“Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses,” Dorothy Parker once wittily observed. But Lisa Loeb begs to differ.
The bespectacled folk-popper has fared well in romance, from her lengthy relationship with Dweezil Zappa (culminating in their culinary show for the Food Network, “Dweezil & Lisa”) through her zany E! channel dating program, “Number 1 Single,” to her 2009 marriage to music supervisor Roey Hershkovitz, with whom she has two children.
She’s sported signature tortoiseshell horn rims ever since her 1994 breakthrough hit, “Stay (I Missed You).” So Parker, she says, “was wrong, most definitely.” And she’s launching her own Lisa Loeb Eyewear line to prove it.
“I used to get really annoyed when people wanted to talk to me about my glasses instead of music, but now I don’t care,” says the singer, 44, who hits San Francisco this week backing her boisterous new comeback, “No Fairy Tale,” co-produced with New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert, who also plays guitar on every track.
“So many women — especially after the dating show — were so supportive and excited that I wore glasses, so it just felt like I was a great eyewear role model. And I embraced that.”
And thanks to stars like Tina Fey, the scholarly look was no longer just for awkward cartoon characters such as Daria and “Scooby-Doo’s” Velma.
Loeb (who dressed as Sarah Palin on Halloween) owns hundreds of pairs, and her Classique line already boasts more than 120 chic styles, all named after songs from her catalog.
Currently, she’s rotating a few favorites, including the Sandalwood and Hello Lisa models. “And I have a newer frame called Cake and Pie, which I just wore on Leno the other night — it’s a cat-eye with bass clefs on the little cat-eye tips,” she says.
Loeb — who also does voiceover work, film roles, even video directing — was out promoting her first 2011 children’s book and album when Gilbert contacted her about collaborating. “He wanted to make high-energy, punky-poppy rock, and he referenced bands like Tegan and Sara, which I was especially excited about,” she says.
Tegan and Sara, in turn, were happy to contribute two tracks to the sessions, “The Worst” and “A Hot Minute,” which feature Tegan Quin on harmony vocals.
One irresistible standout: “The ’90s,” which name-checks old-school designers such as John Fluevog and Betsey Johnson.
“When Chad suggested we write a song about the ’90s, I was a little hesitant, because I like the ’90s, but I don’t want to go back,” she says. “But I used to wear so much Betsey Johnson, so it was fun to have specific references. And we ended up with a song that’s really fun to sing along to.”
If you go
Where: Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.ticketfly.com