Posts tagged Girls Rock Camp
Posts tagged Girls Rock Camp
The Esme Barrera Fan Club Band is joining the Polyphonic Spree for “She’s a Rainbow” at La Zona Rosa on Wednesday night. This video is from Esme’s Austin memorial - I organized around 40 of my fellow Girls Rock Camp volunteers and we put this together in just a couple of days because all these amazing women dropped everything they were doing to just do this. Performing was heartbreaking yet beautiful and life-affirming. I suspect tomorrow will be more energizing and flat-out joyful, with over 50 of us on stage, it’ll be a massive tribute to a dear friend who lived to the fullest. I still can’t believe she’s gone. I miss her every day.
P.S. The Polyphonic Spree is donating 25% of their merch sales to the Esme-inspired Unlimited Possibilities Scholarship Fund, which sends girls in need to Girls Rock Camp Austin.
First day of Girls Rock Camp. Ms. Scarlett, lead howler, Ms Esme, badass.
I lost a dear friend early Sunday morning. I was able to piece together a few sentences about her yesterday but today I’m totally numb and I fear if I try to write more I’ll fall apart again. So, from my facebook post:
“I look ridiculous” was the last text I received from Esme, on her way out the door to the big NYE bash. She didn’t look ridiculous of course, I spotted her across the packed room donning a cute dress, standing against the stage by Max, singing along to Surrender at the top of her lungs. “Mommy’s alright, daddy’s alright they just seem a little weird surrender surrender but don’t give yourself away.” This is what I loved the most about Esme - her ability to capitulate completely to the moment. To put on a strappy dress and think she looks ridiculous and go out anyway. To stand in the front of the front and belt it. To listen to a song and embrace its power. To own the dance floor. Esme loved so hard. She had challenges and she faced them full on. Who is going to send me pictures of Ted Leo with hearts drawn on it? Who is going to chat me “Yo! I wish it was my job just to have fun!” I love her so much and I’m going to remember all of these things and use them to make myself a better person and the world a brighter place. I hope you’ll do the same.
Today at Jo’s, 1300 South Congress
12:58pm - Lulu Hawley
1pm - Les RAV
2pm - Christiane Swenson
2:08pm - Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys
3:00 The Sisters Grimmm
3:10 - Award ceremony/GRCA performers
3:43 - Charlie Belle
4:28 - Schmillion
Hosted by KUT’s Laurie Gallardo
Last week’s review from Austinist.
Melissa Bryan Record Release Party [Show Preview]
Austin garage rockers The Shindigs lasted five years at the tail end of the nineties, but when the band split memberMelissa Bryan clearly wasn’t done saying what needed to be said. As an instructor at the Girls Rock Camp in town, she inspires and teaches a new generation of future noisemakers, and under her own name she has released a new album appropriately titled Return Of The Woman. Check out the video for the title track here.
To usher in this giddy and instrumentally rich collection of new songs (which officially came out this Tuesday), Bryan is hosting a record release show/dance party/art show at Obsolete Industries. Performing with Bryan at this show are John Wesley Coleman III and The Sisters Grimmm, DJs includeLori Barbero, Gerard Cosloy, Scott Gardner, and DJ Sue, and art and photos from Billy Bishop, Allyson Lipkin, Laura Matthews, Marisa Pool, Bryan herself and many more will be on display.
Melissa Bryan: [website]
Melissa Bryan hits the music scene full force today with her debut solo album Return of the Woman, a spirited collection that celebrates the human ability to thrive despite, and sometimes because of, adversity.
Bryan’s songs are full of frustration, hope, and an outrageous joyfulness. Her lyrics, at times funny, endearing, and passionate, at times angry, remind the listener why she fell in love with rock n’ roll in the first place. Lyrics to songs such as the intentionally over-the-top “Rock n Roll Saved My Life Last Night” make us remember what it’s like to open ourselves up to great, and profoundly life-changing, music.
Rock and Roll saved my life last night/it’s been so long since I was inspired/now I woke up baptized with desire/Rock and roll saved my life last night
The songs speak of the disappointment of coming of age in a patriarchal society and a deep spiritual yearning that can be explored, and perhaps quenched, through music.
