8 Inch Betsy
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8 Inch Betsy

Chicago, IL | INDIE

Chicago, IL | INDIE
Band Pop Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Independent female artists give voice to Ladyfest South"

Scene and heard
Independent female artists give voice to Ladyfest South

Friday, January 19, 2007

It’s been three years since the last Ladyfest South event, and this year’s festival, set for Jan. 25-28, took extended planning by organizers Nancy Lambert, Karen Garrabrant and Ronnda Cadle.

“It takes at least two to two-and-a-half years to plan such a huge festival,” Lambert says. “Our volunteer-run fest is truly a labor of love.”

Garrabrant, a veteran of Atlanta’s slam poetry circuit, agrees that it’s difficult to schedule artists — some 50 acts are planned over the festival’s four nights — without conflicting with other events.

“Everyone has day jobs and lives outside of Ladyfest South,” Cadle says. “Finding the balance to put on the event is challenging.”

Other festivals may have paid staff with budgets to attain acts, but Ladyfest depends upon volunteers, including the performers themselves.

Ladyfest originated in Olympia, Wash., as a celebration of women’s right to vote. Now, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and numerous other cities across the nation — as well as in Europe and South Africa — host Ladyfest events.

The primary focus of Ladyfest is to spotlight independent female artists from various entertainment genres.

“Women are still largely underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” Lambert says. “Even band bus drivers are primarily men. It’s a great way for women to learn about all aspects of production in a hands-on approach.”

A great networking opportunity, LadyFest also offers a way to combat corporate America, Garrabrant says.

“It’s really crucial in this Bush-corporate era ... to seek out and use independently-owned, local spots to meet,” she explains. “It’s important now, more than ever, to create alternative spaces for entertainment with direct support of the independent artists and venues.”

Cadle agrees.

“Corporate America is eating away at the independent venues and stores,” she says. “Ladyfest is about diversity and empowering our feminisms, creating an environment to come together and support each other as women artists, and raising money for great causes.”

Ladyfest South designated the Fund for Southern Communities (www.fundforsouth.org) and Rock’N’Roll Camp For Girls (www.girlsrockcamp.org) as this year’s beneficiaries.

Lambert first heard about the Rock’N’Roll Camp for Girls from friends who had positive volunteer experiences there.

“Even if a girl doesn’t have an instrument or knows how to play one, she is welcome,” Lambert says.

Cadle quotes the mission statement of Fund for Southern Communities: the fund “supports and unites organizations and donors working to create just and sustainable communities that are free of oppression and that embrace and celebrate all people.”

“We need to support more organizations that create communities free of oppression,” she adds.

For local musician Sonia Tetlow, Ladyfest South is about growth.

“I’m very excited to be participating in this collective art sharing, hearing everyone’s voices,” the singer says. “Feeling the challenge of inspiration and the stretch of growth.”

Tetlow found the thriving acoustic scene in Atlanta attractive, so she moved here with a friend after college. With several CDs to her credit, Tetlow finds a saving grace in her music.

“Music has saved my life over and over,” she asserts.

Music is also a vital outlet for the members of 8” Betsy, a band comprised of Meghan Galbraith on vocals and guitar, Liz Burke on bass, Steph Levi on drums, and their manager, Nancy Harris.

“I’m excited about playing Ladyfest in Atlanta,” Burke says. “I have family there. It’s a great city, and the warmer weather doesn’t hurt.”

Ladyfest South could be a stepping stone for an upcoming tour for the band. A soon-to-be-released, full-length CD is in the works, and the band hopes to hit the road and possibly sign to a record label.

“I think playing music can have so many benefits,” Burke says. “Hopefully people will feel like they can relate to the music and the lyrics and it can offer something on that level.”

For Levi, “music is what we were all meant to do and we all are ready to go as far as we can take it.”

Corey Houlihan, a writer and slam poet performing at Ladyfest South, finds refuge in spoken word and being onstage.

“It’s always been a way to reject invisibility,” she says. “It wakes me from sleep. I’ve found refuge in ink my whole life and the stage is where I feel most comfortable, most myself.”

Originally from Lindenhurst, N.Y., Houlihan now resides in Savannah with her partner. She recently won the 2006 Annual Savannah Poetry Festival Slam. She also attended Homo-A-Gogo in Olympia, Wash., last year.

And how does she feel about being a part of Ladyfest South?

