Singer-songwriter Kat Devlin by Jenny Aisenberg 12/13/07
If you're anything like me, you probably spent most of the 90's ignoring all music that wasn't girls with acoustic guitars, and worshipped blissfully at the altars of Ani, Dar, and the Indigo Girls. Newport Folk Festival? I manned the recycling booth the summer after 9th grade, thank you, and saw all 3 of the folk-dyke Holy Trinity on the same day-- way before Lilith Fair was even dreamed up down at girlpower headquarters (and yes, yes, I know Dar Williams isn't a dyke. But try telling that to a mob of Smithies, and you will get beat down). If this in any way resembles your adolescence, if you enjoy the soulful and only occasionally angsty strummings of scrappy young riot grrrrlz with something to say and the voice to belt it, then get thee down to Brooklyn for a visit to Park Slope's Perch Cafe. If you're lucky, you'll catch a set from Kat Devlin.
You don't have to wait around for your Thursday night to open up, either, you busy little city girl! Just cruise on over to www.katdevlin.com, where you can listen to sample tracks, buy music, and check show dates. If "Touch of a Girl (Gay)" doesn't bring a wiseass grin to your face, you are not only not queer, you are in fact dispossessed of all human qualities (I'd find a therapist if I were you). I sat down with the Minnesota-born singer/songwriter over brunch at Sotto Voce last Sunday, and over unlimited mimosas and homemade pound cake, discussed musical identity, roots, and how to pick a good song for church.
Jenny Aisenberg: As a young, up and coming musician in New York City, do you worry about being pigeonholed as a queer artist? Do you want to be known as a lesbian musician? Is that something that boxes you in, or is it simply descriptive?
Kat Devlin: I think it's absolutely the latter. The music industry is a really tough place, and you have to find your niche...I think there's a real deficit of out singer/songwriters. A lot of my music is about that process... I remember listening to music as a kid and changing the pronouns, you know? There are songs out there that are so obviously about being gay, but they were always afraid to talk about it. I mean, come, who are you kidding? I think the pronouns