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Oakland, California, United States

Oakland, California, United States
Band Rock Alternative


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"As Punk As it Gets"

SAN FRANCISCO--In an otherwise unassuming section of Potrero Hill, the famous San Francisco fog hovering in the air, a line of 20 or 30 people wraps itself along the sidewalk, leaning up against a skinny building in the cold and the dark. A door is thrown open somewhere near the head of the line. "Alright, we're going to start letting you inside in a few minutes!" shouts a man in a ponytail. A whoop goes up from the crowd. "But you all have tickets, right? Because we're sold out!"

The show, in fact, has been sold out for a month. But that hasn't stopped Bee, Fa, Tucky and Tu from driving over the Bay Bridge from Berkeley, in the hopes of seeing Portland-based act The Gossip live. "We're looking for extra tickets," shrugs Bee. "We thought we'd come down and try our luck."

Inside, the room is filling up fast, bodies packed against bodies. It's a small venue--intimate, really--with an oversized bar taking up most of the wall on the right. By 8:45 p.m., a core group of fans has gathered at the front of the red-lit stage, staking a claim on their patch of checkerboard floor while they wait for the music to start. Energy is building in the close-knit ranks, the kind of energy that only arises when everyone knows they're here for the same thing and that they want to be here more than anything.

Opening band Dolorata takes the stage at 10 p.m. sharp, receiving a warm welcome from loyal local fans. The all-female quintet led by gravel-voiced Katie Colpitts powers through 40 minutes of grinding rock, working the crowd into a frenzy. When violinist Emily Palen accompanies them--dressed all in white except for a somber black necktie--the mellow timbre of the violin peeks through the unrelenting muscle of the chords in a way that makes you want to applaud violently. These women are giving it their all--that much is clear. And the audience is responding in kind.

Between sets, the area at the back of the club buzzes with action as hair and makeup stylists primp and prime. Later, pink feather boas are passed out to the crowd. The generous smoking patio empties as word spreads that Yo Majesty--described by Vibe magazine as "lesbian power rappers"--are about to start. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, the trio is imbued with boundless energy as they leap and strut across the tiny stage, leaning into the crowd, coming eye-to-eye with fans so that every bead of sweat is visible

Close to midnight, the bar is packed. Elbows are crashing. Drinks are spilling. Getting anywhere requires some serious maneuvering and the line for the ladies' room is obscene. But by now, it's finally time for iconic Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip, to do what she does best--rock out. Staunch fan T. Rae has driven up from Crockett, California, to see her favorite band live. "There's such a great feeling tonight," she says. "And Beth is gorgeous."

In a bright red dress, the woman who British music rag NME placed at the top of their "Cool List" in 2006 spins around the stage, arms spread wide, seemingly unable to stop dancing, stop singing and stop impressing her adoring audience. Someone shouts, "We love you!" between songs and Ditto peers into the crowd. "Thank you," she coos demurely with every trace of her Arkansas upbringing squeezing itself out in those two syrupy Southern syllables. "That's the sweetest thing ever."

Watching Ditto, as she powers through favorites like "Standing in the Way of the Law," it becomes clear that she gets as much from the crowd as they do her. It's a mutual pumping up, a shared excitement that threatens to take over the room and it keeps her pogo-ing around the stage with her red dress flying around her like some exotic bird.

Fists are pumping, heads are bobbing and feet are stomping. "I shaved my eyebrows earlier and now the sweat is pouring into my eyes," Beth shouts to the crowd. "It's alright, though. It's punk!"

And it is--the whole set, in fact. It's as punk as it gets. It's hot and sweaty, and everyone is dancing the way you can normally only dance in your bedroom when all the blinds are closed. When Ditto calls out that this is the last song, a wave of disappointment runs through the crowd. But then, the band comes back for a powerful encore and everyone's happy again. Say what you want about Madison Square Garden--sometimes seeing a great band in a packed room no bigger than a one-bedroom apartment is a far more life-affirming experience.

- Holly Burns, special to Camel Smokes

"Nyuk Nyuk, it’s the Stooges!"

