anna burch: the chickfactor interview

kendall mascott interviews the detroit-based pop queen

anna burch makes music that is nothing short of addictive, with songs chock full of singalong choruses and lyrics that feel like secrets. she has been a music maker for a while now, performing as a side lady for michigan-based bands like frontier ruckus and failed flowers. listening to her solo music is like hanging out with the coolest girl in school who doesn’t care what anyone thinks: there’s just something about her that naturally exudes confidence. I absolutely loved speaking with anna—on one of her rare afternoons off from touring—about weird shows, being a bratty teenager, the nuances of jamming and the angel olsen show that inspired her to keep writing songs. (she’s about to head to the UK to play indietracks with girl ray as her backing band!)

intro & interview by kendall meade (of mascott, anders & kendall and red panda records fame, as well as a side lady in helium, spinanes and others) & photographs by gail o’hara

chickfactor: one of the reasons I was excited to talk to you is because I’m from detroit and it’s exciting to hear such great music coming out of my hometown.
oh, nice. I actually didn’t grow up in detroit. I grew up on the west side of michigan, right in between detroit and chicago in saint joseph. I moved to detroit four years ago. 
cf: how do you like it? how do you like the indie music scene?
I like it. it’s small. I’ve got some good friends. there’s a lot of buzz. there’s a lot of talent here but it’s still a pretty small scene, but it’s fun.
cf: who are some of your favorite bands or favorite places to play? the magic stick?
I’ve only played the magic stick once and it was a really weird show. the metro times put on this brunch thing and they paid us all to do it, so we did it, but no one was there to see us. so, everyone was kind of talking over it.
cf: what are the local bands you love?
I would say stef chura, she’s a good friend of mine. it’s funny though because all my favorite bands try not to play in detroit very much so it’s hard to catch them. but stef’s one of my favorites. bonndune is really excellent. I really love deadbeat beat. there’s also this band don’t that’s pretty new but they’re good. fred thomas is detroit adjacent. he’s in ann arbor now and he was in montreal for a minute but I think I can still safely call him detroit.
cf: I wanted to talk a little bit about your lyrics if you’re comfortable with it. from your songs it sounds like these midwestern boys are a bunch of heartbreakers! is writing about that subject cathartic? can you talk more about it?
yeah, for sure. it’s funny and [the record] definitely feels very time specific. there were just so many conditions that clicked with writing the record. like, you know, kind of refocusing on music, moving, collaborating, recording and then everything that comes with moving to a new scene that’s a smaller scene than you’re used to. and then the drama that I wasn’t really prepared for—small-town drama. It just felt really high school or something and my defenses really came up. it stirred up some old insecurities that I had from high school probably. that’s where a lot of the attitude comes from, if there’s any chip-on-the-shoulder attitude, it probably has something to do with that. like feeling kind of like the new girl and not knowing the ropes and making some missteps and trying to salvage my dignity.
cf: that’s a really perfect way to put it because I sense a bit of a tough girl in there and it sounds like you were just kind of protecting yourself.
definitely. I was trying. I was really trying. there was a lot of drama. 
cf: if there was any advice you could give your teenage self in saint joe, what would it be?
man, teen me probably wouldn’t listen. I was such a brat. but I guess I would just tell me that no one’s, like, against you. I had this natural feeling that nobody likes you and I think a lot of teens probably feel that way. everyone’s just trying to get through. and it’s better to just find the people who will be nice and help you along and not to concern yourself with the people who just make you feel inadequate.
cf: I totally agree. my niece is a teenager now, and I’m always like, “listen, just FYI, you don’t have to be friends with the drama queens.” I wish someone had told me that!
absolutely. dude, I was friends with the crazy girls and I stopped being friends with them at such a fragile point. I stopped being friends with everybody when I was like a sophomore in high school and I was very alone for a minute. I had a best friend who I met in art classand she was great. we acted like we didn’t give a shit, but of course I still gave a shit. (laughs)
cf: what are some of your favorite spots in detroit?
I live in hamtramck now. it’s such a funny interesting place. two square miles and really densely populated, which is totally different than a lot of areas in detroit, so it is pretty walkable. I like going to yemen caféfor dinner late night. aladdin’s is probably my favorite. there’s just a lot of great middle-eastern food here. I’m not totally a vegetarian, but I like to eat mostly that way. there’s this little bar bumbo’s that I like. I like living in hamtramck. I used to live in corktown. I can’t afford corktown anymore.
cf: you look very confident when you play live. is it because you’ve been a side lady for so long?
