By Jerome Stuart Nichols
Every Pride season, LGBT musicians pull out all the stops. And though it won’t be easy competing with half-naked go-go boys, the world’s fiercest drag queens and an air-conditioned beer garden, out-lesbian musical trio AllDay MonDay is bringing the heat for their 30-minute set at 2:55 p.m. June 1.
Hailing from Flint, AllDay MonDay – comprised of lead singer Em Burns, bassist Michelle “Misha” McAuley and drummer Tam “Tammy” Pendleton – is new to the scene but hardly new to music. In particular, Burns comes from a family of musicians.
“All of us have had music in our backgrounds forever,” Burns says. “I personally come from a long line of musicians. I started a couple years ago doing a solo act and then I joined my brother and then I said, ‘I want more than this.’ Then I joined with Misha and formed an all-girl band.”
Among their influences are lesbian fan favorites Ani DiFranco, Tracy Chapman, Erin McKeown, Melissa Etheridge and Melissa Ferrick, all known for their thoughtful lyricism, outspoken nature and, of course, their fierce hair. Outside of the Womyn’s Music Festival kin, they also site influences from genres like blues, funk, rock and ska. It’s such a hodgepodge that even they have a hard time putting it into words.
“Like nothing I’ve ever really heard,” Burns says. “It’s kind of like indie-rock with an attitude.”
“It’s like you took oatmeal and threw in Cheerios; it’s a little bit of everything,” Pendleton adds.
“It’s just a good time – just a groovin’ good time,” McAuley says.
Being an up-and-coming, all-lesbian band in the Michigan music scene may seem like a tough sell, but so far, the women of AllDay MonDay are proving otherwise.
“I think, personally, to us girls, Michigan is open arms,” Burns says. “We are just getting nothing but love everywhere we go. Anywhere you throw us they’re like, ‘Hmmm … not so bad.’
“Summertime is actually our time to thrive as lesbian artists.”
And thrive they will come June 1, when they’re set to take Ferndale Pride’s Main Stage.
“Oh my gosh,” McAuley says all Oprah-like. “It’s like a dream come true,”
A dream that almost didn’t happen when their app to perform was initially denied.
“They were like, ‘Oh, we’re so sorry,'” Burns recalls. “Then, shortly after, they were like, ‘We made a mistake. We want you guys to play.’ I was like, ‘Uh… hold that thought.’ I had to call Misha real quick because I had sweaty palms. Couldn’t believe it. That’s a huge show for us.”
“Then they told us that we got an award for up-and-coming artist and we were just floored,” McAuley adds. “We couldn’t even believe that was associated with us. It was just an amazing, amazing feeling.”
While Ferndale Pride won’t be their first Pride performance, it’s already shaping up to be a much bigger deal than their initial outing.
“It’s our first huge LGBT thing,” McAuley says. “We played Saginaw Pride last summer but we kind of got thrown on the bill last minute. So, we pretty much opened the show; we played right before the mayor spoke.”
This year, not only do they expect to play for a bigger bunch at Ferndale Pride but they’ll also be back for Saginaw Pride.
And that’s not all. Their full-length studio debut, “Still Waters Studio,” is done and expected to drop soon. Having recently received the photography for the packaging, they’re still in the midst of putting everything together. Regardless, almost nothing will stop them from having it ready for their watershed moment at Ferndale Pride.
“I will put it on tapes! I will put it on records!” Burns says. “We will bootleg our own CD to have it there. Cover or not, it will be there. I hope to have it with us and release it really soon … because everybody’s been waiting, and we’ve been waiting.”