Checking In With Artists We Love

Chicks with picks, dykes with mics, and those nearly queer and dear to our hearts…we know what’s up with the rock stars that keep your toes tapping and your head bobbing.

Alix Olson recently edited the anthology Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution. She also led a cross-country book tour with many of its contributors. A new Alix Olson CD is underway, slated for a 2009 release and tour.

This September, Ani DiFranco will release a new studio album entitled Red Letter Year along with co-producer/partner Mike Napolitano. Red Letter Year features DiFranco’s three-piece band and a gaggle of guest musicians.

New Zealand singer-songwriter Anika Moa released In the Swings of the Tide in late 2007. For information on upcoming shows visit

Anne Steele just finished a live CD from a set   at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. She can be seen weekly in New York at Don’t Tell Mama on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and  at Brandy’s on Friday nights.

Quintet Antigone Four (formerly Antigone Rising) is headlining the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MichFest). Catch up with the group on their YouTube channel ARTV.

In July, Ashleigh Flynn performed at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist Showcase. She recently released her third album, American Dream.

Athena Reich is now the New York correspondent on Toronto’s PROUD FM (103.9), the first radio station in Canada tailored specifically to LGBT listeners. She reports on queer life, celebrity sightings and more.

BETTY plan to release their eighth full-length album next year and will be taking it on tour throughout Europe. Lead guitarist Elizabeth Ziff is also working on The Gloria Project, an oral history of the feminist movement, in collaboration with Gloria Steinem.

Bitch recently released her latest EP, B+TEC=Bitch and the Exciting Conclusion, on her new record label, Short Story Records. She’s also working on a screenplay with Daniela Sea, and she produced Ferron’s new album, Boulder, which came out in June.

Boyskout can be seen in their new video, “You Act Strange,” on Logo. They toured a handful of queer festivals this spring, and they’re currently writing tracks for a forthcoming EP.

Since releasing their latest album Snakehouse in April, The Cliks have been heating up summer from coast to coast. They were featured on the True Colors Tour, played additional venues in California and Montreal, and performed on Logo’s  first annual NewNowNext Awards in June, where they won the Brink of Fame: Music Artist award.

Chris Pureka has been opening for Jay Brannan this summer on a national tour, where she’s been road-testing material for her next album, due out in 2009. She’ll continue to write and record new songs in between appearances at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and Joe’s Pub on August 29.

New York-based Christine Havrilla is hot off the release of her new album, In My Chair. She will be touring the U.S. throughout the fall.

New Jersey singer/songwriter Christine Martucci, an army veteran, will headline Rock for the Troops in Sayreville, NJ this  September.

Cyndi Lauper’s new single, “Same Ol’ Fu*king Story,” reached #1 on the Billboard dance chart in June, and she recently appeared on As the World Turns performing “Into the Night Life.” She headlined this summer’s True Colors Tour with Joan Jett, the Indigo Girls and the B-52s, and will play Rock to Win at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this month.

In November 2007, multi-award winning pop-rock artist/actor Danielle Egnew, formerly of the band Pope Jane, was honored for the second year in a row by the All Access Awards Committee, taking home the award for Best Keyboardist. Egnew signed a multi-tiered record deal with Maurice the Fish Records in January, and she and her Whiskey Roadshow Band will play Rock the Woods this month.

Diedra Meredith, a.k.a. Deepa Soul, is on a serious roll. Since contributing her soulful vocals to a Junior Vasquez remix of the Sound Factory classic “As I Am” in 2006, she was hired as OUTmusic’s executive director, and has recorded a three-disc compilation called Ego Tripping due out this month. 

Diana Berry and Belgian pop sensation Jerry Dimmer (a.k.a. Dim Dim) released a new album entitled Diana Berry and Dim Dim this spring. For information on her special live performance in Amagansett this month, visit

Since releasing their first full length record You Need Us in December, Dirty Excuse spent the rest of the winter rocking live shows in NYC. They’ll return to Brooklyn’s Southpaw on August 15 to play alongside an all lesbian lineup, including GSX, Karyn Kuhl and Jessica Rose and the High Life. They’re also in the middle of mixing a five song EP to be released towards the end of the year.

