GRRL027: Depression & (the lack of) DIY spaces with Diana Regan

You might be wondering where episode 26 is, but uh, just… it never existed. (It’ll come soon, I promise.)

For episode 27, I interviewed Oakland-based solo artist Diana Regan, who records and releases her music straight from her home! In the episode, we talk about the stories behind her songs and our process transposing  and performing our songs in different instruments–in her case, ukulele to guitar; for me, ukulele to piano. We also touch on the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland last year, and how DIY spaces and communities like that saved Diana in her younger years.

Not-so-fun fact: I originally interviewed Diana in early 2016 but because of technical difficulties, I had to scrap the interview. Fortunately Diana was willing to sit down with me for a SECOND interview. Thanks to Diana for her patience!

Content Warning: We talk extensively about dealing with depression, and also have mentions of self-harm, addiction, and trauma.

Listen Here

Download GRRL027 from Libsyn [39min, 36.1MB] or stream from these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Show Notes

Links

Thanks

As always, thank you so much to Greg Guiliano of Wait Think Fast Productions for providing audio hosting costs. You can check out Greg’s show every Tuesday 9pm EST on WCOMFM, a public radio station in North Carolina that features radio plays by local playwrights. You can listen live on the website.

And of course, thank you so much to Diana Regan for sitting down with me (again!) and to Polish for providing the intro and outro music.

GRRL025: Fiddling, contra dance, and gender at Smith College, with Anna Levitt of Crooked

Welcome to episode 25 of Grrl on Grrl with Anna Levitt of San Diego folk band Crooked. In this episode we talk about the differences between classical violin and fiddle, gender at Anna’s alma mater Smith College and with babies, and the two different faces of her band Crooked.

Disclaimer/corrections on the portion about Smith College: During the interview we talk about how trans men are included in Smith, but it looks like that is not the case any longer. If you look at their gender inclusion policy on their site, they admit women (cis and trans), do not include trans men, and then have a complete non-answer for genderqueer and gender nonconforming individuals. This makes me pretty uncomfortable, and honestly, I’m not sure how to express my feelings on this. I’m definitely interested in how their policy will continue to evolve. What are your thoughts? Feel free to shoot me an email! I’d love to hear from you!

I got my first one-star rating on iTunes. I’m assuming it’s some sort of men’s rights activist, but who knows? If you wanna help the podcast rating out at all, please head on over to the podcast on iTunes and leave your thoughts and suggestions. I’m always excited to hear from you!

Listen

Download GRRL025 at Libsyn [43mins, ~60MB] or stream from these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Show Notes

  • [2:00] Crooked – “Another Cuppa Joe”
  • [6:00] The differences between violin and fiddle
    • “A lot of people ask what the fiddle is relative to the violin.” “Oh my God, I was totally gonna ask that next!”
  • [7:30] A bit about Anna’s band Crooked
    • Everybody contributing singing, writing, and playing
    • Anna branching into writing lyrics
  • [9:20] One of Anna’s songs making it into the Crooked album (“Mama Put the Frango On“)
    • Road trip in Mozambique for a music festival
    • Mbila/Timbila – xylophone-esque
  • [12:20] Uncle Earl – Willie Taylor (Album) (Website)
  • [16:40] Training in/playing classical music and then finding where the fun was–Irish bars!

  • [18:40] Going to a women’s college

    • Gender neutral language in college policy, how the changes came about
      • “Having language that said ‘she’ and ‘her’ was really inspiring [in original college policy] but it’s a new age and we were excluding people.”
      • Being politic, consulting alumni before making changes
    • The community aspect: having regular, virtual tea parties
    • “GENDER IS DUMB.”
  • [22:30] Having a baby and having to talk about gender

    • “What is it?”

    • “I don’t want to force [gender] on a two-day old child.”
    • Baby X story by Lois Gould, a fictional short story originally published in the 1970s in Ms. Magazine
    • “Babies have a lot in common. They want to chew on things.”
  • [25:00] Rayna Gellert & Friends – Ducks on the Millpond (Website)
  • [27:20] Crooked: 1 band, 2 incarnations
    • What you hear on the record vs. live contradance band
    • Contradance – a partnered dance, originally popular in the Appalachians with a couple of revivals (including now!)
  • [30:15] San Diego Contra Dance, associated with the SD Folk Heritage
    • Gender neutral one in San Francisco, but not in San Diego
    • Learning opportunities in San Diego Contradance by playing in their community band
  • [32:00] The differences between square dancing, country line dancing, and contradance
    • Starting a “square-volution”
    • Learning in elementary school
    • Henry Ford?!?!
  • [34:15] City Heights Music School – Saturday school, non-profit
    • Anna’s involvement with them
  • [37:45] The Nields – Keys to the Kingdom (Website)

Links

Thanks

Thanks so much to Anna for inviting me into her home and picking some great artists and songs to feature in her episode!

