My stepdad set up this amazing event at the Pasadena library. If you’re an activist, a book nerd, a curious person or all of the above it is sure to be a great. And it’s free!

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Dear George-

Your dedication to honing your beyond godlike talent with so much behind the scenes work paid off for so many of us trying to find our way. I listened to your cassettes in the early 90’s till I wore them out and I cried with happiness when you came out. Of course it was behind the glare of a media who made an example of you as they did with Paul Reubens, like you were a pervert because you were gay or something, when straight people can have sex in public and most cops would laugh it off. I hate that any of that eclipsed your songwriting.  I am embarrassed that journalists in the country I live in participated in such OBVIOUS HOMOPHOBIA. You wrote some of the greatest songs of all time and your voice has proven that miracles, even those we work hard for, are possible. I hope you’ve gone somewhere beautiful and reunited with those you’ve lost. Your work has done so much for me, so much that I can never repay. Sleep well beautiful genius.

LOve, Your Fan,

Kathleen

 

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Don’t miss your chance to see one of the  best feminist musician/artists of this century.

August 31 at 9:30pm
Duplex
61 Christopher St.

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Comedian, performance artist and writer Erin Markey’s summer series Humping A Gatorade Bottle is a heartwarming crossfit program for sculpting secrets and personal humiliations into “fantastically weird, fiercely committed and occasionally terrifying” comedy (Time Out New York). Look forward to relentless emotional continuity, instagram braid tutorial inspired silhouettes and spot on impressions of herself on stage. Directed by Ellie Heyman.

TIX: https://goo.gl/LQAtf9
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1178210765574610/

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twitter.com/erinmarke

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/politically-re-active-w.-kamau/id1125018164?mt=2

Queer Division 20Something Monthly Manhattan Meetup ea04af25-2d86-44de-abbe-fa24ce762f8eWednesday, July 6, 8 PM

If you are new to the city, recently out, just looking for friends, or whatever experiences brought you to us – we offer a safe space where we can mingle and talk about our experiences as an LGBT person in New York City. We hold our meetings on the second Wednesday of every month from 8-10 PM at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division. We recommend this 20Something Meetup to anyone who is looking for a more casual space to explore their sexual/gender identity. There will be light refreshments. Bring friends!

Suggested donation of $5 to benefit the Bureau and 20Something. No one turned away for lack of funds.

20Something is the largest social events organization for young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in New York City, aged 21 to 30. We hold a monthly social, and two monthly icebreaker/discussion groups at the Brooklyn Pride Center and at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, the queer cultural center and bookstore on the second floor of The LGBT Community Center, in Manhattan. With more than 2,500 members, we engage young adults across all 5 boroughs with a safe, confidential, and respectful platform to meet other LGBT folk. Many of our members have made long lasting friendships, relationships, and have been connected to important LGBT services and resources. Whether you are new to the city, recently out, or just looking to make friends – 20Something offers a space for you to pave the way to your own adventures in New York City – and make living here a little easier. Become a member: meetup.com/20SomethingNYC.

The Bureau is located in room 210 of  The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center at 208 West 13th Street, between Seventh Avenue and Greenwich Avenue.

The Bureau is wheelchair accessible. All-gender bathrooms are available.

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I slept on this one when it came out in 2000 but luckily I finally read it.

Hornito vacillates between the life of a gay kid in the suburbs trying to stay alive physically, mentally and spiritually, and his adult self hanging out in the queer scene circa 1990’s NYC. Trying to find love, or decide if he even wants to find love, while dealing with the dirtiness the world associates with being gay and the constant fear of either contracting or giving someone else HIV.

The book is labeled a novel, but it’s clearly a mixture of Albo’s own life, his wild imagination and the clever devices he uses to create a wickedly funny, first person narrative that makes you want to be his silent wingman forever.

Albo is a master at turning nostalgia against itself. As I furiously flipped pages immersed in his 70’s childhood I found myself relating to the sights sounds and smells of the time period. No detail spared, it was hard not to feel like I was there, but just as I was recalling playing with the same toys or listening to the same music the tone would change.