Yep, Iggy Pop and the Stooges are back together and they played last night at the Warfield in San Francisco. For the record, here’s the set list:

Loose, Down in the Street, I Wanna Be Your Dog, T.V. Eye, Dirt, Tonight, No Fun, 1970, Fun House, Skull Ring, Trollin’.

(first encore) 1969, She Took My Money, Not Right, I’m Fried.

(second encore) Little Electric Chair

All told, the set was about 80 minutes.

It was Iggy’s 60th birthday (a girl was passing out buttons commemorating the occasion) and me, Mikey Wood, MP and the lovely and talented Scott Paul settled down on the floor for the show.

First up was Dolorata, a last-second replacement as opening act for Sistas in the Pit, who opened most of the tour, including Thursday’s show at the Warfield. Not sure what the reason for the switch was. Anyway, they were tremendous. The best description is lesbians playing cock-rock, all guitars and blues and pieces of Blue Oyster Cult and Zep mashed in there. They’re a San Francisco band that I’ll be keeping an eye out for in the future. And the have a violinist, who does solos (yes I held my lighter up!). During one song, Scott said, “This is their Godzilla,” and during a psychadelic moment, he said, “This is their In My Time of Dying.” By the fourth song, Mikey was dancing and playing air guitar. Good times.

Interestingly, they were missing their regular drummer, Dawn Richardson of 4 Non Blondes fame. Lead singer and lead guitar player Katie Colpitts’ brother filled in very nicely. I’ve got to say, opening for the Stooges is a tough gig - everybody there has been waiting 34 years for this tour. That’s a recipe for getting booed off the stage. Dolorata won the crowd over.
The Stoges hit the stage at about 9:15. The Asheton brothers and Mike Watt came on first and in the shadows to the (stage) left of the drum kit, Iggy started bouncing and clapping to get the music started.

Neva Chonin described Iggy as a “Gumby on crack,” in her excellent review of Thursday’s show in the Chron, and I can’t top that. He’s still thin as all hell although the skin hangs a little bit and when his jeans slipped down we got the ungainly site of a roll of butt flap hanging over the beltline. The band started with “Loose,” then segued into, “Down in the Street.” “I Wanna Be Your Dog” was next and all hell had broken loose. MP drifted off into the pit, never to be seen again. Mikey, Scott and me were pinned in and pogoing with the rest of the fans.

Missing from the set list was anything off their third album, 1973’s Raw Power. That was the album produced by David Bowie when Ron Asheton was moved to bass in favor of James Williamson. Clearly, 34 years haven’t healed that wound.

One interesting sidelight was Iggy’s protector, a middle-aged gentleman in a blue shirt who looked a little like Charlie Watts with Don Nelson’s haircut. Iggy invited the crowd up on stage for “No Fun” and it seemed like the dude was taking the song’s title literally. Iggy gave the mic to a guy and when the guy was screaming into it for more than two seconds, protector dude grabbed the mic back and gave him an elbow. A couple of girls were trying to flirt with Iggy and the dude clotheslined them to get them away. This went on for the entire song, plus the couple of minutes it took to clear the stage after the song was done.

We sang Happy Birthday to him once during the set, then the band came out for the first encore and played Happy Birthday and we all sang along again. Balloons dropped from the rafters with his picture on them. Apparently the set list is always the same and the encores are Iggy calling out songs. For the second song, Iggy changed his mind, calling out, “Not Right,” then changing to, “She Took My Money.” They played, “Not Right,” next.

The second encore was, “Little Electric Chair,” and the show was done at 10:35. We all headed off into the rain. Except for MP - he was chasing some tail on his way out.

- Mr. Bitter


Last night I went to the El Rio to see Dolorata. Dolorata is an all-female garage rock band from the Bay Area - two of the members were previously in the band 4 Non-Blondes.

First of all, my friends flaked on me - I mean they didn’t return two phone calls. So I decided to go it alone and I jumped on the 24 Divisadero bus and rode all the way to Mission and 30th reading my book. Then I jumped on a 14 Mission bus to Precita (pretty interesting reading, eh?).

