kitty brazelton bandleader DADADAH cdi










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"Resolving the conflicts of modernism vs. early music vs. free jazz vs. acid rock vs. folk was really my motivation for further study from the get-go," she says. Composition student by day and rocker by night, "I was writing 12-tone scores on one hand and playing straight-ahead rock as a rebellion against the avant-garde on the other. With Dadadah I dont have to be so divided." Kitty formed Dadadah in 1990, based on an idea she'd had since Musica Orbis: "I could sing a song about my life and illustrate it by exploding the songs form with instrumental reactions."

If songs are the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves, Brazelton takes refuge in love songs and turns them upside down with abandon. Her surreal phrases---

"Sex, wind, flood of yearning"

---shoot past metaphoric associations directly down to the psyche, where the personal is universal. She doesnt shy away from strong feminist messages, either, as when she exhorts Cinderella's Sister to

"Let the prince thing go!"

Her overall expansiveness suggests dimensions of other media---"sculpture in time," for instance, or linear moldings of musical materials. By simply calling herself an American vernacular composer, Brazelton feels free to cull from all musics available to her.

by Michelle Mercer

LOVE NOT LOVE LUST NOT LUST (BUZZ, Amsterdam), the new release from KITTY BRAZELTON'S electro-acoustic rock 'n' roarkestra DADADAH,is the result of a composer making music that sounds like no one but herself---for a lifetime.

Kitty confesses that since first playing Coltrane-inspired songs on flutes and guitars with her teenage girlfriends in a band called Battleship:

"I've been addicted to the thrill of making the music do what I feel as I'm feeling it."

So she combined "incredibly disparate elements in an exciting whole" of "smart, eclectic futuristic boogie"as Cadence and New York Press, respectively, described DADADAH's debut release Rise Up! (Accurate, 1994), which The Boston Phoenix called "debut of the year." On LOVE NOT LOVE LUST NOT LUST Kitty Brazelton goes even further. Beyond eclecticism, the record is so stylistically accumulative it bursts all bounds in a hard drive towards totalism.


In love with mind-expanding compositional forms, in lust with soulful grooves and creative chaos, Kitty

"just can't live without the music"

---and it's been like that a while. As leader of Musica Orbis, the Philadelphia-based progressive rock quintet, she played CBGB's with Talking Heads and Television in the '70s. When she moved to New York in the '80s, she focused on (im)pure pop and metal with bands like Hide the Babies. Meanwhile, at work on her doctoral degree in music composition from Columbia University (awarded June 1994), she immersed herself in the classical traditions---from medieval plainchant to 20th century serialism and beyond---she'd first discovered 20 years before.



Her pop songs have been performed by Terence Trent D'Arby and Joan Jett, among others; her orchestral works, chamber pieces and electronic compositions by groups including the Absolute Ensemble, Double Edge, California EAR Unit, NewBand, Relache, and twisted tutu, commissioned by such institutions as New Music America, USArts Festival (Berlin), and Meet the Composer. She's been presented in Manhattan by American Opera Projects, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Composers Forum, the Columbia Computer Music Center, the Knitting Factorys New York Jazz Festivals, Lincoln Center Festival 98, Roulette, and the Whitney Museum of American, besides NYCs venerable punk rock club CBGB's, and by Chicago's Hot House, the Middle East in Boston, and New Music America Minneapolis.

Kitty's voice, "as chameleonic as the music, spanning the pop and rock spectrum from Lydia Lunch to Patsy Cline to Joan Jett," John Corbett wrote in the Chicago Reader, commands DADADAH. But the band is comprised of like-minded genre-destroyers, including Hui Cox, (Digable Planets, Sara K, Olatunji), guitar; Phillip Johnston (Transparent Quartet, ex-Microscopic Septet), alto saxophone; Elizabeth Panzer (Reggie Workman, Butch Morris, Judi Silvano), harp; Dane Richeson, (L.U.P.E), drums, percussion; Todd Turkisher (David Byrne Band, Olatunji), tambourine; Matt Turner, cello; Lydia Van Dreel (Crosstown Ensemble), French horn; Chris Washburne (Tito Puente, La India), trombone; and Roland S. Wilson (George Benson, Hamiet Bluiett), bass. Recorded in downtown New York studios after a three-night Knitting Factory performance run, DADADAH'S LOVE NOT LOVE LUST NOT LUST is a series of song-suites bridging the sophisticated and simple, proper and playful, sensual and sober. But all analogies and po'mo definitional exercises aside---LOVE NOT LOVE LUST NOT LUST rocks.

---Michelle Mercer, NYC

Kitty B "daDA!"

Brazelton founded the 21st-century medieval quartet Hildegurls and the digital-punk trio What Is It Like To Be A Bat? She's producer-curator of the Womens Avant Fest, is a Composer-In-Residence at LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and the Performing Arts, and The Earth School. At Columbia U. she's a composer-at-large in the Computer Music Center and teaches music history (which she does at New York University, too)

BUZZ ZZ 76005

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© 2001, Catherine Bowles Brazelton.