“When I was a kid I looked deep into the cruddy misshapen plastic faces of my soldiers and Galactic Man toys. They would hold their weapons and helmets and rayguns with their fixed wartime expressions, but I would look for the feeling in them. I would stare at them and wait for their faces to crack and for them to sigh and say something like “I’m really really homesick” so that my life would have an emotional crescendo.”

In the last quarter of the book, when his teenage diary joins the party, juxtaposed with ultra-dreamy thoughts about Eric, his current unattainable lover, the writing becomes almost musical. Overlapping in a way that is so beautiful you don’t really want to separate what is happening to Mike at 15 or Mike at 27. It’s like two different instruments playing the same song, only one is slightly out of time.

It’s ironic that Albo proclaimed at a reading “All writing is lies,” because his novel made me feel privy to his (I mean “his character’s”) deepest secret thoughts. And his thoughts aren’t always redeeming,  which is totally refreshing in a world that holds up one set of standards for straight white male writers and expects either totally positive role models or stereotypes as exotic pleasure from everyone else.

Maybe it’s the first-person vantage point that makes it all feel so true, or maybe the “this is just a novel” shield protected Albo, the writer, so Albo, the character, could totally slide off the rails. All I know is that writing that seems this natural takes a lot of hard work and some of Albo’s sentences are so perfect they gave me what Hornito’s lead character would call “Cry-mouth.”

“While I was storytelling to Eric, I got cry-mouth: that involuntary yawn like contortion of the face as you suppress huge, huge tears. I have absolutely no control of myself around Eric, which means it will end soon because my attraction to him is at too high a temperature, and bacteria die in heat. It will end the way weak insects end, how a happy childhood ends, or a sitcom ends and then begins its sad, paler life of endless repeats in syndication.”

Albo may not be a household name yet, but he really should be because this isn’t just a great book by a gay writer, it’s a great fucking book period. Maybe because it feels so subjective, the book achieves it’s opposite, a larger appeal. It’s about growing up, fucking up, falling in love with the wrong people, being treated like shit for not fitting into the roles forced on you and admitting it hurts. Cry-mouth and all.

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Can’t wait to see this fucking show! Apr 22-24, 26-30 at 7:30pm NYC Tickets here.

The Julie Ruin is proud to announce that we have officially signed to Hardly Art, a label we are very proud to be on especially alongside one of my favorite bands (Tacocat). Our record, called HIT RESET, comes out on July 8th but Pre orders are available now!  And you can take a listen to one of our songs if you click the link above.

I am so thrilled to be featured on this track, not only does it slam racism up against the wall, but the lyrics about living through illness had me on the floor. Okay, I was sitting up, but yeah, I was crying. Who releases a 9 minute single? But more importantly who makes a beat on a sleepdrone machine, and releases a 9 minute single that is so ALIVE you can’t stop listening?

Reagon will be performing at Sacred Revolution The Music of Mahalia, Mavis, & Sister Rosetta Tharpe

March 7, 2016 @ 7:00 pm8:30 pm
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037, United States

Schomberg Center Women’s Jazz Festival 2016 Tix Here

Wrote a solo show that will be at The Wild Project at 195 East 3rd st. Between Ave. A and B. NYC
at 7:30. on Oct. 6 and 7. TICKETS: goo.gl/toCCmH

In this hilariously raucous romp, inspired by a self produced video by Corey Haim called Me, Myself and I, Becca Blackwell (a he-she-schmerm ginger who was in the circus and enjoys cute sweaters) chronicles their struggle with abuse, sexuality and gender in this laugh out loud family tragedy for a post post modern downtown theater age. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder what bathroom to use.

