.Live Review: Marnie Stern’s Kissing Booth

I had heard about Marnie Stern’s Kissing Booth idea a couple hours before tonight’s show with Gang Gang Dance in San Francisco, and sure enough, when we arrived at Bimbo’s, we discovered this sign at the merch stand:

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Apparently, in addition to the speeding tickets, some seatbelt violations were involved as well, which can get pretty expensive (“Michigan, man,” said Stern). Discriminating kissers will note the detailed price breakdown: $3 for a peck on the cheek, $10 for full lips, and $100 for the big-spender French kiss.
So — were there any takers?
At the end of Marnie Stern’s set, a sizable group of people crowded around her side of the stage, declaring their love and asking for hugs. But to my dismay, I went out in the lobby later on and witnessed a similar group of people just, uh, standing around. And though the kissing offer was literally on the table, they were just, uh, awkwardly talking to Marnie Stern. And, um, buying a shirt, I guess. And, do you. . . think I could have another hug?

It was excruciating. Goddamn indie hipsters are a bunch of pansy-ass Holden Caulfields who can’t get over their own imagined degradation of giving a girl $10 for a kiss, I grumbled to myself. Whatever happened to all the fun in the world?!
But after about 10 minutes, a good sign walked into the room. To be precise: a tall mid-20s boy, with a slender face and large eyes. Lanky, plaid shirt. He approached the table and conspicuously pointed to the sign.
“Is the kissing booth open?” he asked.
Finally! Marnie Stern jumped up, pointed her arms in the air and let out a “whoo-hoo!” while doing a small, excited dance. A customer!
The boy pointed to the “lips” option, and handed a $10 bill to Stern, who was more than willing to deliver the goods. Boy, did he get his money’s worth:


I chased him down afterwards. “I had to,” he told me. “She’s beautiful, you know? It was awesome.” He was beaming from ear to ear.
Please, indie rock nation: more kissing booths!


  1. Quote: “It was excruciating. Goddamn indie hipsters are a bunch of pansy-ass Holden Caulfields who can’t get over their own imagined degradation of giving a girl $10 for a kiss, I grumbled to myself. Whatever happened to all the fun in the world?!”
    So you were mad at people for not forking over ten dollars to kiss someone only so that person could pay for tickets?

  2. How about asking people to buy an extra T-shirt instead? As written, this article makes it sound like she has a pathetically high opinion of herself. She charged way too much for how she looks. Worst case scenario, in lieu of merchandise, she would have done better with a pay for hugs deal. I can understand why no one wanted to put their mouth on her.

  3. Sounds like fun! Kissing booths were around when I was a kid but I guess today they are not PC. I’d have done it just for grins, because it is different, funny, and a kiss would do more to brighten my day than a lousy $10. To those who would say otherwise, I say you need to get out more. This is cute and ought to be appreciated!

  4. I live in a large village and have built many homes but does anyone ever call me Lars the carpenter? I have a boat and every day I go to the lake and cast my nets and catch many, many fish but does anyone ever call me Lars the fisherman? I have a fast car and compete in many races and have won many times but does anyone ever call me Lars the racer? I put out many fires since I volunteer with the village fire department but does anyone ever call me Lars the fireman? I work at the hospital emergency room and have saved many lives but does anyone ever call me Lars the life saving hero. Now let me come out of the barn zipping up my pants being followed by a sheep……..

  5. I second the #9, Marnie who? On checking a little further it seems Marnie is a ‘singer’, so this begs the question; how good a singer if she can’t pay a speeding ticket?
    Though I think a bigger question, is why was she speeding in the first place? I guess she was getting in practice, for when she made it big; then she could plead ‘Celebrity Status’ and get off the tickets.

  6. i just took a dump that honest to god smelled like cat shit – and i havent eaten cat food since 1991. i’m quite concerned about this, cause last time my boyfriend was kissing me, he pat me a few times on my lower back and i jacked my ass up in the air like i was in heat. am i turning into a kitten?

  7. I ate two too many shrooms. That bird has a think coming if he wants a heated birdbath! Sweet story but i’m a diabetic.

