Winnie Page keeps the ‘Dirty D’ dirty

By Ross Hettel

Winnie Page and the Dirt Band are bringing skanky, dirty funk to DeKalb.

Formed in January, the Dirt Band is composed almost entirely of music majors (the exception being a Spanish major) at NIU.

Examining their influences, the members check off all the requirements to lay down the groove: Sly and the Family Stone, Rage Against the Machine and, of course, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What makes Winnie Page and the Dirt Band stand out though, is that well… they’re dirty.

The Dirt Band’s lyrics almost exclusively feature sex, drugs and more sex. Take, for example, its single “Legs and Booties,” off its soon-to-be-released album, Dirt!.

When I asked lead singer James Page what the song was about, he put it simply.

“It’s about walking around on campus and looking at all that a**,” he explained.

Other songs like “Choir Girls” revolve around similar themes. The track is somewhat of an ode to the two backup singers in the band. They can usually be found on either side of Page, swinging and singing along.

“Come on baby, let me sneak a peak,” he sings, “I heard them choir girls are some kinda freaks!”

The lyrics are raunchy, and Page is the first to admit it.

“I think of all this raunchy s***, all the time,” Page said, “I’m singing exactly what’s in my head.”

For any critics of the lyrics, Page compares it to Ludacris and his explicit lyrics.

“He’s clever, intelligent… successful, and he can also write some lyrics like ‘Rough sex, make it hurt,’ [from ‘What’s Your Fantasy’],” Page said. “Accept the dirt. The dirt is natural.”

Dirt! is being recorded, so the only way to hear the Dirt Band right now is to see it play live.

One of things most bands forget is the show. If you just want to listen to music played well, you can play an album at home where the beer is usually much cheaper. But the Dirt Band doesn’t forget about live performance, and with the lead singer and the choir girls dancing and grooving on stage, the members are certainly into putting on a good show.

When the band is clearly into the music, it’s hard to not get into it yourself. Winnie Page and the Dirt Band has captured that groove, that deeper rhythm you can’t help but ignore.

“You have to be really trying to not want to dance,” said Pat Buckley, the band’s bassist.

Check out the band at its next show, Oct. 31 at the House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway. If you somehow find yourself not dancing, go visit your doctor. Your funk may be broken.