I got to El Rio at about 9:45 pm and the first band was just doing a sound check. I sat down in a chair on the porch outside in the cold and waited patiently for the show to begin. It started a little after 10:00, and the first band was not very memorable - I can’t even remember their name. It was a duo, both on acoustic guitars with female vocalist singing sappy songs in two chord progressions.

Dolorata came on about 11:00 and they rocked from start to finish. Their songs are gritty, well performed and the musicianship is great. The violin player - who is fantastic and very interesting to watch - uplifts them from a good garage rock band to something sublime or (in the least) it adds a unique twist. I really enjoy their live show, I have seen them twice now. I am curious how their record - which is supposed to come out in the Summer (I think) - will compare. If it is as powerful as their live show I will definitely play it the radio.

The audience was a good crowd and really into Dolorata. I was standing in the back and I see and feel the energy flowing through the place. It was a fun show.

Afterwards, I had an uneventful ride home, following the same path which led me there. The busses were quite empty for a Saturday night at midnight.
- DJ Stevil- Stevil's KUSF Page

"Believer, Dolorata (self-released)"

This San Francisco-based quintet is a supergroup made up of veteran female rockers who’ve previously played with The Hail Marys, 4 Non Blondes, Shelley Doty Xtet and The Amazon Mollies. I don’t know who’s queer and who’s not, but with a lineage like that, well, draw your own conclusions. Their sound on this debut disc is hard-rocking with a blues and soul core, riff-based and uniquely accented by Emily Palen’s skillfully aggressive violin. Lead singer-guitarist Katie Colpitts has one of those throaty, born-to-rock voices that just whomps a microphone, particularly on the lead-off “You’ve Gotta Want It,” while bassist Veronica Savage, drummer Dawn Richardson and guitarist Dori Sappo lay down the throbbing rhythm. Equal parts Led Zeppelin, Joan Jett and L7, Dolorata doesn’t generally venture into punk-rock territory, except on the one-minute, 21-second whirlwind “Shotwell.” The bulk of the album is more in the cock-rock genre, sure to incite headbanging and stage diving, with songs like “Undertow” and the clearly lesbionic “New New,” while the dirgelike “Chick Magnet” reminds me of the Moaners. I hope they do some national touring and make their way down to New Orleans, because it’s a rare treat these days
to experience dyke-friendly rock live in a club if you live anywhere
outside any of the major queer
meccas. ( - Curve Magazine

"local grooves"

DOLORATA Believer (self-released)

Dolorata's debut, Believer, reclaims rock from the watered-down indie crowd, which isn't a surprise considering its members are scene veterans: vocalist-lead guitarist Katie Colpitts and bassist Veronica Savage were in the punk outfit the Hail Marys: guitarist Dori Sappo came from the Amazon Mollies; Dawn Richardson pounded drums for 4 Non Blondes; and voilinist Emily Palen joined by way of Shelly Doty's Xtet. Opener "You've Gotta Want It" sets the tone for the rest of the recording, relying on a classic four-chord progression and a chorus of women shouting the do-or-die titile. "Chick Magnet" is the winner here: its crunchy chords, warbling solo, and spat-out story of a cheating, druggie lover would have fit perfectly on L7's Bricks Are Heavy (Slash,1992). Channeling the uncomplicated, catchy power of AC/DC with Joan Jett's no-nonsense accessibility, Believer is a disc for rockers pure of heart. (Kat Renz).

