Ain’t No “Postfeminist” Bullhonkey Here
Grrrlz Rock retakes the stages of Eugene
BY SUZI STEFFEN
The women! They can play the guitars!
Oh, wait, the world learned that with Bonnie Raitt, Heart and Joan Jett. So why does Eugene celebrate, this fall, the second edition of Grrrlz Rock — a dozen shows, almost 50 acts, all centered around where the girls are?
|Sirens of Mothra
We can tell you. Come spend half a second with the Nightlife listings or our music email, and your eyes will glaze over with the numerous pix of guy bands, guy hip hop acts, heavy metal dudes, death metal dudes, guy drummers, guy bass players, etc. etc. etc. Nothing against dudes, of course, but there’s a lot of ’em in the world of musical entertainment, even in supposedly liberal and egalitarian Eugene.
That’s why promoter Cindy Ingram gives us Grrrlz Rock, which mixes genres and entertainers, venues and attitudes, with blithe abandon (and, as a matter of note, mixes women-fronted guy bands with all-women outfits … ).
There’s Satin Love Orchestra’s big-voiced, gospel-influenced Shelley James at Luna to kick off the season on Friday, Nov. 2, for one, with a band from Salem and young ukelele expert Mary Ferris opening. Then we switch gears entirely and head into the Oregon Women’s Comedy Festival at LCC Saturday, Nov. 3. Now in its second year, the festival mixes workshops with an early evening live performance and welcomes “all adults, men and women.” OK, maybe men can make us laugh, too. Yet from the reigning S.L.U.G. Queen, Leigh-Anne Jasheway Bryant, to the improv of WYMPROV! and the tuneful Free Range Chix, the performance part should be what shows us the funny.
Sam Bond’s gets in on the action Friday, Nov. 9, with The Whopner County Country All-Stars and local fave Laura Kemp. If you haven’t heard Kemp, you haven’t heard Eugene; the only reason she didn’t win the “Best Folk Artist” category in our 2007 Best of Eugene Readers’ Poll is that, well, we let the category have the year off in honor of Kemp’s multitudinous wins. Gracious and talented in equal measure, Kemp makes music and makes musicians as she gently teaches the world of Eugene to sing (and strum). The All-Stars and Kemp will be joined by Hanna Miller, Free the Banjo Girl and The Side Project.
The next night, John Henry’s takes a punky walk on the distaff side with the Sassy Fuchs-fronted The CoStars and the all-women superband Sirens of Mothra (including Fuchs), whose members met during a photo shoot for Grrrlz Rock 2006.
Maybe gettin’ down — or hoedown — is more your style. Well, step on up to south Lane County, where accordion-tinged bluegrass-and-whisky fans Bad Mitten head to Cottage Grove’s Axe & Fiddle Thursday, Nov. 15, along with the jammy, rockin’ Bajuana Tea and SpunHoney’s Hollis Ann Thompson for a foot-stomping good time.
Speaking of accordions, when’s the last time you heard from Eugene’s most awesome band ever, Accordions Anonymous? Well, if you’ve been missing their tunes, head to Cozmic Pizza on Nov. 16 for a glimpse of that fun group as they and others open for most amazing local blues diva Deb Cleveland and Portland’s Acoustic Minds, an indie/soul band fronted by fresh-faced twins Jenni and Amanda Price. And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without Nov. 17’s Soulicious and Complicated‘s slinkster cool show, also at Cozmic.
The WOW Hall gets in on the famous grrrl action Friday, Nov. 23, with The Dead Americans, The Ginger Hustlers and more, and Severein and more provide metalheads with some glitter at The Wetlands the next night.
Finally, a finale at Diablo’s on Friday, Nov. 30, features the fierce Emerald City Roller Girls (where will they roll? Should be fascinating!) and a smashup of performers from the Eugene DramaKings to Mood Area 52 and more. Get a VIP Pass for all of the action — a pass is a mere $30 and gets you into everything but the comedy show for free — and fill your November with ladies’ nights of the best sort.