After the Female to Femme movie D and I went to a fundraiser for Siren Nation. The show was well worth the $15 price of admission, and it was the 3rd annual Dolly Hoot. Apparently the event gets bigger every year. The McMenoman's Mission Theater was full but nowhere near maxed, and the crowd was assorted, including quite a few businesslike looking middle aged males. I enjoyed the venue. The event was MC'd by a crazy chick named Amber from NY who put on a different dress---and a different personality---between each act. Late in the show she impersonated Dolly pretty well. The acts were local artists doing their favorite Dolly Parton songs. One of the singers could speak east Tennessean just like Dolly.
Dolly Parton was born and raised in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in east Tennessee---in Sevier County, a couple counties from where I hatched. I grew up hearing Dolly, singing along with her. So this show was a walk down my own personal memory lane. When I was a kid I was embarassed by all that lipstick and boobs. I thought it reflected poorly on Tennessee for her to be so bodacious. She was the poor hick girl that wanted to be glamorous. And she succeeded. Later in life I came to appreciate that Dolly wrote wonderful songs, and she sung her heart out. When she speaks, it is from the heart. Eventually I arrived at a place of full respect for Dolly Parton, and it was glorious to attend an event in her honor.
The very first act was a 3-girl rock band (ages 13--drummer, 16--lead guitar and vocal, and 17--base) who played Coat of Many Colors. I love that song. There are many Dolly songs that I love. She was an incredible songwriter.
There were other bands that did rock and roll verions of Dolly songs, but my favorites were more traditional. I love old time mountain instruments, especially string bass, dulcimer, banjo and fiddle. And I adore rich vocal harmonies. There were a few women who could REALLY sing, just like Dolly can. Whenever someone sang a song without harmony, I was singing my heart out, trying to fill the empty parts. I wanted a mike. I was in the second row.
I am going to put it to the PLC (Portland Lesbian Choir) that this is an organization we could support (it's all about women and the arts) and an event that we could participate in, and see what sort of reaction I get.
Several times I burst into tears. Sometimes because Dolly's songs touch me deeply. Sometimes because they remind me of Suzanne. She would have enjoyed that show immensely. But if she were here, I probably wouldn't have gone. I didn't get out much when she was here. It wasn't easy getting there. There was a parade in the way, and we had to wander around downtown trying to find a way through the clog. Then we spent at least 20 minutes looking for a place to park. I planned to attend this show before I knew D wanted to go, and I would have rode my bike. No parking worries that way.
I thought it was interesting that Amber (the MC) said during her act that she is a lesbian. I suspect that most of the sirens involved prefer females. The confession came after she'd made a big act out of wrapping herself around a man when he came up to the stage to get his just-won raffle item. Then as he was sitting down she started talking about how her butthole was torn and bleeding. I could believe that he groped her but if that was humor it failed on me. She went onto other things then returned to it, saying "I really do think I ripped it" and I don't know what she thought she ripped, if it was her dress or if she was hurt. She didn't act hurt. In the midst of this spiel she gave him a half compliment as if she could go for him except she is a lesbian. I don't know what to make of it, other than she was attempting to get the audience going, to be the comedienne. Comedy is playing with people's buttons. It shows you where the buttons of a society are.