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Rhythm & Views

CSS

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It's a common dilemma: You and your art-school friends in Brazil need some new way to express yourself and pass the time. What to do with your never-ending talents, exotic beauty and senses of style? The solution: Start a dance-pop group and call yourselves CSS, which stands for Cansei de Ser Sexy, meaning "I'm tired of being sexy" in Portuguese. You'll write songs about being an artist, about alcohol and about meeting Paris Hilton, set to infectious beats. You'll either really suck, or be incredibly awesome. Just in case, you'll write a song called "CSS Suxxx."

The reality, though, is that CSS far from "suxxx." The mostly-girl-with-one-dude band play the kind of energetic, balls-to-the-wall electronic rock that could motivate a slug to hang glide. Or motivate me to dust my blinds. Both are equally challenging endeavors. Like Le Tigre and Bikini Kill before them, CSS invoke the Kathleen Hannah naughty-girl aesthetic--"Lick lick lick my art tit," sings Lovefoxx on "Art Bitch"--but then they draw back their dirty fingernails and just come across as smart and sarcastic girls with cute accents who can play the hell out of their instruments while singing songs with titles like "Music Is My Hot Hot, Sex" and "Fuckoff Is Not the Only Thing You Have to Show."

And then there's "Alala," "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above" and "Off The Hook" to show CSS' more sensitive side. CSS are so tired of being sexy that they let their songs do it for them.

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