Baby Boomers are Angry, Too
I'm sitting, sweating beads in Loveland, Colorado before I head to Boulder for the last show of my first mini-Colorado run. Hope you've been enjoying your summer - it's hot as all hell here, and I just read that scientists reported the temp being a record high across the US this week. But at least Pruitt left the EPA. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won New York's Democratic Primary! And yesterday I ate an Orange Twist ice cream and identified a bunch of wildflowers while hiking around in the Rockies, so not all is lost.
"Don't Be Alarmed" went up on my Bandcamp site so if you haven't downloaded it yet, do so now! It was the first time I released something with, like, an actual release date, followed by press, followed by a great show a few days later. I did that with my EP release last year, but it felt rushed and I've learned a lot since then. This time was much smoother and very fun. I got way more press with this release, and my audience has about doubled and extends much farther than just Portland. Knowing that a few hundred more people actually sat and listened to the song felt...weird? Good? 100% terrifying? Honestly I don't know how to feel about it other than happy to have played a show with my pals. Rascal Miles broke hearts and mended them, and Evan Way and The Phasers kept us cool with some perfectly loose psych-rock. Pete, Noah, Dan and I are having a lot of fun with the new songs - they are much louder and speak to all the music I (we) have been absorbing over the past year and a half. The new stuff is influenced by Portland's psych scene, by the British punk-rock scene I enjoy so much, and by Marxist eco-feminist literature I've lost myself in. I talk briefly about that in this XRAY interview I did with Ross Beach, if you want to listen.
We'll have a Eugene release show on July 21st at HiFi Music Hall and you can RSVP here.
Speaking of British punk-rock, I just confirmed all my tour dates for my first run over there in September, and I'm so looking forward to it. The folks who I'm sharing shows with and some of the punk-y venues I'm playing I learned about back in my teens when I daydreamt about playing those exact same venues. It's not like I've won a gold medal or anything, but if you had told 17-year-old Olivia that she'd be playing those venues in 10 years time, I would have either a) shat myself; or b) slapped you in disbelief - and I don't believe in violence! It's going to be a very special trip. If you live over there and want to join in the fun, tickets are available now for my Sept 6th show at the Green Note in London.
Colorado has been great and the landscape is extremely beautiful. I love touring not just because I enjoy sharing my songs with new crowds, but because my existence as a traveling musician overlaps with people's everyday lives in a unique way. And I get to see parts of the country I don't always get to see. The Rockies make me want to quit everything and backpack for the rest of my life, and it's entirely possible I do that, but I should probably stick with music at least a little longer - and backpack when I can. The tour has also gotten me out of Portland's hipster-saturated liberal bubble, something that I think is required for healthy debate and perspective at least once every 6 months.
My politics aren't a secret, and the new songs I'm sharing are the most blatantly political I've ever written. I think people are fine with that. After the house show last Saturday, people came up to say they've never needed angry music like they do now, and it reminded them of a new take on political folk songwriting, which is exactly what I'm trying to do. Not all the songs are angry - most of them are reflective narratives of larger questions regarding the environment and gender. You'd think it was a house full of pent-up millennials, but actually it was a house full of baby boomers who need the same outlet as everybody else. Many of them were older women (and men) who said they'd wished they could have listened to these songs in the 60s and 70s, and I felt really proud of that. I've been writing with an audience in mind (writing specifically to women, for women and LGBTQIA folks), and thinking about what I would want to rock out to at a punk show, regardless of age. I think breaching the generation gap and talking to people of all ages is what really makes a song universal. And baby boomers got a kick out of my singing the word "motherfucker" so many times in a row. I'm surprised but happy to see these new songs filling a void in both older and younger generations.
I've got this show in Boulder tonight, and then a smattering of summer dates (including my first Doug Fir Patio Session with my musical/emotional support partners Tara Velarde and Clara Baker) before the band starts recording with Hutch in late August, and then heading to England in September. Things are a rollin' and pretty damn good. Onwards and upwards with smashing the patriarchy and shit! See you out on the road or in town, or come over for ice tea.