UDiscoverMusic: Best Female Bassists: An Essential Top 25 Countdown

UDiscoverMusic: Best Female Bassists: An Essential Top 25 Countdown

10: Abby Travis

The Ultimate Versatility Award goes to the Los Angeles wunderkind Abby Travis, who we chanced upon in 2011 at an obscure prog-rock reunion show, featuring the Anglo-German band Nektar and the freaky Euro/krautrock band Brainticket. The latter got a new lease of life courtesy of a young, goth-looking singer-bassist who gave them a stage presence they never had before. Despite being a good 30 years younger than the rest of the group, Travis was fully on the band’s acid-drenched wavelength. A year later she replaced Kathy Valentine in Go-Go’s. She’s also toured with Butthole Surfers and Cher (now there’s a sentence you don’t get to write every day) and can apparently play anything with anybody.

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BP RECOMMENDS: SUMO PRINCESS SINGLES

Abby Travis has built a long and successful career using her precision playing and massive tone to back powerhouses like the Go-Go’s, Cher, the Bengals, and Beck. Her new project, a drums–bass duo with Gene Trautman, now showcases her talents in the biggest and boldest way possible. On these four tracks, Travis dishes seriously filthy frequencies and interesting lines that use both her vast pedalboard and her eccentric playing, making us want much more from this exciting duo. —JON D’AURIA

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Bass Player: Abby Travis and Sumo Princess To Release New Singles, Announce Shows

Bass and drums duo Sumo Princess has been described as a cross between Royal Blood, Devo , Television and Black Sabbath and Elettrodomestico has been described as a satanic electro-pop version of The Mommas and Poppas.

Los Angeles based art-core duo Sumo Princess, feat vocalist/bassist Abby Travis (Go-Go’s, Masters of Reality, Eagles of Death Metal, Cher, Beck, Farflung,) and drummer Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Mark Lanegan Tour, Miracle Workers) to tour in April with Jane (Go-Gos) Wiedlin’s Elettrodomestico.

After working together in The Go-Go’s for the past 7 years. Wiedlin and Travis thought it would be fun to have their respective bands join forces for this run. Bass and drums duo Sumo Princess has been described as a cross between Royal Blood, Devo , Television and Black Sabbath and Elettrodomestico has been described as a satanic electro-pop version of The Mommas and Poppas.

In conjunction with the tour Sumo Princess is releasing two 7” limited edition vinyl picture disc singles. The band collaborated with 9 different artists to create 9 different numbered editions of these singles. Star Spangled Banner/ Tinsel Man will be released in 4 editions featuring the art of Brian Grillo, Jacobine Van Der Meer, Jim Herrington and Pat Arnao. You Will Break/ Sumo Princess will be available in five editions featuring the artwork of Rocky Schenck, Darcy Yates, Snakesweaters, Tommy Greñas, and Joe Travis.

Tour Dates:

4/5 Pappy & Harriets, Pioneetown CA

4/6 Alex’s Bar, Longbeach, CA

4/7 The Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

4/12 The Chapel, San Francisco, CA

4/13 The Hideaway, Sacramento, CA

4/14 The Ivy Room, Albany, CA

To stream and download the singles click here: https://sumoprincess.bandcamp.com/(also available on iTunes, google play and amazon.) Collectable vinyl releases available 4/3 at www.sumoprincessband.com

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BILLBOARD: BARBRA STREISAND, MILEY CYRUS & MORE ADDRESS WOMEN’S MARCH IN DOWNTOWN L.A

Women’s Marches took place all across the country on Saturday (Jan. 21), bringing out record crowds in the name of equality. Washington, D.C., garnered the main spotlight but the March in Los Angeles may have been just as significant in terms of garnering attention through star power and sheer numbers.

In addition to what the organizers estimate was a turn out of more than 750,000 people, the event attracted a powerhouse lineup of speakers and performers. Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Natalie Portman, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Laverne Cox, Lily Tomlin, Kerry Washington, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many more spoke of the need to protect women’s rights in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Additionally, an array of music artists made their statements through song including Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor, Jackson Browne, Jenifer Lewis, Brandy, and an all-star band featuring Juliette Lewis, U2’s the Edge, The Go-Go’s Abby Travis, and Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk, who did a stirring take on “Pride (In the Name of Love).” Helen Reddy also did an a cappella version of “I Am Woman.”

The march started at Pershing Square in downtown L.A. around 9 a.m., then proceeded to slowly move throughout the surrounding streets to City Hall, eventually making its way to Broadway and 6th St., where performers and speakers were gathered. Marchers (many of them in bright pink knit hats referencing Trump’s now infamous words about women’s body parts to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush) carried countless banners and signs with catchy, clever and often provocative slogans. The massive, colorful crowds were a vibrant site, but the sounds echoing through the city were also rousing. The crowds, filled not just with women, but men and children as well, brought drums, horns, tambourines, bullhorns and their voices, shouting chants like, “We need a leader, not a tweeter!” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

The sentiments of frustration and the need to fight President Trump’s policies were more thoroughly articulated by Streisand, who was the first to speak on the Broadway stage. After Wainwright offered a powerful version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” he introduced the iconic singer and actress.

“Trump’s cabinet choices can’t wait to reverse the progress of our last eight years,” she said. “They are determined to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides health care to the women who need it most and that’s why we’re here today!”

Though Women’s March organizers had stated that it wasn’t specifically an anti-Trump march, the speakers made it pretty clear that speaking out against our new president was in fact the point.

“We must not legitimize him,” Fonda said fervently. “We know what he is up to… taking away our rights and our freedoms and our programs that protect us.”

Cyrus, who was there with a group from her Happy Hippie Foundation, all dressed in bright yellow and black logo get-ups, took a positive approach. “We don’t want to talk about change, we want to be the change,” she said. “And to know that I’m not alone in this dream brings me such hope, and hope is a crucial component in creating the world that we want to live in.”

Before her performance with the Edge, Juliette Lewis and Wilk, and bassist Travis spoke exclusively to Billboard about her participation in the event.

“I’m terribly concerned with the flagrant, unconstitutional conflicts of interest, the possibility that treason has occurred and that fact that Trump is obviously completely insane,” she said. “I’m not OK with normalizing racism, misogyny, homophobia or xenophobia. None of this is OK and it’s all completely surreal.”

While speakers Saturday were equally critical of Trump’s psyche and intent on stage, unity remained the central message, with music and art punctuating  and highlighting this. Broadway and Black-ish star Jennifer Lewis and pop singer Brandy brought a climactic, goose-bumps-worthy moment singing her fitting viral hit “In These Streets” — which she just remixed referencing Trump’s plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (“Fifty million of us will march down south and we will tear down that wall… Fifty million of us will pick up the phone and answer that call.”)

Debbie Allen presented two dazzling dance performances highlighting the beauty of women, while Thelma Houston got the crowd itself dancing to her disco hit “Don’t Leave Me This way,” which she dedicated to former President Barack Obama.

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Billboard: Listen to Eagles of Death Metal Guitarist Dave Catching’s New Single ‘Bought and Sold’: Exclusive

Marc Pfitzenreuter/Redferns
Dave Catching performs at the Live Music Hall on Aug. 16, 2016 in Cologne, Germany.


4/21/2017 by Alison Kotch

The new track introduces the EODM guitarist’s upcoming solo album.

As an original member of Queens of the Stone Age, founder of stoner-rock band Earthlings? and current guitarist of Eagles of Death Metal, Dave Catching — owner and resident of famed Joshua Tree, Calif., recording studio Rancho de la Luna — is lucky to call the most talented people in the industry friends. Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop and PJ Harvey have all recorded at Rancho, as well as others too numerous to list.

So it makes sense that Catching would be inspired to collaborate there with some of his most talented friends. Shared Hallucinations Pt. 1: Sonic Salutations From the Venerable Vaults of Rancho de la Luna 1972-1984 (May 26, Dine Alone) features recognizable collaborators like The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss and Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan.

While the album is a quick, approachable listen that evokes QOTSA, Catching says he drew inspiration for the project from ’60s-era psychedelic compilations, where each track told its own story. Fitting, then, that the record-release party (to take place at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on May 27 in Pioneertown, Calif.) will feature performances by Mojave Lords, The Mutants, Sweethead and Sumo Princess.

Billboard talked to Catching about the tales behind the music, which are rooted in teenage shenanigans, playful double-entendres, a love for Kiss and a mushroom-induced hallucination that once scared him out of his wits.

How did you come up with the title of your LP?

The Pebbles and Nuggets albums from the ’60s and ’70s always had a pretty interesting slant to their titles, and since I was making a compilation record, I wanted it to sound like it had been put together by different people over the years. It kind of sounds like stuff from different eras.

The first track, “Bought and Sold,” is the first single. Who worked on that with you? I thought it was an interesting choice to start with a female vocalist.

That’s Liela Moss from The Duke Spirit. They recorded an album at my house with Chris Goss [Masters of Reality] called Neptune and supported Eagles of Death Metal on tour. We became really good friends. Liela heard the song and loved it, and wrote and recorded it in like an hour. So as much as I wanted Jesse [Hughes of EODM] to sing on it, she completed it, and it was so good that I had to go with it.

Listen to “Bought and Sold” here:

That’s one of my favorite songs, and I think that’s a great opener to the album.

It’s one of my favorites, too. It leads you into the album … I think a lot of people could kind of relate to that instead of hitting them with something hard or heavy to begin with.