yeah, for sure. being a side lady as you say is a role that I definitely got comfortable with but wasn’t initially comfortable. especially when I was just singing and not playing an instrument because I did that for a while. I had all these moves that I would do, like holding the mic stand in a specific way or hands on my hips or whatever. it was very sassy or something. once I started playing bass, it was really fun and I felt super comfortable and really confident just playing bass and singing. and, I mean, I did it for so long I got pretty used to it. but every different band has a different energy and there’s always an adjustment like, when I started doing solo stuff it was terrifying. playing shows by myself with my own songs for the first time was the most stressful, and I had some shows where I hated it. I would get off stage and I would be like, “this isn’t worth it. this isn’t fun.” I’m shaking I’m sweating like “this sucks.” but once I started playing with like a full band and—especially after the record started coming along—once we arranged it to a full band sound and I started playing with a band, it just became really fun and that’s where I’m at now. we’ve played a bunch at this point and we’re about to play a whole lot more. at this point every show is different. the energy is always different. but once you get up there and lock into the songs it’s just fun. so I feel like I’ve kind of beat the stage fright for now anyway.
cf: are you self-taught or did you have any training on voice or instruments?
when I was a kid, I took piano lessons. my mom’s a pianist and she also was the church children’s choir director. I took piano lessons and I was a total brat about it: didn’t want to practice, would cry at the bench. I wish I had been more of a serious student. in high school I picked up guitar and I would go to these lessons that was basically this amazingly cool middle-aged dude who just ran lessons out of his garage space. I would bring him CDs of music I liked and he’d just figure it out and then teach me. it wasn’t very theoretical it was just kind of like, let’s learn this weezer song today. I did take some voice lessons when I was in early high school. that’s something I should do again. I would really like to take some voice lessons mostly for breath control and being able to play as many shows as we do and learn how to save, save my voice.
cf: you have excellent pitch. did you have any training from your mother?
not a lot of formal training from her. we’d sit at the piano and sing duets together—disney songs or she had the sheet music to carole king’s tapestry. she would give me advice sometimes. my mom is pretty critical I think. but I did totally learn to harmonize from her because every song that comes on the radio she’s like, “gotta sing the third,” you know?
cf: that’s adorable.
that is one thing I learned from my mom.
cf: how does it feel in the studio working on your own stuff versus recording for other bands? do you like the recording process?
the record was mostly done with friends who are younger than me, kind of new and dabbling in the home recording world. it was a learning experience for everyone involved and the benefit of that was getting to spend a ton of time on arranging. I feel like we fine-tooth-combed all of the lead guitar parts and that was really, really fun. recording for other bands, I usually am just a pinch hitter. it’s kind of like, “okay, it’s your turn, go sing harmony vocals.” so this time I was way more invested in every little thing and that was super exciting. I only spent like a day and a half in a real studio. when I started working with collin dupuis, who wound up mixing the record, he came up to his detroit studio and we worked for a day and a half and it was very chill. I’ve been in studios where there’s way more stress and tension and competing ideas and all that stuff. but collin was just super-laid-back and we re-tracked like three of the songs mostly live and even used some scratch vocal takes so it was pretty painless. it felt great and I look forward to working in a studio environment again on a whole project. 
cf: what are your favorite snacks and drinks to have on hand when you record, when you’re in the studio?
oh, man, I’m always stressing about my voice, so tea for sure. I’ve also tried different things like swallowing olive oil. I’m not sure if it helped. definitely tea, anything with caffeine, kombucha, coffee. I know coffee’s not great for your voice, but I don’t really like to drink alcohol while I’m recording. it’s fun when you’re demoing and arranging. but mood altering substances…I’m not  interested in them when I’m recording.
cf: I read an interview with fred thomas (from failed flowers, etc.) and he mentioned that you are not particularly into jamming. I relate to that because sometimes jamming can be very stressful. 
oh my god. I know. I thought it was hilarious that he used that anecdote but I was kind of like, “thanks dude.” (laughs) there are certain conditions in which it is fun. I recently was hanging out with my friends who are in this band called minihorse. they were working on their album and I sang some vocals on it. but then they had brought in our other friend to write a lead guitar part and we all wound up hanging out and I started noodling around on guitar and wrote this minuscule guitar line. I felt so proud of it and when they sent me their record I immediately went to that spot. I was like, “yay.” so it can be fun. the failed flowers thing for me, I kind of replaced someone in that band and I came to it when I was really busy working on my record. I would always have to drive to ann arbor to work with them and, yeah, it was kind of just like, “let me just learn new songs.” none of us really had the time or energy to do full on jamming sessions. just yesterday I started demoing out some stuff with my friend ben, who’s in minihorseand it was really fun. if it’s not clicking, it can feel kind of draining and a bummer. but once you hit a good thread it’s addicting. I wound up staying there until like three in the morning and I had not planned on it. 