DOLORATA Sun/27, 10 p.m., $8-$10. Bottom of the Hill. 1233 17th St., SF.www.bottomof the - SF Bay Guardian

"They Wanna Touch You"

Local all-woman band Dolorata grew from the roots of the Shelley Doty X-tet, the Hail Marys, and 4 Non Blondes, so, yeah, it's a rock band. Or a rawk band, maybe. Whatever; your devil horns are destined for the air. Listening to the arena sound of "You Gotta Want It," for example, we think of Joan Jett, the Donnas, and definitely L7, but like any self-respecting rock band, Dolorata considers its main influence to be Led Zeppelin. And like Led Zeppelin, all members of this group are way overqualified for bar gigging, but they wouldn't have it any other way. Thundering drums, screamy guitar riffs, and a violin wielded like Jethro Tull's flute — we already told you where your devil horns are headed.
Fri., March 6, 9 p.m., 2009
By Hiya Swanhuyser
Published on February 27, 2009 at 4:38am - SF Weekly

"Coal Pitts Wash (now Dolorata) Rock Red Devil Lounge"

It’s an unspoken truth in the club scene that going on last, especially on a week night, usually leaves you playing to an empty bar. It’s a Thursday evening at San Francisco’s Red Devil Lounge and despite the weekend being still a day way for most people; the crowd lingers to catch the last band of the night, Coal Pitts Wash.

Fronted by Katie Colpitts on lead guitar and vocals, Coal Pitts Wash serves up a mix of hard rock and blues with just a twist of something different. They begin the set with Veronica Savage on bass, Dori Sappo on rhythm guitar and Zachary Rukstela on drums, but two songs into it they bring Emily Palen on stage with her violin. It takes a bit of self restraint to not yell, “Play Kashmir!” But once the violin kicks in, almost driving the rhythm guitar, you realize that not only does this arrangement work – it rocks hard. And when it’s over you’re left with the sweaty afterglow that only a good rock and roll show can give you.

I had a chance to talk to the band after the show and was surprised to find out that Katie Colpitts had been feeling under the weather all night.

FMOnline: You were sick tonight?

Katie: Yes, I’m very sick

FMOnline: Do you have any tips for performing when you’re sick?

Katie: I do. Lay low till the point where you have to do it and then give it everything. Like lay super low, drink tea and drink water and then pull it off.

Veronica: I thought you were drinking tequila.

Katie: I was drinking tea until [I got] up there

FMOnline: How long have you been playing together?

Katie: Coal Pitts Wash has been together for about two years.

FMOnline: I think the violin sets you apart from other bands. Was that a conscious decision on your part to bring the violin into it?

Katie: I think it was a conscious decision. The violinist and I were supposed to play music [together] years ago and we brought her in to work on a couple songs and when she came in the vibrations were very high. I made a very conscious decision to introduce to the rest of the members – like how does everybody feel about having her in the band.

Veronica: Yeah, I think that once she was there we were like, “Oh, that sounds cool.” However I don’t think any of us ever envisioned having a violin. That would be like, “oh, we’re going to throw a banjo in.” That was something I couldn’t have imagined until she was standing in front of us playing.

FMOnline: What’s your songwriting process like?

Katie: I had a lot of songs and I wanted to put together a band . . . And then once we formed the band we collaborated. A lot of the time, with the songs that I’ve written . . . I either write the lyrics first and then the music, there’s no consistency with that. I think the collaboration part [is when] we’ve got to work it out at rehearsal.

FMOnline: I saw you play at the Hard Rock Café (in San Francisco) last August. You did a cover of Hendrix’s Red House. You had a guest guitarist?

Katie: Shelley Doty – she rips.

Veronica: Wherever we go with her we grab her to play some cover with us. She’s an excellent guitarist and a friend.

Katie: Yeah, Shelly Doty’s got a million of her own things going on. It’s always great to collaborate with her.

FMOnline: I think you’ve got this great late 60’s, early 70’s rock sound going on. What are your influences?

Katie: I think our influences are different across the board.

Zachary: My influences are everything I’ve listened to throughout my entire life. . . Gypsy music from the Balkans all the way to - I was listening to Soundgarden on my way here, and everything in between.

Veronica: I come from a heavy metal background, but heavy metal in the 80’s and 90’s and after that I went to the alternative route. I’m just saying this ‘cause I think other members go back to classic rock and maybe even some southern rock, but I always liked heavy stuff and at this point with this band I always classify it as blues influenced and hard rock inspired.