“Really fucking excited!” - Southern Voice Magazine

"Punk Rockers 8 Inch Betsy on LOGO's afterellen.com!"

original afterellen article:

Punk Rockers 8 Inch Betsy
by Trish Bendix, Contributing Writer

March 18, 2008

"We got hit with a brick in the face," said Meghan Galbraith, the front woman of queer band 8 Inch Betsy. It may sound like she's recalling a fight she was in, but she's actually speaking metaphorically. The music industry is the brick, and 8 Inch Betsy is a punk rock trio of out lesbians who recently released their album This Time, Last Time, Every Time. Getting industry support hasn't been as easy as it is for their straight counterparts.

"We were submitting our demo and we're pumped up, ready to move, ready to tour all over, hoping someone will sign us," Galbraith said. And then 8 Inch Betsy received a reply from a large indie label: "Sorry — we don't do the gay thing."

Based in Chicago, 8 Inch Betsy, comprised of Galbraith and bandmates Liz Burke and Stephanie Levi, play an edgy form of queercore tempered by a bit of pop accessibility. They've opened for the Gossip several times, and after Amy Ray was impressed by their performance at the Estrojam music festival, she invited them to tour with her.

That constant touring has made their new album a long time coming. But now that it's been released, fans will not be disappointed — Amy Ray included.

Onstage, Galbraith is intimidating. She usually wears sleeveless T-shirts cut low enough to reveal the tattoo across her neck. Her gruff voice is punk, loud, yet perfectly on pitch. She has sported a Mohawk for much of her time in the band, but recently she has worn what's left of her hair in a short, dark 'do.

Offstage, Galbraith isn't as brash as her stage persona. She refers to herself and her bandmates as "the Betsys." To them, "the gay thing" may be obvious ("Dogs can smell it, you can see it from space," Galbraith jokes), but they don't see themselves only playing for a gay crowd.

"We thought, 'Do we want to try and give ourselves a little foothold in the queer scene because there's a big audience where we might get to go further faster?'" she said. "But then even though we might move faster, our career would be shorter if we tried to only reach that amount of people."

There are plenty of recognizable themes on "This Time..." — Galbraith's lyrics are eerily right on for the times you want to be honest with yourself. "It's easy to picture your demise, and it's better if I'm planning out my revenge, I've got nothing to do better with my time," she croons on "Bender in Hell."

The energy at an 8 Inch Betsy live show is infectious, but on the album, it's easier to appreciate the way the band works together in creating their songs. Galbraith's vocals shine on the song "Train," which switches tempos throughout. There are plenty of bands with singers who do their damndest to make themselves heard — whether it's by way of screaming or unintelligibly mumbling — but Galbraith is a vocalist, and her vocals become much more isolated on the record, standing out over the roar of the guitar and bass.

Their sound — and perhaps because the number of other well-known queer female punk bands can be counted on one hand — has garnered 8 Inch Betsy comparisons to Team Dresch, but she is quick to shrug them off.

"We played with Team Dresch, and we don't sound anything like them," Galbraith said. But when forced to choose comparisons for their album to be listed on CDBaby, she admitted that they struggled to come up with any.

"For some reason we never f---ing thought of that," she said. "We tried to bounce some around and we're like, 'OK, we got nothing.' After like a month we realized, 'OK, now [that] the CD is ready to be shipped out, we need to move on this. I'll say Alkaline Trio, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for the girls in there.' So we're like, 'OK, we need another one, we need a third.'"

So they chose Green Day, and given the pop-influenced, hard-hitting rhythms about everyday struggles in songs such as "Unemployable," it's a fair comparison.

Without any support, the Betsys might still be unheard of. Luckily, they've chosen to embrace their "gay thing," and the band is better off for it. At the end of 2007, they established a deal with Queer Control Records, and one of their fans with promotions experience became their manager and set them up with an entertainment lawyer and their own publishing company.

"If we wanted to shop around for a big deal, we'd pretty much have to hide the fact that we're gay, or sign with Music With a Twist," Galbraith said. "And of course you have to stand in line for that because it's really that one company that does that, and we wanted to stay super indie, which is the main reason we like Queer Control so much: We don't lose any creative control, they've got our back, and we've got their back."

Queer Control is a small but able San Francisco-based label that has also signed punk rock bands Fruit Punch, Oi-Gays, Pariah Piranha and Tough Tough Skin. Galbraith said the label can give them distribution and promotion opportunities that they would never be able to handle on their own.