Here is a cute commercial for it:

 

Thx to E.Subrin at http://whocaresaboutactresses.tumblr.com/

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On November 15, 2014 the novelist, historian, and transgender activist Leslie Feinberg died of Lyme disease. Feinberg’s passing leaves such a large empty space in what I consider to be “our” community, however much we disagree or make mistakes, I would not be a feminist or an adventurer without the gender warriors who braved great odds to slice a path for me and so many others.
I still can’t believe this has happened and can’t really do justice to my feelings in words. We have/had the same illness and I am acutely aware of the devastation it causes. The endless suffering, the fear that when you have a good day it will shortly end to be replaced by more pain and more suffering. Leslie bravely shared hire health journey on hire blog in a section called Casualty of an undeclared war . I can’t imagine how hard it must’ve been to write about Lyme while dying from it, largely due to an inept, unaffordable healthcare system. I could barely turn on the TV at my worst, and Feinberg managed to educate people while being in a really bad place physically. I highly recommend reading it to all those who suffer from this illness and their friends.
The world lost another Lesley not so long ago. Lesley Gore. When kids come up after shows to meet me and feel embarrassed that maybe they seem emotional or over excited or whatever I always tell them about the first time I met Lesley Gore.
I was at a party back to back with someone and when she turned around it was Lesley-fucking-Gore. I immediately began to sob. Lesley’s voice taught me so much about singing in between the lines. About making art under strange, often oppressive circumstances. The quality of her voice, so self assured, pitch perfect and yet always sounding like she had a secret, a smile, a barb, a bit of anger, something hidden behind every line. She also co-wrote  “Out Here on My Own” from the movie FAME with her brother Michael. I sung a solo from it in at my 8th grade school dance never knowing the lyrics were written by someone I would later meet and sob in front of. The lyrics still speak to me now.
While Lesley passed in February and Feinberg last November I haven’t been able to write about their deaths as it has just felt too overwhelming. But today I want to raise an invisible toast to these two incredible people who have had such a positive effect on my life. All my love to their family and friends.

albee_becca_aurasomaYou know how people say that there are people in their family that they either would or wouldn’t be friends with if they weren’t already related by blood? My cousin Jane is like that for me. Cousins or not, we would’ve met and been friends, I’m sure of it. Becca Albee is also apart of my family in many ways, but even if she wasn’t I would love her art. Even if I hated her guts, against my better judgement, I would support her work, because I simply can’t stop. I’m like a groupie. I think she is one of the most talented artists working in the US today and she has a solo show up in LA and it’s only on through this weekend so I want to let everyone know. Who but Becca Albee could mix Color Theory, speculums, and feminist therapy into a thought provoking, gorgeous show?  The flier below says the show ended already but it was extended till Monday March 9th so if you’re in LA and you are near  356  S. Mission Road  please stop in and check it out. It’s totally worth it.

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I am so proud to announce that my band The Julie Ruin collaborated on a limited edition band tee shirt with the amazingly talented Seth Bogart of Hunx and his Punx and Gravy Train Fame. Besides being a stunning front person for his many bands, he is also a visual artist, designer, and writer.

Check out Sally McAlister below who modeled the shirt for us via Facebook! You can pick up one up here. Act now they’re going fast!!!
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SF. Saturday night. Can’t wait.

 

 

kathleen-hanna-and-adam-horovitz-by-maria-ivesI played a bass Melodica live onstage for the first time at the Joan Jett tribute concert. I also made a maybe too long speech about how one time some creep threw a bottle at Joan’s head and she got knocked down, flat out on the stage, and then got back up and finished the fucking song. A person could say “That is soooo badass” but to me it is so much more than some cliche’ phrase. I like to think that when she got up and continued, she didn’t just get up and play the song, she “got up” for the first woman who walked onto an all male construction crew, for the boy with the beautiful high pitched voice in choir class who everyone makes fun of but he just keeps on singing because it is his favorite thing in the world, and she got up for me, a feminist musician who has often wanted to just fucking give up. I am so honored to have played the benefit for “kids Rock” that honored Joan. It’s about all kids having access to music, and the kids there were so kind and enthusiastic, it just felt good.

A great night. And Roger Clark from NY1 was there (that’s our local news station that Adam and I are obssessed with). You can’t see it too well in the above picture but Adam actually has Roger and his co-anchor Pat Kiernan ON HIS GUITAR STRAP. So they are always close to his heart when he plays!