The Ditty Bops are still using their music to increase environmental awareness. They’re collecting signatures to implement a national tax on plastic bags through their non-profit organization You and I Save the World. The packaging of their latest album, Summer Rains, is printed entirely on recycled paper.

Performance artist Dynasty Handbag’s latest piece, “Bags,” features five shopping bags that all want something from her. As she goes through each bag, she responds by singing, dancing and rocking out with a little bit of air guitar, among other colorful antics.

Ellis’s album Break the Spell was chosen as a Top 12 DIY Pick in Performing Songwriter, a twice-monthly publication that reviews independent artists. She is thrilled to announce that she will be playing Babe Didrikson, the greatest female athlete of all time, in Babe: An Olympic Musical.

In June, Emily Zuzik performed live at the Bands 4 Boobs benefit to support breast cancer research.

Indie-folk darling Erin McKeown recently collaborated on The Music of Jason Crigler, a compilation of Crigler covers by his friends, including McKeown, Teddy Thompson, Marshall Crenshaw, Amy Correia and Cynthia Hopkins. She’s touring the States now through December.

Feloni is hard at work on her sophomore album, Love Spent, due out in the fall. She recently collaborated with Lori Michaels  on the song “Girl Thing,” which is featured on Micheals’s debut album, Living out Loud.

Chicago-based rap duo Filf Dos is hard at work on debut release Filfy Flirty. In the meantime look out for their new single, “Vixen.” They also have two tours in the works, one on the West Coast and one in Europe.

Garrison Starr’s latest album, The Girl Who Killed September, is now available online and at various retailers.

God-des & She are planning a European tour for November. They recently released a video for the track “Lick It,” which can be seen on Logo. They also landed a distribution deal with The Orchard, and were nominated at Logo’s NewNowNext award show for the Brink of Fame: Music Artist award. They released their new album, Stand Up, in July.

This month, Brooklyn-based indie trio Gold Streets will play shows in Brooklyn and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

In November, The Gossip released a CD/DVD called Live in Liverpool. They are currently touring Europe and working on their next album.

Gravy Train!!!!
is on tour this summer. Catch them in a city near you.

Poet, musician, activist and video producer Hanifah Walidah plays the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival this month. She and partner Olive Demetrius have teamed up for U People, a new video/living art documentary project, which began as a music video.

Indigo Girls will be touring throughout the summer and beyond along with Missy Higgins and Rose Polenzani, among others. Amy Ray will be playing solo at an intimate benefit concert at Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York on August 6.

Polish your tiara; pop/death-metal band Inner Princess will play Brooklyn’s Rubulad on August 16. For details, see

This month, Yiddish party music band Isle of Klezbos, NYC’s first ladies of “klezbian tendency,” will play the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and a Music on the Rooftop performance at New York’s 14th Street Y.

Hip-hop artist JenRO plays the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival this month. For information on more upcoming shows, visit

Acoustic/pop/folk-rock musician Jen Foster just released Thirty-Nine, a four-song EP featuring the award-winning single, “Closer to Nowhere.” Catch the video on her YouTube channel, JenFosterOfficial.

Jen Urban and the Box
are now in residence  at Brooklyn’s Sugarland every Thurday night in September. The residence will culminate in a release party for their much-anticipated “Backseat” music video. jenurban&thebox

It’s been a magical year for rock ‘n’ roll icon Joan Jett: She headlined the True Colors Tour; Gibson Guitars honored her this spring with a Joan Jett signature guitar; “I Love Rock and Roll” made Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time; and Jett guest starred on Law and Order in July.

k.d. lang will be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame on September 6, when she will perform live at CTV’s broadcast from Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. On June 11, she gave the commencement address at the University of Alberta. lang has a U.S. tour planned for this fall.

Kaki King embarks on a fall tour this month from San Francisco to Europe. Her latest album, Dreaming of Revenge, came out in March. In 2009, she will release a DVD featuring all her acoustic songs.

KIN4LIFE will soon premiere their new video and hit single “Make Up Girl,” and are putting together an all-female Make Up Girl Tour. Their next album, KIN4LIFE Vol. 2, is slated for release in early 2009 by their record label, Noriq Records, Inc.

