Tape Measure

At her quirky new record company, Jessica Baldauf hits rewind on music nostalgia.

Jhane Hoang

Jessica Baldauf may not be from here, but she’s pushing the “keep things local” initiative as hard as anyone in H-Town. In 2015, the Tacoma, Wash.-born musician — she plays bass for local inide-pop group Rose Ette — launched Miss Champagne Records, a label that puts out cassettes by Houston bands. Now with an impressive 13 releases in her catalog — including tapes by “riot grrrl” rockers Giant Kitty and post-punk band Ruiners — the personable Baldauf, who works by day at a law firm, runs Miss Champagne out of her Montrose home. “The label is basically me emailing people and low-key freaking out while Netflix plays some reality trash TV show in the background,” she says.

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The Cat's Meow

They might be politically outspoken and unafraid of spilled milk, but mostly Giant Kitty just wants you to have fun.

Daniel Ortiz

Music is too serious nowadays, says Cassandra Chiles. “I think it’s that way in art in general,” says the guitarist in fun-as-all-get-out, Houston-based “riot grrrl” — a.k.a. feminist punk — band Giant Kitty. She recalls what she feels were less serious times: “The Pop Art movement of the ’60s, the absurdity of it all. Even stuff in the ’80s or ’90s. You look at a band like The Presidents of the United States of America. Who could’ve taken those guys seriously? But it sure was fun. I wish there was more of that now.”

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Art+Culture

Birthday Boy

Veteran H-Town rocker Stephen Wells has much to celebrate with his new project Birthday Club.

Daniel Ortiz
14_HouCityBookBirthdayClub_DOrtizPhoto_010618

Letting go of childhood friendships isn’t easy. Just ask musician Stephen Wells, who grew up playing with his middle-school pals in the well known psych-pop band Featherface. The members went their separate ways after five years of making music. “It was scary,” says Wells, whose headful of shoulder-length dyed-blonde curly hair often peeks out from underneath a beanie, of the breakup.

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