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Fresh off a mini festival tour of Mexico City (okay it was only one show), my band is now gearing up for our first West Coast show in a VERY VERY  LONG TIME. So, all my San Fran friends, please come out and see us play on November 1st at The Filmore! So excited to play SF again. TIX HERE IF YA WANT EM

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Besides NY, my two favorite places are Rome and Mexico City. I’ve been lucky enough to play Rome a few times but never Mexico City and finally that day has come. SO, if you live there please come see my band The Julie Ruin play at The Capital Music Festival on Oct 11th and, if you are visitung from somewhere else, may I suggest touring Casa Luis Barragan? It was his private home for many years and is fun if you’re a fan of his architecture, or just someone looking from something totally interesting to do. Like walking around in someone’s vacant house…..a house so expressive it feels like rooms were parts of his mind.

 

My band is playing in NC!!!!!!

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$_57-2 $_57 $_57-3 $_57-1Larry Krone does it all. Fine art, set design, installations made out of mylar, songwriting and one off fashion masterpieces made from thrown away bits of quilts. He is currently collaborating with the ever so wonderful Todd Oldham on a LOOKBOOK of his fashion work. The profits are going to The Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. I posed for the book because I fucking love Larry’s work. Whether he’s singing country songs in a homemade red, white and blue striped pantsuit or sewing together his famous cape of many colors, Larry is always on. I don’t think I have EVER EVER had more fun on a shoot than when Larry and Todd  shot me for this project….I left feeling totally inspired. Mainly because both Todd and Larry are people who are bursting with creativity like a faucet you can’t shut off and you don’t wanna shut it off cuz the water has fucking gold sequins coming out of it. Todd made fucking crayons shaped like gems. Todd designs clothes. He makes books. Difficult books that no one else would make, gorgeous books that fill in historical gaps and make sure that nearly forgotten artists get to blow the minds of future generations. My Mom looked at the book Todd made about Charley Harper and it was like she was on acid. This guy not only cares sooooo much about his own work but about supporting and sharing the work of other artists and did I mention, he is also a great photographer? The two of these guys together are just like an artistic tornado of love. And no I am not stoned. So this is why I forced my way into the book. The real star/inspiration behind it though is Bridget Everett (Larry’s muse) who Larry started making costumes for awhile back and she wears the shit out of them. SEE ABOVE. Anyways to fund the book Larry is selling some of the portraits from the book on ebay. I saw them in person last night. They are framed, almost square shaped like a record album which I love, and they look even better in person than on screen if that is even possible. And Todd signed them. I am gonna cry.

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photo by chrissy piper

We may not be a band anymore but we still have tee shirts and LPs and tote bags and stuff for sale here. Rather than have it all end up in a landfill, which would be wasteful and very sad, one of our favorite independent labels, M’Lady’s Records offered to take the stuff off our hands. So when you buy our merch, you are not only getting something that will look and/or sound awesome, you’re also supporting a label that puts out great music (Mecca Normal, The Hysterics, DEAD MOON, Finally Punk) I mean, shit, this stuff is great. After our merch is gone it’s GONE. FOREVER STYLE. So act fast. Word is I may have just found a box of our first record, the actual 12″ ‘play on a record player’ kind in my garage and those will be up for sale soon, and that is seriously the end of those.

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The show I curated opened last night, June 19th, 2014 and is called ‘In Light of’ . It is mostly about the intersection of melancholy and humor and also my obsession with using humor as a weapon to deflect oppression. What is the line between laughing at your own tragedy to gain power over it and having someone else laugh at it in a mean way? Is there one? What do we think is funny and why? So many questions! Anyways, if you’re in Calgary Canada, please check it out!

It’s at Calgary Contemporary as a part of The Sled Island Festival. It features work by Tammy Rae Carland (above image). Zachary Fabri, Ava Johnson and Becca Albee.

As many of you know Kate Bornstein has been battling cancer and has recently found out there is a new location that it has taken up. This weekend an amazing benefit is taking place to help with the costs of treatment. Please tell your friends and/or buy tickets, it’s not only to help out an invaluable intellectual but is also going to be a great night filled with fun. Many unexpected guests and surprises for sure!!!!

This song is about having an invisible illness. Who the fuck writes about that?

And what a great pop voice she has like Patty Smyth mixed with Romeo Void.

Thanks for making those of us who everyone thinks “look fine” feel a little less invisible.