cf: do you know that you and dylan both have songs called “belle isle”? they’re both about this kind of idealized love that you kind of have to leave behind.
oh my god, that’s amazing. no one’s told me that. wow.
cf: are you a fan of dylan at all?
I am. It’s funny because I saw dylan play, when I was 14, with the dead and I was just like, “I don’t get it.” he’s like, you know, he’s very old and playing a keyboard and his voice is terrible. but then after that I really started digging in—context, time, it all matters. I was really into dylan in my early college years and especially when I first joined frontier ruckus. the songwriter was very obsessed with bob dylan so I kind of got sucked into that world through him and that band. blond on blond, blood on the tracks. dylan’s great.
cf: you’re on heavenly in the UK and polyvinyl here in the states. do you see any differences between working with the label in the UK versus the states? have you met all of the UK label people yet?
I did meet jeff from heavenly at sxsw and it was such a pleasure. I got to hang out with him after a solo set I played and we sat up on the balcony and drank beer and talked for a long time. he’s really funny, really charming and I just was not paying attention to the time or my phone when I was hanging out with him. I can tell the way he talked about the label that everyone’s like really excited and the label is the best it’s ever been. so for a label and jeff having such a long career, that’s really cool to hear that everyone’s really engaged and excited. so, yeah, I’m excited about heavenly. the heavenly thing happened through polyvinyl and it happened really quickly. they were kind of just like, “oh, they want to pick up the album for, you know, overseas.” and I was just like, “oh, okay. cool.” I was told they were great and I did a little bit of research and it just kind of happened. it was great actually meeting jeff and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone else. there’s definitely a huge difference in interacting with the polyvinyl crew versus heavenly. I get a lot of emails from polyvinyl. so, it’s a lot of emailing, but they’re really great. I got to hang with them down at sxsw too. and every time I’m in new york, they treat me really well.
cf: chickfactor is primarily about female musicians. could you name a few that have influenced you or that you just like?
from a young age I loved diana ross and carole king. I still love carole king. that’s probably the longest standing musical inspiration for sure. in recent years, I’ve been really inspired by angel olsen. I was living in chicago and wasn’t really doing anything with music and then I saw her play a little solo set at this like community center in logan square and I was just super blown away. I hadn’t seen a lot of women singer-songwriters. when I was in frontier ruckus, most of the bands we played with and toured with were all dudes and I played with all dudes, so seeing her play was really inspiring and after I saw her got my guitar out again. it influenced me to want to start writing my own stuff. alvvays is a band that came through detroit when I was in the very early stages or writing. they played at the UFO factory and I think I was there by myself. I was a little bit stoned and I watched them play. I was really sad, I remember, at the time. I watched them play and it made me cry. I was just like, “oh my god. this is so good.” her voice is so pure and the music’s so poppy and beautiful and it was just so unexpected. I hadn’t heard of them before and I just went because I needed to get out of the house so I was like, “oh I’ll check out this show.” it was described as canadian dream pop on the facebook event, so I just went and I was super blown away by them. cate le bon also is someone that I’m just completely enamored with. she just oozes confidence onstage, it’s so amazing to watch her play. I opened up for her project with tim presley in chicago, and she was really, really sweet and I was so nervous. I just felt like, man, I really want to be cool and talk to you but I’m just like, yeah, I’m fangirling. I saw her play a couple times after that and she remembered me but I just felt, like, so embarrassed. but yeah, I loved her. she was so incredible. her guitar playing is insane, just the most counterintuitive parts. and she carries the melody. it’s just amazing to watch. she’s so good.
cf: do you have any other musical crushes?
I just came back from south by southwest and I thought it was gonna be really stressful but it was actually really inspiring to see a bunch of bands that I had been listening to. I got to see and play with this australian band called hatchie and I’m obsessed with them. they’re so good, they kind of have a cranberries vibe. I got to see girl ray, this awesome band from the UK. their parents must have done them well. you can tell like they listened to really good music growing up, they’re so talented. those were my two big band crushes from south by.
cf: thank you so much, anna!

