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    Friday
    Aug172018

    NEW FRIENDSHIP COMMANDERS SINGLE + VIDEO "HORRIFY" OUT TODAY! // PRE-ORDER BILL ALBUM!

    Two big announcements today!

    First, the debut single from the BILL album is here! We're so happy to share "HORRIFY" with you all. Links to the song on different platforms below, as well as a link to our video for it, directed by Jerry Roe, shot by Jerry Roe and Perry Bean! Special thanks to Kat JonesEJ Holmes Dawson, and Perry Bean for their incredible help. Song written by Buick Audra; produced by Steve Albini and us. Cover photo by Zach Barocas; art and layout by Buick Audra and Ric Simenson. If you're interested, the lyrics are at the very bottom of this post.

    SINGLE: BANDCAMP // SPOTIFY // YOUTUBE

    Second, you can now pre-order the BILL album! We're offering it on vinyl, CD, and as a digital download, of course. There are even a handful of extra special bundles available, in which you can get a handmade skinny necktie made by Buick herself (she has a line of ties called B. Arson Neckwear) and a copy of the album on CD or vinyl. 

    ALBUM: BANDCAMP // ITUNES // AMAZON

    On "HORRIFY":
    We destroy that which we love; it sometimes feels safer than the alternative. But tearing down another person or a relationship also tears down part of the self. It’s a temporary fix for a bigger problem. We’d be wise to look inward instead of at the faults of others, but where’s the fun in that? In short: friendship is hard.

    Thanks for your support!

    -BA

      

    HORRIFY

    I’ll show you orphans sleeping on pavement
    I’ll show you hopeless human arrangements
    I’ll show you lands with no leaders - but laws against reform
    still, I’m a monster, or so you have stated

    are you horrified?
    tell me again
    are you horrified?
    tell me all about the different lie you’re living with this time

    one epidemic gave birth unto another
    the child who struggled to thrive became a mother
    then all the factors collide to rob the childhood from the child
    still, you insist that I’m the enemy, the other

    give me a rag to wash the makeup off my face
    take off my costume, let me stand here in my place
    I’m just a person in need of basic decency and grace
    still, you reject me!
    you say I’m not the same

    are you horrified?
    tell me again
    are you horrified?
    tell me all about the different life you’re living in this time
    and this: are you are horrified?

    if I were dying, you could love me
    but I’m living, so you can’t
    if I were dying, you could love me
    but I’m living, so you can’t
    if I were dying, you could love me
    but I’m living, so you can’t
    if I were dying, you could love me
    but you can’t

    are you horrified?
    tell me again
    are you horrified?
    tell me all about the different ways you’re winning at this life
    and this: are you horrified?
    tell me again
    are you horrified?

    Monday
    Aug062018

    NEW FRIENDSHIP COMMANDERS ALBUM, BILL // 10.5.18

    Friends!

    I'm thrilled to share the release date of the second album by Friendship Commanders, BILL: October 5th, 2018. We made this record with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago IL. We're so proud of it and so ready for you to hear it. The first single and video, "Horrify," releases on all digital platforms on August 17th! There will be more to come between then and the album's release, so please be sure to follow, like, and subscribe to us wherever you get your music! Links below.

    As a body of work, BILL is about to trying to be a human and know other humans during inhumane times. Part of that is reckoning with one's self, part of that is either accepting those around us or letting them go. And yet another part of that is making sure that we're not just focusing on our own success and safety, but those of the community around us. It's time for tolerance and service and hope, not destroying one another and ourselves.

    The stunning album cover photo was taken by Zach Barocas; we love it so much. The design was done by Ric Simenson and myself.

    SPOTIFY // YOUTUBE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BANDCAMP


    We're also excited to tell you that we're doing some dates with ROYAL THUNDER next month! And most of the shows are in cities we've not yet played; we're very much looking forward to them. Dates below. Additional tour dates in support of the new album to come soon!

    Thanks for your support!

    -BA

    SHOWS

    09/03/18 --- Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern
    09/04/18 --- Nashville, TN - The End
    09/05/18 --- Birmingham, AL - The Nick
    09/07/18 --- St. Petersburg, FL - Fubar
    09/08/18 --- Jacksonville, FL - Nighthawks


    *All dates supporting ROYAL THUNDER

    Thursday
    Jun072018

    June and July shows with Friendship Commanders

    Hi!
    Love and thanks to all who came out to FC's Raise Your Voice shows last month! We had a terrific time - and we registered some people to vote. So, mission accomplished! We're grateful to the venues, promoters, organizations, bands, and friends who participated.

    We're playing a handful of shows at the end of this month and beginning of July. Dates below. Announcements about the forthcoming album will be made next month; stay tuned!

    Last, if you'd like to hear me chat with some friends about being in a touring band, being female in the heavy music scene, and assortment of other things, check out this episode of the Punching Out podcast. Thanks to Tom Messmer for asking me to be a part!

