Pansy EP Release

Today I’m releasing my EP “Pansy”

It’s a 32 minute tape of sad queer songs about trauma and love and gender and ugliness, written last spring when I was heartbroken and homeless.

Side A has guitar & synth songs with my melodramatic voice crooning about rape culture, gun violence, internalized transphobia, bullying, unrequited love, and feeling creepy, plus a different cover song on each tape. Side B is solo improvised cello; an exploration of the instrument’s capacity for ghastly textures and general ugliness.

The digital version is ✨free✨ / pay-whatever. There are 28 cassettes, and they are priced at one for £1, one for £2, and so on up to one for £28. I’m donating 15% of the sales money to Action For Trans Health as an act of solidarity because they do amazing direct action work to fund healthcare for trans people in the UK.


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Listen to or buy the digital version

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This project has been really important to me personally because music was weaponized against me by my abusive ex (fuck you, Charles Potashner, aka Shapeshifter promotions in London) and it’s the first time I’ve written music since then.


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See all the artwork or buy a cassette

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It’s also the first time I’ve made music all on my own, without any help, ever! I did every part of the project by myself: writing the lyrics and music, engineering and recording each cassette direct-to-tape in my bedroom 29 times (28 tapes + 1 for the digital version), painting the shells, hand-writing the liner notes, typing up the plant fact inserts, hand-drawing the plant artwork, and photographing the whole process; and, I’ll be hyping and selling and shipping them all out myself too. It’s been a lot of work and I’ve found it to be empowering, frustrating, cathartic, and long.

This is the first year I’ve played and performed since I left Charles; reclaiming music has been difficult and wonderful. I’m so so grateful to everyone who has encouraged me, asked me to play with them, allowed me to play with them, come to our shows, recorded with me, and especially my housemates who tolerated my repetitive live bedroom performances as I recorded these tapes.

DIY or die

Tradescantia zebrina release

Last night Kevin Sanders and I released our cellotronik collaboration, Tradescantia zebrina.

It’s cinematic and atmospheric and eerie, like the soundtrack to a movie I want to watch but wouldn’t want to be a character in.

It’s available in digital and CD format. The CDs are hand-stamped and come with gorgeous art by Siobhán Britton. The digital version is free / pay-what-you-can, and 100% of the sales will be split between the following amazing, underfunded direct action projects: Action for Trans Health, Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth (HASL), Movement For Justice, and Not Your Fault.

DIY or die

EDIT: We will not be giving any money to Movement For Justice, because recently a former member has spoken out about the structure of MFJ as a front organization for Revolutionary Internationalist League, run by white English men (not migrant-led) and rife with psychological and emotional abuse, which (within the organization and in general) disproportionately falls on women and migrants with precarious immigration status. MFJ has materially helped some asylum seekers and refugees, but we believe survivors when they say that the organization is abusive and that the material aid is tokenistic and only offered when it’s politically advantageous. We won’t be donating any money to MFJ because we believe and stand with survivors of abuse. You can read what they have to say here: unfollowmfj.wordpress.com

Angry Plant // Plant Dad

Content note: abuse

Last week, myself and another (anonymous) survivor of abuse teamed up and disrupted an abuser’s upcoming gigs by messaging all of the bands who were going to play the shows he was promoting under the name Shapeshifter. Unexpectedly, enough of the bands responded positively to us and refused to play the abuser’s shows; so they were cancelled! I was surprised but very happy, and we wanted to make sure the bands weren’t punished by losing a gig, so we decided to put on our own gig in celebration/vengeance. We became promoters, calling ourselves Angry Plant.

Born out of anger.

Angry Plant is a tiny collective of outspoken survivors, fed up with the silence and acceptance of abuse in the music scene.

Support survivors; support bands who support survivors.

We organized a gig at the Beehive in Bow with one of the bands from the abuser’s gig (Artefact), and another great band (Witching Waves), and myself playing as Plant Dad. It was my first time promoting a show in London, and my first time playing a solo cello set, and it went well! People liked my noisy cello and we made enough money to pay the bands which is always a victory. We also had lots of support and solidarity from friends and many bands in the scene. There was minimal bullshit, from people resistant to the idea that they know an abuser.

Predictably, the abuser is threatening to sue us for “defamation” which is hilariously unlikely to work in his favor. He’s also trying to work with other abusers to delegitimize survivors’ claims against him. Advice to all abusers (including you, Charles Potashner): if you want people to stop publicly denouncing you as an abuser, try not abusing people; if you have already abused people, try apologizing and offering to do whatever the survivors ask to restore their agency and be accountable. It’s actually really boring to constantly talk about abuse but since the music scene is still full of abusers, here we are, and we’re not shutting up about it any time soon.

 

[Image description: a grainy photograph of myself, wearing a pink cap and a gray scarf, playing the cello on a stage next to a drum kit, under green lighting. Photo by Christopher Gill.]

“Pansy” EP Pre-Release to benefit the Transgender Law Center, and Action For Trans Health

Today, bandcamp is donating all of their profits to the Transgender Law Center in the US. To maximize the impact, I’m doing a 24 hour release of an A Side / B Side single from my new EP “Pansy” for £1.

15% of the money raised will go straight to the TLC (that’s bandcamp’s usual cut), and on top of that I’ll be donating 15% of my share to Action for Trans Health in the UK. It will only be available for 24 hours, from 8:00am Friday August 4 to 8:00 Saturday August 5, during bandcamp’s campaign. After that if you want to hear it, you’ll have to wait until I release the whole EP at the end of the summer.

The A Side is “But Why”, a song about weird romantic cultural norms. The B Side is a cover of “I Am Hated For Loving” by my fav trash lord, Morrissey, re-imagined as a trans love song to self. “But Why” will be on the full EP, but the cover won’t be so if you want trans mozzer, this is your only chance.

It’s only £1!

Support trans artists & trans activism!

When I release the full EP, the digital version will be free / pay-what-you-can, and I’ll continue donating 15% of my earnings from both the digital and physical versions to A4TH.

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UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone who bought or shared my pre-relase single yesterday.

Bandcamp’s profits were about $100,000 (!!!) which will all go to the Transgender Law Center. My sales are just a drop in the bucket but I’m really proud that my music contributed to this massive fundraiser. On average you spent almost 4 times as much as my suggested price: bandcamp’s share came to £10.13 which will go to the TLC, and I’m giving the same (well, £11, rounding up) to Action For Trans Health. Lots of the support came from other trans artists which warms my cynical heart tbh.

I’m overjoyed that my music can materially support activist groups. When I release the full EP at the end of the summer, the digital version will be pay-what-you-can / free, and I’ll keep donating 15% to A4TH.

Cello on Abi Robins’ “Such A Mess”

I’m very excited to have my cello featured on Abi Robins’ new folk album, Such A Mess. Abi’s a good friend of mine and an excellent musician, and it was a pleasure to record and perform with her around Denver.

2012-06-15 Abi Robins Swallow Hill

Performing with Abi and Sean Renner last year at Swallow Hill

We recorded with a home-made mic in her basement studio.

You can hear me on “Let Me Explain”; “I, Of The Tiger”; “Liar”; and “What Can I Say”.