"They could put us out where we've never been," Galbraith said. "If they wanted to they could put us in stores in Pennsylvania. I don't think it would sell" — she laughed — "but they could put a huge promotional push behind it, and that would be something the band would never and could never do. Now it's all about getting us out there and pretty much starting to get a little more recognition, get a little more word of mouth going, and you know, push that MySpace, because it helps."

But they've done well promoting themselves so far, which Galbraith said is largely thanks to their drummer, Stephanie Levi. "It used to be that she was always out there — even working at her full-time job — calling people, emailing people and emailing people, we're talking about like second-day callback. She's not on your ass, she's right up it. She's very dedicated and on the ball. I can get completely sidetracked like, 'I got a ukulele and didn't leave the house for four days.'"

With a manager, a lawyer and a record label, it seems like things are falling into place for 8 Inch Betsy. The next step might be the licensing of their songs through the publishing company, but Galbraith said they plan on taking it "on a point by point basis."

She asked rhetorically, "Can you license something to make money while, dare I say it, not selling out? And then once you're out there, you're out there — you can't choose."

For now, 8 Inch Betsy is focused on touring in support of This Time, Last Time, Every Time and losing their day jobs in the process. "The big stepping stone now is to get out on the road and see how long we can stay there," she said. "And if we come back, we keep planning tours."

The record label that turned the Betsys down might live to regret their decision when they find out what kind of crowd they turn out.

"We found one of our greatest — well not our greatest demographic, but it's up there — [demographics] in competition is straight dudes, because they're not like men and they're not guys — they're dudes," Galbraith said. "They've got their backwards caps on and they come up in disheveled drunkenness and they're like, 'Hey man, you chicks rock! I don't usually like chick bands,' and 'You can really play!'"

She continued: "Taken out of context I could really get offended about that. But it's really kind of cute. I'm just like, 'Oh, you're just a little puppy and I think you're nervous right now.'"

8 Inch Betsy: bringing lesbians and frat boys together through punk rock — a broad audience, indeed.

Watch 8 Inch Betsy's video for "Doomed":

For more on 8 Inch Betsy, visit their MySpace page. - Trish Bendix

"Help them to go-go!"

8 Inch Betsy’s Righteous Rock Out summons community support

By Trish Bendix

Queer women have been part of Chicago’s music scene since the beginning. The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band of the ‘70s spearheaded a revolution in which women rocked stages more akin to Led Zeppelin than Joan Baez.

In 2006, 8 Inch Betsy is the new leader of the pack, and their post-punk stage thrashing inspires the community to riot and dance, but to overall, express themselves. The trio has opened for The Gossip, toured with Amy Ray, and is currently prepping for a performance at Homo a Go Go, a queer music and arts festival in Olympia, Washington the first weekend of August.

“It was a no-brainer,” says 8 Inch Betsy drummer Steph Levi. “We were like, ‘We've got to do this thing!’” After submitting to play the fest, Homo a Go Go invited them to play.

The opportunity to be part of something big out west gave Levi and her two cohorts an idea for something on a similar but much smaller scale, promoting the same ideas in Chicago.

“We were offered a headlining spot at The Abbey, so I felt like I wanted to use it as an opportunity to do something big, that I've always wanted to do,” Levi says. The band will host “8 Inch Betsy’s Righteous Rock Out” at the Abbey Pub on Saturday, July 29. Besides 8 Inch Betsy, local band Manatella will play, and Early to Bed will be raffling sex toys and workshops.

“The main idea behind this event is to bring awesome women together to do what they do,” Levi says.
“Chicago has so many talented and motivated women who all bring something different to the table, but often times the community seems competitive or fractured. I'd like to think we can all support each others' causes and successfully evolve in our own arenas.”

The show will serve also as a benefit to raise funds for the band’s trip to Homo a Go Go. There will be a raffle for a guitar and amp as well as a chance to win clothing from Rigged Out/fitters.

Levi says that she hopes “8 Inch Betsy’s Righteous Rock Out” will be a huge success and that other events can be planned in the future.

“I have to admit, it's a real adrenaline rush [to put this together],” she says. “This was basically put together in two weeks, thanks to a bunch of awesome people who have been so generous with their time and donations."

Their plan for community support is already working.

8 Inch Betsy’s Righteous Rock Out will be held at the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace. The show is 21+ and $5 in advance, $7 at the door. The show begins at 10 p.m. CHILL will be on hand so come rock out next to us.

