Friday, 30 April 2010


At some point I will try and write a more in-depth article/history of Rasputina but for now here's a brief update.    The current line-up is Melora Creager, Luis Mojica and Carpella Parvo.

Rasputina have released several more albums - Sister Kinderhook, Unknown (a concept album that is only available direct from their website), and the compilation album, Great American Gingerbread. They also released a compilation of demos from 1991 - 1997 called Magnetic Strip (which is only available as a digital download direct from their website).

Since the last issue of PussyRock zine Melora has released another solo album, Melora A La Basilica and a couple of limited edition CDs --- Ancient Cross-Dressing Songs and The Willow Tree Triptych (which was a limited edition of 100 with individual hand-collaged covers autographed by Melora).  They were sold at their gigs/through the website but are now sold out (although her solo album is still available). Melora also recorded a limited edition CD, Fa La La which is now sold out and contributed songs/put together a compilation album called Dedication Compilation which was released for the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. (Melora had played cello with Nirvana on their final European tour).

Melora has also released a limited edition CD of a live Rasputina concert entitled The Pregnant Concert - Live From Knitting Factory and that is still available via their website as well as other merchandise.  She also worked on the soundtrack to Repo! The Genetic Opera.  

There was also a documentary about the band called Under The Corset that was released in 2010.

Rasputina and Melora Creager official website
Rasputina on Facebook

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Andrea Kerr is the lead singer of Colt (formerly known as Living With Eating Disorders).  Along with Jared Christian and Mark Bishop, she creates ambient darkwave music that has garnered rave reviews.   They have released one EP called "White Like Snow" and are currently working on their debut album.

You originally came from Glasgow.  What did you like most about it and what (if anything) did you dislike?

I liked my childhood and I miss my grandparents very much, I lost my gran in June and there hasn't been one day since when I haven't wanted to talk to her or tell her something that she will never be able to hear.  I liked the weather, in hindsight I loved the weather, I miss it.  The climate suits my melancholic disability, the way misery can completely bind me is debilitating and the dramatic grey skies are sympathetic to my sensitivity.  The roads wide and winding are more welcoming and gentle to drive, they take you places far away from people in no times at all and having a car is access to complete escape.  I like a real fire and the contrast in the temperature that you feel on your skin when you go outside.  Fire, I loved the fire I used have inside me.

I don't miss the Catholic Protestant divide, which I notice more from having moved away.  It caused me so much unnecessary grief as a child.  To be taught that only a people who follow a certain religion can gain access to heaven is wrong.  To think of people. who you love and depend on, not to be granted a place in the afterlife is traumatising and stays with you forever.

What are some of your favourite artists and are there any songs you'd like to cover?

Cover versions are a funny type of animal.  I would only like to cover something that would be different enough from the original to be a valid choice.  Also I think I could only sing something with conviction if I believe what I am singing.  There are songs out there that I can relate to but to sing them might feel like a bit of a lie; however, I have always fancied doing a cover of 'Diamonds Are Forever'.  I think I could get heavy with that one.  "I don't need love, for what good will love do me?"  I could sing with tears in my eyes.

Bowie.  Always Bowie is a favourite.  I find that some other favourites fall in and out of love depending on mood or even time but Bowie is always an inspiration.  In fact if I was pushed to cover a song I might choose "We Are The Dead", if only for line "people will hold us to blame."

Radiohead, I have rediscovered 'OK Computer' while loading CDs into i-Tunes and there wasn't one track I could do without.  There are certain songs that are beyond a reaction and the first time I heard that album I was so choked up I couldn't talk about it.

Kate Bush is less human and more like a dream that lives in the back of my head, I can hardly believe she is real; listening to her voice is like going under anaesthetic.  When I was a kid mum would sit me in front of Kate Bush videos with my dressing up clothes and I would pretend to be her.  When other kids got Disney, but I got Kate Bush and Fleetwood Mac.  Thank heavens.

I love the photos on your website taken in the Victorian hospital and I was wondering what sort of imagery you'd like to use in videos if you made them for your songs?

