Posts tagged Melissa Bryan
Posts tagged Melissa Bryan
I forgot to post this nice review from Blurt online. I’d like to think that all over the thematic landscape = fully realized.
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]
Clearly, I’m not done saying what needs to be said.
I don’t know if there is a greater reminder of the supremacy of vinyl than listening to your own songs on a pretty pink slab.
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.
Jennifer Aniston might be bearing her bra on the Huffington Post, but I’m there too dammit. Here’s a link while I try to figure out how to get a screen grab of the whole thing.
Who says I have perfection issues? FINALLY just received what is apparently the last draft of my record release poster with this note:
Here you go.
PLEASE stop bothering me with crazy little details of a flyer no ones going to think twice about. We’re not building fucking ROME here. We made a goofy poster…. Ugh!!! Its done. Stop over thinking every little aspect of it please…. For my sanity alone….
Thanks you. Have a nice day. Xoxo-me.
My response to him:
Boo hoo hoo.
As they say, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
So, when I said I was doing a 30 day series of public art, I didn’t really mean 30 days in a row. Okay, I did, but it was just too gorgeous this weekend to sit in front of the computer. I’ll throw more pictures up tonight, as long as I get a break in the constant action of the jobby job to find some good ones.
Anyhow, something really amazing came in the mail Friday. The first vinyl test pressing of my album!! I say first, because it has some skips and will need to be redone. But I can’t even describe how it felt to open that box and stick the record on the turntable. I might cry just typing about it! Look for an official release around mid-May. If you wanna listen, click on the picture to go to bandcamp.
My album has been mastered. Cover art is completed. I’m doing the insert art myself and I’m rather slow, but I have a release date – April 12! Right now the plan is for the album to be pressed on pink vinyl – it’s pricey but oh so pretty. I’m planning a series of benefits in April to coincide with the album release, The shows will benefit Girls Rock Camp Austin, the non-profit I have volunteered with for the last 3 years (and additionally currently serve on the Board of Directors for). GRCA provides financial assistance to at least half our campers and proceeds from the shows will help send the girls to camp.
The recording process was a long hard road. Actually, it was more like a fucking battle. Exhausting and infuriating. It almost broke me a few times. More on that later. Maybe. Right now, onward!