The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

We Are The Joans. Are You?

By Tony Peregrin in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 29, 2009 4:40PM

2009_10_29_joans.jpg Do you know where to find the boys, AND the booze? Do you have an aversion to wire hangers? Do you think most people are under-reacting? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll likely dig the debut CD, We Are The Joans, by local outfit The Joans—the only band we’ve ever heard of dedicated to giving Hollywood icon Joan Crawford a rock and roll voice.

We Are The Joans combines the band’s power pop and punk sensibilities with their tongues firmly implanted in their cheeks, read: this is not your average ripped jeans and tee-shirt type of band. Cue Joan Crawford: “If you want the girl next door ... go next door!”

“People initially think it’s a big joke but when they actually listen to the songs they discover we’re more than just a gimmicky band,” explains David Cerda, founder and co-lead singer. “Of course, you can’t be in a Joan Crawford band if you aren’t willing to commit yourself to the part. We really set out to entertain the audience and suck them into our ‘Joan World.’ Our music is like us: smart and funny with lots of style.

“The Joans are really influenced by late 70’s new wave pop and 60’s garage bands with quirky, catchy hooks and dance rock beat,” adds co-lead singer Jennifer Joans. “Blondie, The B-52’s, and Nancy Sinatra are big influences for me. As far as stage persona, we try to entertain and play the part you would expect from a band claiming to be the personification of Joan Crawford.”

Mad at the Dirt—The Joans’ first music video— was recently given the greenlight by the Logo network and is on current rotation.

“Gay men and their hip girl pals” are the band’s most loyal fans, according to Cerda, a Chicago playwright and artistic director of Hell in a Handbag Productions. “Once people who have never seen us get past our appearance and listen to our music, they usually become fans. Cool people are cool people no matter what their sexuality or age.”

Formed in 2007, The Joans also includes lead guitarist and music arranger Taylor Joans, Aaron Joans on drums, Steve Joans on bass guitar and Ed Joans, keyboard player and trusted maid for the band. (Yes, those are stage names.) “The idea came to me a couple of year ago, but I’ve always been too busy to execute the idea,” explains Cerda. “But in the words of Joan Crawford, ‘you don’t find the time, you make the time,’ so The Joans became a reality in April 2007.”

Up next for The Joans: The band will perform during the opening night party for Reeling 28, Chicago’s gay and lesbian international film festival, on November 4th and they will participate in the holiday version of The Flesh Hungry Dog Show at Jackhammer (billed as: Christmas with the Crawfords) on December 4th.

We Are The Joans was released on September 4th and is available on iTunes and