Be Your Own Pet Defeat Virgins With Killer Pussy

Pearl hawks one up. Photo: Kate Glicksberg

They're legal now, but the four members of Nashville brat-punkers Be Your Own Pet still look 15. So last night at Irving Plaza, where they played with young'uns like the Virgins and Switches, there was a unmistakable “battle of the bands” vibe happening. Pet front chick Jemina Pearl wasn't letting anyone steal the spotlight: Her bastardized version of southern charm was in full effect as she spat on the stage, baited the crowd (“Are you having fun? Don’t lie to me!”), and rolled her eyes after one song, saying “you fucking whore” to no one in particular. She tried to get the audience in on the action, too. “Find a person you hate, and spit in their face. Hawk a loogie,” she ordered by way of introducing “Becki,” an ode to frenemies. Topping it all off, the band covered “Pepperoni Ice Cream,” a song by Killer Pussy, a new wave-y, nineties-era Athens band not much better than a B-52's cover group themselves. It wasn't pretty, but battles rarely are. —Michael D. Ayers