I’ve been working on new songs. Loving you in them, with them, through them. Can’t wait to share, but for now I am in my post-election pendulum-swinging cocoon.
Since I was about 11, I have written poetry.
This past winter i took it upon myself to organize the huge stack of spiral bound notebooks that have been slowly multiplying for the last 20 years of my adult life!
It was a grueling task–I decided I would try to put them in some sort of time-line order depending on WHEN i wrote them. It was hard, but pretty awesome. I time-traveled and saw all the old ‘me’s right there on my spiral-bound witnesses. I am definitely a collector of words. A speaker in thirds. A witch who made Bitch so she could show you all hers.
Some day I will publish them all. And I keep reminding myself to be slow and steady cuz my nature is to want to publish them ALL RIGHT NOW.
Ok, until then…
My Mother is from Coventry, England. At 16, she started her own tap dancing school. When she and my Dad moved to the US, she opened a tap studio in our basement, where she taught 300 kids a week!
This is the story of her birth.
Three months before my Mother was to be born, her family’s house was bombed. Most pregnant women were evacuated to the country, including my Grandmother. My Grandpa had to stay in Coventry to work, and the people whose home my Grandmother was evacuated to, were apparently very rude to her when she stayed there. It was a government-enforced hosting obligation, and these people were very inconvenienced and made sure my Grandmother knew it.
So when she went into labor on a pitch black rainy English night, she had no means of transport to the hospital. With the aid of her husband’s sister, they called a taxi cab to take them to the hospital. But they got completely lost, because the English had taken down all the road signs to try to confuse the Germans. My Mother was born as they were still looking for the hospital!
Check out the video we made and hear it in my Mom’s own words!
And YES, this is a pic of me in a recital with the class my Mom and I taught together her hee. That’s me on the right, and she is the second from the left!
Just to clarify: I am Bitch. My new project is BEACH. And my birth name is Karen Mould! Thank you all for being part of my journey. I seriously friggin love you. xo
I have just finished an every-month-or-so-ritual of un-tagging all the random people who have tagged Bitch on my Facebook fan page but have nothing to do with me, our community, my music, or the feminist reclaiming of that word. I always have to have a certain shell around me when I do this, because I’m reminded of the incredibly misogynist and violent world we live in. All of us. It is a painful reminder to keep going.
I think of Bitch as a costume I put on. One of a super-hero who stands in her body, grounded. A positive woman in a cynical world who is not afraid to speak up and wear her colors bright. To practice uncontainable joy. Thanks, everyone, for doing what you do, loving who you love, fighting the good fight. We need you. I need you. Thanks for letting me be me–the biggest, brightest me I can.
We are thrilled to announce the release of a double-disk package, Thunder & Lighten-ing. Thunder is the documentary we made about Ferron, and Lighten-ing is the accompanying album.
Order them now by clicking HERE
Thunder was Produced by Bitch, Billie Jo Cavallaro and Leslie Gearhart.
Executive Producers: Leslie Gearhart, Lisa Deaton and Ian Hagemann
Lighten-ing was Produced by Bitch
Co-Produced by Roger Paul Mason and Skyler VanWalbeek
Associate Producer Billie Jo Cavallaro
Executive Producer: Leslie Gearhart
The title track of my upcoming NEW ALBUM was inspired by many things, including Judy Blume’s “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret.”
Ask any woman if they know the chant that begins “We must, we must….” and chances are 99% of them will promptly and excitedly finish, “we must increase our bust!” Some over-achievers may even remember that the end of the chant-about-the-boobs was “the bigger the better, the tighter the sweater, the men depend on us!”
This is an extremely catchy chant that has stuck in my brain since childhood. Like a lot of fairy tales or random Folgers’ commercial jingles, as an adult, you stumble across it in your mind and hear it with new ears, and say “holy shit that is NUTS.” This catchy ‘jingle’ put me in a serious feminist pickle.
Over the years, as an artist, I have witnessed many uplifting and many equally as depressing happenings in our community. At the root of so much splintering and infighting that I have seen, I have come to understand and think that a big part of our problems is a lack of trust amongst ourselves.
When I was writing this album, the Occupy Wall Street movement was starting. It was very inspiring, and gave me a lot of hope that the ’99%’ could potentially unify and rise above all of our differences to make our own movement.