Katie: Mine’s definitely all over the board. A huge influence as far as what I like to play is roots-blues . . . Also I think that the classic rock thing, I definitely stem from that. When I was a little girl I was definitely into Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, but it doesn’t really stop there . . . I’m into gypsy music too, I think it’s cool that everyone comes from different things.

Dorie: Classic rock, Led Zeppelin, old Aerosmith, Rolling Stones. Some of the new stuff - I really like Jet. I like that fast upbeat tempo, rock-n-roll.

Emily : I guess by default my biggest influence is classical music because it’s what’s in my muscles and in my bones, but what I love to listen to is a lot of hard rock and really good electronica and a lot of classic rock.

Veronica: I think it’s interesting to point out that two members, Zachary and Emily are classically trained. . . . I play totally by ear. I know what my strings are but that’s about it. So that’s interesting when you get people together in room [who are] coming from different places.

FMOnline: Do you feel there’s any advantage or disadvantage to being in a predominately female band?

Katie: I‘d have to say that I think there are advantages and disadvantages, each equally strong. I think that the disadvantages are you’re very pigeon-holed. You’re definitely not taken seriously within the business. There’s a lot of ways you’re overshadowed or you’re just put on a lot of bills with all-girl bands. You know a lot of the music we’re playing- it doesn’t match some of the bills that people want to put us on. . . . But I think there are advantages as well. People will say, “Oh, that’s a girl band” and then they’ll come out and see us and say, “Well, they’re a rock band, they’re not just a girl band.” You’ll get the “For girls, you’re really good” and that kind of shit. But you can really use that to your advantage. Sometimes you’ll get more people into it. We never see ourselves as a female band . . . And sometimes I’m just curious about what people say to Zachary . . .

Zachary: People say, “Oh, you’re in a dyke band”. And I say, “No. I’m playing with musicians that I collaborate with and they just so happen to be female.” It doesn’t affect me at all. Sex, race, it doesn’t matter. If I feel like I can collaborate and bring something to the table that’s what it is . . . Let the music speak for itself. I hope it’s inspirational to other musicians. I’m really glad that it is inspirational to young female musicians and I hope it is. Musicians have chops that have chops whether they’re red, white, female, male, doesn’t matter.

Veronica: That’s kind of funny to me because no one ever comes up to me and says “Well, how do you feel being in an all-white band?” But before this band I played in an all-female, all-dyke band [and] the advantages of that at the time was there was always a built in support system. There was always a crowd, a particular group that will go see you.

Katie: At the same time it’s hard to cross over with that.

Veronica: Yeah, exactly.

Katie: It’s very difficult to cross over . . . This is hard to market sometimes. Not because it’s not good music, but because people pigeon-hole you . . .When I was young I didn’t have a lot of female influences, musically, so I think it’s cool to be out there. That’s one of the advantages.

Veronica: I think it would be good if we played more shows like tonight, because a lot of times people look at us and they want to book us . . . like “Oh, four girls – there’s some other girls going to play tonight” And they could be there strumming acoustic guitars and playing hand drums, but they’re like – “Four girls, let’s go!” So that’s a problem. No offense about acoustic guitars.

Katie: No, no way. ‘Cause I’ve done that.

FMOnline: – So if you could put yourself on your dream bill, which bands would you be playing with?

Katie: Emily’s is Tool. Dorie?

Dorie: I would play with Tool, I would love it.

Katie: Again, you know - the whole spectrum. . . Ani DiFranco is a huge inspiration as far as a doing-it-yourself, powerhouse female musician. And then jump the whole thing to like . . . Zeppelin

Dorie: I like playing with Shelly Doty and A Band Called Pain.

Veronica: Well, damn, I’m going to pick a dead person. Let me get Nirvana out there and then I’d . . . say someone like The Replacements. I like the indie bands that had energy and brought new stuff to the table; [bands] that people were excited about going to see just for the music. Not because their song was played on the radio twenty times a day, not because their video was really slick but the band went out, toured and worked hard and everybody was like, “This is a great band”.

