The Northwestern Music Nexus -- Question 1: Team Dresch

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grant
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The Northwestern Music Nexus -- Question 1: Team Dresch

Postby grant » Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:51 am

I. The Northwestern Music Nexus, Introduction

I posit that the following is true:

Premise 1: The Long Winters are from the Pacific Northwest.

Premise 2: Members of The Long Winters have a reputation for "knowing everyone" in the world of independent pop.

Assumption: Members of The Long Winters (and, by extension, their fanbase) are thus able to answer questions about other independent bands from the Pacific Northwest.

If this concept appeals to anyone else, post up another NMN thread for your question, or do your darndest to answer someone else's. It could be the start of something beautiful.

II. The Northwestern Music Nexus, Question 1.

1a. Team Dresch - I just discovered them recently, and they rock my socks off. They sound like a missing link between Superchunk and Sleater-Kinney. Where'd they go? What was their deal, maaaan?

1b. The Team Dresch song "107" -- it's kind of clear that the song is about an unhappy relationship (either a breakup or a big fight or an unrequited thing). But I can't for the life of me figure out what the number means. Is it some private reference? Or a street number? Or some kind of subcultural slang I've never run across? Any ideas?

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kaia = ex team dresch

Postby wonderbex » Mon Jul 14, 2003 12:27 pm

after Team Dresch broke up, Kaia Wilson went solo and released an incredibly awesome album called "kaia" that swept through my college like wildfire, particularly the song '16' which still makes me weep, in an emotionally evocative way. In fact, when Kaia returned to school for a 2nd gig, all of us got to join her on stage (well, it was the front of a room anyway -- i meant 'stage' in a metaphorical sense) to sing '16.' Whoof, that song kicks my ass to this day.

Kaia is currently in The Butchies (www.thebutchies.com), a lesbionic power trio (who also performed a few times at my college. Go Wes!)

All albums are, i think, available on the wondrous Mr. Lady label (home of The Butchies, Kaia, and Le Tigre, among others). www.mrlady.com (Kaia is a co-founder of the label)

Yay.

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ah...

Postby sean » Sun Jul 20, 2003 3:17 am

you have come to the right place. pardon me while i get my serious geek on.

i LOVED team dresch. i was at their first show, at the velvet elvis arts lounge in seattle, where they were billed as Kaia, Donna, Jody and okay, Scott, Too--the drummer was scott plouf, then of the spinanes, now of built to spill. he was only in the band for one weekend. the other three founding members were (1) the great kaia wilson, solo acoustic singer/songwriter formerly of eugene punkers adickdid (terrible name, awesome band); she was a life-changer for me at a time when my life was subject to frequent change at the hands of musicians. (2) the great donna dresch, owner of chainsaw records/ fanzine, NW punk legend who used to be in screaming trees and dinosaur jr. and (3) the inestimably great jody bleyle, who was then best known as the drummer in hazel, my favorite portland band of all time; jody was and is a force of nature, as well as the all-time queen of stage banter, as well as the last lesbian i was ever foolish enough to fall even partially in love with, but that's a whole 'nother story. rounding out the group were drummers marci martinez (first album) and melissa york (second). jody and donna stayed at my house a few times, because my old band used to play with hazel a lot. i know it's silly, but i felt like i was entertaining royalty. i was so honored.

team dresch was not the first defiantly out dyke punk rock band (tribe 8 predated them, among others), but they were certainly the most visible at the time. they were also the best, because they were the first to make a point of having their shit together musically. without them, there would be no sleater-kinney, and not just because donna put out the first s-k CD.

team dresch made a point of being strident and political, but their music was incredibly pleasing (see "she's amazing"). they were also funny. they were also famous. i'll never forget opening rolling stone and seeing a full page piece on them in 1994. they coined the term "lesbionic." jody got beat up outside la luna in portland after a TD show, and when she went to court to protest the assault, the judge told her that she was, in effect, asking for it by being so flagrantly out of the closet on stage. for more on this story, listen to the song "don't try suicide," and check out the first yo yo a go go compilation, on which jody tells a story about the court date that will make you want to laugh, cry, and start a band.

team dresch made two great albums, both produced by john goodmanson (Personal Best and Oh Captain, My Captain), both co-released by chainsaw and jody's label, candy-ass. they also released several 7-inch singles. they were unbelievably good live. alas, the combination of jody and kaia, two enormously gifted songwriters whose gifts aimed them in radically different directions, proved too volatile, and the band hung it up in 1997 or so, re-emerging with slightly different line-ups for brief, ill-advised moments in the year that followed.

team dresch made a huge impact on my life, and it seems strange that their cultural moment was almost 10 years ago. i'm glad that people are still discovering them.

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Postby Forrest » Sun Jul 20, 2003 9:47 am

That last post only further bolsters my hypothesis that Sean's impressive explosion of hair is merely camouflage for his enormous, pulsating brain.

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Postby grant » Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:13 am

I think their particular combination of gender politics and gut-dropping chord changes makes their cultural moment stretch out to the present... they certainly still seem relevant, if you know what I mean.

I know I'm doing my best to spread the word.

Anyone have any ideas about "107" though?


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