Kathy Valentine and The Townsend Present The ‘She Factory’

Kathy Valentine and The Townsend present “She Factory,” a special series assembling the talent of women in the arts on Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 8 to 10 p.m. The first installment in the series, “The Song Pool,” will focus on local female musicians and will feature Nina Diaz, Carolyn Wonderland, Jane Ellen Bryant, Suzanna Choffel, Patricia Vonne and Ruthie Foster. The evening will take place at The Townsend, located at 718 Congress Ave. #100, Austin, Texas 78701. The event is free and open to the public, with a donation requested at the door to benefit The SAFE Alliance.

The evening is further supported by local Austin female-owned businesses including Janifer Wheeler of Wheelhouse Learning Solutions and the Texas Business Women – Capital City Chapter, Darla Sees of Sees HR Consulting, Caroline Jones of Great American Smiles Dentistry, Grace Lanni of All About that Brand and Austin Chapter, e-Women Network, Conni Reed of Consuela, Heather Wagner Reed of Juice Consulting, Maria Groten and Stephanie Kincheloe of Love Cycle Studio and Ruel Ellis of Conversation Piece Marketing and PR. Cupprimo Cupcakery, Facial5 Dermacare, Good Life and Soul Nectar Series will provide additional merchandise for artists. Attendee raffle prizes will be provided by Mosaic Weighted Blankets, Spa Social and Trusty Oak. All types of sponsorship opportunities are currently available. For information on sponsoring, please contact janifer.wheeler@gmail.com.

“At this ‘She Factory’ event, ‘The Song Pool’ brings together a variety of women songwriter/performers in an interactive, casual environment to play some of their songs and discuss with both the audience, and the other performers, the art of songwriting,” said Kathy Valentine. “She may discuss the specific song, what inspired it or how songwriting in general impacts, narrates or expresses aspects of her life.”

“Providing opportunities for local, female-owned businesses to support local, female musicians just makes sense, considering all of us operate in a space of entrepreneurial creativity,” said Janifer Wheeler, president of Texas Business Women – Capital City Chapter, owner of Wheelhouse Learning Solutions and founding member of Black Fret. “When women come together to encourage, empower and enlighten each other, our world is a better place.”

Valentine was inspired to start this series to highlight the talent and artistic endeavors of women and bring together the communities of women in the arts and businesses. As an investor in The Townsend, she sees the venue as an ideal place to implement innovative events, a place to bring to fruition her desire to contribute to the Austin community. She Factory gives the audience a look behind the curtain into the artistic process as part of the entertainment. It forges relationships between female led business leaders and artists, empowering and supporting each other. To enable a charity such as The SAFE Alliance to benefit from door donations brings the event into a pay-it-forward circle.
Valentine recently released a new album “Tonewrecker” with her band The Bluebonnets and is planning to play a solo show on Aug. 19, opening for Peter Holsapple at The Townsend. She is also releasing solo singles this year to benefit an Austin charity which will be announced at the end of the year. She is nearing completion on her first memoir to be published by UT Press with an accompanying soundtrack. Valentine also took on a supporting acting role in “The Transcendents,” the debut film from New York playwright Derek Ahonen.

Finally, Valentine is partnering with Conni Reed, owner of local Austin fashion brand Consuela, producing a product that highlights female musicians and provides a useful, innovative purpose: a hand bag with a detachable guitar strap. The line is currently in early stages of creation with plans soon to be announced. Valentine will be launching a brand new website in September, highlighting the various aspects of her diverse and busy life as a musician, writer, spokesperson and speaker.

“As a woman getting close to another milestone—60 years old in less than two years, I’m very focused on what I want to accomplish,” said Valentine. “I wish to leave as many statements and expressions of myself as possible, in as many mediums as possible. Raising my daughter, along with her father, is the most important aspect of my life, but there are new career chapters ahead of me as well. I’m exceedingly proud of the legacy of the Go-Go’s and our place in music history. Presently, my hope is to continue inspiring women to keep in mind that whether we are in our 40s, 50s, 60s or beyond, we can remain challenged, engaged, open and motivated. My goals are that all my endeavors be part of a platform that enables me to bring about positive change in the community, country and world.”

Kathy Valentine - photo credit Christopher Durst

Photo By: Christopher Durst

David Messier’s Birthday Bash at The Townsend

The massive pride of Harley Davidsons roaring through downtown Austin could be heard for miles when the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally ascended upon the Capital Friday night. As spectators lined the banks of Congress Ave. to experience the largest turnstile biker rally in the US, a much more intimate evening was unfolding inside The Townsend.

A calm and relaxed David Messier was celebrating his 39th birthday bash with a few of his closest friends at Austin’s premier cocktail bar and performance venue. The musical renaissance man had plenty to celebrate on this particular birthday as just 24 hours earlier, Mayor Steve Adler had declared June 8th David Messier Day. Frosty pint in hand, the singer-songwriter mingled amongst the crowd before his show, half-jokingly admitting, ‘If I had realized it was ROT Rally weekend, I may have charged a little more for these tickets.”

Messier allowed the sold-out crowd a few extra minutes to battle the parade outside before he took the stage with his backing five-piece. Shortly after 9:00pm the purring engines on The Townsend’s front porch were replaced by a steady kick drum reverberating throughout the venue. The crowd immediately soaked into the show as Messier kicked-off his bash with Waiting for Eldridge hit carousel ride ‘Everything Breaks My Heart’. Messier’s carnival then voyaged into the subtle psychedelia of ‘Down’ and by the third song it was time for the lively frontman to show off his multi-instrumental repertoire and strap up his acoustic for a sweeping version of ‘Whispering’. The rattling hand percussion and squealing guitar stole the show on ‘Change’ before the crowd threw in a few ‘Happy Birthday’ chants to the man of the hour. The Boston-born Messier strutted a little Opry swagger on ‘Don’t Say Nothing’ and had the crowd swinging in unison with ‘Shoot To Kill’ before officially turning the party out with spooky fan favorite ‘Franklin’s Key’. Messier got nostalgic and channeled his inner-Jim Henson with a funky rendition of Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem’s narrative of heavy-duty proportions ‘Can You Picture That’ and even debuted a chivalrous teaser from his future ‘album with no name’.

Messier put on a helluva show Friday night showcasing his latest album Waiting For Eldridge along with a few old favorites. He’s a musician’s musician with a magnetic stage presence that can captivate a crowd of any size with his personable showmanship and arsenal of rock, jazz, Americana and funk. He’s one cool cat with a huge bag of talent well worth the price of admission. We agree with Messier, he probably should have charged a few extra bucks for the show.

Photographer J. Alan Love helped wish Messier a happy birthday with a few shots from the bash below.





Photos by: J. Alan Love 



Article by: Doug Leach