©2006 CHILL Magazine - Chill Magazine

"Curve Magazine; 8 Inch Betsy- Editor's Pick - 9/2006:"

Think of this EP of 80's-influenced, Social D-era post-punk (a sort of Hole meets Le Tigre meets MySpace-era dykey brashness) as your introduction to an incredible, all-girl Chicago-based band whose special brand of fierce rock and catchy hooks make their fans slavish with devotion.
Since the trio formed in 2004, the chicks of 8 Inch Betsy ---vocalist and guitarist Meghan Galbraith, bass player Liz Burke and super foxy drummer Stephanie Levi ---have opened for the Gossip, toured with Amy Ray and headlined Estrojam.
Even better: They're about to release a full-length CD, and we can't wait to rock out to it.

--- Diane Anderson-Minshall - Diane Anderson-Minshall

"2008 CD release/band gets signed!"

Punk-rock lesbian trio 8 Inch Betsy has inked a record contract with queercore label Queer Control Records. Their first full-length album, This Time, Last Time, Every Time, is expected to be released in early 2008.

see: http://www.afterellen.com/music/2008/1/soundcheck?page=0,3#comment-444756 - afterellen.com - Trish Bendix

"CD Release and Review - Dykediva.com"

Press Review on Dykediva.com - 04/08

see: http://www.dykediva.com/music/8inchbetsy.php

Where are all the punk girls, or should I say grrls? They are at an Eight Inch Betsy show. Talk about my dream mosh pit...mmmm.... punk girls....mosh pit.... If they’re not there, they are at home listening to the band’s long anticipated debut CD, "This Time, Last Time, Every Time".

This CD did not disappoint. It includes some of their tried and true songs such as “Doomed”, everyone's favorite, and “Control” plus some newer tunes like “Bender in Hell” and “Waiting Under your Car”. There really wasn’t a song I didn’t like. They have managed to translate the energy of their live shows onto this tiny little CD. Where do they find the room? I don't think any other music has touched the lips of my CD player since I put the disc in last month. I love waking up to this music.

Eight Inch Betsy’s music keeps you energized for whatever you need to do. Plus, it’s a much better way to start your day than that shot of tequila. Come on, give it a try. You know you want to. Oh, and if you haven't see this band live yet, make it your number one priority. I'm serious.

- Jae Lombardo for Dykediva.com!

""8 Inch Betsy and Fellow Rockers Measure Up""

Time Out Chicago: GLBT Section - April 20-27, 2006

This two-year old pop-punk trio is more like Green Day than the Donnas. Riding high after a Mid-west tour with the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray and a recent opening for the Gossip at the Abbey Pub, the ladies are reinventing "women's music" by producing their own feminist homocore style. "People are usually surprised when they see us," says drummer Stephanie Levi. "They're probably used to having a lesbian with a strap-on guitar singing a slow song. They didn't know they have the option of choosing something else." Levi's cohorts are vocalist-guitarist Meghan Galbraith and bassist Liz Burke. As for their elusive band moniker, Levi syays, "If you think it's a sexual innuendo of some sort, great. It can have some references to a doll, too. But we leave it open to interpretation and everyone seems to enjoy thinking what they want to think about it." - Trish Bendix

"OurChart-The Hook Up"

A Festive End to Summer
August 17, 2007 - 11:05pm — trishatchill

As another new “Hooker” (an endearing term I am stealing from Ms. Cage), I am very excited to move from my post as Guestbian to the Hookup. I’m in good company and a faithful reader so it only makes sense that I put in my two cents. For the long and short of it (meaning, the details on myself), read my profile, because that’s what OurChart is for!

To dive right into my Hooking, I can’t begin to tell you all how exciting it is to know how many queer festivals are going on all over the country. Mainstream festivals (like the ones Cynthia wrote about the other day in Listen Up) can be good fun, for sure, but more often than not, they’ll have less than a handful of gays on the bill, and sometimes, you just want to go all out.

Full disclosure here: I am one of the organizers of Queer Fest Midwest coming up, but that’s one of the reasons that I’m so insanely thrilled about the abundance of all-gay fests. When there was simply Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and the drama surrounding it, there was certainly a divide, or at least a questioning process of “who and what am I supporting?” Plus, having one fest in one place only helps so many—those who are willing to camp for days in the Michigan wilderness. I grew up in Michigan and I won’t even do that.

