Album Review

Bonfire Madigan – “I Bleed: a Decade of Song” – [MoonPuss Music]

lombard   7/21/2009   A Library, CD

When Bonfire Madigan stopped by KFJC last week for a live performance she dropped off a couple of albums, including this compilation, I Bleed: A Decade of Song, a collection of her material spanning the years 1994 to 2004.

And, indeed, it’s been quite a decade plus for Madigan Shive, beginning with her teen chamber pop band Tattletale (along with Jen Wood). This comp includes two Tattletale tracks from 1995 (“Glass Vase Cello Case” and “Moontime”), material from 1996 when she simply went by the name Madigan (“Pity Rock”), and more recent Bonfire Madigan-credited tracks. All are out of print pieces now brought to light again.

Madigan Shive emerged into the music scene in the early 1990s while a teen in the Pacific Northwest and was (and still is) connected with the DIY-style activism of music-loving riot grrrls. Playing her cello-based and punk-influenced pop she was a bit of a departure from bands on the scene at the time. The intensity of her voice and power of her words calls to mind musicians like Mecca Normal’s Jean Smith.

In keeping with her roots, she also continues her work as an activist and was a founding member of the Icarus Project, which takes a radical approach to mental illness, embracing it as a “mad gift” rather than a disorder.

It’s a great collection that will catch you up on the career of a multi-talented lady with a very powerful voice.

P.S. You can catch an interview with Madigan Shive on KFJC for the next week or so (until July 28, 2009) on our archive server.

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