Brash, Bawdy Scissor Sisters Slice Into America


For the last several years, the Scissor Sisters, America's most sparklingly delicious band, has ruled the British charts while largely remaining secret to mainstream audiences in its home country.

But with this week's release of its second album "Ta-Dah" -- and an appearance on the top-rated show "Dancing With the Stars" -- the New York-based glam rock band wants to bring the party back home.

"We make music that speaks to people no matter what age or sex. That's our purpose," said the band's multi-instrumentalist and co-songwriter, Scott "Babydaddy" Hoffman.

"We've always said that we're for the downtown kids as much as for the housewives. As [lead vocalist] Jake [Jason Sellards] says, 'A lot of people don't know that we're missing from their lives.'"

What the uninitiated have been missing is the band's infectious dance-pop music and a style that's compared to that of the Bee-Gees, Duran Duran, and Sir Elton John -- who has become the band's mentor, co-writing and playing piano on its current hit single "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'."

Simply put, the Scissor Sisters is a good time.

The band is that song you want to dance to with your hairbrush in front of your mirror. The band is the wedding theme that gets your grandma up from the reception table.

With exuberant, bubbly champagne music and flamboyant, glamorous outfits by Gwen Stefani's designer (usually tossed off at some point in the show by lead singer Jake Shears, who's been known to sing in a jockstrap), the Scissor Sisters stage colorful performances that unabashedly make you move.

Dead Lesbian Reborn in Lower Manhattan

In 2001, the Scissor Sisters was born in a cabaret club on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Initially known by the much cheekier name Dead Lesbian and the Fibrillating Scissor Sisters, the band was formed by the group's primary songwriting duo of Hoffman and Sellards soon after college.

Introduced by a mutual friend who grew up with Hoffman in Kentucky, the newly minted Babydaddy and Jake Shears respected each other's creativity and soon began writing songs and performing together -- Babydaddy on keyboards and bass guitar, and Jake singing.

These early shows featuring their dance tracks have been described by an attendee as similar to "a low-fi Jane Fonda workout set to a beatbox."

Over the course of the following year and a half, the duo added vocalist Ana Matronic (who hosted those performance art/cabaret club nights), guitarist Del Marquis (who met Jake Shears through a friend that he had picked up at the gay bar where he was a go-go dancer) and drummer Paddy Boom (who responded to a classified ad).

With Babydaddy and Jake Shears sharing songwriting duties, the band began recording songs in the front room of Babydaddy's Brooklyn apartment.

In 2003, the Scissors released a disco-style cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," which became a Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom.

The next year, Scissor Sisters released its self-titled debut that, with 2.4 million copies sold, went on to become the best-selling album in the United Kingdom that year.

The band's single "Take Your Mama" became one of their most recognizable hits.

The album won the group three Brit Awards (the British version of the Grammy) as well as celebrity fans ranging from Anderson Cooper to Kylie Minogue (whom Babydaddy and Jake Shears later collaborated with).

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