LISA KOENIG of CALAMITY JANE – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE”
with LISA KOENIG of
CALAMITY JANE

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is drummer and founder member of 90s grunge/punk band Calamity Jane. From Portland, Oregon, which went onto be a real epicentre of the riot grrrl scene, Calamity Jane started in ’88 supporting Scrawl and went on tour with Fugazi in 1990. They were also on the bill of Nirvana’s two final shows. They released three singles and an album “Martha Jane Cannary” and although their time was fleeting it was spectacular and not forgotten here at Velvet Sheep when they and the likes of Babes In Toyland lit up my school days when I sold the fanzine for 10p in lunch hour! Welcome to our now digital post-millennial pages, the chatty and charming Lisa Koenig!!!

Here’s Lisa back in action, back in the day…oh what days!

And another…why not?

I was keen not only to find out Lisa’s song choice but also to see what she’s been up to lately. She didn’t disappoint! Over to Lisa…

“Hi Nick!

Thanks for reaching out. My song of the day (actually, all year!) is Skating Polly’s “Stop Digging”. They are a couple of sisters now living in Tacoma, Wash who never fail to do everything RIGHT! I’m enamoured by them. They make great videos, already have been touring internationally (one of them is only 16 yrs old!) and have the most inventive and creative souls I’ve ever seen. Their music is like a cross between the Pixies and Nirvana and it’s just the two girls making this amazing music! They recently added their brother, Kurtis, to the group so I’m eager to see what 3 siblings can do!

After my band, Calamity Jane, toured back in the early 90’s, we basically took a “fuck you” break and went our separate ways.

Megan went back to Ashland, Gilly stayed in Portland, and I went back to Olympia where I formed the band Creep with my ex (Danny Kelly of Heliotroupe and later the Hinges) and our good friends Chris Pugh (Young Pioneers, Swallow) and Colm Meek (Heliotroupe, Young Pioneers). After playing a bit with them I pretty much stopped music altogether. I stopped listening, stopped playing, stopped going to see shows, just stopped altogether.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I picked up my acoustic guitar and started trying to strum a tune. Then one day on my way home I went to stop at the music store for a capo and ended up coming out with an electric guitar and a little Roland amp. Living on the beach here I figured the battery option might come in handy. So, that was last year…I’ve written a few songs since then and am now in the process of recording and mixing them just for shits and giggles.

But guitar is not what I play…I’m a drummer at heart. It wasn’t until last summer that I bought a used drum-set from a CraigsList ad. I was intimidated by it. It was the last instrument I bought and just sat in my house for over a month in my living room without even having tried playing it. I was scared because I didn’t know if I even COULD play anymore. I could kick myself for letting 25 years come between me and my drums!

I ended up taking lessons to relearn my chops last fall in preparation for a Calamity Jane NY’s Eve reunion show we had planned to do. Unfortunately, circumstances made us have to cancel…but in happier news, we still are looking to reform as the 3 original members and we are hoping to tour again soon. And with guess who? Maybe Skating Polly!!”

☆Lisa Koenig☆

And just for luck, here’s another great one from Calamity Jane! Love them.

THANKS SO MUCH LISA!!! 

Author: Nick Hutchings

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