As a feminist, I feel very much a part of a women’s movement. Whatever wave we’re on, i’ve lost track. I think misogyny is at the root of all oppression, and I long to let young people know that they have the power to turn around all cultural assumptions that are fed to us in our racist/classist/misogynist/transphobic society. Trust, I think, between each other will be at the root of our ultimate liberation.
And so, Judy Blume, I take your catchy wisdom and I raise it, to let young women know that their strength lies not in their appearance, but in their minds, their capacity to organize, to build community, and to think outside the box!
Because WE MUST, WE MUST, WE MUST INCREASE OUR TRUST!!!!
Today, we are less than a month from releasing my new album, “In Us We Trust.” Not only is it my new album, but it’s such a different sonic celebration that I decided to release it under the name BEACH. Read my previous post if you wanna know WHY!
As we near the release date, we are giving away tracks. Today it’s “Love was a River.”
This is a song that has been in my head for a good 6 years. I came up with the first line “if love was a river I think I’ll go by land” while on tour, suffering a heart break. The road is an incredible place to feel alive. When your heart breaks, it REALLY breaks. When it is uplifted, it’s like THROUGH THE ROOF uplifted. I think it’s why a lot of songs, or snippets of songs come to me while I tour. But it takes coming off tour, resting and processing the million things that just happened, to actually COMPLETE a song.
So this one, I wrote that first line, and then every now and then would jot down other ways I would prefer to travel, then by the twisted river-y ones of love. I put it into a blues-y bass line when I got home, and came up with the melody. After I sent it over to Roger, we decided to make the chorus a big, wailing, blow-their-wigs-off electric violin solo.
Hope your wigs are blown, and that you will share the song with all your friends and exes!
It is with great joy and excitement that I get ready to release my new album, In Us We Trust. What began in Brooklyn, traveled to a log cabin in Michigan, stopped off in Iowa, and ended at the BEACH in Los Angeles; this album is a definite new direction for me. I have been on a journey, with songs crafted from beats fed to me by Billie Jo (Alligator), and produced and sculpted by Roger Paul Mason.
I will release it as BEACH. It definitely marks a shift. Shift in sound, shift in heart, shift in purpose—as I warned you years ago on my album Make This Break This; “I’m an ever-coming coming new new-comer to you.”
When I started working on the songs for this forth-coming album In Us We Trust, I was thinking a lot about “Us”, about inclusiveness, and what it means to be and have ‘community.’ I was thinking about power. How we give it away, how we claim it. I wanted to make songs that involved you. That gave you lines. I wanted to feel with you on stage, not just in front of you.
Working on this collection of songs, I had that feeling that you get on a wide-open BEACH: like I could go anywhere, run forever down the shoreline–the possibilities seemed endless. That joy of being at the BEACH, where you lose your inhibitions and shed a layer or two, was very integral to the creative process this time around. It allowed me to be playful, to be stronger in my truest self and to have so much fun. The music we were making felt celebratory, and I was consciously making it participatory. For you. I had been loving Billie’s beats, and started using them in my writing. I wanted to make something to move your bodies as well as your minds.
During this whole process, I decided to leave Brooklyn for a while, where I had been based for 15 years. I can’t really tell you all the reasons why. It was just time for me to go. I was shifting–psychically, artistically, physically. Billie Jo and I moved to a log cabin in the middle of nowhere Michigan and continued to work on the songs. It was super drastic. Suddenly we were heating with a wood stove, and the kind of quiet I felt there was life-altering. I would drive to the small town library to upload stuff to Roger, or get files from him, and we kept going like that for 2 years.
When we launched the Kickstarter campaign, we decided to call it BEACH. BEACH represents to me a place where everything shifts. Rocks become sand, water meets earth, birds screech, tides turn and colors collide. You came there with me. We backed the project successfully, and it was as if I could hear all of you saying “go ahead.”
I hope, through all my shifts, through all the different cloaks I have worn, that I can help one ounce of you feel more alive, more powerful, more free. BEACH, to me, is the hope of us connecting. BEACH makes me conscious of my connection to the ocean and the land. Something about being right at the very border between two worlds reminds me how much we are a part of both of them. And I think music does something similar. It helps us slow down and take notice of where we are, what we’re doing and what we’re dreaming of.
So–here we are at the BEACH. Excited to have you along. Singing these songs. It’s a whole lesson of trust! Because we must! we must!
It’s with all my love, from the bottom of my witchiest bitchiest heart, I present my new project, BEACH to you. Coming in album form on July 16th 2013 via my own label, Short Story Records.