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Jazz Fest and Gasa Gasa
Guts Club and Waxahatchee at Gasa Gasa Tuesday Night
Just a few years back Lindsey Baker relocated to New Orleans. In the years that followed her Guts Club project has blossomed with the release of the excellent record Shit Bug in 2016 and the forthcoming release Trench Foot which will be out a bit later in the summer. I sat down with Baker to chat a bit about songwriting, the new record and her quest to make a country record.
There is an authenticity inherent in Outlaw country that appeals to Baker, “I think I just like that old music and I feel like there's this, like the old classic country, like your Waylon and your Loretta and all those guys. I feel like there's this integrity that is really gorgeous and I…strive for that in a way.” Part of building this sound was getting a band together and moving to an all electric sensibility. An integral piece of this for Baker was growing to trust the strength of her band. “Everybody was really involved when we were making the record and as we continue to play these songs. They're in it. You know what I mean? They're like, "I think it would be really cool if I did this one thing" and I'm like, "Fuck yeah, dude! Do it!" Fuck yes.”
Despite the her evolving sound the songs retain the punch we have come to associate with Guts Club. “Pansy From the Hills” is one of the standout tracks from the new record. Here Baker takes the idea of a broken heart to its literal extreme. “Well that's sort of one of those songs where…you’ll get into some, kind of stupid relationships and then you're like, I mean I don't know if this happens to everyone—but I know that it happens to women sometimes —where you're like…’I’m like a fucking victim here. Get me the fuck out of here.’ And then you leave and you're gas-lighted and [told] ‘you broke my heart’…So it's kind of like that. And actually, if I were to break your heart it would be broken…like you'd be dead.” Baker admits that perhaps she’s too polite for truly extreme action but the songs serve as a type of wish fulfillment. “I've never been able to actually hurt someone in the way that I think they deserve to be hurt because I'm polite. You know, I wasn't raised like that. But also I had fantasies where I'd beat everyone at arm wrestling or I'm this other person that [has] this strength that really probably doesn't exist in me or on this plane—but I hoped for it and I wished for it…It's a lot of regret in [the record] and just a lot of realizing what you're not able to do and how privilege is a thing and class is a thing and gender is a thing and there's walls…it’s like realizing a lot of those walls but then some of it's like the fantasy of shitting on them and physically breaking the hearts or physically breaking the walls.”
This balance between the harsh injustice of reality and Baker’s lyrical enacting of Justice in her music creates a stunning mosaic of the relations of power and our tendencies to give too much of our personal strength away to others. It is also her best work to date—look for it July 6th and check out the song “Mustard Tears” below. On Tuesday you can catch her and her band opening for Waxahatchee at Gasa Gasa. Waxahatchee’s Out in the Storm was one of the best records of last year. These two performers together make a perfect pairing.
Jazz Fest Weekend One
Just a few recommendations for weekend one.
Michael Skinkus and Moyuba 11:20 a.m. Jazz and Heritage Stage
Batiste Fathers and Sons 12:45 p.m. Congo Square
Shades of Praise 2:00 p.m. Gospel Tent
New Orleans Nightcrawlers 2:55 p.m. Jazz and Heritage Stage
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real 3:30 p.m. Gentilly Stage
Sturgill Simpson 5:30 p.m. Gentilly Stage
Tin Men 11:15 a.m. Blues Tent
Trumpet Mafia 12:15 p.m. Jazz Tent
Fats Domino Tribute 1:45 p.m. Acura Stage
Big Freedia 2:10 p.m. Congo Square
Charles Lloyd w/ Lucinda Williams 4:15 p.m. Jazz Tent
Cha Wa 6:00 p.m. Jazz and Heritage Stage
NOCCA Jazz Ensemble 11:10 a.m. Jazz Tent
Panorama Jazz Band 12:20 p.m. Jazz and Heritage Stage
Magnificent 7 2:05 p.m. Acura Stage
Meschiya Lake does Emma Barrett 4:25 p.m. Economy Hall
David Byrne 5:30 p.m. Gentilly Stage
To Listen This Week
- Great new track from Courtney Barnett via Youtube
- Radiohead performed a rare live acoustic version of “True Love Waits” over the weekend via CoS
- Lykke Li has released two tracks from her new record via BrooklyVegan