Chastity Belt – “Joke”

ChastityBelt2Back when I worked at one particular national music magazine, said journal decided the way to connect with the kids was to send the staff to live at a college for one month and work with the journalism students there to write pieces on the local music scene. The thought was apparently that we big-city editor types would bring a little real-life experience to the college town and the kiddies would then learn a whole lot from us. We would, in turn, find out what the kids were up to and we’d each have what today we call teachable moments. What really happened was that we editor/writer types spent most of our time in the college bar doing things that I barely remember, but which had very little to do with educating anyone at all on music journalism. At some point out of the haze, the silly editors formed a band and it was called Chastity Belt (or sometimes Charity Fuck). I don’t know why this happened, but suffice to say those who can’t do, write (in my case), though our foursome did feature former Scottish band Orange Juice‘s drummer, a future member of Guided by Voices and a really close friend of R.E.M.’s, but basically we had one show which might have been fun, though I couldn’t tell you honestly.

Here’s the point, Chastity Belt, the actual really awesome band made up of guitarists Julia Shapiro and Lydia Lund, bassist Annie Truscott, and drummer Gretchen Grimm make the kind of power proto punk pop that I wish we could have pulled off back in that college town. But we didn’t and now these ladies can elevate the name Chastity Belt to the level that it deserves, without all that weird historical baggage (whether it be a Woody Allen reference or just silly editor nonsense–see above). These four lassies actually did put their college location in Eastern Washington to good use given that they met, formed and prevailed musically there, then graduated beyond that geography and moved out into the world at large. Their first album No Regerts in 2013 focused enough attention on them that they rolled out into America gathering more and more fans, then in March of this year they put out Time to Go Home.

Somewhere in between those two points of light, they went on the road and filmed this video for “Joke,” which features the fun, exhaustion, onstage action and requisite appearance of someone in a bunny suit that any good tour should contain. And the snippets of live footage are just enough to suggest that their shows are driving rock excellence. The upcoming tour also has them sharing the bill with like-minded musical contemporaries from Courtney Barnett to Wire and Built to Spill. Go, see, enjoy. Chastity Belt have righted a great wrong previously done to the name that they now wear so well.

05.14.15 – Seattle, WA – Neptune #
05.18.15 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair ^
05.19.15 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom ^
05.20.15 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom ^
05.21.15 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom ^
05.22.15 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade Records (late show) ~
05.27.15 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios ?
05.29.15 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s %
05.30.15 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theater ^
05.31.15 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theater ^
06.01.15 – Los Angeles, CA – Gal Palace
06.02.15 – San Diego, CA – Casbah ^
06.03.15 – Tucson, AZ – Hotel Congress
06.05.15 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk ^
06.06.15 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada ^
06.07.15 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks ^
06.08.15 – Tallahassee, FL – Liberty Bar
06.09.15 – Atlanta, GA – FREE in-store at Criminal Records, 6pm +
06.09.15 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl ^
06.10.15 – Winston-Salem, NC – Reanimator
06.11.15 – Durham, NC – The Pinhook
06.12.15 – Baltimore, MD – The Metro Gallery
06.13.15 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club ^
06.14.15 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club ^
06.15.15 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer ^
06.18.15 – Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Explosion
06.19.15 – Toronto, ON – NXNE @ Horseshoe Tavern
06.19.15 – Toronto, ON – NXNE @ Smiling Buddha
06.20.15 – Lakewood, OH – Mahall’s 20 Lanes
06.21.15 – Detroit, MI – UFO Factory
06.23.15 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
06.24.15 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
06.25.15 – Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck
06.26.15 – Denver, CO – The Dryer Plug
06.27.15 – Salt Lake City, UT – Diabolical Records
06.28.15 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
07.24-26.15 – Seattle, WA – Capitol Hill Block Party =
10.15.15 – London, UK – The Victoria
10.16.15 – London, UK – Lexington
10.17.15 – Brighton, UK – The Hope
10.18.15 – Sheffield, UK – The Harley
10.19.15 – Newcastle, UK – Think Tank
10.20.15 – Glasgow, UK – Broadcast
10.21.15 – Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen
10.22.15 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Games Room
10.23.15 – Birmingham, UK – All Years Leaving Festival

# – w/ Tacocat, Cloud Nothings
^ – w/ Courtney Barnett
~ – w/ Mega Bog, Nail Polish
? – w/ Twin Peaks
% – w/ Wire
= – w/ TV on the Radio, Built to Spill, Shannon and the Clams, Protomartyr, Grave Babies, more