It seems very mellow and inviting, and I felt the same way about “Ghost Stories” — it’s such a good, transitional track. What was the inspiration behind those lyrics?

Gary Wertz [of Strawberry Smog] sang and wrote the lyrics to that. We recorded that with Jonathan Hischke [Dot Hacker, Hella, Broken Bells] and Barrett Martin [Screaming Trees]. I was having trouble coming up with a guitar solo, and he put it together in seconds.

Male and female vocals are featured on “Shake, Shake Shake.” Who’s singing?

The female vocal is Serrina Sims [of Sweethead], and the male vocal is Troy Van Leeuwen [of QOTSA]. I gave that to them because I felt like they could really nail the vibe of it, and they exceeded my expectations tenfold. I wasn’t expecting the Troy part: It has a Bowie, Man Who Sold the World vibe.

It’s nice that people can impress you sonically or vocally when you put them together.

A lot of people I know … they definitely have an idea of exactly how they want things to sound. I had gotten to the place where I didn’t know what to do with them anymore. And that was the fun part of playing them for people and having them say, “Ah, I like this one! Let me try something with this.”

“Your Daddy’s Waiting” has a playful and fun vibe to it. What’s the story behind it?

When I was a kid, I took a girl to see The Police on their first tour. They were playing a tiny club in Memphis, and we were both so young: I think I was 17, and she was 16. We snuck out, and somehow her father found out. Someone came [into the club], and they were like, “Hey, your daddy’s waiting outside. He found out where you guys are. He wants you to get out here, pronto.” That’s how I came up with the title, and it kind of developed from there.

He was probably like, “Get my daughter home!”

I never saw her again! And she was forbidden to see me… young love.

You corrupted her!

I did indeed. Chris Goss is the ‘Give it to the DJ’ voice. He’s playing a lot of the cool stuff on there as well, so… that definitely ties in with the Queens, because he produced a lot of Kyuss and Queens stuff, too.

“Electric” is well placed in the flow of the album. I see this as a great warm-up for a show or a song that you’d listen to at a bar at the beginning of a night out. It’s got an energizing feel to it.

I’m glad that you got that. That’s how I feel about it. That one was written a really long time ago, and I recorded the guitar part on my computer. A couple years later, I gave it to Sean Wheeler, who sings on it, and he’s a really awesome guy.

His first lyrics were just one line repeated over for the whole song. He finished and was like, “That’s cool, right?” And I’m like, “Dude, you just sang the same line the whole song!” And he goes, “Yeah, but that’s cool, you know?” And I’m like, “No, you’re just being f–king lazy. You got to write some lyrics!” I think those are probably the funniest lyrics on the record. It cracks me up every time.

“Candy” has a very cinematic, story-like feel. It’s very pretty and has a retro vibe. Is that what you were going for?

I had the whole song finished and I didn’t have any lyrics, but I always liked it. I gave Abby Travis the song —she and I played in Eagles of Death Metal, Earthlings?, Masters of Reality, and a lot of other bands… I wasn’t going to put it on the record because it’s so different, but I really like what she did with it because the story is pretty amazing: You definitely visualize a lot of cool stuff in there.

Is “Candy” literally about candy, or is that a euphemism for something else?

You’d have to ask Abby, but I would assume it’s probably some of each… some candy and some other things.

The same with “Shared Hul”: When you talk hallucinations, are you referring to drug hallucinations or just a similar experience with someone?

That is actually a true story. It’s about a time when my friends and I were really young, and we picked some mushrooms from a field and went back to my parents’ house. It was Saturday night, and a chair got up and danced in the middle of the room and then went back to where it was. I saw this, and I was freakin’ out. And then someone said, “Did that chair just get up and dance in the middle of the room?” That really freaked me out, because I’ve never had a shared hallucination with anyone.

“Come On” is another fun song. I could see it being played at a barbeque in the summertime. It’s got an infectious groove.

I’m really glad you like it, because that’s one of the other ones that was finished really quickly … I was just playing my guitar, and the tone dictated the song. It’s kind of like my homage to Kiss: I grew up with Kiss, and it’s supposed to be a Kiss-type song.

“Ghosts” is a definite change of pace, and also the first song to feature piano and guitar. Is there an organ on it, too?

Most of it is organ, trumpets and everything. My friend Chris Goss is one of the most talented guys I know. He brought over this giant organ a long time ago, and he did incredible things. I had to get rid of it because it’s kind of falling apart, and it was so giant that it took up so much space, and almost everything on that track is that organ. And then I gave it to Alain Johannes to do with Mark [Lanegan], because Mark was recording a lot of stuff with Alain at the time. So that’s another one where everyone heard it and added things to it. It really does change the vibe of the whole record.

“Pretty Bird” works well between the last two songs. It’s energizing, yet it almost sounds like a rebound song after mourning lost love.

