Artists We Love: Checking In

We check in with the chicks with picks and dykes with mics who’ve played loud and made us proud over the years

Quintet Antigone Rising just finished the first leg of their summer tour, supporting Tales From Wonderland released in July on Starbucks’ new label Hear Music. Catch up with the group on their YouTube channel AR TV.

Diana Berry unveils her new band August 19 at a benefit for Friends in Deed, a crisis center dedicated to supporting those with AIDS and cancer. Her next solo CD Sensitized is due out early 2008.

Sarah Bettens is putting finishing touches on Shine, her second solo release since her departure from K’s Choice. The album is set for release on Sept 28 accompanied by a European tour starting in November.

Earlier this summer BETTY rocked the stages of the U.S., U.K. and Paris. The band has posted three exclusive tracks from their upcoming release online and are working in the studio.

After Bitch‘s notable appearance in Shortbus, she and her band, the Exciting Conclusion made pit stops at Toronto Pride and the Vancouver Folk Festival. She will play Joe’s Pub on Nov 3.

The Blow are taking a break for the summer, after a long spell of tours and sharing the stage with friends Electrelane, Jenny Lewis and Deerhoof. Fans awaiting their return can check out their remix compilation Our Friends in Hell.

Newly transplanted Boyskout came to Brooklyn in January, and are one of the nominees for The Deli’s NYC’s Artist of the Month. The girls continue playing local shows in support of their 2006 release Another Life.

Cannonball Jane’s new seven-track EP Knees Up! will hit the stands this fall, featuring remixes from DJ Downfall and Adrock of the Beastie Boys.

Joi Cardwell is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her affiliation with Arista Records with a new album, Happy. She will also be featured on several compilations as well as touring the U.S.

Since releasing debut Albedo last November, the Congress of Starlings have left their avant-folk mark on Milwaukee Pride and the Gay Games in Chicago. The pair will also participate in Chicago Artists’ Coalition on Oct 5.

Jazz/folk chanteuse KJ Denhert charmed concert-goers at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy where she was “lifted by Italian audiences.” KJ’s newest album Lucky Seven is now out on Harlem-based label Motema. She will play Madison Square Park on Sept 29.

On Sept 11, Ani DiFranco will release a two-disc “studio career retrospective” that includes five previously unreleased tracks. She’ll embark on a national tour to support the new album, and is also treating fans to another first this November: a book of poetry and paintings called Verses.

The Ditty Bops are now championing a new cause: the support of family farmers. The girls will do benefit concerts to raise funds for local farm organizations The Growing Connection and Farm Aid. Their 2007 Vegetable Bikini Calendar features “organic recipes, farm fresh veggies, and of course, bikinis.”

Dynasty Handbag let us know of “a campaign to get her name back from the thieves at Saturday Night Live.” In a recent Vice interview Dynasty (aka Jibz Cameron) tells how SNL writers used the pseudonym after she attended a class at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. She is now touring the U.K. and Ireland; her new video “Soup Eyes” is available at

Musician and actress Danielle Egnew will release a new album this summer and is working on the video for her first single, “Swinging at Nothing.” The album, called Red Lodge, showcases her abilities as a musician; she plays piano, guitar, mandolin, bass, Tibetan bowls, penny whistle and an array of percussion instruments.

Ellis has spent the summer winning over crowds at the Falcon Ridge and Telluride Bluegrass Festivals. Catch the rising songwriter play locales in Iowa and Colorado before her fifth CD, Evidence of Joy, drops in the fall.

The past year has been teeming with action for Melissa Etheridge. In February, her anthemic single “I Need to Wake Up” garnered her an Oscar for Best Original Song, and her performance at Live Earth created a noticeable impact. Fans currently await the Sept 25 release of her newest album, The Awakening.

Since we last caught up with Feloni, she has been performing Pride circuits in different cities and opened for Spinderella of Salt-N-Pepa. “Her praise is inspiring because [she] made a big impression on me with their play and candidness towards sexuality in hip-hop early on,” she said.

