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Tag: "Adrian and the Sickness"

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Kathy Valentine: The Go-Go’s Say Goodbye

Since the early ‘80s, The Go-Go’s have been a force to be reckoned with. The first all-female band to have a number one album (1982’s Beauty and the Beat) got together in Los Angeles in 1978. The line up of Belinda Carlisle on vocals, Charlotte Caffey on keyboards, Jane Wiedlin on guitar, Kathy Valentine on bass and Gina Schock on drums made history when four of their catchy pop songs charted on Billboard’s Top 40. Internal friction split the Go-Go’s up in 1984 but the band re-formed in 1990. Sadly, July marks the Farewell Tour for this iconic group who, after 30 years, have decided to hang up their mic stands and call it a day.

The Go-Go’s were a massive inspiration to me. The image of and camaraderie between five women who wrote and played their own music was a powerful elixir. I was so intent on following in their footsteps, I joined an all-female band and learned to play bass. And wouldn’t you know, the first two songs I ever learned were “We’ve Got the Beat” and “Our Lips are Sealed.” Those songs may sound simple enough but let me tell you Kathy Valentine writes deceptively intricate bass lines!

Kathy Valentine - photo by Arnold Neimanis.

Now, with the legendary Go-Go’s going, going and nearly gone, I talked with Kathy about the grand finale which winds up in her home town of Austin, Texas as well as the other cool stuff she’s got going on. She’s a mom to a rockin’ young daughter. She’s in another all-female band, The BlueBonnets and she recently produced an album for Adrian and the Sickness .  Kathy is also writing a 140 character at a time memoir on Twitter that you can follow at @kvmemoir! Since she was 16, Kathy has taken music very seriously. Bet you didn’t know that before the Go-Go’s, she played in Girlschool! Kathy was gracious enough to shed some light on the upcoming Farewell Tour and what her life will be like after the Go-Go’s.

CD: How did the band decide it was time to quit?

KV:  Belinda had enough with this chapter of her life. She is into a lot of new things and she now lives in France, India and Morocco, with different aspects of her life centered in each place. Even the limited work we do as a band has become somewhat of a chore for her, not a joy, and she wants to retire. The Go-Go’s wouldn’t really be the Go-Go’s without her, so this phase is over.

Continue reading ‘Kathy Valentine: The Go-Go’s Say Goodbye’

Download of the Week: Adrian and the Sickness

A few weeks ago ROCKRGRL magazine founder Carla DeSantis picked the brain of the front-woman for a little band from Texas known as Adrian and the Sickness. Adrian Connor’s tenacity over the female power trio is exemplified by her fearless vocals and unapologetic guitar solos. The spirit of Angus Young is evident in these ladies with two-thirds of the band actively playing the famous all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles. The raw sound of AATS caught the ear of Austin native Kathy Valentine, who just so happens to be the bassist of one of the world’s most beloved all-girl groups, The Go-Go’s. Kathy dug the group so much that she decided to produce their latest release B.F.D. This week’s download is a track off the new album called “Modern Freedom.” Try to keep your face from being melted off.

Fine Tunings: Moonlighting with Adrian Connor

OSBlog02_FineTunings_AdrianSicknessIf you like sweet pop music served up with a side of snark, you’ll love Adrian and the Sickness, the Austin-based, all-female power pop trio fronted by guitarist/songwriter/ vocalist Adrian Connor.

AATS, as she calls the band, got together in 2004 and has put out 3 studio albums and a live CD/DVD set on Adrian’s own Fantom Records. Both Adrian and drummer Melodie Zapata play in Seattle’s legendary all-woman AC/DC tribute band, Hell’s Belles, with bass player Heather Webb rounding out ATTS. The band’s latest album, the newly-released B.F.D. was produced by Go-Go’s bassist and fellow Austin resident Kathy Valentine.

Hell's Belles

Hell's Belles

It takes a formidable guitarist to undertake the role of a female Angus Young and Adrian has taken the gig (inherited from Hell’s Belles founder Amy Stolzenbach in 2002) to a new level, stalking the stage like Angus and sending her trademark dreadlocks airborne every chance she gets. She wails on iconic classics like, “Highway to Hell,” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.” But it is in Adrian’s own project, Adrian and the Sickness, where her own songwriting and playing strengths take center stage.

I asked the busy and outspoken Adrian Connor to compare and contrast her bands, her two musical homes and how she got my very favorite Go-Go to produce her album. Continue reading ‘Fine Tunings: Moonlighting with Adrian Connor’

 


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