When Olympia hosted Homoagogo for the first time a couple of years ago, it hinted at a new kind of queer festival—one that was not necessarily in opposition to Pride and other gay events, but one that was a more inclusive celebration of “queer” and the arts, music, and people that felt they fit somewhere amongst the blurry lines. Then this June, Atlanta held the four-day festival Mondohomo with a mission of “[creating] a fun Queer-centric party atmosphere for Southern locals, US Social Forum participants, and indie Queers from across the country.” This weekend and next weekend, four other festivals in different parts of the U.S. are hosting similar celebrations with plans for more in the future. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a queer!

Phase Fest
Washington, DC
August 17-18

Headliners God-des and She, local activist and writer Natale E. Illum, and workshops on lap dancing and “strapping it on” (take a wild guess) are among the highlights for Phase Fest, a three-day festival put on by one of DC’s favorite lesbian bars, Phase 1. Also performing: Katastrophe, Team Gina, Athens Boys Choir, K. Love the Infinite, Odd Girl Out, Dykes of Hazzard

East Lansing, MI
August 17-19

For $15, you can participate in workshops, go to queer punk shows, perform at open mics, and eat vegetarian meals. You also get a copy of the QueerFest zine, and can opt for some free housing provided by generous Michiganders. It’s touted as anarchist, but don’t let that scare you away from the community event. The workshops sound especially worth checking out, such as Getting Shit for Free: Anarchist Lifestyle, Fuck the Gyno!: DIY for your Cunt, and Tactics for Transitioning.

Serafemme Queer Women of Color Music Festival
West Hollywood, CA
August 19

[Hanifah Walidah]

Hip-hoppers Hanifah Walidah and Skim, as well as poet Staceyann Chin, perform at this event, which is in its third year. For $10, support and celebrate the diversity with other queer women. With over 17 acts of all genres, it’s basically impossible to not find something you’re into—you know, besides hot Hollywood women.

Queer Fest Midwest
Chicago, IL
August 25


What you’ll find at Queer Fest is visual and performance art with the theme Cowboy & Pegasus (featuring work from Sadie Benning and Bruce La Bruce among others) and music from local and national acts such as
8 Inch Betsy, Katastrophe, Chris Garneau, and Ex-Members (who I am especially psyched for!) It’s $20 for the all-day fest and I would love to see you next to me, sweaty from our non-stop danceathon. - Trish at CHILL MAG

"Estrojam '07 Interview"

Estrojam Music and Culture Festival — BAHAMADIA & 8 Inch Betsy

By Sue Barrett

Among the performers at Estrojam 2007 are Bahamadia and 8 Inch Betsy — who recently shared some thoughts with dykediva.

BAHAMADIA (soul/hip-hop/electronica)
Philadelphia native Bahamadia is credited as one of the original MCs to gain Philly international acceptance in the ‘hip-hop' community in a major way. Initially a DJ, Bahamadia switched trades when MCs such as Sha-Rock, Lady B and Salt-N-Pepa entered the rap game. Becoming one of the most sought after lyricists on the underground scene, Bahamadia earned the respect that allows her to declare in freestyle verse, "I'mma rap fanatic...phenomenal at it a syllable savage written or off the cabbage this chick is bananas." Bahamadia's debut solo album, Kollage, was the first LP written/co-produced entirely by a female hip-hop artist. Bahamadia is a regular participant in educational lectures at universities, as well as in music conferences and seminars. Her historic weekly radio show at Philadelphia's 103.9FM, "BAHAMADIA'S B-SIDES", reigned as one of the highest rated radio shows in Philadelphia and gave Philly radio listeners their first taste of then unknown artists like Eminem, Mos Def, and artists on the Rawkus Records roster. Bahamadia has also collaborated with a wide variety of people, including Lauryn Hill, Morcheeba, Sweet Back (Sade & Maxwell's band), Towa Tei, The Roots, King Britt, Ramsey Lewis, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, MC Lyte and Zap Mama. For info: http://www.myspace.com/bahamadia

8 INCH BETSY (post-punk/indie rock)
8 Inch Betsy has been together since the summer of 2004.

Liz Burke (bass) is a Pisces, earned her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and wants to meet a two-toed sloth.

Meghan Galbraith (vocals, guitar) is wild-eyed and soft-centered and her photo is on the front cover of Joe Meno's book, Hairstyles of the Damned. Stephanie Levi (drums) studied Rock, Jazz and Afro-Cuban percussion during high school and college. She brought Meg and Liz together to reform 8 Inch Betsy — the original, Arizona-based version included Liz but split up when Levi left for Chicago. She goes by "Levi" amongst her friends, and is a self-proclaimed "networking fool".