 

 

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The bad news is: Due to a health situation, I’ve had to cancel all shows and appearances for the time being . So both upcoming The Julie Ruin tours are off, Europe and USA, also sadly The 4 Knots Festival in NYC and Sled Island which I was especially excited about. I’m currently undergoing treatment for a relapse of a co-infection I got with my lovely Lyme disease and am hoping to be back in the saddle this Fall. The Good News is this.

 

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Not only did this guy rape someone he also wears fucking rubberbands in his beard.He is a baseball player and  baseballs not my thing but I like how this writer addresses the relationship between sexual assault, sports and shit that happens on Twitter. How comments are so often totally sexist and misguided but sold to everyone as ” Hey I’m just stating my opinion here, what’s the problem?” The problem is we live in a culture that often treats rape as a “whoops I messed up but you should let me move on.” when survivors don’t have the luxury to just “move on.” Anyways an interesting read. Sorry about the picture of this gnarly guy but I wanted to get your attention. He’s kinda like Slipknot meets Billy Crudup. But I like Billy Crudup and I do not like this guy. At all.

 

BPMy interview with superstar Brontez Purnell is up . I love this guy so much I asked his band, The Younger Lovers, to play a festival I am guest curating and jumped at the chance to ask him a bunch of questions. Brontez is like a charisma factory that never shuts down, just read the interview, I promise you won’t be disappointed. We talk about fashion, race, the perils of being an over engaged, underpaid artist and a bunch more.

Apr 01
Flywheel
Easthampton, MA
SOLD OUT

Apr 03
The Sinclair
Cambridge, MA
SOLD OUT

Apr 04
Il Motore
Montreal, Canada
Tickets

Apr 05
Virgin Mobile Mod Club
Toronto, Canada
Tickets

Apr 07
Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland, OH
Tickets

Apr 08
The Loving Touch
Ferndale, MI
Tickets

Apr 09
Lincoln Hall
Chicago, IL
Tickets

Apr 11
Mr. Smalls Theatre
Millvale, PA
Tickets

Apr 12
Asbury Lanes
Asbury Park, NJ
SOLD OUT

May 17
Kampnagel – KMH
Hamburg, Germany
Tickets

May 18
Bi Nuu
Berlin, Germany
Tickets

May 20
Les Nuits de Botanique
Brussels, Belgium
Tickets

May 22
Tufnell Park Dome
London, United Kingdom
SOLD OUT

May 24
Brudenell Social Club
Leeds, United Kingdom
Tickets

May 26
Coalition
Brighton, United Kingdom
Tickets

 

The Younger Lovers ‘Hey Now’

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Immigrant rights organizer turned comedian? Funny as hell? National Treasure? (Okay that last one was kinda crazy) Either way Hari Kondabolu is punk as fuck and coming out with a new album on Kill Rock Stars on March 11th.

Prepare to spend way too much time watching him on youtube!

You can also see him live

3/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall
3/29 – Seattle, WA @ The Neptune
4/1- Boston, MA @ Improv Boston
4/4 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
*more dates tba

 

 

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OMG Fuck the flu that has been going around NYC. I laid in bed for two weeks freaking out that my band was going to play Australia and I was gonna have to cancel….  Of course no one likes to travel sick, or to feel like, “oh fuck am I ruining everyone’s vacation?” but feeling like I was gonna fuck everyone over who worked so hard to get us plane tickets and set everything up was just mind boggling. But twenty bottles of holistic meds, salt water gargling 8 times a day and my bullshitty version of meditation and here I am down under and feeling great! Our first show (last night) in Melbourne was awesome. I think the 105 degree temperature helped me clear out any remaining cobwebs even though everyone here is like “It’s sooo gross, you must hate this!” I’m loving the overbearing sun, the sweat, the sandals, all of it. We wandered into this awesome coffee bar place called Handsome Steve’s House of Refreshment cuz we saw a Go Between’s drum head hanging on the wall and ended up meeting our new bestfriend Steve Miller (yes that’s his name). He’s in an amazing band called ‘The Moodists’ and we have tons of friends in common, we traded tee shirts for coffee and played ping pong. And then the crowd in Melbourne was awesome! We played at The Corner, a venue I played at in 1996 and again in 2004 and now in 2014 which means, every 8 years I play the same club. Hopefully we’ll be playing there again next year so I will break the tradition. Anyways we have 2 more shows so please come if you are around.

