Jewish lesbian folk singer Phranc, known for her androgynous look and her trashing of “gender stereotypes,” is scheduled to perform concerts at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 1st through 3rd, at Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica. Admission is $15 for the Friday and Saturday gigs and $10 for the Sunday matinee. Children are admitted for $5 on Sunday.
The performances are geared around the 20th anniversary re-release of Phranc’s debut album Folksinger, which features songs titled “Female Mud Wrestling,” “One o’ the Girls” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.”
Phranc’s lyrical approach is tongue-in-cheek with tunes about “her swim team, female sports heroes and intelligent hairdressers,” yet her songs stay in tune with issues of social justice, too.
The Friday night performance will be followed by a CD signing and party.
Phranc cut her musical teeth in the Los Angeles punk scene in the late ’70s playing in memorable bands such as Nervous Gender and Catholic Discipline. She also appeared in director Penelope Spheeris’s heralded “punkumentary,” The Decline of Western Civilization.
Once punk music turned the way of commercial rock, Phranc turned the way of folk music and has remained on the edge of the neo-folk genre ever since.
She has toured with popular punk and alternative rock acts, including X, The Smiths, Husker Du, Dead Kennedys, The Pogues, Violent Femmes and Morrissey.
Some of Phranc’s shining career moments include a phase in the early 1990s when she dressed up like Neil Diamond (faux chest hair and gold lamÈ disco suit and all) and added a little Neil Diamond sparkle to her musical repertoire.
She had a major label release with 1989’s I Enjoy Being A Girl, put out by Island Records.
By the mid-’90s, Phranc was working with the independent Kill Rock Stars record label.
Her most recent full-length album is titled Milkman.
“I’ve been dressing like a milkman for years,” says Phranc. “And whenever I’m feeling a bit low, I just put on my milkman uniform and go out to cheer people up.”
Information, (310) 453-1755.