STRFKR and Com Truise Trip Out at Culture Room May 18

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Starfucker makes music that hipsters can't get enough of — but in reality, it targets anyone looking for a good time.

Often operating under the shortened moniker "STRFKR," the Portland, Oregon, trio of Joshua Hodges (vocals, keyboards, guitar, drums), Shawn Glassford (bass, keyboards, drums), and Keil Corcoran (drums, keyboards, vocals) are devout students of the '80s. Rounded out by former touring guitarist Patrick Morris, the band has taken influence from the likes of Cyndi Lauper (they recorded a brilliant cover of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" on their album Jupiter), Human League, and New Order.

Its synth-heavy sound ("old-wave," as the band describes it) is both homage and pastiche, referencing a period marked by zany fashions and an over-the-top decadence rivaling the Roaring '20s. The bandmates are equally adept at penning punchy, electro-pop grooves (like the pair of tracks "Bury Us Alive" and "While I'm Alive,") and painfully pretty, midtempo cuts such as "Say to You."

With this project, Hodges aimed to eschew the mindless fame-whoring typically associated with rock 'n' roll. He named his new band after a person self-described as a "star fucker." The band's founder and frontman prefers to reject surface-level industry sleaze, turning his focus instead to quirky and cleverly written pop tunes by turns both breezy and bizarre.

During the recording of 2013's Miracle Mile, for example, Hodges told PureVolume he wanted to lighten things up on the new album, so he went all Magical Mystery Tour. "I wanted to make an album that sounded drunk and a little psychedelic, so like half the songs were written/recorded while drinking and nibbling on mushrooms in Astoria." The result was STRFKR's best-received record to date.

This year will see the outfit release its untitled fourth full-length. The lead single, "Never Ever," is as glittery as any of its previous songs, containing echoes of Kajagoogoo and Pet Shop Boys. In other words, not much has changed. In the meantime, STRFKR has embarked on a spring tour with Ghostly International's synthwave producer Com Truise.

For their show Wednesday at Culture Room, expect the same aim as in their albums; oftentimes, they unravel into kooky dance parties where members wear costumes, whether Cobra Kai from The Karate Kid or women's dress. They're liable to surf the crowd on their backs or on rafts or bring out a zoo's worth of dancers dressed as animals.

In an interview with Creative Loafing, Hodges expressed the main concept behind the music of Miracle Mile and the band in general: "I forget to appreciate how much cool shit is going on. Like when you're a child, everything is magic, but then when you grow up, you get used to it. Like on your deathbed, I bet everything's magic again. You'll be thinking, I wish I could just go have coffee that I love, but then while we're drinking the coffee, we're not even drinking it. We're thinking about the next thing that we're going to do. So it's just a celebration of being alive. I spend a lot of my art on that."


With Com Truise. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18 plus fees via ticketmaster.com.

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