Folk pioneer Ferron will release a six-disc set including songs spanning her entire career. The Canuck will collaborate with Bitch for her next album and will host a series of creative workshops this summer.

Fresh off of her spring tour, Melissa Ferrick is now supporting  Ani DiFranco with a handful of shows this summer. She will be releasing new songs online and is currently in the studio working on an album of covers.

Jen Foster is in the studio working with Greg Droman (Fleetwood Mac) and has assembled a top notch band for her new album. Jen’s song “Taking Bob Dylan” made the final 10 at the International Songwriting Competition.

Ashleigh Flynn reported to us about her recent appearances at Bonnaroo, Boston POPS Edgefest, and about her upcoming CD: “[I’m] spending the rest of summer working on my third studio album, out this fall. All new songs and featuring some of the best musicians.”

God-des & She alert GO from the road: After having played numerous pride dates in Seattle, Orlando and D.C., the pair is set to film a music video for their single “Lick It.” Their long anticipated album Stand Up comes out Oct 1.

Brooklyn-based indie trio Gold Streets released their newest effort Looks Like Fireflies in May. They are slated to play the East Coast, and the Midpoint Music Festival in September. They also gave GO breaking news about a special new addition to the band’s family: “Our guitarist just had a baby, beginning quite an adventure for us.”

Since rousing audiences and critics alike on the True Colors Tour, the Gossip have embarked on their European tour until mid-September. Check out the trio’s new video for their re-released single “Listen Up.”

Gravy Train!!!! released their new record All the Sweet Stuff in July in characteristic “gravy” fashion: the goofy  foursome boldly sings again about masturbation and partying. Catch their antics on their summer tour.

New York-based Christine Havrilla had success earlier this year with 2006 album Velocity. Her track “Hole in the Ground” hit No. 1 on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Hot 20 Chart. She plays Rockwood Music Hall on Aug 25.

Our favorite duet the Indigo Girls are still roughing it on the road in support of their newest album Despite Our Differences. The girls donated a track to compilation album For New Orleans for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Their latest video “Rock and Roll Heaven’s Fate” will screen at Outfest’s Music Festival on July 18–19.

Glam rock trio Inner Princess are prepping for their full-length debut. The group has also been mixing their brand of “gender bending brash” into Sum of Us, an musical theatre work inspired by crossdressing blues legend Bobby Minton. The group promises a return to the stage “with more music, more videos and more interpretive phallic dancing.”

Earlier this summer, Europe got a taste of Isle of Klezbos, NYC’s first ladies of “klezbian tendency.” The group rocked opening night in Vienna’s KlezMORE festival as well as the city’s premiere nightclub Porgy & Bess. In April, the ladies released live album Traveling Show.

JenRO’s new album My Window is set to drop this month. She will be filmed on tour for the documentary Pick Up the Mic and is scheduled to play the Peace Out East Festival in Brooklyn.

Rock ‘n’ roll icon Joan Jett revisits punk rock roots on her new album Sinner, a solid compendium of balls out, hair-raising tracks. Joan and her band The Blackhearts will spend the fall rocking out the U.S. and U.K., sharing a few dates alongside Aerosmith.

Kaki King will lend her guitar wizardry to a track on the new Foo Fighters’ record Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace. According to her official website, Kaki wrote two tracks for the WB movie August Rush in which she also cameos as a “guitar playing hand double.” Next up: NYC’s Spiegeltent Aug 15.

Hip-hop twosome KIN have just finished up national tour dates and the MCs have since been hard at work as producers, creating tracks for fellow artists and planning more gigs to come.

Earlier this year, Lesbians on Ecstasy offered more of their signature techno-punk glam on their sophomore effort, We Know You Know. The group’s own rock opera, entitled Ampitheatre of Homosexuality, will be featured at feminist/artist-run La Centrale in Montreal and at the Hysteria Theatre Festival in Toronto this fall, as well as more tour dates.