I’m so sad about Jesus/there was a time when he held my hand/I’m still looking for salvation/and a way to the promise land
Strummer’s singing on the radio/but it’s a Marley song/says he’s looking for what I am/and it sounds like it won’t be long
In the video to the album’s title track, a tough, beautiful Bryan sings defiantly and without self-pity of her struggles with the arthritis that settled into her joints when she was only fifteen years old.
My eyes were heavy and my hair full of grease/I was locked up from a disease/then I realized I held the key/and I stand here finally fucking set free
Bryan then turns into the 50 Foot Woman (from the 1958 American sci-fi film Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) and tromps through Austin, terrorizing local hipsters and visitors to the state’s capitol building, shuddering as millions of bats swarm her, and finally cutting the head off of the beloved Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. Bryan makes it clear that — like many of her fans — she’s had enough of paying homage to the “annoying old school Austin music scene.”
Return of the Woman’s album cover shows an open-mouthed Bryan standing, cigarette in hand, next to a pink scooter on a grim street in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s just this sense of unexpected beauty in the midst of struggle that permeates Return of the Woman; Bryan clearly relates to the Bosnian people and their ability to live life fully despite terrible suffering and difficulties. Her song “New (Brave) World” celebrates the people of Sarajevo’s ability to find joy even while living in the midst of a war zone.
“I am the muscle!” they scream with cannons and grenades/in the churches and cathedrals you still pray/men sing the call from the rubble of the minaret/refuse to let your former life become just a silhouette/time stands still when you’re living in the moment
Bryan’s personal life shows a commitment to the themes of feminism and empowerment for women and grrrls that she so deftly addresses in her music. A longtime activist in the movement to end violence against women, Bryan also band coaches and serves on the Board of Directors at Girls Rock Camp Austin, a day camp dedicated to supporting “girls and women of all backgrounds and abilities through musical education and performance.”
Anyone who came of age listening to great female artists from Blondie to Liz Phair to Best Coast — or anyone who wishes they had — will want to celebrate the release of Return of the Woman. Melissa Bryanlets us know without question that she’s both wild and mature enough for the spotlight of her solo debut. At times raucous, at times melodic and beautiful, her album exuberantly reminds us that life — however painful — must be enjoyed to the absolute fullest.
Remember MySpace? This was my bio there.
Once, I was in a band called the Shindigs. I screamed. This is my solo project. I sing, kinda, pop songs. I hate pop music. My debut album, “Return of the Woman,” will be released sometime this year. Punk as fuck if fuck spent a lotta hours on the therapist’s love seat. Tired of the same old street corners. Looking to book bat mitzvahs, rodeos, ice cream parlors, carnivals, bike week, fleet week, shark week, spring break. Girls Rock Camp Austin Board of Directors. Women’s libber. I believe in the power of the people. I will eat you alive.
My friends Ume are in a contest to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. How exciting!
Guitarist/singer Lauren Langer Larson is a fellow Girls Rock Camp volunteer. Last summer she and I coached a brooding gang of teenagers who called themselves Heterocromnia (yes, the spelling is intentional), and pretty much rendered us speechless. Band coaching at GRCA is as nerve-racking as it is exhilarating and we were so proud of these ladies for pulling it off. Plus, I’m pretty sure they are the first ever GRCA band to feature a cello!
There aren’t any Girls Rock Camps listed here, but a great list of resources nonetheless.
The Girls Rock Austin showcase is Saturday at 1PM at the Highball. It’s been an amazing week — I’m soooo stoked for this!
(click the poster for details)
We are so excited! We’ve been setting up the space all weekend and it’s amazing – 15 drums kits, 15 bass rigs, 25 guitar amps, 10 vocal mics, 6 PAs, a couple of keyboards, and lots and lots of cables! Our volunteers have been working their sweaty butts off to make it all happen. Today we had orientation for all the volunteers — band coaches, instrument instructors, roadies, floaters, counselors, and more — together over 40 women eager to make the world a better place and support this generation’s girl rock revolution.
What will you be doing at 9AM Monday morning? We’ll be dancing!
(I’m blogging this week over at the Girls Rock Austin blog, so I’m cross-posting here.)