How excited are we?
Frightwig was an American all-female band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1983.
Not more than five minutes after the formation of Southern Records and our first release (Fontanelle by Babes In Toyland), I had Frightwig on my hit list. The band had been a massive influence on me during my time in San Francisco in the early 80’s. They were the first all-female American band I was exposed to.
Sure, I was a Joan Jett fan, but her band The Runaways were before my time. I had been existing on a steady diet of British women – Crass, Poison Girls, and Girlschool! Now here were these incredible, loud, awesome-looking women making a joyous racket, screaming lyrics like “Yes, I base my worth on who I get to fuck me”. They looked sexy too – but in a very cool, very intimidating kind of way. Like a Halloween pastiche of what a glamour girl should look like, they played with their feminine power and perverted the traditional punk roles. Frightwig questioned the sexual status quo just as much as Crass did with Penis Envy, but they did it in an utterly American way – full of sarcasm and wit, and laughing through their anger.
I eventually tracked them down and in 1993 Southern released Wild Women Never Die. The release compiled the band’s first two albums on that new-fangled compact disc format. Included are lyrics, photos and liner notes from the band and some of their “celebrity” followers, including members of L7, Hole, Butthole Surfers and Faith No More.
Blazing a trail later trodden by bands like Babes In Toyland, Hole, L7 and Bikini Kill, they were often cited as an influence.
One of Cage’s most ambitious works, Song Books comprises over 48 actual songs and 42 instructions for ‘theatre’ (Fluxus-like ‘actions’ for the most part) which are performed at random start times within a set period. The scores are very diverse and cover almost every approach to experimenting with notation that Cage used: from conventional music to the most abstract. The libretto is also very varied and covers most of Cage’s interests from mushrooms to anarchy. Each ‘song’ is designated to be either with or without electronics. Each one is also to be cognisant of ‘the space between Satie and Thoreau’ or not, which seemingly defines Cage’s notion of the avant-garde in a nutshell.
The project intends to raise the question of the place of visual performance within experimental musics. The older core performers were in the Scratch Orchestra which was deeply imbued with a visual dimension going back to founder Cornelius Cardew’s earlier composition ‘Treatise’ and brought to the fore in Scratch performances by the activities of the Slippery Merchants. It is also an attempt to bring Scratch experience into a critical collision with a contemporaneous John Cage in collaboration with a younger generation of performers and composers.
“Cage achieved mythical status but Cardew was a legend”. – John Tilbury (AMM)
The wonderful Tartufi, aka two of Southern’s most favourite people in the whole world, have packed themselves up and are making their way down the West Coast of the USA this month. Full dates are below, if you live in or near to one of these towns, we strongly suggest you get down to one of the shows for a serious mind-bending!
What have people been saying about Tartufi?
“This is huge. Tartufi are two but sound like twelve. Gorman must have arms like continents, and the way Angel loops her vocals makes it seem like three personalities are battling it our for possession of her throat, hold on to your brains.”-NME
“A dizzying construct of lunatic prettiness. It all flows together, like a fantastical alien river.” – Rocksound 8 out of 10 stars
“Tartufi build intricate loops of organic alt rock and lay freak folk riffs over clattering campfire rhythms. The effect is rapturous, strident.” – PLAN B
So, there! To get a glimpse of what you might expect, check the video Tour Diary that they made last time they headed out across the States in 2009. (It’s down there under the tour dates, Jack.)
04-Apr Seattle, WA — Funhouse w/ Bone Cave Ballet & Happy Birthday Secret Weapon
05-Apr Bellingham, WA — Evergreen College
06-Apr Pullman, WA — The Belltower
07-Apr Boise, ID — VAC w/ Le Fleur
08-Apr – TBA
09-Apr Boulder, CO — Astroland
10-Apr Denver, CO — LION’S LAIR w/ PANAL
11-Apr Tulsa, OK — Soundpony
12-Apr Wichita, KS — House Show
13-Apr Denton, TX — Hailey’s
14-Apr Dallas, TX — Dada
15-Apr Austin, TX — TBA
16-Apr Lubbock, TX — BASH’S w/ La Panza
17-Apr Santa Fe, NM — (Afternoon Show) High Mayhem
17-Apr Albuquerque, NM — (Evening Show) The Albuquerque Press Club w/ Nova Lee, Animals In The Dark
18-Apr Santa Fe, NM — CORAZON w/ Silian Rail and As In We
19-Apr Phoenix, AZ — Lost Leaf w/ Silian Rail and Whisperlights
20-Apr San Diego, CA — Bar Pink w/ The Dabbers
21-Apr Fresno, CA — TOKYO GARDEN w/ SILIAN RAIL and The Fay Wrays
22-Apr Santa Cruz, CA — The Crepe Place w/ Slow Trucks & Beaver Fever