D.C.-based Mara Levi will tour the Midwest and the East Coast including a stop at the Knitting Factory on Oct 15. On top of shooting a video for “Drink it Down,” Mara has helped in organizing PhaseFest 2007, a new queer music/art festival in DC Aug 16–18.

All-female cover band Lez Zeppelin kicked off the summer with a European tour in June in support of their eponymous debut. The album was recorded with Eddie Kramer, the producer/engineer of the actual Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and KISS.

Brooklyn-based Luff, an indie rock quartet with former Triple Creme and Addicted2Fiction members, have gained momentum. The group just released their first full-length album Blanket Ice, and several songs can be heard on web video series My Address: A Look at Gay Youth Homeless.

Pamela Means will release another acoustic album later this year. The guitarist will also offer workshops at Mazzotti Music, a female-run music store located in Brooklyn.

What a year for Lori Michaels; since coming out last year, Lori has lent her vocal talents to NBA and NHL games, Womenfest Key West, The Wave Festival, NYC Pride and Gay Days Orlando, to name a few. The self-proclaimed “dyke diva” now turns to the small screen, with a TV show in the works. Check out her new album Living My Life Out Loud.

Marla Hooch writes to GO, “Since we last touched base, we toured the southern states [and headlined] at Ladyfest South in Atlanta. This summer we have been sticking to NYC—played a sold out show at the Mercury Lounge with Team Dresch! This fall we are releasing a full-length album of Hooch favorites. Keep on the lookout.”

Christine Martucci’s folk rock blend has brought her good fortune in the past few months. Christine’s single “There You Are” played on Logo and she has headlined dates in the NY/NJ area.

Indie-folk darling Erin McKeown and her “little big band” have been hitting the festival circuit. The quirky performer released Sing You Sinners in January to ample critical acclaim and formed Emma, a side instrumental collaborative project with drummer Allison Miller. This fall, Erin will offer up fans her first live album accompanied by a U.S. tour.

Hip-hop sensation Miss Money, had an eventful year including hosting radio show A Woman’s Worth on, launching, and producing a tribute album for Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old African-American lesbian who died in 2003 in a hate crime murder.

Mirah just finished the last leg of her three-week tour in the U.S. Share this Place will be released as an enhanced CD set for release on Aug 7.

Mz Fontaine
informs GO that, having just come off the Homorevolution tour, she is slated to perform at London’s Black Pride and has more dates in Manchester and in the U.S. Her song “Tick Tock” was featured on Season 4 of The L Word.

Neo-soul mother Meshell Ndegeocello will charm listeners with her signature blend of funk, soul and jazz on her new album Comfort Woman. The multi-instrumentalist has spent the last few months touring the East Coast with more dates at

Michigan’s folk-pop duo Nervous but Excited spent the last few months touring the country and sharing the stage with Utah Philips and Girlyman. After releasing Once More… With Feeling to critical acclaim last year, Kate and Sarah now look forward to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in August.

Poetess Alix Olson recently penned Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution! She’s performing at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and in Rhinebeck, NY Sept 14–16.

Rainy Orteca of Joan As Police Woman drops GO a line while on tour in England: “I’ve started a new wave solo project called Dead Air and I have two songs posted on…I’ve also been collaborating with other artists such as Maggie Cheung and French recording artist Camille.”

Paradigm was recently on MTV as part of a special on the queer hip-hop community and her rhymes are also featured in the newest edition of suspect thoughts, an online journal. Paradigm is the producer of Peace Out East, NYC’s annual LGBT hip-hop
festival, coming this October. Fore more info, go to

Soul/pop powerhouse Kirsten Price recently played House of Blues in Orlando and has finished in the studio for her debut 5 Days Old. Kirsten’s funk propelled track “Magic Tree” was included on the Music With a Twist label’s compilation L Tunes: Music From and Inspired By the L Word.