I like that you picked that up, because it feels like that to me. Alain Johannes really is the most talented musician I’ve ever met in my entire life. There’s absolutely nothing that he can’t play, any instrument or vocal. He’s the nicest, coolest, guy. I ended up getting the riff together and came up with this drumbeat and played the guitar, and Alain took it to the next level with his beautiful vocals. It’s almost like a hard-rock, Stevie Wonder vibe. I don’t know how to say it, but it kind of works like that. Troy [Van Leeuwen] ended up playing on that as well and really turned the song on its head. I can’t say how much I loved what Alain did to that song.

“Overdrive” is a great choice for the closing track. It has very empowering lyrics for anyone trying to escape a bad situation or who needs a good kick in the ass to make a change.

I can’t remember what the original lyrics were, but they were a little bit different. And I was like, “Nah, we don’t do negative here. We’ve got to do positive. This song is too rockin’ to be a negative song. We’ve got to change it.” It’s supposed to be a fun song, and I think it’s a good way to leave. It kind of pumps you up and leaves you in a good place.

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Billboard: Barbra Streisand, Miley Cyrus & More Address Women’s March in Downtown L.A.

by 

 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Women’s Marches took place all across the country on Saturday (Jan. 21), bringing out record crowds in the name of equality. Washington, D.C., garnered the main spotlight but the March in Los Angeles may have been just as significant in terms of garnering attention through star power and sheer numbers.

In addition to what the organizers estimate was a turn out of more than 750,000 people, the event attracted a powerhouse lineup of speakers and performers. Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Natalie Portman, Miley CyrusDemi Lovato, Laverne Cox, Lily Tomlin, Kerry Washington, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many more spoke of the need to protect women’s rights in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Additionally, an array of music artists made their statements through song including Rufus WainwrightRegina SpektorJackson BrowneJenifer LewisBrandy, and an all-star band featuring Juliette LewisU2’s the Edge, The Go-Go’s Abby Travis, and Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk, who did a stirring take on “Pride (In the Name of Love).” Helen Reddy also did an a cappella version of “I Am Woman.”

The march started at Pershing Square in downtown L.A. around 9 a.m., then proceeded to slowly move throughout the surrounding streets to City Hall, eventually making its way to Broadway and 6th St., where performers and speakers were gathered. Marchers (many of them in bright pink knit hats referencing Trump’s now infamous words about women’s body parts to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush) carried countless banners and signs with catchy, clever and often provocative slogans. The massive, colorful crowds were a vibrant site, but the sounds echoing through the city were also rousing. The crowds, filled not just with women, but men and children as well, brought drums, horns, tambourines, bullhorns and their voices, shouting chants like, “We need a leader, not a tweeter!” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

The sentiments of frustration and the need to fight President Trump’s policies were more thoroughly articulated by Streisand, who was the first to speak on the Broadway stage. After Wainwright offered a powerful version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” he introduced the iconic singer and actress.

“Trump’s cabinet choices can’t wait to reverse the progress of our last eight years,” she said. “They are determined to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides health care to the women who need it most and that’s why we’re here today!”

Though Women’s March organizers had stated that it wasn’t specifically an anti-Trump march, the speakers made it pretty clear that speaking out against our new president was in fact the point.

“We must not legitimize him,” Fonda said fervently. “We know what he is up to… taking away our rights and our freedoms and our programs that protect us.”

Cyrus, who was there with a group from her Happy Hippie Foundation, all dressed in bright yellow and black logo get-ups, took a positive approach. “We don’t want to talk about change, we want to be the change,” she said. “And to know that I’m not alone in this dream brings me such hope, and hope is a crucial component in creating the world that we want to live in.”

Before her performance with the Edge, Juliette Lewis and Wilk, and bassist Travis spoke exclusively to Billboard about her participation in the event.

“I’m terribly concerned with the flagrant, unconstitutional conflicts of interest, the possibility that treason has occurred and that fact that Trump is obviously completely insane,” she said. “I’m not OK with normalizing racism, misogyny, homophobia or xenophobia. None of this is OK and it’s all completely surreal.”

While speakers Saturday were equally critical of Trump’s psyche and intent on stage, unity remained the central message, with music and art punctuating  and highlighting this. Broadway and Black-ish star Jennifer Lewis and pop singer Brandy brought a climactic, goose-bumps-worthy moment singing her fitting viral hit “In These Streets” — which she just remixed referencing Trump’s plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (“Fifty million of us will march down south and we will tear down that wall… Fifty million of us will pick up the phone and answer that call.”)

Debbie Allen presented two dazzling dance performances highlighting the beauty of women, while Thelma Houston got the crowd itself dancing to her disco hit “Don’t Leave Me This way,” which she dedicated to former President Barack Obama.

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