chickfactor 25: a series of fortunate events

The Softies


The Pastels

chickfactor & the hangover lounge are thrilled to present a celebration of 25 years of pop, friendship & community at the Lexington in London

Saturday, November 11 // Doors 7:30, Show 8

Sunday, November 12 //  Doors 7:30, Show 8

THE SOFTIES
STEVIE JACKSON (from Belle & Sebastian)
THE WOULD-BE-GOODS
THE CATENARY WIRES

Both nights will feature MC Gaylord Fields (WFMU)
& chickfactor / Hangover Lounge DJs downstairs

 

Lois


Kicking Giant

Kites at Night

Stevie Jackson

The Would-Be-Goods

The Catenary Wires

 & & &
ABOUT THE BANDS:
 
• THE PASTELS — The pop geniuses Stephen McRobbie, Katrina Mitchell & Co. came down from Glasgow to play at CF20 in London. We are thrilled to have them back.
• LOIS — Lois Maffeo is indie royalty from Olympia, Washington, where she has made many great albums for K Records.
• KICKING GIANT — Tae Won Yu & Rachel Carns formed this powerful union in New York via Olympia, WA, in 1989. This is their first-ever show in the UK. A double LP reissue of their early work, This Being the Ballad of Kicking Giant, Halo: NYC/Olympia 1989–1993, will come out on Drawing Room Records later this year.
• KITES AT NIGHT are Rose Melberg & Jon Manning (with Jen Sbragia on bass for this show), whose previous band was called Imaginary Pants. This is their first show in London.
• THE SOFTIES — Indiepop queens Rose Melberg & Jen Sbragia (from Vancouver BC & Portland OR, respectively) reunited for the chickfactor 20 shows in 2012 in NYC, Portland and SF. This is their first-ever show in London.
• STEVIE JACKSON is the amazing guitarist, singer and songwriter in Belle & Sebastian! He also happened to write a song named after our zine “chickfactor.”
• THE WOULD-BE-GOODS — Jessica Griffin, Peter Momtchiloff, Debbie Greensmith & Andy Warren are indie legends based in London & St Leonards.
• THE CATENARY WIRES — This super-duo formed in 2014 when Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey (ex-Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap) moved out of London.
• Gaylord Fields is an excellent WFMU DJ, a music writer and a longtime MC for chickfactor events.
• The Hangover Lounge is a much-beloved event that happened for years at the Lexington, a label and a community that’s often collaborated with chickfactor before.
• chickfactor is a fanzine started by Pam Berry and Gail O’Hara in 1992. Currently based in Portland, Oregon, it will publish a new print zine in late 2017.

