ever wondered why there are still less women than men out there rocking (or rawking, if you prefer) while, if shows like Popstars are any indication, there's no dearth of girls clamouring to be the next pop diva? The question made rocker Mary Prankster think for a second.
"Well, the ability to rock is rare all across the board. I mean, there aren't that many men who really rock out either."
Prankster's definition of really, truly rocking is, I learned, very rigorous. She named only a few artists who meet her standard.
"The T-Shirts from Bowling Green, Ohio. They're like everything that was good about T-Rex, Queen and Boston. And there's this girl called Val Yumm in Baltimore. She's just 18 but plays some of the most original, creative, genuinely catchy music I've heard in a long time."
Prankster knows a thing or two about these things, since she herself rocks quite a bit and is nothing short of truly original.
Her first two records, Blue Skies Forever and Roulette Girl, garnered some controversy. At one point her albums were banned in her hometown of Annapolis due to raunchy lyrical content, which earned her a whole lotta cred.
Now she's got a third disc, Tell Your Friends, out on her label, Palace Coup. But if you want to buy it, you'd better go to her December 13 show at Rancho Relaxo. Right now it's not available in Canadian stores.
The disc was recorded with producer Mitch Easter.
"I wanted to find him so I did a random search for people named Mitch Easter and wrote to them all. And he wrote back."
After finishing Blue Skies, she sent him a copy and a lovely little acquaintanceship was born, eventually blossoming into a working relationship.
Easter, who has produced guys like R.E.M., Pavement and Helium, told her to treat each song as its own individual universe.
"I thought that was so neat and Yoda-like. I got so much out of it."
The record was mastered by Shelly Yakus.
"He did the Blue Oyster Cult song Don't Fear The Reaper and he's worked with people like Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. So, sonically, it's the best thing I've ever done."
Maybe. But doesn't everyone always say that about their latest record?
"Yeah, but that's good! Imagine if we said, "This record isn't nearly as good as my last one!'"
This time out, Prankster finds herself alone with her guitar. Both her band members, Jon E. Cakes and drummer Phil Tang, ditched her very shortly before they were to set out.
"It was a total surprise," she said, "and we were living together in Baltimore as well, so now I'm glad I have three months of touring to occupy my time. I honestly have no idea what city I'm going to land in."
In other words, she's homeless.
"Yes. But I'm having fun. And with a laptop and a cellphone I can run my label from anywhere. I'm enjoying the nomadic life."email@example.com
Mary Prankster with the Hollers at Rancho Relaxo (300 College), Friday (December 13). $6. 416-920.0366.