For info: http://www.8inchbetsy.com and www.myspace.com/8inchbetsy

How did you become a performer?

Bahamadia — I actually started out as a dj in like the pioneering stages of hip-hop culture. My interest shifted to mcing due particularly to having a LOVE for writing poems as well as short stories etc...I've been officially performing since like the age of 14 or so.

Liz [8 Inch Betsy] — I learned to play on my friend's boyfriend's hollow body bass. We stuffed it with mattress foam. She needed a bassist for her band. That was like 11 years ago. Dang.

Meg [8 Inch Betsy] — It never seemed like an option. It was just something I innately had to do.

Levi [8 Inch Betsy] — Borrowed drum set from parents' friend at age 11. Started taking private lessons in high school. Wanted to be Larry Mullen Jr. ...literally. Bought first set at 13, and drove my family crazy 'til college. Bless their hearts.

What tips do you have for emerging performers?
Bahamadia — My advice to emerging performers is to be original overall.

Liz [8 Inch Betsy] — Do your thing and find your sound. Play out and love your fans.

Meg [8 Inch Betsy] — Do everything as much as possible. Practice, play out, write, try new stuff — even if there's no one else there to see it.

Levi [8 Inch Betsy] — Learn your instrument anyway you can. Really "listen" to the musician's instruments while you play, don't just jam in your own bubble. Use a Metronome at home, it will make you a better musician. Work your ass off. Nothing falls into your lap. Find band members who you respect and who respect you. Your band is like your second relationship; good, open communication and fair distribution of work is essential if you're gonna last. Record your practice sessions, give a copy for all to review…this helps you hear what's working and what's not, and later gives you an idea of how much you've improved. Don't be afraid to start playing out, even if you think you suck. The more you play out, the better you'll get, and way faster! What stimulates/impedes your musical creativity?

Bahamadia — True life experiences are what inspire me as an artist/writer.

Liz [8 Inch Betsy] — Living and people stimulate...and sometimes also impede.

Meg [8 Inch Betsy] — I need quiet, so my self and other noise can let my brain do its thing.

Levi [8 Inch Betsy] — Seeing other musicians play "live" stimulates. I try to play with others more talented than I am, I try to go to as many shows as I can. Not practicing enough impedes my creativity.

How do you prepare for a live performance/recording session?

Bahamadia — This is an area I keep the lid on so to speak. It is an extremely personal hence private part of my process as a performance artist. I strongly believe that we all must reserve some things for ourselves. Liz [8 Inch Betsy] — I take Immodium for a live performance, and just be present for recording. Meg [8 Inch Betsy] — Beer, water, and quiet. And some Bushmills. I am socially inept before recording and shows, like I'm preparing for them without being conscious of it. Levi [8 Inch Betsy] — I always take a few minutes alone to stretch and focus before a show and try not to drink much alcohol before playing. Before a recording session, I do yoga diligently, 2x's a day, for a few weeks to get my back ready for the endurance of long hours playing; it makes a huge difference. My hands and forearms don't fatigue nearly as quickly. I'll also get back to doing rudiments for fifteen minutes a day — something I should do daily anyway, but I don't. I listen to our songs over and over again, playing my parts in my mind.

What's been happening in your life over the past year? What's planned for the next year?

Bahamadia — This year for me has been about work, work, and more work! Touring, recording, etc...just returned from Czech Republic from the HIP HOP KEMP 2007 FESTIVAL which featured REDMAN, M.O.P., DILATED PEOPLES, BAHAMADIA (myself), and others. It was INCREDIBLE! I've also been consistently doing show dates across United States as well. As for my plans for next year, I am hopeful that this coming year will be even more fruitful for me both in my professional and personal life. Currently I've chosen to take it a day at a time.

8 Inch Betsy — We were accepted to play at Ladyfest ATL, Homo A Go Go, in CURVE mag, Queer Fest Midwest, and playing Estrojam '07. We've been recording...mixing...waiting...playing out...learning more about the music business, negotiating a label contract...AND anticipating the release of our first, full length CD!

What can we expect from you at Estrojam?

Bahamadia — Everyone that attends ANY show featuring BAHAMADIA can ALWAYS expect BAHAMADIA to just be who she IS!

8 Inch Betsy — THE ROCK. New songs. Some that will and some that won't be on the new album.

For complete festival info: estrojam.org. Read Sue's interview with Estrojam's Executive Director, Khyentse James here.

