GRRL006: songwriting discipline despite insecurities and a live performance featuring singer-songwriter Erin Bower

For the latest episode, San Diego singer-songwriter Erin Bower sat with me in my bedroom where we indulged in sake and chatted about our insecurities and tips on playing live. This episode is especially unique because we tried a different format. Instead of featuring songs from other artists, I got a chance to record Erin’s live set at local bar and venue Sycamore Den, so you’ll be getting to hear a few of her songs interspersed throughout the interview.

If you can’t get enough of Erin, you can travel to her Bandcamp to listen to some older songs.

And please, if you liked this episode, rate us on iTunes. And as always, feel free to leave a comment, email me, follow me on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Listen Here

Download here [~53 mins, 61MB]

Shownotes

  • [3:00] The process of writing lyrics and the insecurities that come with it
  • [5:45] Erin’s live set: “I Have a Lover”
  • [9:00] Erin’s live set: an old standard, “Make me Down a Pallet on Your Floor”
  • [12:30] Bad Behaviors – Erin’s demo EP, 4 songs
    • Focusing on psychology, self-reflection, and mental health
  • [15:00] Challenging ourselves and practicing self-discipline – “the shitty songs are inside me”
    • Erin wrote 26 songs in 26 weeks, inspired by Geoff Gouveia
    • June wrote 29 minutes of material for NaSoAlMo
    • Ira Glass quote: “For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.”
  • [20:30] Going back to old songs and deciding if she likes them
  • [22:30] Her old band Soda Pants
  • [27:30] Erin’s live set: Electric Blood
  • [30:45] Playing in a band vs. playing solo
  • [34:30] Tips for playing live
  • [37:15] Erin’s live set: “Enough”
  • [42:00] Three favorite San Diego musicians
    • Creature and the Woods
      • Shelby as Erin’s vocal teacher
      • “If I go to a show, I can’t hold back.”
    • Al Howard 
    • Mike Pope/Danica Molenaar (also playing with Erin in a newly minted band called Holy!)
  • [44:30] Do vocal lessons help?
  • [48:00] Erin’s live set: “Grateful”

Other Notes & Thanks!

Thank you to all the artists who gave me permission to play their songs and to Lori.

Special thanks to: Sullen Ray who graciously allows me to use their song “Get Up Got It” as the Grrl on Grrl podcast intro and outro–listen to and buy their album Blue Minor on Bandcamp; Greg Guiliano for his financial support; and Gary Hankins for making the episode sound good.

And to all my friends who have been so supportive of this project, I love you!

Mixtape inspiration: Gender is Over (If You Want It)

I’m stoked to have found this mixtape which includes Shamir, Laura Jane Grace, and Speedy Ortiz. Here’s the background on the project as described on their website:

The “Gender Is Over (If You Want It)” project was inspired by Yoko & John’s “War Is Over! (If You Want It)” campaign, a lifelong frustration with normative binary gender roles and coercive gendering and a belief in self-determination.

We think that society’s emphasis on assigned binary gender roles is harmful, damaging, and often violent, and this is a statement against that. However, by “gender” we don’t mean “gender identities” –– we believe that people’s chosen gender identities/expressions are valid and should be respected! We also don’t intend for this to imply that we currently live in a post-gender world: gendered violence & gender inequality are real and pressing issues that require lots of work to dismantle.

GRRL005: extra scrutiny on stage, riot grrrl, and festivals featuring Lori Sokolowski of Gloomsday

For episode 5, Lori and I got together in her living room to chat about the history of her earlier bands, being a woman on stage and being extra scrutinized because of it, and other topics about women in the music industry.

She’s a badass drummer for the two-piece band Gloomsday that she plays in with her boyfriend Justin and has always played bass and guitar in several other bands including Ladyparts and the Rosalyns–the latter got to play with The Julie Ruin and other rad women musicians at the Orange County festival Burger-a-go-go.

You can follow Gloomsday on Facebook and listen to some of their tracks on their Bandcamp.

If you liked this episode, please rate us on iTunes. And as always, feel free to leave a comment, email me, follow me on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Listen Here

Download here [~60mins, ~58MB]

Shownotes

  • [3:30] Burger-a-go-go is a woman oriented music festival put on by Burger Records in Orange County, California. This year, the headliners were The Julie Ruin, Cat Power, and Kate Nash. AND Lori’s band The Rosalyns played as well!
  • [13:30] Fleetwood Mac controversy: Are you afraid you’ll get into the same situation?
  • [17:30] Flaggs – “Cheap Life”
  • [22:30] What the fuck is Shoegaze?
  • [27:30] A sneak peek into future guest Emma of She/Her/Hers
  • [30:00] Lori’s experiences as a woman on stage and finding musical role models when growing up
  • [37:00] Sexualization of women in pop music
  • [40:00] JJCNV – “Monsoon Years”
  • [45:00] A frustrating story from the end of the most recent Gloomsday tour
  • [48:00] News about a previous band Ladyparts, an all-woman punk band
  • [52:00] Wild Honey – “Stoned” 

Other Notes & Thanks!

Thank you to all the artists who gave me permission to play their songs and to Lori.

Special thanks to: Sullen Ray who graciously allows me to use their song “Get Up Got It” as the Grrl on Grrl podcast intro and outro–listen to and buy their album Blue Minor on Bandcamp; Greg Guiliano for his financial support; and Gary Hankins for filling in for Lety Beers–who is going on a European tour with her band The Little Richards–and doing a way more awesome job than I could have done.

And to all my friends who have been so supportive of this project, I love you!