mini interview with versus by lois!

versus are one of our long-running music and people crushes. we cannot get enough! they are a chickfactor house band! anyway, we asked another CF event regular (lois maffeo) to interview them for this year’s fest. they play chickfactor 22 friday, march 21, with the clientele, barbara manning & the saturday people at bell house.

interview by lois & photograph by michael galinsky

lois: I was in the middle of a room full of indie bands sleeping on the floor of dave auchenbach’s house after a big night at the providence pop fest in 1992. versus had arrived late, after a gig in some other town. it was probably four in the morning when I woke to see figures with guitar cases moving gingerly across the bedrolls. richard baluyut was stepping over my sleeping bag when he looked down and darkly intoned, “I heard you made brownies.” that phrase (accurate, I may add) kickstarted a long friendship with richard that soon came to include his versus bandmates fontaine and ed and patrick and james. you’d think that over the past 20 years, I would have gotten around to asking richard some of these burning questions. so thanks, gail, for assigning me to interview richard in advance of versus’ appearance at chickfactor 22 on friday, march 21 at the bell house in brooklyn.

is it true that you once got a guitar lesson from roger miller of mission of burma?
richard: I never had a lesson from roger. he did sell me his guitar from mission of burma, before they got back together. when he needed it back, I sent it back to him of course! I believe I still own it, but I haven’t held it in over a decade!

can you describe the ownership timeline of the famous black rickenbacker guitar?
richard: I bought it in 1990, and used it on our early singles. traded it to tae won yu for his SG, which became the versus guitar. tae brought the rickenbacker with him to olympia and made it the classic kicking giant guitar. but he got bored of it and sold it back to me when we were passing through on tour. I sold it to jeff cashvan, who later sold it to carrie brownstein, who made it the signature sleater-kinney guitar. quite an illustrious history! I haven’t seen carrie play it in a long time though; I hope she’s passed it on…

if you could play in any band from the past, which one would it be?
richard: I wish I’d been in the who, isle of wight-era so I would be wearing a jumpsuit…

what is your favorite sci-fi novel?
richard: invisible cities by italo calvino? I was more of a fantasy guy. I only read civil war history now…

what are your top 3 favorite things about new york city?
richard: double-features at film forum. mamoun’s falafel still standing. not living there.

7 questions for amor de días

when we think of “royals” from the united kingdom, naturally we think of AMOR DE DÍAS, featuring alasdair maclean (frontman of the papillon-obsessed lite psych combo THE CLIENTELE from fleet) and lupe núñez-fernández (one half of the slapdash & adorable pop duo PIPAS). we could not be more excited about seeing them play at chickfactor 22 at the bell house on thursday, march 20, along with withered hand (whose live band will feature pam berry of black tambourine and kenny anderson of king creosote), lilys and jim ruiz set (and mc gaylord fields of wfmu)!

interview by the legendary jim ruiz & photograph by shoko ishikawa

1 distance running
2 love life
3 the live experience
4 where do you most want to live/retire?
5 your meeting gail stories
6 borrowing your name
7 gearhead question

chickfactor: considering the dominance of the UK in middle and long distance running in the past; sir roger bannister’s four-minute mile, sebastian coe and steve ovett’s amazing rivalry on the track, and the astonishing world record of paula radcliffe at the marathon, it was really not a very big surprise to see that you are specializing in the 10k. tell us a little about your training and how you feel it’s going. any tips for those of us who want to start running? what’s your PR (optional)?
alasdair: we have no expertise in running, or specialisms in the 10k. we both ran the new forest half marathon last year and counted ourselves lucky to be alive by the end. the only tip for a 10k run I could offer is don’t sprint the first 3k, the next 7k will not thank you.
lupe: it’s handy for catching the last tube back home after a gig, or the train to the next city on tour. that’s definitely our specialty distance.

