This event is 21 and over
$20.00 – General Admission
*plus applicable service fees
Tickets available at The Independent box office (628 Divisadero, SF) with no service charge
It’s tempting to set up a grand introduction for Beth Ditto on the occasion of her solo debut after disbanding the Gossip, but this native Arkansan can say so much in a few swaggerful lines over a pounding kick drum and bone-rattling bass guitar: “Two sisters, four brothers/Hard worker, like my mother/Not bitter, so sweet/Strawberry ca-ca-canned peach!” Those lyrics (from the Jacknife Lee cowrite “Oo La La”) contain the fundamentals of Ditto’s album Fake Sugar: family strength, punky grit, unabashed Southernness and the rural-rags-to-rock-royalty story of our hostess, who here turns strive and strife into music that is honeyed and familiar. Over an overhauled mashup of driving blues, malt-shop pop, swooning rock and countrified soul produced by Jennifer Decilveo (Andra Day, Ryn Weaver), Ditto approaches love, loss, looking back and moving forward with all the sexiness, poignancy, power and beauty you’d hope to hear from such an iconoclastic artist.
To say Fake Sugar was born of change is understatement. “It’s my divorce, isn’t it?” asks Ditto. “I was going through a breakup with the loves of my life. Gossip was the longest relationship I’d ever had.” At the same time, she got married, literally, to her best friend since she was 18. And while Ditto and her new wife did settle somewhat into domesticity at home in Portland — their two cats, Tofu and Butters, and Ditto’s crochet habit are well documented on Instagram — the singer was busy doing much more than singing. Sure, she recorded with Blondie, disco legend Cerrone, and drumstep DJ Netsky, and even moonlit as a wedding singer with Cat Power, but Ditto also made strides into fashion. She launched her eponymous plus-sized luxury line with a Jean Paul Gaultier collaboration, posed in an Alexander Wang portrait series, modeled for Marc Jacobs on the runway and in print, and appeared in Tom Ford’s Oscar-nominated Nocturnal Animals. “I don’t think about that stuff like, ‘This is good for my career.'” says Ditto. “It’s like, ‘This’ll be hilarious fun.'”