Zachary: I’d like to open for Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade. I think that would be a totally realistic goal.

Coal Pitts Wash has plans to record in the fall and tour next year. They’ll be playing in at The Fillmore in San Francisco with Lez Zeppelin and Sistas in the Pit on June 24th. You can also catch them at Bottom of the Hill on July 26th with The Moaners.

----- interview by Paula Sutor
- Female Musicians Online


Don't label Dolorata as just another all-girl band. "We are five powerhouse women," says the blues-influenced, hard-rock-inspired San Francisco group. So it goes with Dolorata, created a few years back in San Francisco by former bandmates Kate Colpitts and Veronica Savage and roommate Dori Sappo. A year later, Emily Palen joined the band on violin and, after two drummers, Dawn Richardson came onboard, and all the pieces were in place. Women's rock movement aside, Dolorata is more interested in capturing passion and power than in pop-music politics. Dolorata describes its sound "as a modern-day old-school band with the sensibility of the '70s, while fully existing in the present tense." But Dolorata is not a gimmick. "We are greater than each individual member and larger than any single influence."

Lineup: Kate Colpitts, lead vocalist/guitarist and songwriter; Emily Palen, violin; Dawn Richardson, drums; Dori Sappo, guitar and vocals; Veronica Savage, bass and vocals.

1. Dolorata's music should be filed between:

The groin and the heart. But somewhere between Cream, Wolfmother and Queens of the Stone Age, you'll find the sound of Dolorata.

2. The soundtrack to what movie would your music best match?

A Quentin Tarantino remake of "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Because how awesome would that be?

3. If you could collaborate on a song with any person, living or dead, who would that be?

Keith Richards, because we're still not sure if he's living or dead. Dolly Parton, because she can do no wrong. And Jimi Hendrix, obviously.

4. If a junior high school asked you to play a cover song at the next talent show, what song and school would you choose?

"Four Sticks," by Led Zeppelin, because it's in the blood. It's heavy and dark, with a break into the light. You can hear its influence in our sound now.

5. What is the meaning of life?

Life is to be lived, so give it all you've got.

- Delfin Vigil - SF Chronicle


11 song album- Believer



Dolorata is a modern day old school band. With passion and raw power, this all-female quintet rocks with the sensibility of the iconic 70's, combining distinctive influence and experience to create a new sound, which can be described most simply as "rock and roll." Vibrating deep in your heart, you not only feel the soul and blues that had guided the pioneering bands of rock’s heyday, but you also catch the momentum building for each stripped down, captivating rhythm that demands the attention of today. This musical mix defines Dolorata.

Guided by lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Katie Colpitts, each lyrically compelling song is recognizable and riff based. She is strongly supported by Dori Sappo on guitar, Veronica Savage on bass, Dawn Richardson on drums, and uniquely accented by Emily Palen’s persuasive violin. Each brings her own influential and hard-hitting vision to Dolorata. Members of the band have not only hailed from Bay Area groups such as, 4 Non Blondes and The Hail Marys, but have performed at the Grammy’s and have played with legendary icons like John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, The Foo Fighters and Tracy Chapman.

Dolorata has vibrantly rocked some of San Francisco’s most celebrated venues from The Warfield, The Fillmore, Slims and Bottom of the Hill to esteemed establishments in the southern CA region from The Whiskey a Go-Go to the House of Blues. Unshakable headliners, as well as dynamic supporters of such artists as Iggy and the Stooges, The Gossip or Von Iva, Dolorata consistently manifests the magnitude of their uncompromising, driving, soul vibrating rock.

Releasing their debut album, Believer, in May of 2008, Dolorata continues to capture attention, garnering praise from such notables as Curve Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, The Bay Guardian, and SF Weekly. Tracks from Believer have electrified the airwaves on Bay Area radio stations, including 107.7 The Bone.

Dolorata’s blues influenced, hard rock inspired collaboration always packs a punch. Somewhere between Cream and Led Zeppelin - Wolfmother and Queens of the Stone Age, you'll find the sound of Dolorata.