Legend has it that while on a cross-country motorcycle ride in late summer of 1987, Sticks picked up Sammy Rain hitchhiking in the Mojave Desert. Impressed by Sammy’s impeccable sense of style and billowing scarves displaying all the colors of the desert sunset, Sticks agreed to take Sammy as far as Fresno. That night they camped out on the sand under the auspicious starry alignment of the Grand Trine, Venus winking at them from far out in space. They jammed quietly until midnight, at which point a strange howling noise unlike any coyote they’d ever heard made its way down the ridge to the two, and they decided to venture from their camp to find the source. Silhouetted against the rising moon they saw a figure dancing with reckless abandon, pointing a stick to the four corners of the sky in repetitive ritualistic movement. The two watched silently from the brush, completely absorbed. Some moments later there was a lull in the repetition and the figure, feeling their observing eyes, turned to address them. “Hey dudes. Glad you could make it,” J said. And Tia Nina was born.
Since destiny bound them together that starry night, Tia Nina has borne the massive energy of the great triangle to the stage as the nation’s singular feminist dance-rock power trio. Tia Nina has travelled across the globe to subdue such iconic international venues as Red Angel Hall, the Funky Alpaca, Mastodon, and Mount St Helens. In recent years the band has brought their focus back to home turf, spitting glitter on audiences at the Baldacchino, Artisphere, EMP Collective and countless others. Tia Nina’s 2013 release Pitchin’ the Tent was a global success, and plowed quickly through Platinum and moving straight to Diamond status. Audiences from Tokyo to Helsinki have fist pumped to the shredding “Bangover,” swooned defenseless under the blue spell of “Masculine Crotch Magnet,” and gotten hopelessly lost in the “Gender Jungle.” Tia Nina is the only band purported to have successfully resurrected and danced with the Corpse of Punk. The band’s stage presence has been described as “arresting, abrupt, flirtatious, strong, direct, purposeful, and commanding.” The shows emulate the feeling of a boxing fight or wrestling match, engaging with the audience as if to say “art is happening here.” Tia Nina reaches out across the cheering crowd, asking you to be a part of it.
Tia Nina is a feminist punk rock modern dance band. Iconic powerhouse trio J Van Stone (Leah Curran Moon), Sammy Rain (Ilana Silverstein) and Sticks (Lisi Stoessel), deliver an exciting, rock ‘n roll meltdown of a show. Tia Nina critiques rock performance by reading the showy, phallic panache of lead guitarists, the aggressive boastful struts of front men, and the sweaty, reckless abandon of great drummers through a lens that exposes how masculine activity, feminine passivity and compulsory heterosexuality are reproduced in rock ‘n roll. Tia Nina shatters expectations and surprise audiences with a gritty, physical, surreal experience that challenges taken-for-granted assumptions about rock performance, modern dance, gender and popular culture. Through a witty social critique of contemporary gender relations, the band delivers a celebration and a deconstruction of rock ‘n roll.
lives for performing. Sammy is a poised, articulate creature with a wild side.
hails from Alabama where J nurtured a peaceful yet fiery spirit. J loves the energy fans give during shows. It’s like ten thousand orgasms at once.
is cool and relaxed with underlying intensity. Sticks enjoys whiskey and black leather.