From The Desk Of The Green Pajamas: “These Streets: The Untold Story Of The Women Of The Seattle Grunge Years”

Like its Southern California influences in the Paisley Underground (Rain Parade, Three O’Clock), named as an homage to the psychedelic heyday of Jefferson Airplane and Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Green Pajamas must hold the world’s record for most albums (somewhere around 30) recorded by a band with the fewest number of live appearances (somewhere more than 30) over a career that has spanned almost 30 years. Jeff Kelly and Co. recently released longplayer Death By Misadventure via longtime Pajamas label Green Monkey. Kelly and bandmates Laura Weller and Eric Lichter will be guest editing magnet all week. Read our recent feature on them.

Weller: With the 20th anniversary of “the grunge years” being commemorated with multiple retrospectives in the last year or so, one thing that has been glaringly absent is the presence of the women who were rocking the same scene. A new project called These Streets is attempting to change all that. These Streets is an unconventional musical and history project inspired by women rock musicians in Seattle during the infamous “grunge” years. It is slated for its world premiere on February 21 at ACT Theatre in downtown Seattle, where it will run for 12 public performances. The two-act play, drenched in rock music, is inspired by more than 35 interviews with women rockers who were integral to the Seattle music scene but have been overshadowed by male-dominated bands and retrospectives.

However, this is not a documentary; it is a gritty, funny and powerful story with characters who represent an amalgam of the real women rockers upon which it is based. The story centers on five musicians who shared a house in Seattle from 1989-1994. The audience meets these characters when they are young, witnessing the challenges they face as their tight-knit community unexpectedly explodes and their city become an international rock mecca. The audience also meets the characters in the present, their stories evolve as much as the city around them. The play includes a wealth of music from that era as well as a few new songs, all played and sung by the characters and a live band.

While the performance is the core of the project, it also aims to illuminate the stories and music of the real life women rockers who were involved in the scene that changed a generation. In essence, they created an addendum to history with an oral-history project (that will be archived at the University of Washington’s women’s studies program), a gallery exhibit of collected memorabilia and online resources such as Wikipedia pages, musician biographies, recordings and discographies.

The project is envisioned to be a powerful tribute to the women who were involved in a cultural movement that changed a generation.

Video after the jump.