SYDNEY FRIDAY JANUARY 17

The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville doors 8pm

HOBART TASMANIA SATURDAY JANUARY 18

Macquarie Wharf 2 (MAC 2) Main Stage Hunter St, Hobart Doors are at 5pm

HOBART SUNDAY JANUARY 19 : SCREENING / Q&A

State Cinema 375 Elizabeth St, North Hobart.

3:00 – 4:30pm The Punk Singer Documentary Screening

4:30 – 5:15pm Q&A with Kathleen Hanna, up to 45 mins

 

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Fuck the politicians in Texas who are making women have invasive procedures like ultrasounds before they are ALLOWED to have abortions. Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead are having an emergency telethon to help women in need obtain abortions without the shame and blame lawmakers are trying to force on them. I will be participating with my wonderful partner in crime Adam. You can watch it on October 18th at 7pm at this address. Please donate. Please help.

I will be making an appearance on one of my favorite shows tonight. If you haven’t seen it it’s called Totally Biased with W.Kamau Bell . Bell is a comedian who takes on injustice in politics, the media, pop culture etc… all while keeping it funny as hell. I am really nervous and don’t know what to wear!!! Catch it tonight at 11pm on FX.

 

This is 2/5ths of  THE JULIE RUIN aka me and Kathi Wilcox, just chilling in our teeny weeny whiny seats on the plane heading for Seattle and then onto Olympia where we’ll be playing the opening night of The Olympia Film Festival. We haven’t played a show in Oly in 16 years!!!!! We’re pretty excited as you can see. I just wish the guy in front of me didn’t put his seat back all the way!!! See below for show information if you’re in the area and want to come to the show.

 

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Just Goofing around on tour

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If you missed The Punk Singer in your town and wanna see it, check out the updated website for a showing near you.

 

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Okay, so it might not be an actual award (In which case I will make sure to have a trophy made up myself to bring in my purse). But I am being “honored” by The Feminist Press which is one of the highlights of my career. Their books have inspired so many lyrics I’ve written, it is really me who should be honoring them. Hopefully I’ll get my chance to do that at the “Gala” event. Yes, it’s a fucking GALA PEOPLE! (see above) I have also heard I will be introduced by a very special guest whose face is, I believe, pictured next to the word ROCKSTAR in the dictionary. The event is also the day before my birthday, and I will be honored along with Michaela Angela Davis, Gillian Small, and Debbie Storey. Plus there will be a panel discussion, because what is a feminist party without one? But more importantly a delicious dinner will be served. The tickets are far from free, but it is sure to be a lot of fun and the money goes to creating and keeping valuable texts in print. It is on November 11th, 2013 in NYC

 

The Punk Singer (2013) movie poster -- exclusive EW.com image

There is going to be a FREE screening of the movie about ME tmrw (Saturday the 21st) at 7pm in Los Angeles. I’ll be doing a Q &A afterwards. I hope people show up!!!!

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Just played a couple shows and it’s been really fun, can’t wait to be on the west coast and see so many old friends. One of the world’s best percussionists Alfredo Ortiz will be joining us on our SF and LA dates! Tomorrow we play DC at the Black Cat which is sold out, but I hear they may be releasing a few extra tix. Here are the shows we’re playing in the next couple weeks.

THURS SEPT 12th  TBA FESTIVAL Portland OR All Ages Free!!!!

SUN SEPT 15th  NEUMO’s Seattle WA All Ages Tix

TUES SEPT 17th SLIM’s San Francisco, CA Tix

THURS SEPT 19th THE ECHO  LA, CA SOLD OUT

SUN SEPT 22nd IRENIC San Diego CANCELLED

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I will be talking up a storm on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED tomorrow, Sunday, Sept 1st.  The first airing will be at roughly 5:45/5:50 ET or 2:45/2:50 PT and around 12:45 in Hawaii. You can also stream it from WNYC’s website. I have no clear memory of anything I said except something about Grape Juice which I’m sure they cut out. The host couldn’t have been nicer and as always, the studio crew was fantastic and made me feel right at home. I love NPR!!!

