Mother Feather Photos
These photos were taken by Jen Silver who was so kick ass and willing to help cover this years warped tour. Make sure you check out her site for great photos and her restoration options.
New York City. The lights go down, Mother Feather stride onto the stage. The bass frequency clarion call that kicks off "Mirror" charges its way through the packed room, a ripple of electricity riding off its back. Vocalist Ann Courtney steps to the microphone and purrs the first line: "I need your full attention…" And she's got it.
What follows, every single time the quintet stand before an audience, is pure rock and roll catharsis, for Courtney, for her band mates, and for every individual crammed into the room. "I've worked for many years at a live music venue, and seen countless shows in that time, and too often find myself asking where is the dream of New York City in this?" she states. "Where is the magic? Where are the women who rock? Where is the danger? Where's the cool pop music? Where's the music that's not speaking down to its audience? Any time I see any kind of performance I want to have a catharsis, and that's what I'm hoping will happen when I step out on stage. That's why I started the band, to save me, and the fact that it's had this ripple effect and can do the same for other people is just gravy."
The band's self-styled pop cock rock is the perfect vessel for this catharsis. Their songs marry the scratchy yet catchy, swaggering and dangerous sounds of The Stooges, New York Dolls or The MC5 with the playfulness, pop sensibilities and exuberance of the finest 90s alt-rock, a little upbeat 50s rock n' roll thrown in for good measure. Combined with Courtney's overtly optimistic, inspiring lyrics, the band deliver an energizing and irresistible concoction that captures the attitude and beating heart of New York City on its best day, empowering everyone in their path. "I'm so over the New York City-bashing by quintessential NY artists. Blah blah, move to Newark, move to Detroit, there's no edge left," Courtney sighs. "I spent seventeen years overseas dreaming about this city, I'm not going to move! I'm going to do something. I love this city, and hearing those artists talk miles of shit is actually very motivating, because I'm like alright, I'll show you something. This town ain't dead."
The origins of Mother Feather date back to the summer of 2009, when Courtney experienced a true epiphany. Fronting Ann Courtney and The Late Bloomers, the vocalist was increasingly disillusioned, feeling like she was not doing what she was supposed to, and while taking a road trip her salvation came from words that fell from her own tongue. "I meant to say motherfucker, but it came out as Mother Feather, and it was a Freudian slip that revealed my deepest desires. An a-ha moment through a spoonerism. I came back from that trip and immediately got to work." One of the most profound elements of this inspiration was seizing upon the desire to empower, to let go of the negativity that had surrounded her and to instead focus on making the band an uplifting, optimistic experience, in every sense. "I had come from a place where I was romanticizing self-deprecation, and it was also a time in New York City when it was cute to be down on yourself and make this sad, lovelorn music. There's a place for that, certainly, but I think it didn't serve me at all. It was making me literally sick to sing about hating myself. So I wrote these songs to myself primarily, to lift myself up. These songs were the way in. They're about being the best version of who you are. Quit crying and be awesome." This resonates through every song the band have penned, with "Mother Feather" and its summon of 'rise to meet your Mother Feather' providing the thesis statement driving the band. Moreover, through this Courtney is embracing what she believes to be her true destiny. Acknowledging the difficulty that every New York band faces in attempting to carve out some space for themselves, her commitment has never wavered, even for an instant. "There have been a lot of struggles, but it's absolutely worth it. I don't know what else I would do. Mother Feather is my calling. It's given my life purpose and meaning."