Jill Sobule is coming to Pittsburgh! She’s performing on Saturday July 6 at Club Cafe with her sometimes partner in crime, Julia Sweeney (yep, that Julia Sweeney) and it promises to be a terrific show. Jill is described on the website:
Jill Sobule is a Denver-born singer, songwriter, storyteller, guitarist and gypsy. Over seven albums and nearly two decades of recording, Jill has mused on topics such as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting, reproduction, the French resistance movement, adolescence and the Christian right.
She was gracious enough to answer a few questions from me via email when I was too sick to do a phone interview. And the folks at Opus One Productions have asked us to give away one pair of tickets to see the performance on July 6.
Tell me about your first visit to Pittsburgh and your most striking impression of our City. I always tell people how much I love the city. I was shocked when I first arrived into the city from the airport. I had no idea how green and beautiful the setting was. I thought it was going to be a…a shitty flyover town. I would love to spend more time here for sure.
Are there any Pittsburgh performers (based here or born here) that influence you? Well, I’m not sure what musicians are from Pittsburgh, but I am a big reader and one of my favorite writers is Michael Chabon. I discovered the artist James Turrell at the Mattress Factory.
Who was the first LGBTQ person that you met and how did that impact you? Hmmm, I suppose it was Billy Jean King. I was in Jr. High, and I went to the Virginia Slims tournament – remember when they pimped cigarettes to women with “You’ve come a long way baby”? My friends and I approached her after she lost. She was in no mood for us. I still love her.
“I kissed a girl, won’t change the world” How does that resonate now given all the recent social and legal changes? Well it did change the world…for some folk. Everyday I have people telling me how that song helped them along the way. Don’t forget, it was 1995 -before the famous Ellen kiss. I got a lot of shit for it. It was banned, if you can believe, all over the bible belt. I wanted to write a song that I wished I could have heard when i was a teen. It’s amazing how things have changed. I remember my first pride parade in 1980. We were such subculture, freaks, outsiders. In a way, “won’t change the world” will apply to our near future. No one will give a fuck who you kiss. But then again a kiss or love will always change the world.
It is interesting to me that you and Julia both have contributed to LGBTQ social history (your song and Julia’s gender-challenging character “Pat”) Those two things don’t necessarily go together but in the big picture, they reflect questions that changed the national conversation. Is that dynamic something we’ll see in the show? Not on purpose, but you will see it quite naturally. I’m really not sure what I meant with that.
Do you have an active LGBTQ fan base? Any great stories? So many stories. I have such an eclectic fan base. I would say I have a lot of “the gays”. But, I would also say it’s a smart, quite left of center, NPR listening crowd
What can we expect from the Jill and Julia Show? I’m not even sure. We kind of wing it. But it will be fun, I promise
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? Oh…I am a great fan of old lesbo pulp fiction. I love the old Ann Bannon ones like Beebo Brinker. I have actually had lunch with Ann. I must say, I am attracted to the older days, when things were more oppressive, taboo, but way more sexy! I’m thinking of say, “Tipping The Velvet”, “The Passion” or even “Dessert Hearts”. Oh, I love “The Price of Salt”. It was a 1952 novel by Claire Morgan – who was actually Patricia Highsmith, the writer of the Ripley books. I am not a fan of say…The Real L-Word. They don’t seem like the brightest bulbs
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? I think there are organizations that help kids in trouble or homeless. I know there is “LA Youth” in Los Angeles. Not sure what organization there is in your town, but you probably know. The other thing is to be open and loving to all folks in the community. I remember back when Kissed a Girl came out, a backlash from some members of the community when I said I was “bisexual”. And, I know there are some that are not so inclusive of their transgender brethren.
Your music occupies this very interesting space where traditional singer-songerwriter storytelling lays claims to satire, pop infusion and some interesting riffs and sampling. Is there a genre or musical tradition you’d like to explore in the future? I am completely ADD. And all over the map with my musical taste. I have 2 different bands in NY. One is with a kind of avant-garde jazz horn band, the other is a kick ass all-girl rock band called…”Dinah Shore Jr.
Thanks for answering our questions! Feel better Sue.
You can purchase tickets ($20) here.
We are going to make this one very very easy. To enter the contest, leave a comment – why would you like to win tickets to the Jill and Julia Show? Contest ends Wednesday July 3, 2013 at 8 PM.
The tricky part is that you have to make sure we can connect with you – so when you leave your comment, make sure your Disqus account is linked to either Facebook, Twitter or email.
You must be 21 or older for this contest (and show.) The winner must verify no later than 8 AM Friday July 5 or we will select another name.