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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82 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.18 not disappointed. A couple minutes into GRLwood's set, the dance floor was like a kicked beehive. Oh, my God, Holland thought, I have to sign them. "Last time I saw energy like that I was at a Frightwig show in '79 in Zurich," he says. One perk of being on a label: air time. As in: a literal flight to New York, where Forester and Ledford spent several days and attended BuzzFeed's annual Queer Prom. ey got photographed before a big backdrop like you see at movie premieres, Forester in a metallic gold shirt under a metallic silver hoodie, her trademark black choker with a crescent moon charm on it cinching her neck. Ledford wore her rancher hat with a red-white- and-blue striped blazer that would have looked at home in a music video by the Ramones. ese two queer women blazing through a historically male genre, screaming Vaccines! Made me! GAY! in one song, drawing crowds of women and queers even in places not typically frequented by women and queers, aren't so much carving a niche for themselves as they are blowing one out of the graffiti-covered, punk-hardcore concrete edifice with amplitudes rivaling those of dynamite. Sure, people call them snowflakes and crybabies and say feminism is cancer. But GRLwood says it all back with an ironic smirk. And they're much, much louder. b ey pull into Carrollton, Kentucky, and each contributes $10 for gas. Forester leads "the children" onto a little grassy hill next to the parking lot. "Tranquilo," she tells Pacho in Spanish. She also speaks Swedish and Norwegian, and she can read French. When she talks to the dogs, she uses mostly Spanish and Flemish — which, we'll get to that. Ledford runs in to buy a pack of smokes. Lately, she's been on a "fancy cigarette" kick, smoking Parliaments, those cigs that have a filter that extends out past the cotton, so there's a little hollow space to bite. She's heard those fancy cigarette filters were made for machine-gunners in the military, so they could hold their smokes in their teeth without them getting soggy as they rained hell down on the fascist hordes. While Ledford pumps gas in the middle of nowhere, those fascist hordes are on the rise around the world. Not to mention that, according to the Human Rights Campaign, 129 anti- LGBT bills were introduced in 2017 in the United States, and at least 28 transgender people were murdered last year. From GRLwood's perspective, there's bad political news in Louisville, too. e LMPD has just broken up a camp of anti-ICE protestors. is is the climate through and about which GRLwood screams. It's why Forester scans the room whenever they play Cincinnati, especially after what happened there in the fall. "And every time there is a bald, older white dude who's typically really well-dressed, nice shoes, and they're there by themselves? I'm not gonna lie: I'm fucking scared," she says. "I look and see if they have a gun on them. at's just the reality of the world we're living in right now, I guess." b It was back in October, and GRLwood was playing in Cincinnati at the Comet — liberal bar, upstanding, good quesadillas. A drunk guy danced into a mic stand and got kicked out, but it was no big deal. en another drunk guy kept getting up close to one of Forester's friends in the crowd, making her uncomfortable. She moved away, but he followed her. After this happened several times, Forester stopped the show. "Hey, dude, my friend's obviously uncomfortable by you. She's asked you to stop touching her three times. Now I'm gonna ask you to stop," she said. Something like that. He didn't stop, so Forester did, again, and called him out. She told GRLwood's fans to get onstage, so that GRLwood could form a barrier between them and this dude. A crowd packed in behind them like a chorus in a Greek opera, and they laid into their prettiest, most delicate song, "Communicate With Me," while, Forester says, a fistfight broke out in front of them. ey think a table fell "WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL THAN JUST YOU PLAYING MUSIC," A FAN SAID. "WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS HELPING PEOPLE IN WAYS YOU'LL NEVER KNOW."

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