    I wish you a happy beginning of Summer. See you out there.

    -BA

    FC SHOWS

    06/23/18 --- The P&H Cafe, Memphis TN
    06/28/18 --- The Milestone, Charlotte NC
    06/29/18 --- Guido's Speakeasy, Frederick MD
    07/01/18 --- St. Vitus Bar, Brooklyn NY
    07/02/18 --- The Pharmacy, Philadelphia PA

    Monday
    Apr092018

    First solo show in five years // Friendship Commanders voter registration tour in May // RED FANG/FC Nashville show

    Hello!

    Happy Spring to you all!

    First and foremost, I'm honored to be included in a two day event benefiting musician, father, and friend, Adrian Lemberger, this Saturday night, April 14th. Adrian has been fighting Acute Myeloid Leukemia since the end of last year, and this set of shows will directly benefit his recovery fund. The weekend-long event is at Bottom Lounge in Chicago and features some truly great musicians. It's a personal milestone for me, as I've not played a proper solo set since 2013. I'll be playing some songs from my solo catalog, a few from the Friendship Commanders catalog, and maybe some brand new work. I'm looking forward to it!

    On the subject of Friendship Commanders, we're heading out for a couple of shows at the end of this month, and then several more dates in May. We've curated a tour called RAISE YOUR VOICE in which we'll be visiting some of the states with the lowest voter turnout numbers in recent elections. We'll have voter registration materials available at every single show, both digital and hard copy. Also, we're playing with RED FANG in Nashville on May 4th. Hope to see you at some of the shows! To keep up with FC's dates, follow us on Bandsintown.

    News about when the FC Albini album will be released soon!

    -BA

    BA SHOWS

    04/14/18 --- Bottom Lounge, Chicago IL

    FC SHOWS

    04/27/18 --- The Circle Bar, New Orleans LA
    04/28/18 --- Houston Punkfest, Houston TX
    05/03/18 --- Crosstown Arts, Memphis TN
    05/04/18 --- Exit/In, Nashville TN
    05/06/18 --- Resonator, Norman OK
    05/08/18 --- The Spruce Goose, Houston TX
    05/09/18 --- Hi-Tones, San Antonio TX
    05/10/18 --- Revolution Cafe, Bryan TX
    05/11/18 --- Workers Revival Fest, Kansas City MO
    05/12/18 --- Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS
    05/13/18 --- Burlington Bar, Chicago IL
    05/16/18 --- 123 Pleasant St., Morgantown WV
    05/18/18 --- JJ's Bohemia, Chattanooga TN
    05/19/18 --- Kavarna, Decatur GA
    05/24/18 --- PG, Evansville IN
    05/25/18 --- The Cure Lounge, Louisville KY

     

     

    Thursday
    Dec282017

    2017 in Review // FC'S Forthcoming Album with Steve Albini // Thoughts About Service

    As predicted, 2017 was a year of collaboration for me. I tend to get to the week after Christmas and feel like I haven't done much with my year, but I snapped out of it pretty quickly this time. This year has held a lot. A lot of music, a lot of working with others, a lot of life.

    The year started with the Women's March in D.C., an experience I'll remember as long as I live. I marched with some of my oldest and dearest friends; all of us had travelled great distances to be there. We were there in solidarity with one another, and with everyone who believes in a better future—and we were there in direct opposition to the current administration. I continue to stand against. I participated in fifteen protests this year and I'm sure there will be more ahead. There seems to be no end to the bigotry and dishonesty coming out of the White House and also Tennessee's capital. It's hard to know which fire to try to put out first these days. On the positive side of things, I've met some rad fellow activists out there, and have had the chance to work with some forward-moving groups like the Tennessee Equality Project right here in Nashville. I hope to do more with them in the coming year.

    Photo by Iris Robert

    As soon as I got back to Nashville from D.C., Jerry and I were involved in a creative project called the East Fowlkes Sextet. A four song EP was rendered at the Rock House in Franklin TN, aptly titled The Rock House Sessions. The recording documents composition and performances by: Zach Barocas, Kevin McKendree, Jerry Roe, Steve Mackey, Yates McKendree, and myself. It was a delightful and productive time and I'm proud of what we created. Thanks to Zach and Kevin for making it happen.

    Photo by Laura McKendree

    This was a non-album year for Friendship Commanders, but we did release an EP ourselves, a 7" record called JUNEBUG, also in the spirit of collaboration. Each of the four songs has a contribution from (or was inspired by) someone outside of the band. Jesse Michaels (Operation Ivy, Classics of Love) co-wrote a song, N.A. Huebsch Jr. contributed a German translation to another, one song is an Iodine cover, and last, one song was inspired by and is dedicated to BELLS≥. We made one video for that body of work, for "Berlin." Some twenty-three people were involved in that, to whom we're grateful. The record partially benefits the ACLU. 

