"The Future is Female!"
It's a slogan. It's a rallying cry. It's a movement. It's the title of a new, full-length, 13-track, music album by the all-female group formed in St. Paul, The Von Tramps. Girl group? More like humankind group.
Coming together nearly two years ago, as the Facebook page whimsically explains, "a 'B' movie actress, a chef, a drummer, and an avid cosplay enthusiast walked into a bar, got drunk, and started a band."
The Von Tramps are: Jenna Enemy, vocals and guitar; Chelsea Oxborough, guitar; and Krissandra Anfinson, bass.
Lead singer/guitarist Enemy said the band members "are a piece of everywhere in Minnesota. We made our music videos in both the streets of St. Paul and nearly on top of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Hometown pride runs deep in this band. We love visiting other places when we're on tour, but we're always excited to come back home."
They wrote their newest album "in a tiny cabin on Lake Minnetonka."
Oxborough is a Pequot Lakes native, who played bass guitar in the Pequot Lakes High School band. When she was 20, she joined the Brainerd punk rock band Stoked Beyond Boredom, playing for school events and shows at the nearby teen center.
"It's so awesome how supportive the community is in the lakes area when The Von Tramps come up to play," Oxborough said.
With the help of her parents, they built and performed their first outdoor festival, "Tramp Jam," last autumn in Pequot Lakes while finishing their current album.
Anfinson (also of group Fuzzy Machete) is from Hopkins and joined the group in mid-production of "The Future is Female." She liked the fire she sensed in the other two group members.
"If you see two strong women struggling to produce (a) powerful message, you join them and you help them," she said.
Percussionists Claudio Rivera (studio) and Kieran O'Donohue (on tour) round out the band's lineup.
"The Future is Female" draws on punk styles born from The Ramones, melodic content from The Cars, hummingbird-winged chord swishes from Joan Jett's Melody Maker Gibson guitar and booming bass lines and airborne drumsticks.
Enemy's songbird voice knocks it out with haunting lyrics that flow at thought-speed and break the sound barrier.
Our future, then, may be coming not a moment too soon. Maybe in the nick of time. Maybe as a blessing from God-esses. A sermon coming to life. Like a poem with a happy ending.
America's ideals today face challenges or, perhaps more accurately, have grown bleak under a lack of light of day, looking eroded, corroded, some would say undevoted to life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness we once thought we knew and deserved. Pursuits have turned inside-out with lurid discoveries and split across fault lines.
In today's world, relationships still matter immensely. But there are countless lies and abuses fronting as truths. We have countless #MeToo sagas, being told and retold. All that's left, seemingly, is hope for better lives, better futures. After abuse, even recovery has its fallout zones. Whom do you turn to? Whom can you trust? Whom can you love? It's personal. It's anyone, it's everyone, it's no one. It's a teardrop. It's a fury. It's a resolve. It's about freedom renewed. It's about celebration rekindled.
"It is so bittersweet," Enemy said. "We are happy that so many women are standing up and taking to the streets. ...It's completely devastating that we still have to fight. Chelsea and I are obviously huge supporters of the women's movement. That's why we decided to do something different with the release of this album. The ticket sale proceeds (will go to) benefiting BWJP, a national nonprofit organization that helps change civil and criminal responses to domestic partner violence by retraining our police force, judges and attorneys to be better prepared and informed."
The upcoming album-release show begins at 8 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. Special guests include Abisha Uhl, Botzy, Danielle Cusack, Space Monkey Mafia and Timisarocker. Tickets are available at thevontramps.com, and seating is limited.
"We are so excited to give Minnesota an Xcel (Energy) Center type of stadium show in such an intimate setting," Enemy said. "March 2 will be a night of celebration, reflection and entertainment - of course, all for a great cause."