Bitch, formerly of the queercore duo Bitch and Animal, is an entertainer, songwriter, and a Lesbian icon in women’s music. A classically trained violinist, Bitch also performs on bass, keyboards and ukulele.
Bitch has guarded the details of her personal life with care. Her origins and year of birth are not public knowledge, although there are indications she hails from Detroit.
Bitch (as well as her former lover and musical companion, Animal) has never revealed her birth name to her audience or the media, although she considered releasing her first solo album Make This/Break This under the name “Capital b.” The website for Righteous Babe Records (www.righteousbabe.com) says the following about the mythic origins of Bitch and Animal:
In the waning decades of the last century, the sperm of a metallurgist and the sperm of a math teacher mixed with the eggs of a tap dancer/choreographer and a kindergarten teacher/artist. The results of this concoction would grow up to be the heroes of our story: Bitch and Animal. (No one knows their secret identities; rumor has it that if their birth names are ever revealed, the universe will screech to a halt, so no smart person ever asks.)
The Exciting Conclusion and Shortbus
Bitch formed the band, The Exciting Conclusion, with Lee Frisari (a performer with Circus Amok) and her girlfriend Daniela Sea in 2005. The following year, Bitch appeared as herself alongside Sea (an entertainer and actress known for her role as a transman in the Lesbian-themed television show The L Word) in the 2006 film, Shortbus.
For the duration of her musical career, Bitch has identified as Lesbian. Her poetry and lyrics are typcially women-centered. She insists that her music is personal, but many of Bitch’s songs are topical, drawing on social and political events in the United States and elsewhere. For example, her song “Get Together” (Be-Sides) is a critique of George W. Bush. In “Rise” (Make This/Break This), Bitch again criticizes Bush, this time adding a whispered protest against the war in Iraq, which she calls genocide. “Dare me to rise/and I’ll rise,” she declares, “We’re gonna take back this land” and “make things grow.” Other political songs include “Witches” (Make This/Break This) a feminist critique that describes the witch-hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as the mass murder of women, “Aileen Wuornos” (Make This/Break This), about a woman who was given six death sentences after pleading guilty to murdering seven men who she claimed had raped her, and “Copying Me” (Be-Sides), an autobiographical spoken word piece with descriptions of New York City and a brief mention of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Bitch frequently uses minimal instrumentation, often only violin and drums, and pays homage to the women performers who paved the way for later generations. In 2007-2008, Bitch worked with Canadian musician Ferron, aiding with the production of Ferron’s fourteenth album, Boulder (2008). Her release of Be-Sides harkens back to the 1980s wimmins music (“women’s music,” made by women for women), featuring lyrics about love, war, and rape. She chooses to self-release her albums or work with independent and woman-centered companies, such as the aforementioned Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records.
Bitch Music Website. www.bitchmusic.com, accessed July 2010.
Halberstam, Judith. 2003. “What’s That Smell? Queer Temporalities and Subcultural
Lives.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 6.3: 313-333.
www.righteousbabe.com/artists/banda/index.asp, accessed 2010.
Bitch. 2006. Make This/Break This. Kill Rock Stars. KRS478
Bitch. 2004. Be-Sides (one take wonders and poems). Self-released, Capital B Records.
Bitch and Animal. 2003. Sour Juice and Rhyme. Righteous Babe Records. RBR031
Bitch and Animal. 2001. Eternally Hard. Righteous Babe Records. RBR025
Bitch and Animal. 2000. What’s That Smell. Independent Release. CDDDP3351