Cars and night driving, it's so clichéd but there is just a perfect togetherness about driving at night and music --- a protection you get from music that is similar to the protection you feel in a car, they both form a web around you.  Circus horses or carousel horses, controlled horses in any case, not wild horses.  There is something similar in controlling a horse as there is to controlling a guitar, knowing when to hold it tight, every step precise and accurate, building up the energy inside then letting it go, offering the full length of the reins is like the kick after you pull a trigger.  Water is very similar to car in the way that it surrounds you like a protective layer and going under is so strange on the senses, especially hearing.  It would have to be something beautiful and dark, and definitely something that involves movement.  Cars, horses or water.

You supported Psychic TV.  How did that go and did you get to meet Genesis?  I know you've said you're a big fan of his, it must have been a dream come true to play alongside his band.

It was a milestone for me, one of the best days of my life, and there are only a handful of these.  Genesis was the embodiment of a true star.  I thought for a long time about what I might say if I met him but it all went out the window when I bumped into him backstage.  I don't know what I was thinking but I didn't even introduce myself, I just walked up and put my arms round him.  The moment I saw him I knew it would be alright.  After the show I told him he had better tits then me and he told me that his cost more and there was logic to that.

What inspires your songs?  I think my favourite is Horsemilk --- who or what is it about?

Ha ha.  I can tell you what it's about but I can't tell you who!  It's about someone trying to manipulate a situation using emotional blackmail and appease me by pretending to be my friend.  An angel to my face but behind my back trying to destroy something I had.  What made so angry was that at first I was fooled but when I saw through it I felt sick with anger.
My anger, my fears and my loves inspire my songs.  There would be nothing to write about without love and anger, and no reason to write if I wasn't too shy to tell people what I was thinking.

You have a very striking image onstage --- is this an extension of how you look anyway or is it exaggerated for effect?  In the sense of feeling like you're wearing a costume.  This isn't meant as a criticism, I think you look great.  What are some of your favourite outfits?

It's an extension of how I look, my hair is always the same and I just wear more eye shadow and fewer clothes onstage.  I feel I can get away with being more provocative with my appearance when we play as the stage is a great barrier, there is always an audience so I am not going to be alone with anyone who may take advantage of my vulnerable appearance and I can play up to that to certain extent.
Also I think that if people come to see a gig they want something to look at too so I think it's my duty not to turn up wearing something I would wear in the house, but at the same time I have to be myself.
My favourite outfits are all white, apart from a green 70s nightdress that I wear as a dress.  Actually that's it, the pale green nightdress.  It's so soft and fine, and the palest green.  I love green.  More than outfits though I love shoes, the higher the better and the more damage they can potentially do to my feet, ankles and spine, the more money I am willing to pay for them!

You did mention once on your Live Journal that you're gay.   I was wondering if you think there is a fundamental difference in the way men and women write songs even they're writing about the same subject (desiring or loving a woman) or if you think certain emotions and experiences are universal?

Yes I think I mentioned being gay as I was attracted to girls more than boys that month.  It comes and goes, I am undecided, I think I am still coming to terms with the fact that I may be bisexual.  I hate that, I would rather be one or the other to be honest as I think that bisexuals get a bit of a rough deal with a lot of people seeing them as "sitting on the fence" either too scared to come out as gay or just being easy and going with someone of the same sex when they can't find someone of the opposite.  Also I hate saying the word, it sounds so silly, I never say it out loud, ever.  But to answer whether I think it makes a difference then I think not.  Emotions hold the same beauty and turbulence no matter what sex I am feeling them for.  I have written about girls and anyone reading it wouldn't have a clue.

Your band have done benefits for self harm and it's been a theme in your work (for instance, the artwork on some of your demo CDs). I self harmed on and off for many years and to be honest, I found one of the hardest things to deal with was other people's attitudes.  What made you decide to be honest about this aspect of your life --- especially as the media seem to portray male and female musicians with mental health problems very differently.  The men are seen as the tortured geniuses (Richey Edwards and Kurt Cobain) whereas the women are stigmatised and sidelined (see Courtney Love or Katie Jane Garside).

