FEATURED INTERVIEW: CHURCH
is not an actual religious institution. The founders, Chris and Mary
Ann, met and fell in love while studying the social construction of
reality, the infiltration of the medical model into unexamined facets
of our culture, the relationships between youth culture and identity
constructions and the revisited ways that fashion was being informed
by popular music. Church of Girl is the outgrowth of their creative
passions -- and a way of contributing to a broad and loosely based
community of female artists, musicians and entrepreneurs with roots
in DIY girl culture.
How did Church of Girl Radio start?
DJ Boy: We started Church of Girl Radio in August of 2000 after returning
from Ladyfest, where we spent our honeymoon. We came back to Portland
so inspired by all the music and art we experienced.
Radiogirl: I'd say we were beyond inspired, we were in LOVE! Ladyfest
was an incredible experience for both of us. The manifestation of
the DIY ethic made Ladyfest absolutely infectious. During Sleater
Kinney's set on Saturday night, Corin Tucker made the comment, "What
you take from Ladyfest is up to you". We took that to heart.
DJ Boy: Exactly! And the purpose of Church of Girl became clear. We
already had the URL, churchofgirl.com, and built a site focused on
lady made music, art and creativity. We thought that all these great
independent artists and musicians could use a free resource to promote
their work. In order to promote female and female fronted bands, we
recognized the benefit of an internet radio station. We did some research
and found Live365, which at the time was offering free disk space
and bandwidth for anyone wanting their own internet radio station.
So, at that point Church of Girl Radio was born. Our first day on
the air was August 22, 2000.
Radiogirl: The bonus is that it has also become a way for us to express
our own creativity, too, and work together on an awesome effort, and
meet a lot of amazing people along the way!
What inspires you?
DJ Boy: I am inspired by individuals who have the courage and strength
of character to live their lives how they want in both thought and
expression. It's really hard to follow your dreams in this society;
you deny yourself many cultural rewards in the process. This is especially
true for artists; only a few will actually make it and be able to
sustain themselves solely on their art. One of the reasons artists
don't make it is lack of exposure. That's where Church of Girl Radio
comes in. These bands fight hard to make their dreams come true and
we want to give them exposure and hopefully improve their chances.
Radiogirl: I look at the actions of women like Miranda July, when
she was "Big Miss Moviola". She started this chainletter tapes initiative,
and gave her time and effort to help promote independent female filmmakers.
Her effort gave a home to independent, sometimes proletariat art.
There are so very many incredible women and men making fantastic music
and art! That, in and of itself, is inspiring. But probably nothing
is more rousing for me than getting a new CD in the mail from a band
we have never heard before, putting it in the player and being moved
by what I hear. These are like moments of complete clarity in a perpetually
hazy world. And on a more random note, those unexpected & oddly beautiful
actions, visions and random daily juxtapositions are continual sources
of weird inspiration for me.
Can you tell me a little about your musical influences?
DJ Boy: My influences are eclectic, running the gamut from Country,
Electronic, Punk, Metal, and on and on. This is reflected in the different
play lists featured on CoG Radio. It's interesting when you talk to
people about Women's Music. Many people equate women's music with
"whiny" folk singing. We like challenging the stereotype by showcasing
as many different genres of female artists as possible.
Radiogirl: Music has always been a part of my life! From my fisher
price record player, my first concert, and now Church of Girl! Growing
up, I was surrounded by people obsessed with sounds, too. My grandfather
sang & played upright bass in a country-swing band, my dad had hundreds
of records - my older brother was a drummer & music was always playing
in the house, in the car.. I have always enjoyed a lot of different
kinds of music too and have never been able to name a favorite genre.
Like DJ Boy, my tastes have always been eclectic.
Have you ever been in a band?
Radiogirl: Not unless you count playing the flute from 6th - 10th
grade! My appetite for sound is rather voracious though; I listen
to music all the time, and am lucky to get new music every week!
DJ Boy: I've always been a lover, not creator of music. One of the
great things about Church of Girl Radio is all the avenues it has
opened up for us as music lovers, as fans.