charlotte and emily want to know if you are a couple. I assured them I would ask you.
lupe: buy our records and find out! there are hidden messages if you play the vinyl backwards.

emily and I were at an amor de días gig at the triple rock in minneapolis about 3 years ago. that gig was an introduction to your music, it made a big impression on me and I made it a goal to play with you someday. in fact, whenever we visit our friend’s house there is a poster from that gig framed on their wall. do you think that touring is worth it because you never know what impact it has, even if the audience might be small on a given night? or do you think that touring has had its day?
alasdair: what a nice thing to say! I suppose in my career the model of the small gig with a strong connection to the audience has been mostly how it’s happened, and when when that connection really works it’s amazing, nothing can beat it. opening for much bigger bands has taught me that my songs work better in a small space, chamber music rather than a nuremberg rally or a mass singalong.
lupe: touring is usually when you might get to play in front of strangers who’ve never heard your music, and see a sincere reaction. it’s probably very self-indulgent but there’s something to be said for that, whether it’s a good one or not.

living in the middle of a vast continent as we do, without any real possibility of moving anywhere exotic, we are in awe of your EU passports and your seeming ability to move anywhere you please on the continent. do you plan to stay in the UK forever? do you ever miss the sun?
alasdair: come on, minneapolis is about as exotic as it gets! prince lives there! I was born in scotland so have never known the sun. It would be nice to be an internationalist rather than stuck in the UK. I’ll have to work on it.
lupe: when we were in minneapolis a couple of years ago we talked about moving there. I’m not kidding!

tell me how you first met gail….
alasdair: outside NYU in the freezing cold. I think we had eaten polish food for the first time and were semi-comatose.
lupe: I was aware of this cool chick with retro glasses and blond braids at all the shows at fez I went to in the ’90s but I didn’t know her name (or that she’d curated the shows, and put out chickfactor). years later we met in london through our friends pam berry and mark powell—the heat broke at the place where she was staying and I told her she could squat at ours. instant family.

last year the aislers set seemed to take no offense when we changed our name to jim ruiz set. how would you feel about our recording under the name amor de ruiz `rE- ahs?
feel free. it has a classy ring to it.

the classical guitar scares the hell out of me, yet you make it sound so easy. are you self-taught players or do you have years of pumping nylon behind you at some music conservatory? who first inspired you to play classical? who do you listen to for your inspiration?
alasdair: I learnt classical guitar as a kid, my parents put me in for lessons, but I gave up around age 11, and lost a lot of my technique. the first guitarist in the clientele,innes phillips, had the same teacher as me, so we both grew up playing adagios and tangos and only came to playing pop music later—the way for instance george harrison played was a total mystery to us. ¶ my favourite guitarists: toquinho. argentinian folkloric guitarist atahualpa yupanqui. In the flamenco world, nino ricardo. rock guitarists stacey sutherland (13th floor elevators) ron morgan (west coast pop art experimental band), vini reilly (durutti column), maurice deebank (felt) and tom verlaine/richard lloyd. I also really rate ignacio aguilo (hacia dos veranos) and archer prewitt.

lupe: haha definitely self-taught and very limited in my knowledge. I bought a classical guitar for 27 pounds in hackney in 1999, with no previous musical experience or knowledge of what a chord was, etc. I really wanted a bass, or drums, but the guitar was much cheaper, portable. it’s handy as a way of noting a song down, but I definitely don’t consider myself ‘a guitarist’, I just write songs, and make it up as I go along. I think I’m actually a lot better at percussion; my dream is to tour the jazz circuit as a jazz drummer, maybe by the time I’m in my 70s. ¶ my favorite guitarists: probably alasdair, linton from the aislers set, sam prekop and my brother víctor, who taught me that crucial first bass line that started it all (it was “bela lugosi’s dead”).

chickfactor 22: festival of pop!

chickfactor is super-excited to announce two shows featuring 8 of its favorite bands at the bell house in brooklyn!

