After a rocky start — Hardy claims the first shows "sucked" — Giant Drag began to garner local radio support and landed popular monthlong residencies at the Silverlake Lounge and Spaceland. Then early last year, the band became a sensation in England with the release of its Lemona EP (Wichita). "Over there we started to sell out shows, and it was gnarly," she says. "Then we'd go to Omaha, and everyone would be like, 'Who the fuck are you?!' — except for one 80-year-old guy standing in the front row who drove four hours from Kansas to see us."
Of course, Giant Drag's American fan base has grown considerably since then. Hearts and Unicorns continues to receive plenty of blog buzz, national press has been largely positive, and the duo played a well-received set at Coachella this spring. In fact, the main thing holding the duo back from a mainstream breakthrough seems to be that it's no longer 1993, when similar acts such as Mazzy Star and, yep, the Breeders ruled MTV's buzz bin.
Giant Drag's label hasn't given up hope, though. This spring Kickball Records rereleased Hearts and Unicorns, tacking on the band's woozy cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" in an attempt to gain airplay. Not surprisingly, the decision rubbed Hardy the wrong way.
"Micah and I both think [the reissue] doesn't make much sense. I guess the label wants to give it a big push and have some sort of Alien Ant Farm thing go on," she snorts, referring to the one-hit wonders who became famous for their cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal."
"But that hasn't happened yet," Hardy adds, hinting that life may not always be a giant drag after all. "So I'm not upset — well, not really." SFBG
Giant Drag with Pretty Girls Make Graves and Whale Bones
Sun/4, 8 p.m.
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF