Louisville Magazine

SEP 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.18 77 b Your ears are the first to go. e amps blow them clean off your head and onto the wall behind you, where they hang suspended in the force. Next are your eyes. In the center of the crowd your heat joins everyone's heat. You shut your eyes against the sweat and when you open them there is only color and motion, stage lights and bodies leaping up like they're about to show the ceiling just what they think of limits. You lose all the limits that get you through the day and all your anger spills out through your mouth, which has sprouted 900-something teeth. You realize you're screaming in 30 voices. You have 60 elbows and you don't know what to do with them, so you bang them around. Flesh, flesh, concrete — numbing impacts come from all directions, because you're taking up more space than your one little body ever could. When the song stops, your severed ears fall down to the floor, but you don't think to pick them up; you can hear just fine, but not from where you're standing. You hear the crowd cheer as if they're cheering at you. Up front, the two musicians wave, liquid in the low light. Red paint melts down their faces, which you can't quite make out. And your own face? You can't remember where you left it. Maybe it's up there, you think. Maybe that's me. b It's 6:45 p.m., and the goddamn snowflakes have 15 minutes to hit the road on time. Karen Ledford just got back from a funeral, having said goodbye to a friend gone in his 20s, so she's accounted for. But what about the other wannabe oppressed crybaby? What about Rae? We're waiting outside the wine- colored cinderblock building on First Street called the Open Community Arts Center, which serves quadruple duty as an art gallery and a venue and studios and a home for an indiscernible number of stray, punk-y artist-types, most or all of them younger than 30. Ledford and Rae Forester, the two members of the band GRLwood, which they sometimes call a scream-pop band, have a gig in Cincinnati tonight. But Forester's still upstairs, in her apartment over the gallery, likely in her room, which she has soundproofed by stapling and drilling scraps of carpet to the walls. Cinderblocks support a shelf in her room, and she made papier-mâché lampshades that look like shreds of catalogs to go over all her lights. Her bed is in the closet, like a nest. (She knows, she knows: "It looks like a psycho hole.") "We always try to get there an hour early, but we're always fucking late," Ledford says. She leans against the back of her trusty steed, the blue-green '04 Honda CRV she learned to drive in and inherited from her grandma. It's never broken down in 200,000 some-odd miles, and, Ledford brags like a proud dad, it just got new brakes. Drums stack in the back, a few sets of drumsticks protruding from a compartment — all of them dented and toothy, one beginning to split. She has broken a stick three shows running. Ledford doesn't know exactly when they play tonight. But she's ready in concert attire: a blue button-up; navy skinny jeans with a few tiny accidental-looking splotches of paint on the leg; black low- top Vans with black socks; and the floppy, flat-brim black hat that she always wears to shows. "With this shirt, I feel like…not Jim Jones," she says, laughing a stoner- style huh-huh-huh at the thought. But doesn't it seem like a lot of cult leaders wore rancher hats? She shakes her head. "I don't want to be a cult leader, by any means," she says. Who wants a ton of people hanging on their every word? e pair of cancerous feminists — they've taken to calling themselves the names haters call them, turning barrages into banners — have been thinking about that lately. Ever since that piece came out on intomore.com, which, apparently, is a website. e article that accused them, scolded them — the "queerdo" (that's queer weirdo) femmes who'd both called themselves bisexual as kids — indicted them on one count each of biphobia in the third degree: offense by problematic song lyric. For a song they made called "Bisexual." Which is about biphobia, Forester thinks. And also a specific yet common experience of exoticization that's affected pretty much every queer person she knows, including herself. And, like: Yes, it is problematic. Congratulations, article writer: You got it! BY DYLON JONES PHOTOS BY MICKIE WINTERS GRLWOOD'S HIGH-DECIBEL QUEERNESS

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