsters Ball


By Smith Galtney

Outside a Starbucks in midtown Manhattan, Stewart Copeland, iconic drummer for the Police, appears amid the rush of pedestrians and walks by. This sighting would send most young drummers into a tizzy. Not Nikkiesha 'Nikkie' McLeod, 30, who drums for New York City indie-rock trio Telenovela Star. 'I prefer Max Roach,' she says, giving it up for the jazz legend instead. 'The Police are great, but 'Every Breath You Take' creeps me out. It sounds like a stalker song.'
Perhaps this lesbian musician doth protest too much. Telenovela's second album, Love, Lust, Sci-Fi and Monsters, features a catchy tune about a suffocating lover ('You're All Over Me'), lots of brooding lo-fi noise, and twisted lyrics like 'I really want you even though you hate to fuck.'
As for why her band's name co-opts the Spanish word for 'soap opera'? Well, the woman has a thing for drama. Just ask about her high-top afro. 'I was wearing dreadlocks,' she offers. 'But I had a really terrible breakup with this girl. Then I got all dramatic and cut it all off, like an idiot.'

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