Week in Pop: Bruiser Queen, Fielded, Telethon

Sjimon Gompers

The prolific persistence of pop culture matriarch Lindsay Powell, oka Fielded; photographed by Casey Mathewson, styled by Lindsay Powell, dressed in KAHLE.

Bruiser Queen

The latest from Bruiser Queen; photographed by Brittney Kraus.

Through the ups & downs, good & bad times alike-we are thankful for St. Louis, Missouri DIY pop institution Bruiser Queen. With a deep history of releases that span nearly the past decade, Morgan Nusbaum & Jason Potter are releasing their new album Heavy High this fall via Certified PR Records/PledgeMusic with a world premiere viewing of the Brian McClelland (for Blip Blap Video) directed visual odyssey for the new single “Have Fun”. Taking the listener & viewer for a little trip to Fenton, MO for an idle day at the Swing-A-Round Fun Town amusement center; Bruiser Queen bring their audience a very important PSA that states Have fun before you die, everything else is a waste of time that is made to awake what optimism we have left from within during an era that tests the depths & strengths of our own collective humanity.

As Bruiser Queen carries forth their panache for showcasing a tight economic pop sound that only gets brighter & brighter with each new single & inspired note. Brian McClelland’s video begins with Jason being super psyched to arrive at Fun Town, as the Bruiser Queen single “Have Fun” starts off with their trademark energetic sound. Sporting a rad Menzingers shirt, Potter makes a bee line for the arcade games, the hoop challenges, air hockey & more as Morgan remains ostensibly absent from amusement park scene. Jason gallantly makes the most of it despite the band’s other half being in absentia, but it becomes all too noticeable once Jason arrives at the go-carts and is told by a ride operator, That is a two-seater. You need a one-seater. From the making the most of it at the batting cages to miniature-golf solitaire; Jason carries along sorrows & befuddlement over to The B-Side where finally scores of texts, unanswered phone calls, facetimes & more awakens Nusbaum as Morgan grabs a guitar & sets out for the dive. The infectious chorus comes to full fruition as we see edit cuts of Morgan & Jason enjoying the best of times at Fun Town, in-between footage of the group rocking out with fans & friends at The B-Side amid a bouquet of blue & red stage lights. The self-described message of “Have Fun” is the song to remind us that we are not our routines, nor should the procedural grind full define the contents of our character. Bruiser Queen emphasizes the importance of banding together to create the fun times that you would like to live in. Read our interview with the duo featured after the following video debut for “Have Fun”:

Take us through all the cool DIY pop developments that have been at work in Bruiser Queen seven-plus years of proper operation.

We knew from the beginning of our band that touring was going to be important to us. So from the outset we made it a point to set up show trades with bands from nearby cities, make friends, and play gracious host when they were in St. Louis. One of those good friends turned out to be Harry Koniditsiotis, who owns and runs 5 and Dime Recording in Memphis, TN. Harry recorded this new album, as well as many of our recent releases.

How do you all feel the Bruiser Queen sound has evolved in that time?

With our first album, Swears, we set out to capture the immediacy of our live show as a duo. With subsequent releases, we began to utilize the full range of possibilities that a studio setting offers—in terms of instrumentation and layering. This recent approach has allowed us to create complex and interesting recordings without the burden of how we might pull of the songs in a live setting. They’re different beasts.

I feel like the production qualities are way more seamless than ever before. Give us stories about what the making of the new album Heavy High has been like for you both.

We initially went into the studio to record some demos to capture a batch of song ideas with the mid-fi garage rock aesthetic that we had been playing with on previous releases; but the more we wrote and recorded in these sessions, it became clear that we were beginning to push into a more punk pop sound. After tracking nearly 15 songs, we took the final 10 selections to Ben Majchrzak at Native Sound back in St. Louis to mix the album with a cleaner, more radio-ready production.

Tell us too about how the whole PledgeMusic album pre-order campaign featuring perks like : 1. Bruiser Queen Babysits Your Kids 2. Bruiser Queen Washes Your Dishes, etc.

The PledgeMusic campaign is allowing us to show a bit more of our personalities that we really ever have. With the campaign, people can not only pre-order our new album, Heavy High, but they can get a real look into our hobbies and talents beyond our instruments, too! You can have Morgan sing you “Happy Birthday”, Jason wash your dishes, we’ll make you a custom denim vest, as well as perform private shows for you and your friends.

Bruiser Queen from left, Morgan Nusbaum & Jason Potter; press photo courtesy of the band.

Thoughts on how the Blip Blap Video visual for “Have Fun” highlights the importance of taking the time to have some fun in your life with the mini-golf course serving as the center piece.

With this new song and video, we just wanted to encourage people to get off their asses and have some damn fun! In the video, you find Jason trying desperately to get a hold of Morgan for a day of fun, but she’s dead asleep. Undeterred, Jason takes off for some fun times solo—like riding go-karts and zipping around in a bumper boat. Life is always more fun with your friends, so finally he’s able to wake Morgan up and she joins him in his adventures—concluding with playing rowdy show at the B-Side. With this video, as we have many in the past, we worked with our good friend and creative genius of a director Brian McClelland at Blip Blap Video. He always takes our initial ideas and vision to the next level.

What inspires the two of you about St. Louis right now?

In St. Louis right now, we’re really inspired by the flexibility we have to create and perform. From creative and encouraging promoters like Robert McClimans, to open-minded music venues like Off Broadway and the Heavy Anchor, to fun bars like the B-Side who allow us to run wild shooting videos like this one.

Notes on how folks, fans & the like can get more proactive in their own communities?

We’d say support local music, but it goes beyond that. Become involved in your local music scenes. Go to shows, make friends, talk to the band members, let them know your thoughts on their music, or on the scene. The more people that participate in the community, the stronger, more diverse, and more vibrant it becomes.

Future plans for Bruiser Queen?

Right now we’re just focused on releasing this new album out into the world. We’ve been hard at work on it for so long, and it’s going to be nice to finally share what we’ve been up to. Beyond that, we’re just going to try and keep touring the country, and world, with the help of our wonderful new booking agent—so be on the lookout for many awesome tours to come!

Bruiser Queen’s new album Heavy High can be pre-ordered via the band’s PledgeMusic album campaign, featuring rewards from the Pledge campaign like Bruiser Queen Babysits Your Kids, and Bruiser Queen Washes Your Dishes, etc.

Catch Bruiser Queen on the following tour dates with FEA:

September
28 Hot Springs, AR – Maxine’s*
29 Tulsa, OK – Unit D*
30 Austin, TX – Beerland

October
04 Tallahassee, FL – 926 Bar
05 Atlanta, GA – Star Bar
06 Charlotte, NC – The Milestone
08 Raleigh, NC – The Pour House
10 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Neck Tie
11 Long Branch, NJ – The Brighton Bar
12 New York, NY – Berlin
16 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Music Joint
17 Des Moines, IA – Lefty’s Live Music
19 Denver, CO – Streets of London
20 Salt Lake City, UT – The Loading Dock
21 Boise, ID – Neurolux
23 Seattle, WA – Funhouse
26 Redding, CA – The Dip
27 Sacramento, CA – Blue Lamp
29 Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar
31 West Hollywood, CA – Viper Room

November
01 Phoenix, AZ – Chopper Johns
03 San Angelo, TX – The Deadhorse
04 Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar

* Bruiser Queen only

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