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Lady Spit 

When a punk record label and an all-gal spoken-word troupe get together, watch out

San Francisco's newest record label is also the coolest. Featuring all women, all the time, the outspoken and innovative Mr. Lady Records got off the ground in Durham, N.C., in 1997, with the object of putting out queer and feminist music in the punk-influenced vein; the company relocated to S.F. this past winter. To date, owner Tammy Rae Carland and her partners have had spectacular success. Notably, the label's roster includes the runaway popularity of Le Tigre, whose punk rock dance music and articulate left-wing politics gleefully give the lie to the assumption that young listeners want overproduced pap. Mr. Lady also boasts artists like Tami Hart, Sarah Dougher, and the Butchies: If there were a chart reflecting the tastes of smart political girls, these bands would be near the top. This fall, the imprint may shoot right off that chart by releasing the newest Quails recording.

Meanwhile, fans of hyperactive spoken-word performances may already be acquainted with Sister Spit, the all-lady band of marauders who rove from town to town picking their teeth with traditional poetry. Valencia author Michelle Tea is perhaps the best-known of them, but Tribe 8 lead singer Lynn Breedlove is coming up fast: Her book Godspeed is fast and funny, and critics dig it.

The logical brainchild of these two organizations is "Mr.Sister," a giant music and spoken-word event. In a recent phone conversation, Carland described the show: "[Sister Spit co-founder] Sini Anderson and I are collaborating on this -- we basically wanted to curate an all-queer music event that's punk-focused, or mostly punk-focused. It's 17 acts that range from full- on rock bands to solo acts, and it was also something we wanted to do to kick off moving here. We're going to do future collaborations with spoken-word performers, as "Mr.Sister,' we hope." She mentioned that Sisterz of the Underground and the Passion Dance Troupe are also performing, and laughed at how huge the event seems. "It's an all-day thing," she said. "It's quite epic." -- Hiya Swanhuyser


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