Thursday, March 20: 

Withered Hand
Jim Ruiz Set
Lilys
Amor de Días

Friday, March 21: 

The Clientele
Versus
Barbara Manning
The Saturday People

Doors 7pm, showtime 8pm. $20 advance; $25 at the door; advance two-day pass $40.
Tickets on sale at noon EST Monday, Feb 3!
Also will be available at Other Music.

Thursday, March 20

WITHERED HAND From Edinburgh and led by Dan Willson, the ace band has a brand-new second album, New Gods, coming out March 25 on Slumberland Records. It was produced by Tony Doogan (Mountain Goats, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, The Pastels) and features a stellar array of guests including members of Belle & Sebastian, Frightened Rabbit, Black Tambourine and The Vaselines. New Gods also features CF cofounder Pam Berry and a song called “Black Tambourine”! New single.

JIM RUIZ SET Hailing from Minneapolis, the legendary Jim Ruiz & Co. often play at CF parties. They released Mount Curve Avenue, their third LP, in 2012 and on vinyl in 2013 on Shelflife Records. Their jazzy Max Eider-influenced pop has always made us swoon. Tonight’s lineup is Jim Ruiz, Emily Ruiz on drums, Allison Labonne on bass, and Kim Serene on marimba and accordian. (Interview in CF9)

LILYS / KURT HEASLEY Super-talented East Coast (mostly DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania) songwriter Kurt Heasley has been putting out records as Lilys since 1991 that feature a noisy brand of pop we love. He has been working on some new material and will play some of that tonight.

AMOR DE DÍAS The London-based duo featuring Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas) and Alasdair Maclean (see The Clientele) hasn’t toured in the US since 2011. They released a brilliant second album called The House at Sea on Merge Records in January 2013. The combination of Spanish guitar, English melancholy, the spirit of Gal Costa and a touch of cinematic magic makes them one of the most intriguing songwriting pairs working today. They’re currently making their third album. Recent track!

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Friday, March 21

THE CLIENTELE Originally from Hampshire and now London, the Clientele is one of our fave pop acts of all time. This lineup featuring Alasdair Maclean, James Hornsey on bass and Mark Keen on drums hasn’t played together since 2005. The group hasn’t played in the US since 2010. These three got back in the studio for the first time since 2010 to record a new 7″ single for the Merge Records Thousands of Prizes thing, which is their first new material in 4 years. (interviewed in CF13)

VERSUS Many associate this band with ’90s indie rock but they put out a pretty bad-ass LP on Merge Records in 2010 titled On the Ones and Threes. Another “chickfactor house band,” Versus has switched off members over the years but this year will be the handsome Baluyut brothers Richard and Ed and foxy Fontaine Toups (CF Cover Girl issue 6).

BARBARA MANNING Barbara Manning used to be the poster girl for San Francisco, and has participated in some of the best pop music ever (with 28th Day, World of Pooh, SF Seals) and especially as a solo artist. She’s currently living in Long Beach and is a high-school chemistry teacher! We are very happy to have her on the lineup. CF Cover Girl issue 4.

THE SATURDAY PEOPLE This fab DC pop group hasn’t played in a while! Featuring the original lineup, which was Terry Banks (Dot Dash, Tree Fort Angst, glo-worm); Dan Searing (glo-worm); Greg Pavlovcak (Ropers); and Ara Hacopian. Interviewed in CF15.

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chickfactor fanzine was started in 1992 by pam berry and gail o’hara in d.c./nyc.