On July 1, Kirsten Price released her debut album, Guts and Garbage, and will tour the East Coast this fall.

NYC based rocker L.P. has been traveling throughout the country working with various producers to wrap up the songs for her forthcoming (still unnamed) CD on her new label, SoBe Entertainment.  The album, her third, is due to release in October with tour dates soon to follow.

are on a worldwide tour through this winter with shows in Australia in October and the UK in November. Their latest record, Velocifero, which was released in June, made Billboard’s Top Electronic Albums list.

Leo My Ego
, an offshoot of Marla Hooch, released their debut album, Starts with an S, which “combines dynamic vocals with lesbionic chronic beats.” For information on upcoming shows, check them out at

Brooklyn-based indie-rock duo LUFF is celebrating their recent cover of The Cure’s “Jumping Someone Else’s Train,” a slower version of the original, for Just Like Heaven: A Tribute to The Cure. They’re also collaborating on an upcoming Leah Meyerhoff film and recording a new EP in the fall.

Melissa Etheridge will headline the First Annual Sugarbush Music Festival & Women’s Cultural Fair, which takes place in April of 2009 in Indian Wells, CA. She will tour the U.S. this fall.

Melissa Ferrick released Live at Union Hall in late 2007, and has just completed her spring tour of the US.

This year, Meshell Ndegeocello’s track “Fantasy” was nominated for a grammy for Best Urban Alternative Performance. The song is a hit from the tribute album Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire.

This September Michelle Malone will release her tenth album on her own label, SBS Records. Malone’s summer is in full swing, with spotlight appearances at private parties, and a trip to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to play alongside Antigone Four.

This month, Michigan’s folk-pop duo Nervous but Excited will release their latest live album, {Home} Spun, and has a CD-release tour already in the works, including New York appearances this November. The band was just signed to Riot Grrl Ink, and is planning to release the first-ever 100 percent “green” album.

Pamela Means is in Brooklyn working on a new acoustic album slated for release in early 2009. Means has been on a brief hiatus from touring and teaching at Mazzotti Music, and is ready to hit the road for several album preview shows this fall, followed by a national tour in 2009.

Emcee, singer and poet Paradigm recently conducted two workshops on Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence as part of the CONNECT program’s Clinical Training Institute.

Party Line DC just wrapped their European spring tour. Lead singer Alison Wolfe recently recorded the Huggy Bear classic “February 14th” as part of Fake 7 Inch, The Cloud Room’s online album.

Rachael Sage released her eighth solo album, Chandelier, and will soon tour the U.S. and the U.K. In October she’ll release volume three of the New Arrivals compilation, benefiting the National Eating Disorders Association.

Rainy Orteca of Joan As Police Woman released a new album, To Survive, in June. She is currently planning a fall tour.

Indie/experimental trio Renminbi will play a Rocks Off Concert Cruise with Black Taxi this month.

Sarah Bettens recently recorded an acoustic version of Coldplay’s “Yellow” along with her brother, Gert, for the twenty-fifth anniversary compilation album of Belgian radio station Studio Brussel. Bettens will tour her native Belgium this fall to promote her album, Shine.

is currently on her U.S./U.K. tour, which  continues throughout the fall. Her latest album, Some People Have Real Problems, dropped in January.

Sister Funk’s song “On the Dance Floor” won the Stonewall Society’s Best Dance Song 2007.

Swati is going into the studio to collaborate on a new album with Matt Chamberlin and Tony Levin, to be released in 2009. Until then, she’ll be filming videos and touring nonstop.

Tegan & Sara will be on tour for the remainder of 2008 and are working on their follow- up record to The Con, which was released last fall. They also performed on this year’s True Colors Tour.

Blues/folk chanteuse Toshi Reagon, who appeared in The L Word’s fourth season, is now a featured artist in the book I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft, edited by LaShonda Katrice Barnett. This month, she will perform at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and at Lincoln Center Out of Doors in New York.

After playing South-by-Southwest in 2007, Yo Majesty was signed by Domino Records. The rap trio is currently preparing to release their debut album, Futuristically Speaking Never Be Afraid. Also in the pipeline is Kryptonite Pussy, an EP. Frontperson Shunda K is also launching her new production and management company, QMEQCA.

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