Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jen Schande - 19: Songs For and Inspired By Valencia Chapter 19

It’s been almost 10 years since Jen Schande first received critical acclaim for her split 7” with The Cribs. Since then, Jen has busied herself with her band Schande, played in former San Francisco-based queer band Boyskout and has a transatlantic recording project This Is Thunder. The July 17th release of 19:Songs For and Inspired By Valencia Chapter 19 is a fairly interesting undertaking.

Here's the back story:
In 2000, author, Michelle Tea, published the novel Valencia. Eleven years later, the book that was named "The Bible of politicized, counter-culture, punk informed LGBT boys, girls and gender queers" is currently being transformed for the pink and silver screen. Valencia follows the tale of one twenty-something queer girl's escapades navigating life and love in San Francisco during the 1990's. Collaboration between twenty-one filmmakers, each translating a chapter of Valencia into five-minute pieces has already begun. Each filmmaker will shoot their portion with their own cast, crew, style, and interpretation of the novel. The completed project will be shown as a cohesive unit, but each individual piece will be able to stand as its own short narrative film. This process creates twenty-one lesbian focused short films unlike anything seen before.

In describing her work on 19, Schande reveals, “There was something incredibly liberating about reading Tea’s work – I found her unyielding honesty with owning her experiences explosive. Drawing on my own memories and the ability to be submerged in freedom of expression, creating music in response to Chapter 19 was effortless and this record in many ways wrote itself. Consequentially, the songs in part convey Michelle’s experiences, in part recall my own, and in many ways are a tribute to both the bridges and spaces between the two.”  The result is delightful. Schande has put out an album that evokes fond memories of 90s indie while still sounding current and modern.

This entire Valencia project is a massive undertaking and one that is a well deserved homage to the work of Michelle Tea. They are insanely lucky that Jen Schande is leading the way with a pretty fantastic album.

No comments: