Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MUSIC Gretchen Phillips: A DIY performer
by Sarah Terez Rosenblum
2009-06-17

This article shared 5169 times since Wed Jun 17, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Out lesbian performer Gretchen Phillips knows how to relax, although the amount she has accomplished over her decades spanning career would seem to indicate otherwise. Boasting a resume fairly bursting with genre-busting endeavors, Phillips has done everything from forming and dissolving iconic bands Two Nice Girls and Girls in the Nose to writing and performing a one-woman show to designing her own cover art.

Set to perform at Sappho's Salon's one-year anniversary bash at Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark, Saturday, June 20, as well as a Green Note Productions house party Sunday, June 21, Phillips chatted with Windy City Times about her writing process, Katy Perry's man-centric pseudo-lesbianism and her own well-earned downtime.

Windy City Times: You'll be playing a house concert in Chicago. You have such a DIY ethos I'm guessing you'll be right in your element.

Gretchen Phillips: Well, I'm comfortable in lots of different elements. My first house concerts were punk parties in the early eighties when, in lieu of being able to find a venue, you'd get people together and just play a kick-ass show. What I'm doing now feels like going back to the basics of childhood, where you put on a show in the living room for anyone you can rope into watching. That's the spirit of a house party.

WCT: You do some spoken word when you perform. What intrigues you about that format?

GP: Oh, just that I don't have to write a song; it's just easier. It's not even spoken word. I think of spoken word as like, you have up-talk? At the end? Of every line? It's just me reading prose. I can write something that day and read it at a show that night. Writing songs can take a while, so that allows me to cut to the chase.

WCT: What's your writing process like?

GP: I do morning pages, which I've been doing for years: three pages first thing. I write longhand and go back and reference my journaling. I was always a good but somewhat reluctant student when told that we would have homework. If there had been a way that the teacher would have said, don't you dare open your books when you get home, the rebel in me would have done my fucking homework. When I know I have a deadline, you will find me doing anything but that task. I've always been a person who needs for the lightning bolt to strike me in my brain and then I can furiously work but, otherwise, I'm a big fat procrastinator.

WCT: How has the music scene changed over the course of your career? Is it easier now to be an out lesbian?

GP: It's changed enormously and I think it's way easier. With Katy Perry's version of I Kissed a Girl on the radio, you have a younger generation for whom homosexuality has been way more normalized. And then you have everything that's been so helpful about Girls Gone Wild. [ Laughs ] I'm kidding.

WCT: What are your thoughts on Katy Perry's song?

GP: I hate the ahistorical notion that you can just transfer another hit song by the exact same title. Maybe you don't know that [ Jill Sobule's original song I Kissed a Girl ] existed, but there is another song. It's also interesting that in order to have a hit song about lesbianism, there's gotta be a guy involved. Even my song, I Spent my Last Ten Dollars on Beer and Birth Control, it's all about a guy. The hits have a man, if not at the center, at the margins. A song that's girl on girl, there's no dude involved, its not even a coming out story, its just about how much I love you—it just hasn't happened yet.

WCT: What about being a woman in the music industry, has that gotten easier?

GP: So much easier. One of the most challenging things back in the day, was just not to be treated like shit by guys at music stores who had this incredibly condescending attitude about my choice of pics and strings. There was a lot of discouragement when I started to play, and that's not the case now. People are getting more used to seeing women rock. That's thrilling.

WCT: Speaking of rocking, you're cross-disciplinarily creative: one person shows, songs, album art. When an idea comes to you, how do you know which direction to take it?

GP: That's a very interesting question; I've never been asked that. The ideas are pretty specific. I generally know where they're gonna go. I like to do so many kinds of things. I can't just do one thing, and I always have new creative interests, I'm always trying to be more proficient.

WCT: What does relaxation look like to you?

GP: Oh honey, that's what I was doing before you called. I was reading a book and lying down. I spend a tremendous amount of time lying on my back … reading. And I totally enjoy television.

WCT: What do you watch?

GP: I love your traditional lesbian fare—Buffy, Xena. I like The Sopranos. And Lifetime? I love Lifetime movies so much. I have such a dream of being able to act in some of those, and maybe me and Kate Jackson are neighbors and of course her daughter marries the wrong guy and he turns out to be a killer, and maybe I come in at the last minute and either get mercilessly hacked to pieces or perhaps save the day. Lifetime is such a great channel: one cautionary tale about how women should never interact with men after another.