And as always, thank you to everyone who checked in on me the last two weeks to see where the new episodes were, to Gary Hankins who tried his best to get rid of some of that electrical buzz in the recording and put the whole thing together, to Greg Guiliano of Wait Think Fast Productions for hosting costs, and to Polish for their song “Drive.”

Thanks as always to Gary Hankins who tried his best to get rid of some of that electrical buzz in the recording, and to Greg Guiliano of Wait Think Fast Productions for hosting costs.

 

Wham bam (new) RAM

It means *so much* to me to hear from some of you listeners asking where the latest Grrl on Grrl episodes are! This *is* supposed to be a biweekly podcast, right?

That’s what I thought too! But in the past two weeks I not only had to replace a ripped-in-half laptop charger, but then as I was working on episode 26 (after sending off episode 25 to Gary for his audio magicking), my computer powered down and refused to boot up. From the beeps coming from the BIOS, it seemed like my RAM is fried.

Well, after accidentally ordering the wrong RAM (got one 8GB stick instead of two 4GB sticks), my computer is back up and running, and I am posting here to let you know I haven’t lost faith in technology yet.

Though I am upset that I paid more for a new laptop charger than I did on RAM. What a racket, Apple. What a goddamned racket.

Thank you SO SO SO MUCH for all y’all’s continued patience waiting for the new episodes. Episode 25 will be up sometime this week, and hopefully episode 26 won’t be far behind!

xoxo,

June

P.S. Stay tuned for an awesome announcement about a collaborative thing I’m doing with Rob of Cinema Spartan.

GRRL024: Streak of bad luck and sneaking off to play drums, with Stefanie of Caustic Casanova

Stefanie joined me online after Caustic Casanova’s 2016 tour to talk about their almost-comical bad luck streak during the first week of their tour, some tour tips, a bit about their record label Retro Futurist, and the difficult time and plain hard work she put in to recover from breaking *both* her wrists. I also bust out my trumpet playing story again, but this time to learn about Stefanie’s slight subterfuge when it came to finally playing the drums in high school.

Based in Washington D.C., Caustic Casanova has been described as “heavy metal B-52s” and other crossovers that usually involve the words “hard”, “heavy”, and “psychedelic.” They’ll be recording a new album starting in April, before going on yet another summer tour, so keep an eye out for tour dates. You do NOT want to miss them!

Listen

Download episode 24 at Libsyn or stream from these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Show Notes

  • Caustic Casanova – “Thundersnow”
  • Are genres so important nowadays?
  • Things Stefanie learned from their 2016 tour
    • Plan for traffic – Giving themselves a 2hr buffer
    • More off-days to recoup and for equipment malfunctions
    • Coming across amp trouble and finding a savior in St. Louis at Acme Guitars
  • Irata – “Lion Slayer” (Website)
  • Touring – how and why
  • How did the tour work out financially? Not quite breaking even
    • Stefanie wants to emphasize how totally do-able touring is for any band that’s around Caustic Casanova’s level
  • Emily Danger – “Peace Arch” (Website)
  • Retro Futurist Records – Savannah, Georgia label – owned by the folks of Kylesa who Caustic Casanova toured with before being asked to join the label
  • Breaking bones – delays in putting out Breaks
    • Surgery and moving in with parents
    • Loss of independence, mental health, and becoming motivated to kick ass at physical therapy
  • Holly Hunt – “Meano”
  • Learning trumpet because mom didn’t want her play the drums
    • “But my heart’s always belonged to the drums.”
    • Sneaking off to find a drum kit
  • Heavy music dominated by men, drumming especially, but there are a lot of girl drummers out there

Links

BONUS CLIP: A sacrifice had been made… with Stefanie of Caustic Casanova

When Washington DC band Caustic Casanova started their summer 2016 tour, they kept hitting bad luck after bad luck. It finally turned around, but at what cost?!

