Singer, songwriter, and avant-garde art-punk CrowJane, in preparation of the release of her solo debut Mater Dolorosa, (“Our Lady Of Sorrows”), has unveiled the stylish and surreal video for her cover of “It’s a Man’s World”.
Known for her work in California post-punk and deathrock ensemble Egrets on Ergot, performing as Sally and Nurse Heather in the twisted cabaret of The Deadbeats, plus fronting experimental outfit Prissy Whip, Crowjane is set to release her solo record this autumn produced by Paul Roessler and recorded at Kitten Robot Studios.
“When I was recording the album I was debating on doing a cover song. Cover songs can be fun but it doesn’t necessarily attract me. I thought about different covers that I love and felt inspired by. Meanwhile, most of my decision-making while recording this album was fueled by my frustrations with the way my life was going, my experiences with sexism, sexual assault, and broken relationships.
’It’s a Man’s World’ came to me because I love how the Residents covered it and lyrically it seemed fitting for everything I was trying to express, even though this song was sung by a man that was accused of assault and sexual harassment. For me, that doesn’t take away the meaning of the words, especially if and when it is coming from a femme perspective or someone that has felt oppression/discrimination. ALSO, come to find in research this song was written in partnership and possibly entirely by Betty Jean Newsome who wrote the lyrics based on her own observations of the relations between the sexes.
I wanted to make this cover weird and I wanted to project my frustrations. I think I accomplished exactly that.”
Watch the video below:
Mater Dolorosa, the incarnation of Mary pierced through the heart with seven swords, is a fitting title and matron for the solo debut of Crow Jane. LA Punk Legend Paul Roessler (Screamers, Nina Hagen, 45 Grave, Deadbeats), after becoming close friends with CrowJane while recording her band Egrets On Ergot, could see that she was in the grips of the kind of crushing woe that’s so often the seed of hard-won transformation. Suspecting the rewards that awaited if she would risk shining a light on her own murk, Roessler took matters into his own hands, and all but locked her in his studio, Kitten Robot. Surrounding her with every available musical instrument, a pen, and some paper, he compelled her to face the rawness of loss, abuse, and addiction.
When the palette of existing tones were no longer a match for the depths they plumbed, they were forced to coax new sounds out of impromptu homemade instruments – metal bed frames, kitty litter, crumpling foil, containers of water and whatever else was around. Together they hacked through tangles of psychic resistance and dredged toxic marshes for sunken personal horrors. One by one, using fresh alchemy invented on the cuff, they opened old wounds and from them extracted Mater Dolorosa’s 10 eerie pearls. The path they carved together led through a twisted maze, the obstacles so frequently daunting that the project took years. During that time Crow Jane helped bring Egrets on Ergot local acclaim, became “Sally” and “Nurse Heather” in the twisted cabaret of The Deadbeats and, most recently, the unhinged frontwoman of quizzical LA sonic terrorists, Prissy Whip, whose Swallow LP Roessler also recorded and mixed. Using music and a deepening connection to life’s unseen component Crow Jane has spent the last several years building and rebuilding better versions of herself from the ash of shed skins. The 10 songs on Mater Dolorosa almost perfectly mirror and chronicle this long ascent towards wholeness.
Coming from a visual art background of surrealism and horror, she has simultaneously built a career as a professional horror effects makeup artist. This unlikely background helped foster an outsider musical sensibility that is perfectly balanced by an encyclopedic knowledge of the byways and back roads of punk and deathrock, both historic and in LA’s contemporary underground music scene, of which her bands have been an integral component for the past 10 years. As a part of these utterly distinct and uncompromising bands, she has developed a reputation for shattering expectations, both in her choice of collaborators and her contributions to the collaboration. Although this pedigree informs the haunting tracks on this solo debut, those familiar with her explosive and provocative live performances will likely be blindsided by the soft vulnerability and nakedness of Mater Dolorosa, the arrangements of which allow her no place to hide and nothing left to do but forgive the past
“It’s a Man’s World” is featured on CrowJane’s full-length solo album Mater Dolorosa, soon to be released on Kitten Robot Records.