The same as you, other people's attitudes have been the hardest thing I have had to deal with as well --- the looks of disgust, not being trusted in shops, not being taken seriously, being thought of as dangerous to other people.
And I decided that I wanted to help raise awareness to start a change in the way people who SI are perceived and treated.  If more people understand then there is a good chance that more injurers will have the courage to seek help and get it.  I don't mind being sidelined for being a woman, or for any reason, I don't need recognition and I am no genius but even if I only help one person through my honesty then that is reward enough.

I know that you try and be friendly to your fans but I just wonder if you do set limits to maintain some distance.  Are you worried that an unhealthy dynamic will develop between you and your fans?  That people may be drawn to you for the "wrong" reasons and that this could have a detrimental effect on you or them?  (I'm not just thinking about the self-harm but also the anorexia).  That to some people it might seem as if you are glamourising/encouraging these behaviours although personally, I don't think you are.

I'm not worried at all, although recently it has occurred to me that I should perhaps raise a bit of a barrier.  Till now I haven't seen much need to maintain any more distance than I would with friends.  After all, a lot of the early fans have become friends but it is changing.  I do feel as though I have a responsibility now but people are drawn to others for all sorts of reasons, right and wrong, and it's not my place to decide how they choose to see me.  It's just life, a series of loving and being loved, admiring and being admired, rejecting and being rejected.   There will be people out there who know of me though I haven't heard of them and there are people who I admire tremendously who will never hear of me, but that is what makes the world go round, we are all chasing after someone else unaware we are being chased ourselves.


Why did you decide to stop using the name Living With Eating Disorders?  Was it purely a personal decision or were you influenced by what other people said (either directly to you or indirectly)?

The name LWED was never one we felt comfortable with, it created an image that we don't really fit into and touched too closely on problems that I would rather not deal with or talk about.  This was a huge pressure on two different levels.
First of all, I was put on the spot to explain myself, people would constantly ask if I had battled eating disorders - which is something I find incredibly difficult to talk about. And secondly, there was the pressure to live up to the image the name created, which made me so unhappy with my appearance --- the more attention the band seemed to get became indirectly proportional to the amount I would allow myself to eat and it spiralled out of control.

In short, the name summed up a specific time in our work together, it was never intended to be permanent and certainly not chosen to shock or offend and I would like to leave the name behind for many reasons.  It doesn't seem as sincere as it once did and I would have to make myself ill again before it does.

What made you choose the name Colt?  What does it symbolise to you?

I think the word colt sums up how we wanted to be from the start.  I like the unbroken, masculine innocence of the word colt and I think that suits what we are trying to do.  There is something about the way a young horse's unshod hooves beat on the earth that reminds of the tribal drum sound that I love.  A foal is still a little timid, not boisterous enough, and by the time a horse is fully broken and shod, it is too late, the sound is too restrained , too controlled.  The colt is at that in between stage, which has the speed and strength of the adult horse but still the wildness and curiousity of the foal.

What are your future plans for the band now?  Will you use any of the old LWED songs on your forthcoming album or are you going to start afresh?

 Well, we plan to release the album and shoot a video in the next few months, then we can get back to writing.  I have really missed writing recently and can't wait to get back to it.

As the album is already recorded we are going to release it but under the new name.  The change of name was never about getting away from what we were or from the music we make, it was directly to do with an image that was increasingly difficult for me to deal with, so the music will stay the same.



NOTE:   Colt have now released an album and an EP and are currently working on new material.


Oh your eyes are lighted windows
There's a party going on inside
Yes, your eyes are lighted windows
There's a party going on inside
Your mouth's a rollercoaster
Baby, I wanna take a ride.

When you look me over baby
Makes my face turn cherry red
When you look me over baby
Makes my face turn cherry red
Cos your mouth's a rollercoaster
But your mind is just a big brass bed.

