1. 80% Queer
All-girl American rock group Sick of Sarah just released their debut album in the United States last year. Out of the band's five members, only Jamie Holm (bass guitar & backup vocals) is straight; Abisha Uhl (lead vocals & rhythm guitar) is bisexual, while Jessie Farmer (lead and rhythm guitar & backup vocals), Katie Murphy (lead guitar & backup vocals) and Brooke Svanes (drums & backup dancer) are all lesbians, giving the band quite a queer lineup!
※Bottom row, from left: Jamie Holm (bass guitar & backup vocals), Abisha Uhl (lead vocals & rhythm guitar), Brooke Svanes (drums & backup dancer). Top row, from left: Jessie Farmer (lead and rhythm guitar & backup vocals), Katie Murphy (lead guitar & backup vocals).
The "Sarah" in the band's name refers not to any member of the band, but to drummer Brooke's ex-girlfriend, who once complained about how sick of her own name she was. Brooke was against the idea of using her name for the band name at first, but eventually went with it.
The band was formed in Minneapolis in 2005, with Abisha, who lived in Okinawa until the age of 18, at the helm. Jamie joined as the fifth member in January 2008, stepping up to play bass while Jessie moved to guitar, giving the band its current lineup. Jessie, in fact, played bass for one of the forerunners of the early '90s riot grrrl scene, the legendary Minneapolis punk band Babes in Toyland, during their 2000 tour. Her performances have a tough dyke edge that match her punk, butch looks and--active in the indie music scene since the 1980s--she displays a raw energy and power that stands out in the band.
On the American lesbian entertainment site, AfterEllen.com, Jessie refers to herself as "the token "Boi"/"Butchie" of the band." Katie, who dishes it out on guitar and backup vocals, comes in "at a close second," according to Jessie.
Freely labeling herself as "lesbian" on her personal MySpace page, Jessie is very forthright and comfortable about her sexuality--a quality which, along with the tough flair she has for the guitar, we love at Tokyo Wrestling! She notes that as a teenager she always played with guys in bands as "one of the guys." "I'm very, very out," she says in an interview with AfterEllen, "for as long as I've been alive, pretty much. We definitely love the community, and the community supports us. It's part of who we are. We generally try to stay pretty gender neutral as far as lyrics go, so everybody can take away from it what they want. We don't want to isolate any genders." Wise words from a woman who lives out and proud.
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●Sick Of Sarah
●On sale in Japan: May 20, 2009
●1,980 yen (tax incl)
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Translated by J