Sneak Peek at #METOOMPLS upcoming CD release show on September 24 at the Hook & Ladder

#METOOMPLS is a CD (and movement) to lift the voices of women/femmes/trans/nonbinary folks in Minnesota, to support sexual assault survivors and to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. The CD will be released with an online release show from the stage of the Hook and Ladder on September 24.

I can’t wait. The collection is painful, inspiring and cathartic. I want everyone to listen to it; I want to talk about the songs, to start the conversations we need to have. Also, the music is amazing. I could listen to it on loop for days. Each of the 17 artists has brought their best and then some to their songs.

Today, I had the great pleasure of hanging out at The Hook and Ladder for the pre-recording session of four of the 17 featured artists: Katy Vernon, Mary Bue, Annie Fitzgerald and JØUR (Jourdan Myers).

Watching each record their two-song set was an intimate experience, especially given the nature of the songs. It’s a different intimacy than a livestream from a bedroom, this is old school look-into-the-soul intimacy. I think the intimacy is captured in the film.

Katy started in an amazing gold lamé Vintage swim suit. (Picture Marilyn Monroe with an accent.) Backed by a full band (Clay Williams, Simon Husbands , Reed Pagel, Chris McAtee  and Paul Odegaard), she played Shine, a song about owning who you are. She joked that the theme of the songs helped her choose her outfit! It’s an upbeat march into action with a sweet and powerful voice proving she/we can be both! It’s a celebration song and we celebrated.

Mary took the stage with Jeremy Ylvisaker on guitar to play How to Forgive Your Rapist, an appropriately angry song. It’s the sort of anger than gives us strength and it’s the kind of strength that hasn’t always been encouraged in women. A song that makes the listener feel stronger. Musically there’s a blend of Mary’s voice and Jeremy’s guitar when he goes noisy-ambient that clicks and you feel it in your heart as clearly as you hear  it. It magnifies the intensity of the song in the best way.

Annie played I Know that Sound with bandmembers Steve Bosmans and Matt Patrick. It’s a pretty sounding song that almost disguises the heartbreak of the lyrics. Not to spoil it, but she sings about the sound of egg shells cracking and the loveliness of the sound of her voice and song play into a tactic we (women/femme/trans/nonbinary people) take when walking on eggshells around volatility. We strive to be harmonious. She captures that abject vulnerability beautifully.

Batting clean up is JØUR (Jourdan Meyers) with Won’t Stop Me Now. She walks in alone easy breezy. Sets up as she talks to us and “in the spirit of the live show” knocks out this anthem in one go. A nod to her line “not your cheap trick hotty” and to the ethos of the song and the power to say no. And if saying no isn’t working we need to shout with Jourdan. It’s a great dance song that builds to a strong crescendo. It’s a great message. Jourdan makes it looks so easy.

That’s just a snapshot of an incredible album.

And a nod to the Hook and Ladder for hosting. The Hook is a nonprofit venue and greater supporter of local music located directly next door to the Minneapolis Police’s Third Precinct. It is amazing that it is still there. They suffered damage but they are rebuilding and it will be as good, if not better, than new. It is a former fire house. Speaking to Executive Director, Chris Mozena, it sounds like thick doors, unbelievable water pressure and I lot of luck have served them well and they will use that good luck to continue to serve the community.

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