    As I posted about here, I curated and released a compilation called Resolution of Happiness on my label, Trimming The Shield Records. The comp 100% benefits Lambda Legal. It features work by nineteen bands and artists, cover art by Karen Mooney (a.k.a. Moongerm), and graphic work by Veronica Burgos (a.k.a. Evey in Orbit). My band has a protest song on it called "Scuffle," for which we also made a video. Gratitude and appreciation to all involved, especially Alex McCollough, who donated his mastering services.

    I was honored to have written pieces included in three female-run zine projects this year:

    1. In This Body, Our Bodies Our Voice, 2017, edited by Avery Muether, benefiting Planned Parenthood.
    2. On Haring, Hope, and Shutting My Own Mouth, Esta Tierra, An American Zine Born From the Resistance, 2017, edited by Karen Curtiss and Mari Irizzary, benefiting The International Rescue Committee (IRC)Honor the EarthACLUPlanned Parenthood and The Audre Lorde Project.
    3. CARRIE: They Had It ComingHorror // Ripe with Rage Issue 1, 2017, edited by Veronica Burgos, benefiting Nashville's Sexual Assault Center.

    FC did three tours in 2017; we made it to both coasts and a bunch in the middle. I love to tour and have missed being on the road this season. Alas, we needed to get our second album in fighting shape.

    Photo by Aaron Ehinger

    About that album: we recorded our new album with Steve Albini at his studio, Electrical Audio! We were up there for a week at the end of November and beginning of December. I don't have a ton of details to share about the release yet, but it will come out in 2018. The experience was the most positive I've ever had in the studio. I had a slew of past recording experiences shape some ideas about myself and others, and I have to say, working with Albini undid all of them. Turns out, he knows what he's doing. Albini is the first outside engineer FC have ever worked with in the studio, so it was a big change of pace and scenery for us. We're going to have a hard time ever going back to the way we used to do things. More on that release soon, I promise. For now, here's a photo from the last day of the sessions.

    My year wrapped with some service, some of which went smoothly, and some of which didn't. For the last seven years, I've led a project called Let Me Help (definitely named after the Bad Brains song). Our goal is to outfit the residents of the Safe Haven Family Shelter and Magdalene House (both in Nashville) with handmade warm wares during the holiday season. We started out small, have grown over the years, and have had some truly successful and smooth recent years. This year, participation was low. Communication was poor. I found myself feeling disappointed and resentful toward people who had promised items and then not come through—and not let me know with enough time to cover the losses. They didn't let me know at all, actually. I had to chase people down on the deadline date, only to find that they hadn't finished the items. I had a fifteen item loss on the day of the submission deadline. And I had received apathy in response, to boot. I still don't know what to do with that kind of thing. It's not appropriate to react, but I'm a human being. I have expectations just like everyone else. I do my best to manage them, but sometimes they creep up just the same. I try to operate from a place of hope and PMA, but sometimes shit's a mess. And this season, it was a mess.

    Part of what stunned me, is that people chose this year to bail. This year of garbage leadership and garbage policies. So many peoples' lives and freedoms on the line. My inclination is to go further into service at times like this. Apparently, this is not the case for everyone. Some have retreated. Some have gone inward. I can't claim to understand it, but I know my job is to accept it. I had to accept that we didn't have enough items to serve Magdalene House this year. It was what it was. I'm still incredibly grateful to the thirteen people who knit and crocheted such lovely pieces this year; we did outfit thirty-five adults and children. Maybe that's enough. Maybe it's not for me to know. But, if I could say one thing to whoever is reading this, I'd say: I know it's easy to feel like someone else will take care of it, whatever it is. I'm guilty of this myself. But, there isn't always someone else. Sometimes it falls to us. Sometimes it's our job to take care of our own selves as well as others. To give what we can, even if we feel like we don't have much. I'm eternally broke (such has been the story of my life in the arts), I've been tired for twenty years, I'm not ever sure of what I'm doing, and my faith in human beings has taken some serious hits in recent years. Serious. But I don't know of another way to chip away at the problem. If I'm not part of the solution, I can't be sure that someone else is. 

    I'm going to sit with my thoughts and feelings about service before I decide whether or not to do an eighth year of Let Me Help. It might simply have run its course. It might be time for me not to lead. I don't know. I do know that I'm proud of what we've been able to do in the seven years up to this point. More will be revealed.

    As we face 2018, I am encouraged by the idea of a fresh start. We learn as we go, and go we must. I will leave my exhaustion, resentments, and expectations in 2017 where they belong. I'm grateful for what I was able to be a part of this year, and even more grateful for the education each situation gave to me.

    I wish each of you a healthy and purposeful new year, and I hope our paths cross. Onward.

    Respect, hope, and PMA,

    BA