Sorry to anyone who tried to listen on Saturday.

Everyone is talking about this song. Maybe you’ve already heard it.  The song is called ‘On Fraternity,’ and the debate, in a super abbreviated form, is about the way male musicians “do” feminism…which is also a longer conversation about people of privilege trying to be allies. Anyways, I actually find the song kind of sweet.  I also find it very brave that he is calling himself a feminist and that he’s opening up publicly about his own sexual abuse in interviews. I mean I don’t wanna lead a parade for every guy who isn’t afraid to say ending sexism is important to him. But like I said, I find the song kind of sweet and endearing. And, truth be told, I like it. That is just my gut reaction to it.  It’s so interesting that what one person finds offensive another likes or loves or is indifferent too.

More interesting to me than the song itself is that his original moniker was ‘Dead Girlfriends’.  I guess it is supposed to be a Dworkin reference, but I just don’t get how if you care about the women in your audience (and I think this guy really does) why oh why would you name your project ‘Dead Girlfriends’ ? Because you think ALL women read Dworkin and think her work is awesome? It’s just weird. I’ve read Dworkin and didn’t even get the reference. I think he knows it was an unfortunate choice and that’s why he changed the name of his project to ‘Default Genders’.

Getting back to Dworkin though, I was never a fan of her politics. She came to Washington state when I was in school there and tried to drum up support for this law that would require all sex workers to register with the cops. She wanted them/us to be fingerprinted!!!!!!And to give the cops our address’!!! Which is brilliant right? As someone who stripped my way through college I really wanted the cops to know where I fucking lived so one of them could come to my house and rape me, afterall, who would be believed, a cop or a stripper? Also what woman who is working as a prostitute is gonna walk into the police station and say “I’ve come to register myself as a prostitute?”

When Dworkin spoke about this at my college she acted like sex workers needed this helping hand because none of us understood what we were doing. To be completely clear I NEVER saw stripping as empowering, but I did know what I was doing. A  gross job that paid the bills. I think she saw the law as a deterrent to sex work and also a way to “keep women safe”? Her views seemed super paternalistic to me and also she was SO incredibly obsessed with pornography. She began her talk by describing really hideous porn images in great detail, in this gruesomely long way. I stepped to the mic during the question period and told her I was paying my way tuition by stripping and that I thought the law would actually hurt me and not help me. She told me, in front of a packed lecture hall, that I was misguided, would be haunted forever by being a stripper, and that it would ruin my life. It seriously felt like she was a priest telling me I was going to hell. Or someone giving me a sexual death sentence while patting me on the head.

Getting back to the guy who wrote a song that seems to be sympathetic with women called ‘On Fraternity’ under the name ‘Dead Girlfriends’ and putting it out on an ep called ‘Stop Pretending’. Has anyone noticed that the title ‘Stop Pretending‘ was already used by perhaps the best all girl garage group of all time, The Pandora’s ??? So in addition to everything else, dude accidentally ripped off both a song and album title by an amazing all girl band.  I mean it’s almost like a crazy psychedelic feminist musical nightmare. Though again, I do like the song and appreciate what he’s trying to do. I hope this whole thing doesn’t deter his further experiments because he has really got people talking and blogging …he got me to write something and I have been seriously slacking on my blog! I also just want to applaud him for putting himself out there and making mistakes, because how else is anything left of bland ever going to happen?

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Five Amazing artists are embarking on a really exciting project . Making a film partially inspired by one of my favorite movies ever, Lizzie Borden’s ‘Born in Flames’, traveling while creating, performances, community, rituals. And the kicker is, I love great art, and I think these artists are making great work AND mean serious business. AKA It’s impossible to watch the video about The Initiation and NOT want to be involved. They also have THE BEST PRIZES for donating! Check out this tee shirt by Anna Luisa Petrisko. (tee is below)  Even if you can’t donate, please please please  look at their site. The artist’s links are worth the clicks. This is a rabbit hole you really WANT to go down!

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