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 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

This article shared 4854 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 4854 times since Wed Jun 17, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

DaBaby out of Lolla line-up after anti-gay rant, video 2021-08-01
- Following various homophobic comments made at another festival stage as well as on video, rapper DaBaby was taken out of the Lollapalooza line-up for Aug. 1, The Chicago Tribune reported. Young Thug, previously slated for ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Ruby Rose, Matt Ryan, Beyonce, The Dinah, Simone Biles 2021-08-01
- Ruby Rose (Batwoman; Orange Is the New Black) tearfully revealed that it took her hours to get accepted into an emergency room due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, EW.com revealed. Rose took to her Instagram Story ...


Gay News

Millennium Park Summer Music Series starts Monday 2021-07-30
--From a press release - Millennium Park Summer Music Series, presented by the Millennium Park Foundation, features a wide variety of music from established and emerging artists — in 10 genre-defying concerts at the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion. This year's series ...


Gay News

Logan Center Bluesfest to include Shemekia Copeland, avery r. young 2021-07-28
- This year, the Third Logan Center Bluesfest will take place Oct. 15-17. It will be a hybrid model with a series of intimate concerts, conversations and special events in which select programming is offered in-person, at ...


Gay News

TRUE CONFESSIONS: JOHN WESLEY HARDING 2000-11-22
SINGER DISCUSSES HIS MUSIC, BISEXUALITY AND MORE - John Wesley Harding performs at Schuba's Nov. 26 The buzz about The Confessions of St. Ace (Mammoth), John Wesley Harding's new album, begins long before "Humble Bee," the opening track. Praised as Wes's best album, you ...


Gay News

Rapper DaBaby defends anti-gay comments 2021-07-27
- Rapper DaBaby addressed his recent controversial comments at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami—and drew the ire of many on social media, CNN.com noted. During the performance, he made false and insulting comments about gay ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Script contest, LGBTQ film, Lady Gaga, Showtime, out sprinter 2021-07-25
- GLAAD and The Black List—the writer-centric entity whose work includes its annual list, screenplay marketplace, writer labs, and film and television productions—announced plans for The 2021 GLAAD List, the third ...


Gay News

Market Days performers include Jody Watley, Todrick Hall, Steve Grand 2021-07-23
- Northalsted Market Days—taking place Aug. 6-8—will feature a star-studded line-up. Just some of the performers slated to entertain are icon Jody Watley ("Looking for a New Love"), Todrick Hall, Steve ...


Gay News

Ravinia to unveil 'Bernstein's Answer' immersive theater experience 2021-07-23
--From a press release - HIGHLAND PARK, IL—On Saturday, August 7, the Ravinia Festival and Jeffrey P. Haydon, its President and CEO, will officially unveil the Ravinia Music Box (RMB) and its immersive theater experience, titled Bernstein's Answer, and fully open ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'I'm Every Woman: Divas Through the Decades' on Aug. 2 2021-07-20
- LGBTQ+ party organization Slo 'Mo: Slow Jams for Queer Fam is celebrating its 10th anniversary with "Slo 'Mo Presents: I'm Every Woman: Divas Through the Decades with Akenya & Friends" on Monday, Aug. 2, at Millennium ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Ben Whishaw, non-binary actor, Cardi B, Obama, 'Grease' prequel 2021-07-18
- Out actor Ben Whishaw stars in the film Surge, which will debut Sept. 24 and On Demand, a press release announced. Whishaw portrays Joseph, who is trapped in a soulless job, living a life devoid of ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'In the Heights' available as soon as July 30 2021-07-14
- The 2021 musical film In the Heights will arrive on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 31. However, it will arrive for Premium Digital Ownership at home on July 30. The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) ...


Gay News

American Blues to present 'The Great American (and French) Songbook' 2021-07-12
- On Friday, July 16, American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, will present The Great American (and French) Songbook, performed by Suzy Petri and guests as part of its music series ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Pray Away,' film contest, LGBTQ book, musicians, 'Star Trek' 2021-07-11
- The new Netflix Original Documentary Pray Away, from executive producers Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, will make its global launch on the platform Aug. 3, a press release noted. In the film, former leaders of the ...


Gay News

AIDS ballet movie coming to Chicago on July 16 2021-07-07
- The movie Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters will open Friday, July 16, in virtual cinemas in Chicago at Gene Siskel Film Center and Music Box Theatre. "Can You Bring It"—co-directed by Rosalynde LeBlanc and ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.