Love Solombrino or hate her, though, the skinny minx is one of the most intriguing women rocking KC stages, whether she's fronting the band or pounding the shit out of a keyboard.
She's no less animated out of the spotlight. Over a Jimmy Tightpants (her favorite combination: vanilla vodka, triple sec, 7-Up, orange juice and citron) at the Brick recently, the frontwoman for the Beautiful Bodies and piano gal for the Pixel Panda gushed about being Italian, a Gemini and — at 23 — still a virgin.
Even with a hot little vegetarian body like Solombrino's, the idea of getting up in front of people to flail around with a microphone while wearing short skirts and diving necklines would intimidate most young women.
Solombrino usually downs a little liquid courage. But she's also just a ham. With a lot of Italian blood.
"Loud, blunt, ambitious" is how she describes her family. "They're pretty much anything but shy," she says.
Her tongue has gotten her into some scuffles.
"If being blunt is being a bitch, then I'm a big bitch," Solombrino explains.
It seems only too perfect that Solombrino was born under the sign of the twins. Visually, she's something of a walking yin and yang: When she parts that Sonic the Hedgehog-inspired hairdo down the middle for Beautiful Bodies shows, it looks black on one side and platinum blond on the other. She often adds to the effect by wearing specially designed outfits that turn her body into mirror opposites. The look is supposed to divide her into two people: "a goth chick and a scenester."
But Beautiful Bodies' fans aren't limited to those two camps. As Solombrino puts it, the band's sound is "basically the Yeah Yeah Yeahs." It's sexy, weird garage rock. Her other band, Pixel Panda, makes a jarring hybrid of hardcore and new wave.
Solombrino's personality splits again with her other musical project, Alicia Solo, which consists of tender guitar-and-piano acoustica, á la early Michelle Branch.
So far, that makes her part eyelinered rocker, part sensitive troubadour.
And she's an aspiring videographer, photographer and Web designer, too. The portal to all of her endeavors is AliciaSolo.com.
YouTube: "Date With the Night in Lawrence," a short film by Alicia Solombrino:
"I've only just begun," she says, her catlike eyes crinkling as she grins.
But the stars suggest that Solombrino has a hard time finishing things. That's certainly true of her conversations. Also, her solo album was due out a year ago, and months can go by between updates on her Web site. But it wouldn't be fair to call such a busy girl a slacker.
Even her partying has been put to good use. A video that she made of a New Year's binge, titled "Date With the Night in Lawrence," won an award on YouTube.
And then there's the one big distraction that she so far hasn't fallen victim to: sex.
If you've seen the Beautiful Bodies — or just her own, barely covered by lingerie in pictures on MySpace — it may be hard to believe Solombrino's virginity claim.
But the woman who sings a song called "Touch Me (But Only If You Know How)" swears that no man, including the two members of the Rich Boys whom she has dated, has convinced her that he actually knows how.
Since she let the secret slip in a March 29 Pitch story, Solombrino seems even less inclined to give it up. She fears intimacy, and outlasting her peers has become a kind of game.
Solombrino is one of those social butterflies who won't let anyone too close. "I've learned that you can't depend on other people," she often says.
But in true Gemini fashion, Solombrino is also just not that interested in spending so much time with one person.
"Seriously," she says coyly, "I could see myself dying a virgin."
To some, that might seem a bleak future. But whether Solombrino ever sheds her chastity belt, she sure wears contradiction well.
See for yourself when the Beautiful Bodies invade the Grand Emporium on Friday.