Chris Pureka was dubbed a finalist in the Mountain Stage New Song Contest and even grabbed the Indie Acoustic Project’s Best CDs of 2006 Award. She is set to tour the Midwest and the U.K.

Dance rockers Pretty Boys wrote: “Since you last featured us we won Glamour magazine’s Best Emerging Artist Award. They teamed up with Nissan and paid for our music video for our debut single, ‘Hello Bonjour’…and Pink directed it!” The group have planned dates for the East and West Coast.

The always theatrical Athena Reich will dazzle audiences again, this time with the Genesius Theatre Group for the Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/Plays Festival, described as a “daily meditation on artistic life.” Shows are set for July 27–29 at the Public Theater and Lincoln Center, and a preview performance on Aug 5.

Lisa Liu of indie/experimental trio Renminbi told GO, “We’re in the midst of recording a 11-song record called The Phoenix and we hope to release it in the fall…” The trio will play locally and in Canada.

Atlanta’s own Doria Roberts has spent the last year dazzling audiences in different locales in support of 2006 effort Woman Dangerous. The multi-instrumentalist is set to grace stages in Georgia, Michigan and Virginia.

New York’s much adored Rachael Sage is finishing Chandelier, her new album slated for spring 2008. Sage will be a special guest at M.E.A.N.Y. Fest Oct 9 at Joe’s Pub, where she will perform a set of old favorites and new material re-conceived for a string quartet.

All is well in the world of Sister Funk, who played at The L Festival in May alongside seasoned veterans BETTY and God-des & She. The five-piece take center stage at Jersey City Pride Aug 25, and conclude their tour at the Knitting Factory on Sept 29.

Songwriter Swati has found a new home on Bluhammock Records and is rocking out audiences in the U.S. and Canada in support of her 2007 release Small Gods.

Steph Taylor has recently returned home to Florida from her national tour and is working on her new album, due out next spring. She is taking the summer off to work on the album before she hits the road again for a three-month tour starting in September.

Kaia of Team Dresch tells us about a new addition to their family: “We’re playing as part of Outfest in L.A. This is our last show for a little while as Jody and her partner are having their second child and we all have to wait until it’s big enough to rock out with us. Our plans are to work on writing songs for a new record in 2008.”

Like a true collaborator, blues/folk chanteuse Toshi Reagon is currently in the studio, producing tracks for other artists.  Toshi will eventually hit the road once again, heading for Europe in 2008.

As well as working on their new album, Triple Creme are working on a new video for their song “Apex Predator,” “a love/battle story packed with queer lust and a braveheart battle scene.” Their last music video “Team Queen” has been showing at festivals worldwide.

Leisha Hailey is taking a breather from her acting post to promote her latest project, Uh Huh Her. In July, Leisha and bandmate Camila Grey (of Mellowdrone) released I See Red, a five-track indie pop introduction to the duo.

After much fine-tuning, Jen Urban and The Box released their first full-length album, Breaking Point on July 13. Look for tour dates in the Northeast this summer as they join Mahogany on the road before playing the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

Artist/activist Hanifah Walidah has teamed up with Brooklyn Funk Essentials to create Soultrotta: Global Soul Sessions, a video series and podcast chronicling their collaborative work. She also helped produce the film U People, which spotlights 30 women of color at a Brooklyn house party and their stories of prejudice and personal struggle.

Having just finished a slew of tour dates across the country, Natalia Zukerman is in the studio crafting tracks for her next album.

Emily Zuzik will traverse England, Ireland and Scotland to bring her “femrock” to new ears this summer. On Sept 13 she will perform at the Chilen Artists showcase at Mo Pitkin’s and a special KGRL FM radio feature at L.A.’s Tangier on Oct 6. Zuzik can also be heard with disco-rock cover band Aki is the Glue.

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