Your mouth's a rollercoaster
I wanna take a ride
Please let me buy a ticket
Let me slip and slide
On your crazy rollercoaster
Where the wind blows free
You spoiled me baby
And now the carousel's too tame for me.

You could be gentle as a raindrop
Sweet as rock and rye
Tender as the inside of a caterpillar's thigh
But you're slick and evil
Just like your patent leather shoes
Your mouth's a rollercoaster
I've got those rollercoaster blues.

Oh your eyes are lighted windows
There's a party going on inside
Your mouth's a rollercoaster
And I truly wanna take a ride
Baby when will you decide
To let me take a little ride
So I can lose these wailing, crying
Big four poster



Diana Dors is one of my all-time favourite actresses.  She was seen as the British answer to Hollywood blonde bombshells like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield (in fact, her film career predated Jayne's and she began at the same time as Marilyn in 1947).  She was known for her peroxide glamour and brazen sex appeal.  She was widely held to be a fine actress who was under-utilised by the British film industry at the time and never really found fame in Hollywood.  As she grew older and became more matronly, she turned to more character roles and roles in the UK sexploitation movies of the late 70s as well as writing several books.  (She also appeared as the Fairy Godmother in the video to Adam Ant's Prince Charming and was featured on the album cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and a Smiths compilation that was released after her death).  Sadly she died in the early 80s or I think we would have seen her do more TV work and maybe find success in a TV soap like Barbara Windsor did.

She recorded a couple of songs in the early 1950s before recording her first and only album in 1960 supported by several nightclub appearances around the world.  She did release a few more singles over the years on different record labels but this CD is a straightforward reissue of her album and doesn't contain any bonus tracks.  The album features a selection of swing/big band/easy listening songs including standards like Let There Be Love (I'm not sure if some of the other songs were recorded by other artists).  The music is provided by the Wally Stott Orchestra who provide a competent and classy accompaniment to Diana's smooth vocals.  Wally Stott worked with the likes of Shirley Bassey and Scott Walker and went on to win Emmy Awards for composing TV scores. 

Diana performs her vocals well, demonstrating a sassy confidence on the swing numbers and purring like a sultry sex kitten on the slower numbers.  You can choose to see this album as kitsch or camp if you wish but I don't think it makes it any less marvellous.  I think what lifts it above a standard swing album of the era are some fabulously clever lyrics and Diana's assured delivery over music that sparkles and swings in all the right places.

Sanctuary Records are also to be commended for doing an excellent job with this reissue (although as I said I wish they had included her other singles).  They've kept the gatefold sleeve (with a cover shot of Diana looking suitably va-va-voomish) and lipstick red of the original vinyl release and included a booklet giving an overview of her career and featuring some gorgeous photos.  Personally, I'm delighted this album has finally been reissued.  Hearing how good it is makes me wish Diana had recorded more albums but at least she gave this one perfect moment of blonde pop seduction.



Ivy's Itch are currently working on their debut album and playing gigs around the UK. includes MP3s of some of their songs plus a video of a song from a gig at Oxford.
Ivy's Itch on Facebook


This movie was released in 2003 (although I think it may have been finished in 2001) and although it played at a couple of film festivals and some of the larger American cities, it never really received widespread release.  The DVD came out in 2004 --- it only features a couple of extras like the original trailer and a music video of one of the songs from the movie.  The film's story was written by D. D. Cheriel who based it on her experiences of playing in all-girl rock bands like Adickdid and The Teen Angels.  The director Kurt Voss is best known for his work with Allison Anders.  The film was made on a tiny budget on location in Portland featuring many local musicians as extras.  None of the main actresses/actors had any acting experience although several of them were musicians in their own right.  There are also cameos from musicians like Lemmy (who plays an incomprehensible homeless man who lives in a closet) and Inger Lorre (who appears as a partygoer and does one of her songs).


