Gossip (band)

Gossip (band)

Gossip performing at Super Bock Super Rock 2007 Festival in Portugal
Background information
Origin Olympia, Washington, U.S.
Genres Indie rock, dance-rock, blues punk (early)
Years active 1999–present
Labels Back Yard
Kill Rock Stars
Dim Mak
Associated acts Le Tigre
The Blood Brothers
Website www.gossipyouth.com
Beth Ditto
Brace Paine
Hannah Blilie
Past members
Kathy Mendonca

Gossip (formerly The Gossip) is a three-piece American indie rock band formed in 1999. The band consists of singer Beth Ditto, guitarist Brace Paine and drummer Hannah Blilie.[1] After releasing several recordings, the band broke through with their 2006 studio album, Standing in the Way of Control (2006). A follow-up, Music for Men, was released in 2009. The band plays a mix of post punk indie rock and dance-punk.



Formation and early history

Gossip was formed in 1999 in Olympia, Washington with vocalist Beth Ditto, guitarist Nathan "Brace Paine" Howdeshell and drummer Kathy Mendonca.[2] All three were originally from Arkansas; Mendonca moved to Olympia to attend Evergreen State College and Howdeshell and Ditto followed.[2] Howdeshell and Mendonca had been in bands together in Arkansas.[3] The band coalesced when the three members were roommates in Olympia.[2]

In 1999 the independent record label K Records released Gossip's first recording, their eponymous debut EP, The Gossip to coincide with the band's tour with Sleater-Kinney.[2] The band played at the first Ladyfest in Olympia in August 2000 and was included in Time Magazine's article on the festival.[4]

Their next release was their first album That's Not What I Heard and was released by the record label Kill Rock Stars on January 23, 2001. In between that release and their second album, they released the EP Arkansas Heat on May 7, 2002. Movement, the group's second studio album, followed one year later and was released on May 6, 2003. In November 2003, two months after the release of their first live album Undead in NYC on September 9, drummer Kathy Mendonca left the band to pursue a career as a midwife. Established punk drummer Hannah Blilie joined to replace her. The band then dropped the "The" from their name and continued simply as Gossip.

The first release featuring new drummer Hannah Blilie was the band's next album Standing in the Way of Control. It was released on January 24, 2006 on Kill Rock Stars and later on in 2006 on UK independent label Back Yard Recordings.

Mainstream success and moving to a major label

at the London Barfly, 16 May 2007

The album Standing in the Way of Control has since earned Gold Record Status in the UK. Gossip's first UK TV appearance was on BBC1's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, where they performed "Standing in the Way of Control".

Performing at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland in 2006

As reported on Pitchfork Media in March 2007, the group signed to Music With a Twist, a subsidiary of Sony Music Label Group, concentrating on LGBT music acts.[5] During the summer of 2007, Gossip was a part of the multi-artist True Colors Tour 2007,[6] which traveled through 15 cities in the United States and Canada. The tour, sponsored by the Logo channel, began on June 8, 2007. Hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper, the tour also included Debbie Harry, Erasure, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, The Cliks and other special guests. Profits from the tour went to benefit the Human Rights Campaign.

Gossip are based in Portland, Oregon and have played with bands such as Sleater-Kinney, Le Tigre, CSS, Erase Errata, Mika Miko, Panther, Comanechi, and Mates of State. Gossip also opened for the Scissor Sisters for three dates on their November 2006 tour.

On June 24, 2007 Gossip closed the Glastonbury Festival, playing the final set on the John Peel stage during which Ditto gave a tribute to the late John Peel. Gossip also performed the following year, on the Pyramid Stage.

Gossip launched the Live in Liverpool album in the UK and the U.S. in April 2008. The album was produced by Rick Rubin. The album also features a DVD of their live performance. A new studio album called Music For Men was released in June 2009. First single of this album Heavy Cross went especially successful in Germany where it was certified triple gold [7] for selling over 450,000 copies and was mentioned the "most successful internationally produced single" of all times in September 2010.[8] In January 2011 the single broke the German record for the longest selling track in chart history. By 14 January 2011 it had spent 82 consecutive weeks within the German Top 100.[9]

Musical style

Their style has been described as "a soul or gospel" voice with "a sort of funky punk soundtrack".[10] The band stated a liking for post-punk bands Birthday Party and Siouxsie And The Banshees[11] but also for other genres like dance and hip hop.[12]



Past members

  • Kathy Mendonca – drums (1999–2003)


In 2010, Gossip was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Music Artist" for their album Music for Men during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.[13]

In 2010, Gossip was nominated for an ECHO Award, alongside groups such as Depeche Mode and U2.[14]


  • Music For Men Tour


  1. ^ http://www.blackbookmag.com/article/mcqueen-beth-ditto-the-gossip-frontwomans-alexander-mcqueen-shoot-and-sasst/7319 Retrieved on 2009-24-04
  2. ^ a b c d Abreu, Amelia (2001-02-08), "Southern Comfort", Dallas Observed, http://www.dallasobserver.com/2001-02-08/music/southern-comfort/, retrieved 2010-03-25 
  3. ^ Coble, Margaret (2001-02-13), "Hot Gossip", The Advocate, http://books.google.com/books?id=tWMEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA51#v=onepage&q=&f=false 
  4. ^ Nugent, Benjamin (2000-07-30), "Olympia Ladystyle", Time, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,51245-1,00.html 
  5. ^ Phillips, Amy "Pitchfork News "The Gossip Sign to Columbia", Pitchfork Media, March 8, 2007.
  6. ^ True Colors Tour 2007
  7. ^ data base of Bundesverband Musikindustrie (German)
  8. ^ press text released by media control (German)
  9. ^ German Chart Blog 15th January 2011
  10. ^ "Meet Beth Ditto: The Coolest Woman On The Planet". independent.co.uk. 23 November 2006
  11. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry. "Gossip Q&A". Spin.com. 28 April 2009. Q&A: Gossip. Excerpt: "What bands influenced the new album's sound? Everything from the Birthday Party to house music and Siouxsie and the Banshees."
  12. ^ Harper, Simon. "Gossip: Beth Ditto & co in conversation...". Clashmusic.com 09/06/2009. Excerpt: I think we just make music that we like at the time, and it’s not supposed to go into any certain genre or whatever. Yeah, we listen to a lot of punk, but we also listen to a lot of dance stuff and hip-hop and everything.]
  13. ^ "21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards - English Language Nominees". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. 2010. http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/21/nominees. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Echo Award Show Diary". 2010. http://blog.young-germany.de/2010/03/echo-award-show-diary/. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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