Listen to this deleted, bonus clip below! You can hear the rest of the interview with Stefanie Zaenker, along with her great playlist, tomorrow afternoon.

Download at Libsyn.

Interlude 004: trans-exclusion at the women’s march, podcast recs, and poetry from Felicia Williams

Interlude 004 is all about inclusivity/exclusivity: from podcasts that interview with inclusivity in mind to the global women’s march in January. Plus, “Nvr Pass” by previous Grrl on Grrl guest Emma with her band She/Her/Hers, and the poem “A Kind of Dying” by San Diego poet Felicia Williams.

Wanna submit your poetry and flash fiction to be featured in an Interlude episode? Shoot me an email! 

Don’t forget to rate & review Grrl on Grrl on iTunes or Stitcher, and you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @grrlongrrl, or you can like the Grrl on Grrl Podcast page on Facebook.

Listen Here

Download at Libsyn or listen at these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Links & Notes

  • She/Her/Hers – “Nvr Pass”
  • Birthday Loon Studios by Hailey Wojcik – you can hear some more about Hailey’s stop motion animation work on her episode here
    • So much detail. So much work.
    • Facebook
    • All her videos on Vimeo
  • Angry Grrrl Music of the Indie Rock Persuasion by Amanda Starling – a podcast highlighting women, femmes, LGBTQ, and minority movements in the punk rock & indie rock scenes
  • Sooo Many White Guys
    • “Join comedian Phoebe Robinson as she talks to performers, musicians, authors and artists who are killing it in their fields. Oh, and none of them are white dudes! Whew.”
    • Episode 17 with Margaret Cho – “Phoebe and Margaret Cho Hope They Die Alone”

Women’s March / Exclusion of Trans Voices

Felicia Williams

Thanks!

Thank you to Felicia Williams, Asher Mendel, Emma of She/Her/Hers, and Polish for the use of their song “Drive.”

GRRL023: unexpected double standards and “women in music” tropes, featuring the Fictitious Dishes

All four members of the Fictitious Dishes (Taryn, Liz, Maggie, and Jacquie) join me on this episode of Grrl on Grrl to talk about whether or not to expect people to pay for their music, the possibilities of working with a producer, some conflicting messages from showgoers when Taryn’s husband Hugh (of Slum Summer) filled in for Liz, and double standards and confusion in feminism and music.

This is the first time I recorded more than 2 people on separate mics. It needs some work, but I definitely learned a lot and I have some goals to reach the level of quality I really want in the future. For now, I hope I fixed the levels enough in post that you can hear everybody well!

Grrl on Grrl is now back on its biweekly schedule. Are you excited? I’m excited. Relieved and excited. Thanks for listening!

Listen Here

Download episode 23 at Libsyn [37min, 36.3MB] or listen at these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Show Notes

  • The Fictitious Dishes – “Counting Coup” (demo)
  • Recording while pregnant
  • Wanting/needing a producer for the demos
  • “Why is your music free?” — Paying for music or not
  • We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It!! – “Love is the Slug”
  • Shit for being an all woman band
  • Implicit biases about women and men’s relationships within a band
  • Playing in an all-girl band (compared to their previous bands)
  • “Does it need to be a woman or not?” That’s kind of our thing. / Co-ed bands
  • Spending time with people you enjoy == your band
  • Being asked to be a role model for girls just because you’re a woman
    • Double standard — you wouldn’t ask white guys if they consider themselves a role model
  • Men Who Rock! and Men Who Rock! II at Seattle alternative magazine The Stranger: a parody of how women are portrayed in music magazines
  • Amy Klein of Titus Andronicus on not seeing any women with instruments in Rolling Stone – Beautifully written, this article (which was originally a Tumblr post(s)) is about how important it is for girls to see more of themselves in magazines and media, the severe lack of representation of women just doing things, and the exhausting standards of perfection women must face in male-dominated fields.
    • There are so many good quotes in this, but here’s one: “What we’re doing when we exclude women from rock and roll, and from the sense of rebellion that rock and roll promises, is disallowing women that independent perspective. We’re never giving them the chance to think critically about the world, and about the systems that oppress them. When we take women out of the arts, and take them out of art’s ability to critique the way things are, we’re making sure that women keep swallowing the status quo, day after day, and it’s the status quo that keeps us down.”
  • Happy Fangs – “Hiya Kaw Kaw” (Website)

Links

Thanks!

