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|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, drums, bass guitar|
|Labels||Sub Pop, Kill Rock Stars, Chainsaw, Candy Ass|
|Associated acts||Hazel, Team Dresch|
Jody Bleyle is an American musician, songwriter and independent record label owner.
Jody Bleyle first gained public attention in the Pacific Northwest music scene of the 1990s, in the Portland, Oregon–based band Hazel. Prior to Hazel, she was in the college band Lovebutt while she was a student at Reed College. Hazel was formed in 1992, released two albums on the Sub Pop label, to critical acclaim. Jody Bleyle played drums and sang for the band.
In 1993, Bleyle teamed up with Donna Dresch and Kaia Wilson to create the band Team Dresch, in which she played guitar and sang. The group's first release was a single on the Kill Rock Stars label, which immediately garnered them much attention and they quickly became one of the defining bands of the Queercore scene. Their first LP, Personal Best, was co-released on both Dresch's label Chainsaw Records and Bleyle's label Candy Ass Records. Candy Ass Records went on to issue recordings by a number of bands including Hazel, Cypher in the Snow, and New Bad Things, but is best known for the 1995 release of the double-album compilation Free to Fight.
Free To Fight was a multi media project incorporating both recordings by artists such as Lois Maffeo, Excuse 17, Heavens to Betsy, Fifth Column, and Bleyle's own band Team Dresch, as well as a seventy-two-page booklet featuring writers and artists such as bell hooks, Bridget Irish, and Roberta Gregory. The recording and booklet featured self-defense instructions for women, and Team Dresch toured with instructor Alice Stagg, who demonstrated defensive tactics onstage before the band performed. Jody Bleyle was interviewed for the film She's Real, Worse Than Queer by Lucy Thane, in which she speaks about her record label and in particular, the Free To Fight project. This recording was later followed by a Free To Fight split single by the bands Sleater-Kinney and Cypher in the Snow.
In the late 1990s Team Dresch broke up after releasing a number of singles and another LP, Captain, My Captain. After the breakup, Bleyle joined with Tamala Poljak of Longstocking and Whitney Skillcorn of The Little Deaths to form the band Infinite Xs. In 2002, the group released a recording on Chainsaw Records. Also in the early 2000s, Bleyle began performing with her brother in the group Family Outing. The band played at the Homo-A-GoGo festival in Olympia, Washington in 2002.
In 2004 and 2005, Bleyle recorded and toured with Amy Ray for her second solo release, Prom, playing bass. Bleyle didn't play the third leg of the tour because her partner, actress Nina Landey, was pregnant. Their first son Twylo was born in July 2005 and their second son, Lucian, in 2007.
In 2004, the group Lesbians on Ecstasy released their first album, Lesbians on Ecstasy featuring a revamped version of the Team Dresch song "Screwing Yer Courage", retitled "Summer Luv"; Jody Bleyle remixed this version for the follow-up Lesbians on Ecstasy album entitled Giggles in the Dark, released in 2005.
In the summer of 2004, Team Dresch reunited for a concert at the biannual Homo-A-Go-Go festival. Afterwards, the band members decided to reunite for a series of concerts and Team Dresch has been touring and recording again since then.
- Sinker, Daniel, We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet: The Collected interviews, Akashic Books, NY, NY, ISBN 1-888451-14-9, 2001
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