SUE BARRETT is an Australian music writer, with a special interest in women in music. Her music festival experiences include having Lyndell Montgomery (Ember Swift) give her a demonstration of how to insert non-standard CD booklets into CD cases; hearing Judy Small perform 'Lesbian Chic' in an International Women's Day concert; and carrying Faith Petric's guitar case! - Dykediva

"Estrojam fest fills vital, rockin' role"

Estrojam fest fills vital, rockin' role
Women-centric celebration is still edgy and diverse

By Moira McCormick | Special to the Tribune
September 14, 2007

Estrojam, which revels in its well-deserved rep as the anti-Lilith Fair, comes roaring back Tuesday, presented in about a dozen city venues, retail establishments and other facilities.

Now in its fifth year, the annual women-centric Estrojam Music and Culture Festival proffers a diverse, leading-edge music lineup of all-female and female-led acts -- with nary a wispy folk-rocker in the bunch -- joined by solo artists, DJs, the Cinejam Film Festival, visual art and photography exhibits, workshops, panels and for the first time, a prominent standup comedian.

That would be Margaret Cho, bringing to "Ejam" her new burlesque-style variety show, "The Sensuous Woman," which runs at the Lakeshore Theater Wednesday through Sept. 22 before it heads to New York for an off-Broadway stint.

"It's such an honor to be a part of Estrojam -- I never knew you could make jam out of estrogen," Cho cracks, But seriously, she adds, "I'm super-psyched."

Estrojam '07 headliners also include New York art-funk legends ESG, performing what's billed as their last live show ever on Sept. 21 at the Abbey Pub. The influential Bronx-based ensemble, formed in 1978 by sisters Deborah, Renee, Valerie and Marie Scroggins, has long been sampled by such heavyweight hip-hop and R&B artists as Wu-Tang Clan, Big Daddy Kane, Beastie Boys and TLC. "They've been in every [DJ's] record crates for years -- it'll be cool to see them live," says Chicago's Psalm One. The acclaimed young MC, currently starting work on her next album, performs on the same bill as ESG.

It's an all hip-hop lineup, in fact, that includes veteran Philadelphia rapper Bahamadia; Tampa's buzzed-about, openly lesbian, hardcore electro-rap trio Yo Majesty; MC Rita J, who first made her mark on the scene with Chicago's All Natural crew; and Graff Girlz, who create graffiti art live onstage. "Estrojam's a great way to get exposure," says Rita J, currently based in Atlanta. "Especially for a woman rapper like me who doesn't fit the two most common stereotypes of women in hip-hop: the super-vixen or the tomboy."

Estrojam offers a bracing alternative to music-business-as-usual, according to Allison Eir Jenks, a professor of women's studies at Florida State University. Jenks, also an award-winning author, points out that Ejam's lineup "doesn't subscribe to the 'sex sells' approach that automatically pulls in a male audience." Instead, she says, "Estrojam is a pilgrimage of women displaying an outlandish distinctiveness that [is not such an easy sell.]"

Estrojam's organizers take pride, in fact, in their refusal to pigeonhole the event. Says Jamie Ludwig, music and arts programming co-director of Estrojam. "A lot of women's festivals are perceived as all middle-class white girls, or all lesbians, or all radical feminists; Estrojam blurs the boundaries between those categories, embracing all of them and much more. We wanted to make Estrojam as musically inclusive as possible, thus reaching an audience that may not otherwise choose to attend a 'women's' event."

Ejam '07 also offers such front-line artists as Vermont's increasingly high-profile roots rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals; Athens, Ga., metal duo Jucifer, U.K. punk act the Noisettes; Californian Kristin Hersh, the respected indie-rock stalwart who previously fronted Throwing Muses; bilingual New York-based indie act Cordero, who are signed to Chicago's Bloodshot Records; and many more. Windy City artists make a prominent showing throughout Estrojam, and include the arena-rock-styled Suffrajett, queercore leading lights
8 Inch Betsy, experimental hard rockers Evil Beaver, dance-club turntablist DJ Mother Hubbard, and more. - Chicago Tribune


2008; "This Time, Last Time, Every Time," - a 13 track LP *** Radio Edits available upon request!

2007; DEMO Remix with previously unreleased bonus track.

2005; Debut Demo

All music tracked and produced at Pragma Studios, by Adam Newman- Chicago.