  8. I wouldn’t have paid for a kiss either, but it has nothing to do with degradation. Some of us indie hipsters just have crippling anxiety. 🙂

  9. Hi…
    First off, I’d like to know the status of her occupational license in regards to the previously mentioned kissing booth. Exchanging services for monetary gain constitutes as running a business under Michigan state law and I am assuming that stupid whor… er, I mean, classy lady does not have the appropriate permits to run a business. I would like the IRS to look into this as well since I am most certain she is not claiming her earnings from the aforementioned kissing booth…
    Secondly, for $100 I can take a fairly attractive girl to Fridays and get her well fed and reasonably toasted. There are more than enough Appletini’s in a $100 bar tab to at least guarantee me a lengthy albeit somewhat sloppy blow job… not to mention I’ll have a full stomach. So it seems that this seemingly unassuming dipshit is not overly aware of how investing works… in short, sloppy road head is a better return on investment than making out with a snaggle-toothed skank…
    Third, let’s skip Fridays entirely. For a hundred bucks in this city, I could find three or four Mexican hookers that will give me anything and everything I ask for as long as I know how to say “rim job” in Spanish… not to mention that there’s a very high likelihood that I could get my house cleaned by the ones that aren’t busy licking my ass…

  10. why is it that people just HAVE to be dicks online.. your mothers should have taught you that if you have nothing nice to say then stfu. I would have gotten my 10 bucks worth if I had been there 🙂

  11. Hutch, your ignorance is incredible… if I have nothing nice to say I should “stfu”? Now, I believe that those particular letters, arranged in that particular pattern means something that is not nice at all… see where I’m going with this? At least my post had some thought behind it, was meant to be somewhat funny (although perhaps a bit offensive), and not the least bit hypocritical.
    I may be a “dick” online, but I’m a dick in person too, so I feel justified. Did you make a comment regarding what peoples mothers’ taught them and then close your argument stating that you would have paid her for sexual favors as well? Didn’t your mother teach you that prostitution was wrong or did she force you to go sit on the corner with her so she could play the sympathy card? (Sorry for those of you that have had the internet long enough to be tired of “mother jokes” already, but it was soooo damn easy!!)
    My post was merely intended as satire and more-or-less a mockery of how serious most people take things, you included…
    By the way, defending the righteous Marnie Stern will not earn you a coupon for her kissing booth, so keep practicing with your siblings and some day you might be able to score a bottom feeding skank all on your own…

  12. Egomaniac.. I mean Union Jack, what gave you the idea that I was even talking about your post? Which, btw, wasn’t a very good attempt at funny and it really wasn’t that offensive either.. I mean come on.. skank? rim job? sloppy blow job? mother jokes? What are you 12? When you get into sex ed they may teach you what prostitution and sexual favors are.. or you could just check dictionary.com to find out that kissing is not prostitution nor is it a sexual favor.
    ps.. just because you admit that your inner dick runs your life doesn’t make it any better.

  13. Sigh, another amusing article ruined by the asshole comments of internet users.
    Good job ppl, at least you are all really good at what you do.

  14. I completely agree with the article. Bunch of pansy asses. Just one question: Why didn’t you kiss Marnie yourself?
    Maybe you’re a girl, but if this was about fun and getting Marnie some money to pay her tickets, then what?
    Oh yeah, I linked this article in a post on my blog, but I got no idea how the damn trackback works. Anyway, it’s here and has a few cvideos: http://www.schwarzsilber.de/marnie-stern-transformer-the-crippled-jazzer-vibrational-match-live/

  15. Marnie Stern – Transformer, The Crippled Jazzer, Vibrational Match (live)…
    From “This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That” (2008).
    Being a bit short on cash with driving tickets piling up Marnie Stern offered kisses for bucks after a concert ($…

  16. I read this article about a month ago thanks to SumbleUpon. I was highly annoyed to be receiving article about kissing booths. Annoyed enough that I actually looked up this “Marnie Stern” character and found out she’s a musician. So I looked her up on MySpace, listened to a few tracks, and within two hours I’d bought both of her albums online.
    Because she’s AWESOME. The girl can seriously play a guitar. I’m hoping she has a kissing booth when she comes to Phoenix next month, but I won’t hold my breath.

  17. havent a clue who this chick is–but i stumbled here and it totally made me smile. i’m tickled that the young man (and the chick) had a moment that made them both happy–tis what its all about.

  18. Ok, so I totally would have negotiated her down to 50 on the french kiss just because I’m a girl and she would have had to agree to like 5 minutes, lol. What a sweet guy though! lol.

  19. I hope the asshole that took that picture bought the In Advance… vinyl
    then sell that shit and get a hannie from her

  20. Great idea i would have paid, it is a mild form of prostitution, but hell it makes two people smile so whats the harm, really, its not detrimental if we don’t make it seem that way.


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