“The San Fran phenom Grass Widow,” as the New Yorker dubs this post-punk band, “inspires as its pastoral harmonies float effortlessly over trellises of spindly guitars.” Grass Widow—Hannah Lew (bass, vocals), Raven Mahon (guitar, vocals), and Lillian Maring, (drums, vocals)—write their hypnotic layered melodies collaboratively. Their haunting songs, rich in metaphor and couched in reference and allusion, are mined from the personal narratives of each member. Vocal duties shared equally all around complete the overall sensibility. Grass Widow has no front person, and offers a musical experience not based on celebrity or spectacle. In line with these principles, they have maintained their objective of playing age and gender-inclusive shows since their formation. All three ladies joined us for our 5GB series before their show on Friday at The Earl.
What was the first gig you ever attended?
Hannah: My first real concert was Soul Asylum,Spin doctors and Screaming Trees. I was 13 .My big brother took me and I smoked weed even though I didn’t know how-so I didn’t even get stoned. My boyfriend still teases me about this and sometimes calls me ” little miss can’t be wrong”.
Lillian: I was 14 when I went to the Matrix Coffeehouse in Chehalis, WA for the first time to see the local punk bands, Gingervitus and Flipstick. The space was cavernous and friendly, I went there a lot. I ended up playing my first live shows there a couple years later.
Raven: My first “gig” was either the Pickle Family Circus band in Mendocino circa 1985 OR a Tori Amos concert in Albuquerque in the mid 1990s. Take your pick.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
H: I think my favorite shows have been the ones we got to play with the Raincoats. Everyone in the crowd was so happy to be there and there was a really great general vibe.
R: The last show we played with the Raincoats in Portland, Oregon was a real dream show. We sang Lola with them on stage. I think it was one of my favorite shows. Ever.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
H: Weird Al Yankovic at the San Mateo County Fair a few years ago. Best show I’ve ever seen. That man is amazing!
R: I hopped the fence in high school to see a stadium show of the Rolling Stones. We ended up in the first row. I saw Kieth Richards’ wrinkles when he strutted to our side of the stage. It was epic. I still have some of the confetti they blew over the crowd.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
H:I want to go on an Italian beach vacation tour.
L: Any time with the Raincoats again.
R: In an anti-gravity chamber. Or suspended above…something. That’s a hard one. You never know what’s around the bend, eh? Oh, wait. Disneyland. That’s where I want to play.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
H: We would play with a full choir and orchestra.
L: With a hologram of Yoko Ono as well as the real Yoko Ono.
R: Once Yoko Ono picked my mom out of a crowd and hugged her.
Catch Grass Widow, Friday, June 2nd 8th at The Earl