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Girl in a Coma is a San Antonio trio started by Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva. Later, they drafted Phanie’s sister Nina. Nina has one of those innocent honey-sweet voices that could melt rocks. By the end of “El Monte” when she sings, “Am I just another score you adore?” you want to rescue her.

GIAC has been together for most of a decade but are just now coming into their own. “I’d love to play Coachella,” Nina Diaz says by phone from Texas, “and collaborate with people like Mike Patton.” Still, the band has made some impressive friends. One of them is Joan Jett, who signed them to her Blackheart Records label, and the other is Morrissey.

“We’re all huge Smiths fans, and we wanted to show homage to them.” Girl in a Coma was derived from the Smiths’ “Girlfriend in a Coma.” After Moz heard the band perform in L.A. in 2007, he invited them to tour the East Coast and Europe as his opening act. Good times, says Nina. “We got to spend a couple of random moments with him offstage.”

GIAC’s answer to federal immigration reform comes in their cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” a song from 1967 about lost innocence, violence, and fear. “I think it’s the perfect song to come out during this time,” Phanie told a reporter. “With all the craziness in Arizona, it’s the perfect lyrics. We chose it for that reason.”

I ask Nina if there is a recurring theme that threads her writing. “Lately,” she says, “I’ve noticed I say ‘save me’ a lot. And I mention a lot of Alice in Wonderland things.”

If she could have one wish, what would it be? “I’m hoping that Mike Patton will see the number of times I’ve mentioned that I want to work with him in print and actually do it.”

Past Event

Girl in a Coma

  • Friday, August 20, 2010, 9 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • $8 - $10
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