Abby Travis at Tarfest

by chris cunningham



Today had one of those “Dude you’ve totally been under a rock while this is going on” moments. There’s this thing called Tarfest every year at the museums and next door at the tar pits. Um, first off, worst name ever for an event. Tarfest! It’s tar-rific! See you at the af-tar party! Ugh. Well, I’ve lived across the street from this for the past 4 years and have never heard of it. But that doesn’t matter because it’s pretty lame. So, my point is… I was checking the website and a musical artist caught my eye. Abby Travis. [LINK] Hmmm… she’s cute, check the website quickly, music sounds great, hmmm, cabaret with a touch burlesque. Oh my God, it’s at 5:45? It’ll still be light out. In a park? Cabaret? This is going to be one tough show to pull off. Gotta check this out.

I headed over, all 200 yeards away, and she comes out and holy crap she’s freakin’ great! Daylight and all. Considering there were only like 15 people there she still put on a show. I would have crumbled in that position. Yikes, ballsy. So I have this total soft spot in my heart for burlesque type girls and was crushing on her the whole show. She did about 30 minutes and her songs were great. She’s hella photogenic too. I spoke to her briefly after the show and asked her about any upcoming stuff and she gave me her card which states… “Musician Extraordinaire Lifestyle Consultant”. Indeed. This HAD to be one of her strangest gigs.

During the last song she invited this one lady to join in, and boy did she. She started rattling off all sorts of poems and was cursing like a sailor at some parts. It was hilarious and incredible at how well it all worked. Abby actually sat down next to me in the audience and let the band just vamp and the lady kept going and going. I talked to her after the show too and it kinda ruined the whole vibe because I discovered she was a really angry woman and started bitching to me about never getting paid for her art, and how Jim Carroll this and Jim Carroll that, blah blah blah.. She even had these glazed over eyes that kinda freaked me out. Like the eyes of a yoga instructor or a massage therapist that are kinda mentally on a different plain then the world around them. Ok, nice talkin’ to you, gotta go… Give her mic though and she’s funny.

So who the hell is this Abby? I’m usually pretty on top of all the comings and goings of musical nuggets happening in town, but crap I’ve been asleep at the wheel with her. Let’s see… oh, she runs Club Mata Hari over in Los Feliz, during Lollapalooza 95 she played bass for both Beck and Elastica, oh and gee she’s just about to leave on an Australian tour as the bassist for The Bangles… [ABBY TRAVIS]

Let’s see if you like any of the following you might like her. Bowie, Dresden Dolls, Marlene Dietrich, etc… The torchy song Blythe that’s above is damn pretty. Great U2ish guitar solo too. From her new album “Glitter Mouth”, buy it if you likey it. Comes out January. You can hear more songs at her website. Singing girls make me weak.