Prior to its launch, WTF AF organizer Molly Ragan excitedly tells Tucson Weekly
about her latest passion project, a new new zine called Not Just A Pretty Face.
“It's a collective project featuring numerous women and female-identifying people from the downtown community with the goal of elevating our voices, art and experiences," Ragan, who is also the mag's editor, says. "This first release revolves around sexual harassment and assault, personal experience and otherwise, largely in response to recent discoveries about abuse from certain male members of the community.”
The short-run zine—available at Wooden Tooth Records—is a work in progress with hopes of evolving into a quarterly.
WTF AF is, you'll note, a monthly series, staged at Hotel Congress, designed to create a platform for our women/trans/femme community’s voice to be heard.
Ragan adds, “While all are encouraged to attend these events, they are specifically open to queer, POC and handi-capable female-identifying folks.”
A party was held, this past Sunday, Aug 6, to mark the launch of Not Just A Pretty Face at Club Congress with live performances by:
Funeral services are generally somber affairs. Yet Cool Funeral’s wistful shoegaze had enough light and punch to surpass boundaries of what's "normal" at a funeral. Besides, WTF AF’s audience were smitten, welcoming these newcomers to the Tucson music scene with cheers and yelps.
A gemstone whose mutable facets reflect an underlying symmetry—singer, songwriter, emcee, model, actress, dance instructor—Chezale personified the spirit of the event.
With a message of self-love and empowerment, Chezale’s “Our World,” which borrows from James Brown’s '66 classic “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” (a ditty Rolling Stone
called “biblically chauvinistic”) into a modern day call for respect and unity between sexes.
Chezale’s delivery and lyrics exude grace and strength inherent in the female universe, and she raps truth to power: “They say we’re living in a man’s world/But I guarantee one thing/That it’s nothing without a woman ... When your life is a mess/Like chess/The queen will protect.”
The message is simple: “Both worlds must unify in order to elevate.”
Chezale’s latest, Mavmuzik,
is available on iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play and Spotify.
A last-minute addition to the event, Julia Kinu (writer and head editor at Words on the Avenue) recited a poem, sang and performed a couple of numbers on mandolin.
One of Kinu’s thought-provokers, “Day After/Days After,” appears in Not Just A Pretty Face: Vol 1.
Sweet and gentle, singer-songwriter Fawn Bones has the voice of an angel. Her understated musical grace slowly weaved a sonic web that ensnared; a slide and violin-bowed guitar built up layer upon layer of sound on a loop, as she carefully plucked delicate melodic riffs from a Telecaster over the top. The bluesy folk artist delivered an impactful set of experimental songs that created vivid dreamscapes.
Dusty Rose, Shovel’s vocalist-guitarist, greeted a stoked audience (who stood at the stage in anticipation of their set) with, “Were gonna rock ‘n’ roll a little bit,” before she and stickman Ward Reeder, also known as “Phoenix’s Keith Moon,” commenced to do just that.
Referencing Sub Pop grunge, this Vally of the Sun duo laid down thick slabs of garage/noise/punk with elements of heavy metal, without all of the H.P. Lovecraftian occult mysticism. In the tradition of great one-name bands, like Hole, their big sound belies smallness.
Head-banging and long hair flailing wildly, Shovel rocked Congress hard. At the climax of their set, Rose unstrapped her guitar, thrashed it about, bouncing it off the stage floor repeatedly before falling to her knees to coax unearthly sounds from it by hammering fists on the strings and tweaking knobs before leaving it to feedback in front of her amplifier, in force, bringing WTF AF to a raucous close.