Thank you to Liz, Taryn, Maggie, and Jacquie of the Fictitious Dishes! Taryn and Hugh graciously allowed me and the rest of the band into their home to do the interview.

Thank you as always to Greg Guiliano of Wait Think Fast Productions and to Polish for letting me use their song “Drive” for the intro and outro music.

Deleted clip: what’s a “unicorn band”?

Here’s a deleted clip from the upcoming interview with vivacious ladies the Fictitious Dishes. In this clip, guitarist Liz explains what being a “unicorn band” means and I join the band??? Maybe???

Don’t forget to subscribe to Grrl on Grrl on iTunes or whichever podcast app you use so you can be the first to hear episode #23 featuring Taryn, Liz, Maggie, and Jacquie of the Fictitious Dishes!

GRRL Interludes 003: Music news, fake news, and a Backpage.com update

In this quick episode, I give some updates on past Grrl on Grrl guests, including new albums and award nominations! Plus I plug a great podcast and a couple of articles about journalism and fake news, and a quick update on Backpage.com–which I talked about in Interlude Episode 001–and some organizations to check out in the wake up the shutdown. I also have the pleasure of talking over some ambient music created by Asher Mendel, because I felt weird having just my voice talking with no background. So uh, what do you think? Is it too distracting? Too gloomy? TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK.

Listen Here

Download Interlude 003 on Libsyn [7MB, ~7min] or listen at these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Music News

The Rise of Fake News

…and how to navigate it.

Paraphrased from the Flash Forward episode “Extra! Extra!”, here are two things you can do before sharing anything on social media.

  1. Read the article and find its sources. Do the so-called experts quoted in the article even exist? If there are research articles cited, were they published by a legitimate journal? Because apparently there are publications out there where you can just PAY to have your article published. No peer review required.
  2. Check what website it’s on. Does the rest of the site have an obvious political agenda? Are the other articles on the site bogus as shit?

Backpage.com Update

It happened, Backpage.com shut down their adult services section, putting many sex workers in dangerous positions.

GRRL022: New York vs. LA, the hustle, and touring with Deftones and Refused featuring Sarah Quintero of Spotlights

Happy new year, folks, and welcome to episode #22 of Grrl on Grrl!

In this episode, you’ll hear Sarah Quintero of Spotlights, a sludgegaze band from New York. She and Mario, who you heard mentioned in a cut segment I included at the end of the last episode, met in San Diego, before moving to Brooklyn where they are now based. In summer of 2016, they toured with Refused and Deftones! You’ll hear more about that in the interview. We also talk about their goals with growing the band and the supportive music scene in New York.

The first episode of 2017 runs a bit longer at 53 minutes, but it’s totally worth it because you’ll get to hear not only Spotlights, but San Diego’s Sleeping People and Seattle-based band He Whose Ox Is Gored. Enjoy!

Listen Here

Download from Libsyn [53 minutes; 50.6MB] or listen at these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Show Notes

  • Collaborating with a significant other; the inception of Sleep Lady and Spotlights
  • Why move to Brooklyn? How is it compared to people’s attitudes in Los Angeles?
  • “The hustle”: DIY management, getting press, networking (ie making friends)
  • Finding a home at St. Vitus in New York 
  • Sarah’s zero tolerance to getting flak as a woman in a heavier genre
    • metal as one of the most supportive music genres
    • “life’s too short for bullshit”
  • The tour with Deftones and Refused
    • Brooklyn Vegan
    • Super exciting and super terrifying – “what if they’re total assholes?”
  • Differences between setting up your own tour vs being on tour with an already established band
  • Crowquill Records – what a record label should do
  • Mario’s side solo project: Codas
  • Making connections more easily now – social media – digital distribution
    • it’s easy enough to move on if something doesn’t work

Song List

Thanks!

Thank you so much to Sarah for speaking with me and being so inspiring, and to the folks at He Whose Ox Is Gored and Sleeping People for being part of this episode’s playlist.

And as always, thank you to Greg Guiliano of Wait Think Fast Productions and to Polish for letting me use their song “Drive” as the Grrl on Grrl theme song.