Guitar-rocking singer/songwriter Teri Catlin has been a pillar of the South Florida music scene since the mid-'90s. She was honored this past December when her song "Baby" was in the top five of the VH1 Save the Music Song of the Year contest, and she counts Lenny Kravitz as a fan. She's one of several local acts at this year's femmecentric Calliope Fest in Hollywood. Outtakes got a chance to sit down with Catlin in her Pompano Beach home after a recent performance in Fort Lauderdale:
Did you start out as a singer?
Yeah, I used to sing all the time as a little girl, but I taught myself piano, and my parents made me take violin lessons for ten years.
You're also an amazing guitar player. You're like a female Jimi Hendrix.
After I moved down here from Flint, Michigan, in 1996, I started going to various open-mic nights, and everybody always had a guitar and there was never usually a piano, so I said, "All right, I'll pick that thing up."
Do you find it a challenge to be an open lesbian and a person of color and trying to make it as a musician?
Well, yeah, there's prejudice everywhere. But what I find more challenging about being a musician these days is that the music industry is leaving the talent behind. I was talking to Lenny Kravitz about this recently. I said, "What do you do, Lenny, when they want me to look like my girlfriend?" and he said, "Just keep doing what you do."
What's your approach to songwriting?
I really don't write music; I make it up. I thank the creator for blessing me with a gift. I don't really take any credit.
So you see yourself as a receptacle?
Where did you meet Lenny Kravitz?
The first time I met him was at one of those Clear Channel private showings, and I gave him a CD. The second time was another setting in Miami, and at that point, he had heard my CD. I was sitting in the front row, and in the midst of people asking him questions like "Why'd you cut your hair?" and "Why'd you break up with Nicole Kidman?" he says to me, "Teri Catlin, right? I heard your CD. I know you don't think I listened to it, but I listened to it all the way home, and it was really good." So after the show, we got to talk, and I gave him a crystal. I got booked for a gig that very day from a lady in the audience who heard. Lenny and I are on a first-name basis now. -- Makkada Selah
Teri Catlin performs at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21, as part of the three-day Calliope Fest IV, which runs from Friday, May 20, through Sunday, May 22, at the Lockhart Stadium Festival Grounds, 5301 NW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Friday night features a young musicians showcase, Saturday runs noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday runs from noon to 8:30 p.m. Weekend passes cost $50, Friday tickets cost $15, Saturday tickets cost $25, and Sunday tickets cost $20. Call 954-854-7954, or visit www.CalliopeFest.com.
A pediatrician friend of mine had a good chuckle recently. It seems that Simple Plan vocalist Pierre Bouvier tried to schedule an appointment. But it wasn't for Bouvier's little brother or some accidental tour child -- the singer wanted a checkup for himself. He pleaded to a bemused receptionist, quoting his own lyrics: "I'm just a kid and life is a nightmare/I'm just a kid, I know that it's not fair. " Bouvier turned 26 two weeks ago. Something's wrong with this picture.
I'm no psychologist, nor do I subscribe to those cockamamie Freudian theories about how we all want to boink our parents. (It was only a dream!) But there's something unhealthy when a 26-year-old believes he's still a teenager, and it can't be explained in wholly medical terms. So at great risk to my operating-room cred, here goes: Bouvier suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome, the term coined by pop psychologist Dan Kiley in his book about men who just can't grow up. Wikipedia summarizes it as behavior that is "immature and narcissistic."
True, the term carries as much scientific weight as palm reading, but how else can one explain Bouvier's hosting MTV's Damage Control, a reality show about parents going away for the weekend and all the PG-13 high jinx that ensue? But that's just the immaturity part. What really concerns me is the narcissism; Simple Plan -- who emerged from Montreal's hardcore scene -- is playing a show with the Backstreet Boys. No shit. Sure, making teenaged girls drool like Pavlov's dogs was good for Hansen back in the day, but they were kids themselves.
But I'm here to help, Pierre. Let's try some free association. Relax and just let your mind go...
"Shut up, shut up, shut up/Don't wanna hear it."
All right, so that didn't work. I'll give it one last try, offering two words that should scare you right into adulthood: Michael. Jackson.
You're welcome, and cash only, please.
Findings: Neverland. Diagnosis: Peter Plan Syndrome. Treatment: Bring plenty of Flintstones vitamins to the Y-100.7 Summer Splash on Tuesday, May 24, at the Office Depot Center (2555 Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise). See Night & Day for details. -- Doc Le Roc
Sight + Sound
"We thought of ourselves as being some sort of no-talent derivative of some hillbillies-gone-punk version of the Who," confesses Wayne Coyne, bearded P.T. Barnum of the psychedelic circus known as the Flaming Lips. The line comes early on in the Fearless Freaks, a documentary ten years in the making that details his band's long, strange trip from extreme Okie outsiders to the Grammy-winning vanguard of the smart-rock underground. Starting with the Lips of the early '80s -- shaggy, bell-bottomed, looking like the fantasy house band from Dazed and Confused -- and meandering into its current Pokémon-meets-Rocky Horror Picture Show spectacle, Freaks proves the power of singular vision and the importance of family in maintaining it.
Despite his provincial upbringing and 11 years as a Long John Silver's fry cook ("I really loved working here," Coyne reminisces during a visit to his old restaurant), Coyne remains a golden demigod, imbued with a creative spirit and life-loving vigor that's nothing short of beautiful. His four brothers -- shown in grainy, 30-year-old home movies and modern-day interviews -- weren't so lucky, shuttling in and out of jail, nursing various bad habits, but alive and happy to tell the tale on camera. The same goes for multi-instrumentalist Steve Drozd, who joined the band in '91. Filmmaker Brad Beesely, gifted with an eye for intimate detail and the band's unyielding approval, lets the camera roll as Drozd fixes up and plunges into a heroin high, describing the terrible bliss of his addiction. Drozd reined in the drugs and used his experience as inspiration, just like Coyne took his family's love and became the Pied Piper of the freaks. -- Jonathan Zwickel
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