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“What It Feels Like to Be in a Lesbian Rock Band”

“What It Feels Like to Be in a Lesbian Rock Band”

Kay Turn Her and the Pages_Photo_Sue Schaffner 2024

An evening of lesbo-centric song celebrating the current City Lore Gallery exhibit, “What did it feel like to be there?: 12 Portraits from the Addresses Project” Presented as a songbook, Kay Turner and old muff-diving friends sing, play and dance from her lesbian- focused catalogue of songs she has written and co-written over the past 40 years. An evening of old songs and new ones, too, with a few sing-a-longs! A former professor at NYU, Turner is known for teaching lesbian lessons in song. She’s always looking for new students…



Kay Turner, lead vocal and songwriter (Oral Tradition and Kay Turn Her and the Pages)

Kay Turner is an artist and scholar working across disciplines including music, songwriting, performance art, and folklore. She founded the bands “Kay Turn Her and the Pages” in 2023 and “The Oral Tradition” in 1972.  This lesbian-feminist queer activist sings and writes songs that she has performed in these and numerous other all-womyn bands over the past 48 years, most notably the early lesbian-feminist  “Oral Tradition” (1972-1977) and the Austin, Texas- based rock punk lesbian-feminist art band “Girls in the Nose,” (GITN) active 1985-1996, with reunion tours 2015-present.  GITN released three albums and toured widely in the USA from 1991-1996. 


After moving to Brooklyn in 1998 Turner continued her feminist and queer-focused songwriting and performing career, first with Carolyn Dinshaw in a duet, “Snaggletooth,” active from 2003-2009, and then with guitarist Viva DeConcini and bass player Mary Feaster, who, with Turner, are the music co-writers and performers for “Otherwise: Queer Scholarship into Song,” created by Turner in 2012. 

“Kay Turn Her and the Pages” is Turner’s summarizing last band, playing songs from her career and, yes, writing new ones! The band will release an album in Fall 2024.

Turner is also the well-known creator and host of “Lesbopalooza,” an epic lesbian music and performance variety show, the 25th anniversary of which was recently made into a documentary, “Lesbopalooza: The Movie” (2021). Turner was Adjunct Professor in Performance Studies at NYU from 2002-2022. Her books include Baby Precious Always Shines: Love Notes Between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms. Follow Kay on FB and on Instagram  @kay__turner


Viva DeConcini, guitar and vocals (Kay Turn Her and the Pages) 

Viva DeConcini, one of the few females to be profiled in Guitar Player Magazine, plays guitar like a flaming sword, screaming train, ringing bell and scratching chicken. She sings like Freddy Mercury, had he been a woman. Viva is a principle of Kay Turner’s earlier, pre-pandemic project Otherwise: Queer Scholarship into Song. She has played all over the world, from dive bars to The Sydney Opera House; released several full length rock albums, music videos; and a queer narrative podcast. Viva is now at work on her queer feminist spaghetti western sock puppet operetta web series. Look for her on tour with her own band VIVA and with Taylor Mac. Her music is available on all streaming services.


Mary Feaster, bassist/composer (Kay Turn Her and the Pages)

NYC based, Mary is  a long time member of The Circus Amok Band as well as collaborating with Kay Turner on Otherwise: Queer Scholarship into Song. As a member of Dean Johnson’s band The Velvet Mafia, she hosted “Homocore,” a monthly queer music showcase at CBGB’s. Feaster currently works with CHRISTEENE, whose recent shows performing Sinead O’Connor’s debut album in LA and NY were a major success.

Paula Schorr (Oral Tradition, original member)

Rooted in the oral tradition and the Oral Tradition, Paula Schorr purports to be the first lezzie rapper from Middlesex County, NJ. Listen to her rap “If I Were a Lesbian President” in this election year. She has performed with The Lesbosonic Funk Force, Ovareaction, Fertile Crescent, and had the great opportunity to sub on bass for Girls in the Nose twice on the road. Paula recently authored Beneath the Surface,  short stories about a statistically significant lesbian: herself (available on Amazon).

Joanna Labow (Oral Tradition, original member)

Here is the story of my lesbian life through music, naming my participation as singer, dancer and percussionist in: The Oral Tradition, a.k.a. The Trads, Slip of the Tongue, Mothra, Sheba and the Dust Bunnies, Girls in the Nose, and Gretchen’s Disco Plague…It’s Contagious. Also I’ve written assorted songs for lesbian events such as Uteropia for Kay’s  Lezbopalooza Vaeiety Show and songs  for dear friends on their birthdays! Kay and I first sang together in 1967  in the smoking lounge of our dorm at Douglass College. The song was “500 Miles.” And still a ways to go. 

Karen Siegel (Oral Tradition, new member)

Karen Siegel, developer of the pussy cat hair merkin, is the #1 draft pick of The Oral Tradition and a veteran of “Otherwise: Queer Scholarship into Song” and Lesbopalooza: The Lesbian Variety Show.  She sings, dances, raps, and crafts altars from shells and stones. 


Jun 06 2024


7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


City Lore
56 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

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