Annie Fitzgerald, Elska, Linnea Mohn and Mary Bue on #METOOMPLS

This is the final installment of interviews for #MeTooMpls, an album (and movement) to lift the voices of women/ femmes/ trans/ nonbinary folks in Minneapolis, to support sexual assault survivors and to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. CD release happening Sep 24 virtually from the Hook and Ladder.

Today we spoke with Annie Fitzgerald, Elska, Linnea Mohn (of Rogue Valley) and Mary Bue. Here are the songs they did on the album:

  • Elska:  On the Shoulders of Giants
  • Annie Fitzgerald: I Know That Sound
  • Mary Bue: How to Forgive your Rapist
  • Linnea Mohn: A Part

In an album that holds no punches, these songs are hard hitting, beautiful and produced to both lift of the artist but the entire community. Sung to make us stronger.

Annie’s I Know that Sounds speaks to the impact of emotional abuse. That sound – is of egg shells cracking. The writing of the song was daunting but apparently the chorus, the idea of egg shells cracking came quickly. It was written with empathy for herself and others with a goal of meaning. The imagery of the line is so evocative; I think many women will recognize that paralyzing feeling.

Elska’s song, on the Shoulder’s of Giants, celebrates the movements before the movement. It feels like the #metoo movement just began almost out of nowhere but Elska sings about the generations that made it possible. The women before (and among) us who fought the fight. We still have a long way to go but we’re in a moment where, because of the bravery before us, the stories are being hear. There is strength in knowing we are not alone.

Linnea was joined by her five month old daughter. You gotta love a girl who wants to be a part of the conversation and it was a reminder that we want the world to be better for our daughters. Linnea spoke of the importance of Planned Parenthood, the beneficiary of the funds and the need to highlight what women deal with in the music industry. Daily! The inspiration of A Part was the idea of making the next right choice to get you to where you need to be.

Mary Bue’s song How to Forgive your Rapist is raw; Mary has a history of brutally honest music (Petty Misdemeanor) that calls out the need for great accountability for predatory actions. We talked about the hurtful need, not to forgive your rapists, because there’s no need to do that, but the need to forgive yourself. The song is a reminder or lesson to victims to recognize that there is nothing to forgive. It’s not your fault!

We talked as a group about the power in this collection to both bolster women/femmes/ trans/ nonbinary folks and call out the need for accountability, for community-wide need to want to make the world safer for women but also better for black, indigenous and people of color. The intersectionality of the moment has never been clearer, given the murder of George Floyd (and others!) in our own community and the imposed closure of so much due to the pandemic.

When the world, especially of music, is able to open up again things will be different. They will be different because of pandemic precautions but that’s an opportunity to make larger changes for equity as well.

And their advice for their younger selves:

  • Annie – listen to the little voice inside, even when it seems quiet. Trust it!
  • Elska – believe in yourself sooner – and go for it.
  • Mary – Not everyone needs to like you – so no need to people please to your assault.

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