It’s a logic progression – form a band, write some songs, play in venues, kickstart your first single’s music video, AND brand your own line of condoms. Totally logical, right? Well, it is if you are the Sexual Side Effects (SSE). Yes, the SSE merch currently consists of condoms, t-shirts, and stickers. Judging from the crowd’s response at The Eve Before The Eve rock show at the Drunken Unicorn, it was a good thing that SSE was passing out condoms! Maybe it was Amber’s voice or her two shirtless male musicians (Mike Sidner on bass and Clay McClure on drums) or the other guitar player’s beard (Matt Foster), but I’d be willing to wager that someone was getting loved up after that show… Seriously, Amber proved to be the Barry White of psychedelic rock music. (Luckily for the lusty lovers I didn’t have my camera at this show, but I will spill all the juicy details in a minute.)

So, par for my typically Friday night course, I am running a tad later than expected and missed out on The Worsties. (Thank you dear friends for texting me about how much they rocked. Also, thank you creeper on the street for calling me a “Snow Queen” – and THAT is why you should never be late to shows, kids, because you have to park a few blocks away and walk by creepers.) Anyhow, I did manage to catch the middle band, The Swear. Ok, so here’s where I get a little Snow Queen-y (damn you, creeper!), after “living through this” with Hole and having my ears filled with enough radio play of Rage Against the Machine in the ’90’s to give me angst for years to come, I was put off by The Swears similarities to those bands. I had high hopes for a punk rock night out; I was not expecting to relive the ennui and angst-filled ’90’s music that I have grown to loathe. The Swear have ragingly positive reviews online, so maybe they were having a bad night or maybe it’s not them, it’s me. I couldn’t deal with the lead singer’s affected airs – throwing a water bottle, whipping her guitar around, crankily grabbing the boys in the band, and swinging the microphone with utter abandon – it felt completely put on. The act took away from the musicality and awesomeness of this band for me. They did have some songs I really rocked out to, so I will definitely give this band another listen because I think it was hitting too close to some bad musical memories for me.


Now on to the sex and rock ‘n’ roll, or rather – rock ‘n’ roll then sex for those attendees at this show. The Art Director of the Drunken Unicorn, a drag king, and CL’s 2011 “Best Drag Queen in Atlanta” Dax ExclamationPoint took the stage, made some noise, and gave out some condoms to eager audience members as part of The Sexual Side Effects grand introduction. When SSE took the stage, the crowd went wild after an evening held in anticipation. The second song they played was “Aurora,” which everyone seemed to know and will be the first single off their upcoming album to be released in February. SSE rocked it out, Amber head banged, Mike took off his shirt, and audience members danced and made out during the entire performance. Girls made out with other girls and one guy held a girl up in the air while making out with her. So, we can presume that sex may have actually been the “side effect” of SSE’s music.


In the middle of their set, SSE reminded the audience that this was a show celebrating the end of the Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming first video single for “Aurora.” They were still accepting donations during their show and eager audience members offered Amber cash to help support their music video dreams. Cash quickly went down her shirt and was tucked away into her pants by fans. Next thing you know a surprised Amber was holding a fifty dollar bill and thanking the audience profusely. (The band didn’t expect to receive cash onstage, so their reactions were priceless!) They continued to play that psychedelic glam rock that they do so well, introduced a few new songs, and wrapped up their set with the catchy, “I’m In Love With A Girl (Who Used To Be A Man).”


This weekend, The Sexual Side Effects will be filming their first music video for their very first single, “Aurora,” in Atlanta with the help of award-winning music video director Michael Simon (VH-1 Storytellers) and the help of fans through donations received from the band’s Kickstarter campaign. Our fabulous TBB fans and supporters at Rogue Hair Studio will be on hand to help SSE keep their hair rockin’ during the shoot!


After that SSE will be holding their first CD release party at the Masquerade on Saturday, February 11th. This event, titled “The Valentine’s Ball-Gag,” will be a huge party that features DJs, aerialists, artists, body painting, photo booth, and vendors galore! Music and entertainment will be provided by DJ Tiny Tears, DJ Westwood-A-Go-Go, DJ Dr. Sax, MC Dax ExclaimationPoint, go-go dancers, aerials by Aileen Loy, art and body painting by Roberto Hernandez, and of course the headliners, The Sexual Side Effects. There will be a costume contest, so dress to impress! Doors open at 9 p.m. 18+ welcome; 21+ to drink. $10 advance (or in costume before 11 p.m. on the day of the show). $13 cover charge the day of the show.