2008 release, "This Time Last Time Every Time" was mixed at Joyride Studios by Brian Leach, mastered at Scientific Mastering by Blaise Barton - Chicago.

purchase at:
- www.cdbaby.com/8inchbetsy
- www.itunes.com
- www.queercontrol.com/8inchbetsy


You can request it by "special order" at your local music store. It can be ordered from our distributor.

8 Inch Betsy - Contact:

Liz - 8inchbetsy@gmail.com



8 INCH BETSY Chicago queercore outfit 8 Inch Betsy played aggressive lyric-driven rock with an equal debt to riot grrl ideals, snotty ‘90s pop punk and the heart-on-your-sleeve honesty of artists like PJ Harvey & Nina Nastasia. Earlier this year, frontwoman and primary songwriter Meghan Galbraith passed away at the age of 35, leaving in her wake a legacy of love, camaraderie and a finished album that—until now—had gone unreleased. On Nov. 13, 307 Knox Records (Future Islands, Dan Deacon) will posthumously issue 8 Inch Betsy’s sophomore album, The Mean Days.

Before Galbraith’s death, 8 Inch Betsy toured the U.S. many times over, sharing the stage with indie darlings like The Gossip, Girl in a Coma, Marnie Stern, Jucifer, and heavy hitters like Cyndi Lauper and Indigo Girl Amy Ray. Their single, "Doomed,” was picked for inclusion in Xbox’s celebrated Rock Band game, and 8 Inch Betsy has been featured in outlets such as NYLON, Curve, After Ellen and The Chicago Tribune.
While the band’s members—Meghan Galbraith, Eli Burke & Melissa Thomas —identify as queer, The Mean Days doesn’t lend itself to overt LGBT themes, instead basking in the human condition: failed relationships, a longing for things lost, the chaos in how life can suddenly shift and push you in a completely new direction. All of 8 Inch Betsy’s songs were written by Galbraith, tearing pages from the secret book of her life and gluing them back together in a filigree of rock anthems. “Our songs are inspired by life experiences, relationships and everything that you can’t say out loud,” Galbraith once told Ohio State newspaper The Lantern.
It’s this idea of relationships that is most important to Galbraith’s story. In her life, she touched a staggering number of people—personally, professionally and romantically, and the wound that she leaves behind is deep. Galbraith surrounded herself with novelists, playwrights, activists, politicians, musicians and artists. She was a beacon of creativity and a stalwart neighborhood fixture. Chicago mayor Rham Emaneul would go out of his way to chat with her at local haunts. She acted in numerous plays written and directed by novelist Joe Meno and was on the cover of his book Hairstyles of the Damned. She was a regular volunteer with Girls Rock! Chicago, a program dedicated to teaching young girls creative expression, positive self-esteem and community awareness through music.
They recorded their debut LP, This Time, Last Time, Every Time (QCR) at Chicago’s Joyride Studios with Brian Leach, creating a compelling record that takes listeners on a passionate journey through Galbraith's brilliant mind. It’s a humble, angsty, honest, full-throttle album with tons of catchy hooks. 8 Inch Betsy wanted to replicate the experience with their follow-up, but the recording of The Mean Days was a drawn-out process that began in 2010 and went on for years. 
“Recording The Mean Days was easy and fun,” Burke recalls. “We wanted to give the album a live feel, so we’d just do a few runs of each song and tweak it here and there over time. Part of the problem came from a falling out with our original drummer. It was hard finding a replacement with a similar skill set. Christian [Moder] really killed it on this album, but we needed a full-time drummer.”
8 Inch Betsy continued to tour with a slew of drummers coming and going, but nothing felt right until they found Melissa Thomas, head of 307 Knox Records. She believed in the band, fought to get them on her label and was their drummer until the end. “I had some of the best times of my life on the road with Meghan and Eli,” she says. “I feel privileged to have spent so much time with such talented people. Now that there's no more 8 Inch Betsy, I feel good in the fact that I’ll be bringing the gospel of Meghan and 8 Inch Betsy to the people by releasing this album.”
The Mean Days is the last studio album recorded by Galbraith. The tracks are peppered with her laughter, her burps and her beautiful voice, sometimes light, feminine and delicate, other times growling, brutal and hard as nails—sometimes both simultaneously as she sings her own harmonies. The feeling that this album is her final goodbye to the world is tempered by the fact that she was such a prolific musician—dozens of audio tapes she recorded on a beat-up 4-track remain scattered amongst her lifetime of friends and lovers. In addition to this excellent new album, the secret b-sides and hidden tracks of Meghan Galbraith are still out there if one wants to find them.