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Standout Track: “Who Will Buy Me Liquor?” a song that is lascivious in its subject matter but spiritual in its musical execution. “Who will slap my ass/When them holy rollers pass?/Who will laugh politely at my jokes?” wonders vocalist/ukulele player Armida Lowe, backed by a band of moonlighting University of Maryland College Park jazz majors.
Musical Motivation: Lowe wrote “Who Will Buy Me Liquor?” when she was an underage student who wanted a drink—badly—but couldn’t buy one. At least, not without some help. “I wrote it for my girlfriend, back when I was still with her,” says Lowe, now a 21-year-old senior at College Park. “I guess the idea was that I was only with her because she was buying me booze.” Lowe meant the song to be sweet, but, shockingly, her ex did not take kindly to the insinuation that she was held in only slightly higher esteem than an amiable homeless man loitering in front of the nearest Quick Stop. “She didn’t want to hear any more after I sang her the first verse,” says Lowe.
Imaginary Players: Before she was just a solo act, Lowe was a solo act with imaginary accompaniment—hence her original moniker, Armida and Her Imaginary Band. Lowe’s former bandmates were cardboard cutouts, and she told stories about them at her shows. “I had a trombonist, somebody playing triangle, a bassist, and one of the characters was being eaten by a fish, so you couldn’t tell what he was playing.” She ditched the cutouts after just two shows, deeming them too gimmicky, but continued with the stories. “When I stopped using them, I just made up excuses for why they weren’t there,” she says.