* SUMMER *
is your favorite part about running your site?
DJ Boy: I love working with all the technology on the backend first
and foremost. I think of it as my providing the palette on which Radiogirl
"paints"; bringing CoG to life. We run CoG entirely out of our house
on a few servers and a DSL line. Everything runs on open source software.
The DIY ethic was, and is, part of the core foundation of the Church
of Girl, so it fit that we should do our own hosting and server administration.
My day job is in IT, I work as a Systems Administrator. So my work
on the CoG infrastructure has only served to make me better at what
I do for a living and vise versa.
Radiogirl: My favorite part about running Church of Girl is being
able to make a meaningful contribution, especially with the Radio
Stars initiative, to play music from indie artists and bands, to hook
up music lovers to new bands they might not otherwise hear about -
it's GREAT! To be a resource and a window to the world of independent
women's music is a dream come true, for both of us! Through CoG's
Radio Stars initiative, we expose all kinds of fantastic music, from
indie label stars, to total DIY girls who send their firs home-burned
Your least favorite?
DJ Boy: My least favorite part of running the website revolves around
the details. We grown to the point now where we need to start implementing
actual business processes like change control and contact management.
Information regarding changes and correspondence isn't communicated
consistently and things slip through the cracks sometimes as a result.
Although I realize we have a very forgiving audience, it's still irksome.
Radiogirl: It's frustrating for me to have more ideas than time or
resources. Please, we need a sugar mama or a sugar daddy! But seriously,
we do everything ourselves here - and there are just the two of us,
plus some recent help on miscellaneous projects from our friend Pie.
It can be challenging, living together, being married, and working
together on updates, overhauls, reviews, planning, etc.
Can you give me a sense of what kind of artists/musicians you work
Radiogirl: There is but one requirement - female voice. We work with
independent female musicians and all female or female fronted bands.
DJ Boy: We try to work with as many different kinds of artists as
possible. We noted there are a lot of female-oriented radio seems
to have a folk slant. The reality is there are women making great
music in every genre and all should have the opportunity to be heard.
Talent certainly plays a factor in the choice of artists we work with.
However, authenticity plays just as much of role in our decision process.
It is the idea that one does not necessarily have to be good at playing
an instrument in order to make good music. Sometimes even the simplest
music can also be the best music.
DJ Boy: Right now, I'm interested in doing more live DJ sets featuring
artists from Church of Girl Radio. We've done a few sets around town
and recently DJ'd at Nocturnal's Craft Night. Being a DJ is a new
thing for me, but something I have wanted to do since high school.
I'm looking forward to developing my skills in this area and exposing
more people to our artists. I'm also interested in the upcoming migration
of the CoG website to a new database-driven architecture, which will
allow us to focus more time on creating and less time coding.
Radiogirl: Ah, there are so many dreams and possibilities for Church
of Girl! We have let the site grow completely organically and at a
slow pace, but in the last 6 months, we have nearly doubled the CD
submissions than we have had in the previous 3 years! We are starting
to work with more artists from around the world and that is really
exciting! I guess, ultimately, my hope is to be able to continue doing
what we are doing - introducing new Radio Stars every month, updating
our playlists regularly, and growing a little to offer new radio shows
(Alt.Country, Queercore, etc.) and adding interviews.
Any parting words?
DJ Boy: How about some thoughts about greatness from one of my favorite
poets. Greatness is not measured by its effects. From some of the
Greatest Artists, Writers, Musicians come nothing. They are their
own books, their own songs, their own works of art. Greatness is not
something you achieve once; it must be achieved again and again.
Radiogirl: Thanks for asking us to talk with you! You are an amazing
and multi-talented artist! Any parting words I might think to offer
come across as preachy.. "You vote every day with your dollar!" "You
are not what you own - you are what you believe" "Enjoy Life... it's
later than you think.", etc., so how about: read. write. make. share.
listen to Church of Girl Radio.
THE SECOND INTERVIEW WITH JOY FROM MAMAPALOOZA AND HOUSEWIVES ON PROZAC...>>>