i was just so lucky! not only carrie brownstein agreed to answer a few questions for my fanzine, also grunge/alternative rock musician & songwriter jess coram sat down and answered all of my questions thoughtfully. how i loved reading her answers!
in this 2nd issue, i write about all the music, bands and artists that are very important to me in my life and what they’ve been up to in 2019. kelley deal, ex hex, dramathan… L7 (of course!), and my own new grunge band passionless pointless.
also about music stuff like how to support independent artists, what queer booking agency to contact, my favorite podcast, and stories about record store day and buying a guitar amp as a feminist.
YOUR SUPPORT & INSPIRATION
many thanks to everyone who inspired this issue and contributed to it. i’ve met so many of you readers both online and offline and hopefully you’ll notice that a lot of what we’ve talked about went into this zine in one way or another.
finding comfort in the analog, all artwork was done from photocopied record sleeves, tickets, stickers, a t-shirt, a flannel, snippets from 1990’s music magazines etc., cut and paste style with scissors and a glue stick.
the breeders in manchester 2018, concert review 3/3
still in ozzy osbourne’s home town, i took a day off – did you know that there ain’t no history-of-metal-museum in birmingham? – and spent it in bed, recollecting my concert memories and texting with my friends at home. i needed that whole day because if you don’t do social media, you have to tell the same things over and over again, it’s true!
on friday, it was time for a long and comfy bus ride to manchester. i had been to manchester a couple of times already. i saw courtney love there in 2010 and another time with my ex-girlfriend, i stayed at a gay hotel just above a karaoke bar on canal street. nice to watch some dyke drama (which is not your own) right from your window.
fuelled by £1 coconut water and the urge to hear ‘archangel’s thunderbird’, i was ready for whatever would come my way. i had decided to wear my vinyldyke t-shirt again so that other queer people could recognize me. not at all neccessary! after a while, i found myself in A PIT FULL OF DYKES! all kinds—young dykes, old dykes, even an academic-looking couple. i was in heaven. and don’t you remember – kelley deal had already talked to me.
i was rather relaxed and enjoyed the first couple of songs. but then i was shocked by what i noticed. all wonderful dykes were standing there like pillars of salt! while some long-haired, middle-aged guys were having a great time behind me, singing along, dancing, headbanging and cheering all respectfully. ’twas a HEARTBREAK!
whatever. this time, i didn’t want to behave like the most annoying superfan, so i only shouted,
—PLAY IT! PLAY IT! PLAY IT!
and made chicken wings with my arms. no reaction. just the usual turning heads. more wings, no reaction.
—PLAY IT, PLEASE PLAY IT!
but the signal word should be
kelley picked it up immediately. she pointed her finger to me and said,
—we’re not playing it. we… we talked about it last night.
—oh nooo, such a shame.
the guys behind me joined in to my disappointed ‘ohhhhhh’s.
oh no! i was so disappointed and embarassed. kelley deal from the breeders, the kelley deal 6000 and r. ring, kim deal’s twin sister, star-knitter and anti-fashion icon in corduroy pants had just told me off in front of a thousand people. the second heartbreak in one night, oh man.
anyway, the breeders are such an amazing, outstanding band, their music carried me away soon after and i joined the joyful guys behind me and jumped and danced to hits like ‘divine hammer’, ‘cannonball’ or ‘gigantic’ and stood there transfixed and almost crying to ‘off you’.
later on, after the encore, one of the long-haired dudes approached me and said,
—it was an honor to stand next to you, to such a great fan. i wish i’d been just like you when i was your age.
AWWWWWWWW. a little weird from a dyke’s perspective, but hey, at least one person was appreciating my love and effort.
the day after, i quickly headed back to berlin to see nick cave and the bad seeds. my friend had promised to pick me up from the airport and she had thought up a little surprise to top it all off:
did i mention nick cave? i was so spoiled by the breeders that i left early. only to find a video on youtube which shows the FULL CONCERT in manchester!
fast forward to 21:50 and you can hear me shouting, then kelley talking and apologizing, not at all harsh or annoyed as i had perceived it. SO CUTE. thank you so much.
i must admit, the first show in bristol was a little disappointing. a reserved crowd and even worse—they didn’t play my favorite song from the new record, an amon düül 2 cover from 1970 called ‘archangel’s thunderbird’.
