It’s a summer of nostalgia for Kaia Wilson, who just recently returned from Brazil on tour with the regrouping of her seminal ’90s dyke punk band Team Dresch. And though Wilson’s recent goals have been more sport than music related as she heads to the Gay Games in Cologne this summer, she is resurrecting another band on the way to reunite in North Carolina. On Wednesday, July 21, The Butchies will play a special show in Carrboro, North Carolina.
The Butchies put out four albums between 1998 and 2004 and featured Wilson on vocals and guitar, Alison Martlew on bass and Melissa York on drums.And though they have been on hiatus since 2005, they still remain in the hearts of many queer young women. The Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill based version of Wilson’s now-Portland based Team Dresch may even have more power than other riot grrl bands over the most recent form of the dyke punk movement, giving voice to the South, an area of the country not well-known for being gay friendly.
In their later tours, The Butchies collaborated with lesbian folk icon Amy Ray, bringing together two disparate dyke genres and generations in an extremely successful crossover. And yet, in true punk rock fashion, the (Mr.) ladies are keeping it real with a 7 buck show in a small North Carolina venue. For many women in their 20s, this band that helped form not just musical but sexual identities and perspectives could command a much bigger price and place. Indeed, I do hope that the trio decides to play an NYC show as well, because the audience would be bigger and more fans would have access. Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see a band opt for the memory and roots rather than the exposure.
The Butchies strength lies not just in their awesomenss, but in their ability to reach across disparate queer groups to make a rockin’ good party and one hell of a movement. And while they have not indicated any intention of getting back together permanently, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some sort of collaborative album.