The story is a bit clichéd but the spirited performances and occasional smart lines make it surprisingly watchable (and it's a lot less melodramatic than Prey For Rock and Roll).  Fauna (played Zoe Poledouris who also wrote much of the music) is a bitchy lead singer who teams up with some other girls to launch her latest attempt at stardom.  They call their band The Paper Dolls but before long tensions appear between Fauna and the more sensitive songwriter/guitar player, Kali (played by Nicole Barrett).  These tensions worsen when Fauna takes a shine to Levi (played by Coyote Shivers, the one-time husband of Liv Tyler's mum, Bebe Buell) who Kali has had a crush on for years.   He's now the lead singer of The Suicide Bombers, a local band who are poised to sign to a major label.  There's also subplots involving the relationship dificulties of Lavender (played by Melody Moore) and the drummer, Reggie (played by Kinnie Starr).  Despite these difficulties, The Paper Dolls secure a recording contract with cult label, Pop Up Records (also home to The Suicide Bombers).  They decide to celebrate by having a house party which ends in tragedy.

Despite this storyline, the movie isn't as heavy-handed or harrowing as Prey For Rock and Roll.  It's only 90 minutes long so the pace never drags and it's quite well-written.  However, some of the acting is really bad and amateurish and the whole film has a definite low-budget feel, which is helped or hindered (depending on your viewpoint) by the fact that it's all been shot on video.  The music is great --- the music of The Paper Dolls themselves is catchy alternative rock.  It's not quite as hard-edged or abrasive as a lot of female bands associated with this scene like 7 Year Bitch or Bikini Kill.  The soundtrack also features songs from other female bands like Inger Lorre and Lo-Ball (the new band of Claudia Rossi, who used to be in Jack Off Jill).  However, it doesn't feature at least one of the key songs of the movie --- the embarrassingly twee love song that Kali writes for Levi.

Personally, I thought this was a cool little movie --- if you're into independent alternative music and films and you're prepared to overlook the odd bit of dodgy acting then you'll probably like this film.  It would be great if someone would do a double of this and Prey For Rock and Roll at one of the film festivals or Ladyfests.

There's also an interview with Kurt Voss, D. D. Cheriel and Zoe Poledouris on the Rockerchick site --- it's at


I can't seem to find any live videos or her video for Carnival Justice up on YouTube but there are plenty of other Hannah Fury songs on there.   Here are a couple of my favourites.


Hannah is working on new material but her previous CDs are still available from her website/Amazon/CD Baby or as downloads from iTunes/DigStation.

The Subterfuge EP also includes a DVD of with a video for the song to Carnival Justice (The Gloves Are Off) Part II.
The Meathook EP is listed as sold out but you may still be able to purchase it second hand and the I Can't Let You In EP is only available from Hannah's website.

Hannah also contributed vocals/lyrics to the song Trapeze on Tendrils of Pretty by The Synthetic Dream Foundation.

Hannah Fury on Facebook


They released a new album, Sing Me Malaise in 2013 - it's available from i-Tunes or CD Baby. They also have 2 previous albums still available, Penumbra and Live in the Pagan Lounge.

If you do a search on YouTube, there are quite a few videos of their live peformances especially from the Burning Man festival and The Edwardian Ball.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Thee Merry Widows are an all-girl psychobilly band from San Francisco.  I got a copy of their CD at one of their gigs on their last UK tour, a co-headliner with The Priscillas.

The CD has 4 tracks --- Grave Robbers (From Outer Space), Cruel Mistress, The Curse and Girl Assassins --- and it's packaged as a professional CD, not just a basic demo.  Psychobilly is a variation of the original rockabilly music which developed in the late 70s as pioneered by bands like The Cramps and The Misfits where bands began to merge their punk influences with a lot of B-movie horror imagery used in a kind of tongue in cheek way.  Thee Merry Widows' songs have that authentic twanging guitar sound underlaid with a double bass chugging along nicely underneath with occasional harmonies to create the spine-chilling swampland sound.  Their lead singer, Miss Eva Von Slut, has a strong voice that really suits this type of music.