by then i knew i had to take action.
step 1, tweet to the breeders’ official account and to kelley’s and josephine’s as well. a few hours later…
A LIKE!!! unbelievable!
step 2, between two songs i would shout it out loud.
still no reaction. then i reminded myself, you haven’t seen a therapist to be shy now. fuck what other people think and make yourself heard. so i gave it a last shot and yelled
— ARCHANGEL’S THUNDERBIRD!!
no reaction. then just
— THUNDERBIRD!!! THUN-DER-BIIIRD!!!!!!!
that was the moment i caught her attention.
— are you the one from twitter? from twitter???
WTF, was KELLEY FUCKING DEAL talking to me?! to ME?! i was dying, man. dying. but i shouted,
— yeeeah! TWITTER! TWITTER! pleeease play it!! [pleading gestures]
— we’re not playing it.. [apologizing gestures]
— you can’t put it on the record and then not play it live! that’s so cruel!!!
kelley nodding, laughing, apologizing..
— play it in manchester then!!
— are you going to manchester??
— yeeaah, manchester!! pleeease. you’ve got a day off to practice!!
she said. and i was the happiest person in the world.
so, maybe i was being an annoying superfan that night, but to be honest, how many times have real cool bands reacted positively to disrespectful bullies in the crowd? more often than you might think. i’ve seen it all—L7, sleater-kinney.. so why shouldn’t they interact with a cute dyke like me for once?
and now? out of my way! don’t you know kelley deal has talked to me?!? i’m so damn grateful for this amazing experience. and i’m so not afraid of ageing anymore. how cool can you be in your 50s??? finally sober, surrounded by music and great people. i’m very much looking forward to that.
(photo shows kelley deal on stage who might be thinking, “who was that crazy b*tch?!”)
well, they’re a band from the 90’s grunge era with kim deal and kelley deal on guitars and vocals, a british lesbian playing the bass and a nice dude on the drums, all in their 50s now. they’ve got a unique sound, very distinctive, catchy tunes; sometimes on the softer and darker side while following a rather simplistic approach. and they’re dead cool.
A NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE TOUR 2018!
but for some reason they wouldn’t come to berlin and the other german tour dates were colliding with my students’ final reports, so i checked their uk dates—strike! ten minutes later i had ordered tickets for bristol, birmingham and manchester. i downloaded the airbnb app and my summer vacation was fixed. of course i would go on my own.
that was in january 2018. their album ‘all nerve’ came out in march. i swear, that record is absolutely mind-blowing and 100% breeders style (i mean 99% because it wasn’t possible for them to record all analog this time).
finally, after opening my count-down app thousands of times, school was out for summer. i quickly wrote my last will on a paper towel before boarding the aircraft and then i took off to the uk. first, i would acclimate myself in london for a couple of days.
hanging around in regent’s park, at london pride parade and at camden market, i spent my time daydreaming about stunning live performances of their new songs like ‘walking with a killer’ or ‘archangel’s thunderbird’ (a krautrock cover song), just to name two. with the band on my mind and these songs on my ears, time passed by so quickly, even the cross-country coach odyssey to bristol was fun.
man, i didn’t know what a beautiful town bristol was! i stayed at an old ladies’ house on top of a hill. what an amazing view! on my way to the venue, i even passed some genuine banksies. i couldn’t care less.
the venue, o2 academy or something, was really irritating. built overnight, it was lacking any kind of atmosphere. at least they had alcohol-free beer. for £4. i had my beer, i was standing 2nd row behind some young lesbians, nice.
wow, the sound was incredible! the only advantage of this place, i guess. unlike all other breeders show i had seen, this show wasn’t gathering pace. long breaks between songs, setlist choices i didn’t understand and a lame-ass crowd. whatever! i thought. soon i’m gonna hear my favorite song ‘archangel’s thunderbird’.
AND THEN THEY DIDN’T PLAY IT!!!
at the breakfast table, my host mum had to do her best to cheer me up again. she turned out to be a hilarious anti-trump activist and scientist who had dedicated her life to anti-smoking campaigns and education. and she was a beatles fan with all heart and soul. so she could understand.