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10 awkward questions with ... the Valentonez

There's a lot you can do on Valentine's Day. There's the classic romantic dinner, the chocolate candy, the flowers.

There's crying as you watch "Love Actually" home alone (we've just heard about this one). How about a live serenade? The Valentonez are here to help, in their words, "butter up your special lover friend or cheer up a lonely heart."

Peabody Conservatory-trained singers Melissa Wimbish, 28, and Britt Olsen-Ecker, 24, came up with the idea and enlisted their guitarist friends Paul Diem, 32, and Aldo Pantoja, 28, to form a singing group offering singing valentines from Saturday through Tuesday (packages start at $40; go to valentonez.com for details.) Olsen-Ecker fields our burning questions.

Your catchphrase is "Chocolate melts, flowers die. But the Valentonez will get you laid." What the percentage guarantee on that?

That's a 117 percent guarantee. Flowers are so 1999. Chocolate? So 1899. A singing valentine? Instant lay. Don't you agree? (We thought about adding "if you don't get laid, we don't get paid," but that's suggestive of another line of work.)

How will you keep a straight face when singing "I'll Make Love To You" to a total stranger?

We'll be ready for this. We've bought some masks for some of the embarrassing songs, but the only ones we could find were ones of Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton. Hey wait a minute, that's perfect!

You'll only travel a maximum of 10 minutes outside the city. What exactly do you have against Towson?

A maximum of 10 MILES, my friend. Towson is on our love list, we would never want to single out the folks that live up there. Are you suggesting that they deserve it? Tsk tsk, sounds like you need some lovin' from the Valentonez.

Someone slams the door in your faces: TP or egg the house?

What a great question! In the rare case of some Valentonez haters, we've decided to bring tents along and set up camp a lá Occupy Wall Street. This goes for any office building we're refused entry to as well. We're partial to the drum circles — those go well with our mission.

The use of the "z" in your name ... come on.

We've all legally changed our last names to really amp up our brand: Olsen-Eckerz, Wimbishz, Pantojaz, and Diemz. We all agree that 'Jordan Bartelz' sounds great.

Of R. Kelly's love-themed "Trapped in the Closet" chapters, which would you be willing to do the most?

Haven't you heard? We have a super-secret special expensive package that includes an entire performance of this epic. Melissa and Britt take turns playing R. Kelly; he's a great character. DISCLAIMER: No pee is involved.

You have a "home run" package. Please tell me that includes what I think it does.

Our home run package includes two songs of your request! We have no idea what you're referring to when you say "please tell me that includes what I think it does." Tee-hee.

Does the Peabody Conservatory know about this, and, if so, have they given you a stern lecture?

We are absolutely anticipating a call from them ... to buy a few of our packages, of course!

One of the "lonely hearts" you serenade starts to tear up. Keep singing or laugh?

If someone starts crying, we instantly change to the "Thong Song." We have some great dance moves that go with that one.

What other 1940s-esque, old-timey gig do you hope the Valentonez helps you land next?

We've been lucky enough to be invited to Center Stage to perform after one of their shows, and other small gigs here and there. And old-timey? Puh-leeze.Lady Gaga's opening act or bust!

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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