I have to say that they are probably one of those bands that are best appreciated live as they are amazing performers with a very and striking visual image.  I loved their gig in Leeds --- in particular, Miss Eva, who is indeed like a punk rock version of Mae West.  But the CD acts a good introduction for those who are unable to get to the gigs or would like something to remember them by.


Sunday, 25 April 2010


For all that Los Angeles has a reputation for being a bastion of mainstream conformity, it's also always had a darker side.  Over the years L.A. has produced groundbreaking alternative bands like Jane's Addiction or X.  Mary Magdalan is the latest band to chronicle the seedy underbelly of the city.  Mary Magdalan is a female singer backed by co-writer Gzus H. and other musicians and this is their first release (being sold through their My Space page).

Mary is the daughter of 2 heroin addicts and was herself a drug addict for many years before getting clean and finding solace in music.  And Pity Girl does undoubtedly reflect that experience with all its attendant anger and fucked-up sadness.   I often have trouble marrying up celebrity drug addicts with the music they produce as it simply doesn't seem to be an accurate reflection of their life and feelings.  However, Mary and her band have done an excellent job in capturing the intense emotional experience of drug addiction.  She has an amazingly strong voice, screaming with raw emotion and raging against her situation.  Sometimes her vocal delivery is so fast and accurate that it has more of a rap influence.  But she is always backed by some really strong metal --- furious drumming and powerful guitar riffs that create an almost overwhelming wall of sound.  They've also managed to produce some really catchy songs in the likes of Rehab and I Should Kill You.

The more I've listened to this CD the more I've come to love it as I've picked up on Mary's clever, heartfelt lyrics and the subtle variations in the playing and vocal performances.  The album rages on at 100 miles an hour, screaming in your face before slowing down at the end.  It is one of these songs at the end, Debbie (written about Mary's late mother) that proves to be an emotional tour de force as Mary articulates the rage and pain that highlight the true human cost of drug addiction and also showcases a more blues-influenced tinge to her raw emotional singing style.  I thought it was a great song.

Mary Magdalan has already built up a worldwide fanbase through their strong internet presence and I'm sure their fans won't be disappointed by this debut CD from the singer who's already been dubbed The Angel of Metal.  Admittedly like a lot of other CDs I've reviewed in this issue it probably won't appeal to everyone but I can certainly imagine them building up a devoted cult following and I'll be interested to see how they follow up an album like this.



The New York Loose (or NY Loose as they became more commonly known) came out of the New York rock scene of the 90s alongside bands like D-Generation.  New York seems to pride itself on producing a particular strain of rock and roll --- street smart heartbreakers, black leather clad and effortlessly cool from Velvet Underground and The Ramones to Blondie and The Strokes.  NY Loose were a band that seemed to have it all --- their lead singer, Brijitte West, combined a cocksure swagger with a certain sweetness backed by a band of able musicians who'd cut their teeth with the likes of The Throbs and Stiv Bators, and they had killer songs --- they sounded like a dream band, as if Debbie Harry was fronting The Ramones or New York Dolls.  They released one album, Year of the Rat (which was brilliant), had a split single with Hole off The Crow soundtrack, garnered rave reviews and many fans, moved to L.A. then split up, which was nothing more or less than a musical tragedy.

Now Brijitte has reformed NY Loose with some new musicians and released this compilation album (available exclusively from Fading Ways music store online).  It's a collection of B-sides, rarities and live tracks --- only a couple of tracks appear on their debut album.  There are some great songs on here that swagger and snarl like Bitch and the country/punk hybrid of Lord Won't You Send Me A Devil.  There's enough variety within the songs to keep them from sounding too simplistic but they still have the effortlessly cool riffs that make great rock and roll songs.  And for every straightforward party song like Monolith Kids, there's a song with a darker edge like their biggest hit, Pretty Suicide or Fade (a heartbreaking ode to a friend with anorexia).  This is a great album --- I hadn't heard most of the songs on it before as they were so hard to get hold of --- it's easily the equal of Year of the Rat (which in itself I regard as one of the greatest "lost" albums of all time) and proves NY Loose/Brijitte West still have a lot more to give.