WCT: Back to your work, you say your latest album [ I was Just Comforting Her ] is meant to be listened to as a whole, in this day of i-tunes, a less achievable goal than it may once have been. As an artist, what's it like to know that while you may have a particular vision for your work, your audience's buying habits or even individual quirks may undermine that vision?

GP: I think ultimately everything we try to control gets out of our control. All I can do is put that idea out there, say, this is my plan, or just say that I personally listen to stuff as an album, because I still actually buy albums. But I can't control shit.

WCT: It sounds like you're able to disengage from how your work is perceived.

GP: So much of the joy for me is in the creating. I just feel great that after this amount of time there are still people who are interested in what I'm up to.


This article shared 5169 times since Wed Jun 17, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Ricky Martin at center of $3M lawsuit 2022-06-30
- Superstar singer/actor Ricky Martin has been sued by his former talent manager, Rebecca Drucker, Deadline reported. Drucker was Martin's manager during 2014-18 and 2020-22. The complaint, filed June 29 in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks in ...


Gay News

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years 2022-06-30
- On June 29, Chicago-born R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, The Chicago Tribune reported. The sentence marked a fall from grace after decades of sexual-misconduct ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'All Day I Dream' festival Aug. 6 in Chicago 2022-06-29
- All Day I Dream of Chicago Shimmer—part of the global touring festival All Day I Dream (ADID)—will take place on 31st Street Beach on Saturday, Aug. 6. After 10 years of producing hundreds of iconic day ...


Gay News

MUSIC Taylor Bennett announces free July 22 show at Lincoln Hall 2022-06-29
- Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett—whose year has included teaming with Champion Athletics for a clothing line and tour; dropping his new project, Coming of Age; and much more—announced his free homecoming show on Friday, July 22, at ...


Gay News

Pride in the Park pumps up the volume in 2022 2022-06-27
- From East Monroe Street to East Jackson Drive, Pride in the Park covered just the right amount of territory in the Grant Park area in downtown Chicago on June 25 and 26. Butler Field was overrun ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash attendees party during Pride weekend in Chicago 2022-06-27
- The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash took place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese ruling, Pride events, Colombia election, Boris Johnson 2022-06-26
- A Japanese court ruled that the country's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez 2022-06-26
- Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...


Gay News

Lynda Carter releases new single, 'Human and Divine' 2022-06-23
- Many people are familiar with actress Gal Gadot as superhero Wonder Woman. However, decades before, Lynda Carter wore the bracelets and wielded the golden lasso as the Amazon princess who set many hearts (of men and ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash taking place June 25-26 2022-06-22
- The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash will take place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

The Andersonville Village Market returns for summer 2022 2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (June 21, 2022) The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome back its 2nd annual Andersonville Vintage Market, featuring antiques, home décor, jewelry, accessories, clothing, music and ...


Gay News

Chicago Philharmonic launches 2022-23 season 2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL - (June 20, 2022) Chicago Philharmonic has announced its 2022-23 symphonic season on the heels of a 2021-22 season that ended with the sold-out Chicago Premiere of Marvel Studios' Black Panther in Concert. The ...


Gay News

Chicago Pride Fest adds new features to the outdoor celebration 2022-06-20
- The Chicago Pride Fest outdoor celebration returned June 18-19, as local Pride events lead up to the parade on Sunday, June 26. The festival featured music on three stages and more than 150 vendors running down ...


Gay News

Goodman Theatre running musical 'Life After' through July 17 2022-06-20
- Goodman Theatre is running the musical Life After through Sunday, July 17. With humor and wit, this "luminous new musical…lush, poetic and surprisingly funny" (The San Diego Union-Tribune) explores how people move through and live with ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Lightyear,' celebrity event, LGBT runner, Mariah Carey 2022-06-19
Video below - Pixar's latest film Lightyear is hitting theaters, and it has a special moment for gay fans—a same-sex kiss between the character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her female partner—that almost didn't happen, Out Magazine note ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.