shirlette [T4GB] Spring 2014: All Dates Announced!

shirlette [T4GB] spring 2014 is announced and includes eastcoast US dates with The Indigo Girls, the Purple Velvet International Female Hip Hop Tour (with sookee and Lex La Foy) with stops throughout Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Before that are readings and performances in NC, including a rare performance by Shirlette and the Dynamite Brothers at the first annual Art of Cool Music Festival. Browse all below:

Purple Velvet International Female Hip Hop Tour with sookee, May 2014


 shirlette [T4GB] spring 2014 Tour Dates:

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Hey Mami (se+sa remix)

Hey Mami (se+sa remix)

So, I had a birthday recently, and, as a gift to myself, I remixed one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite new bands (and homies), Sylvan Esso. In the spirit of Bentley Mode and T4GB, this is my initial effort at producing, recording, and mixing a song, so, it has elements of a first-time: a bit awkward and imperfect in certain places, but hopefully, worthy of seconds:). Download it for free and if you dig it, pass it along!

p.s. Thanks to Nick and Amelia!

Hey Mami (se+sa remix)

Lyrics to sa verse:

you recently creeped on me wearin your sweet victoria
i treat your secret like wikileaks, cuz you reek of euphoria
it’s obvious knottyheads clock your body like pocket watches
they don’t know your flavor notes, you like chocolate in ur coffee
when it’s sweet and it’s black and it’s genius from the back
add subtract sinful and ambidextrous acts
i’m a dyke, i like figures and femmes into artifacts
fingering apartment keys is not an act of platitude
let’s make a deal, peel your panties like a nasty attitude
i’ll introduce you to my collection of, um, detachables
i keep them in the drawer you’re so curious to ravage through
maybe you’ll find a thing or two that pleases and surprises you
so here’s what ima do, follow your every lead
pick the vehicle and the speed, you’ve peeked me to my greediest
i cancelled the facebook events i wasn’t even attending yet
just to equip you with this sylvan|shirlette hey mami remix


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Hey Mami (se+sa remix) FREE DOWNLOAD

available for free download at midnight 3.4.14

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shirlette [T4GB] announces tour dates with the Indigo Girls

I’m so excited and honored to join the Indigo Girls for a string of east coast dates! We hope to see you all on the road. All dates listed below. More good news coming soon!

April 19 - Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts,  Annapolis MD

April 20 - Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown NY

April 22- Birchmere, Alexandria VA

April 23 - The National, Richmond VA

April 24 - Havester Performance Center, Rocky Mount VA



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Fuckable Feminist (or Standin On the Verge of Gettin It On)

wangechi mutu, a fantastic journey

some who’ve engaged #t4gb have asked, ‘what does fuckable feminist mean?’ i’m grateful

ana mendieta

for the question and wanted to take a moment to further explore the term as i’ve embraced it, as well as its inspiration.

first, i did not coin the term ‘fuckable feminist’ to (further) restrict boundaries of ability (i.e. who is ‘able’ to fuck whom or who is ‘able’ to be fucked by whom) nor did i create it to exist within binaries of ‘types of feminists’ (fuckable vs unfuckable feminist). the song and the term were originally created to combine two concepts that have been historically polarized by patriarchal heteronorms. quite personally, it is a celebration of the femme women i love (particularly as a self-identified butch/dyke). it is an ode to the femme women who beckon me with their minds, tenor,

terri gender bender, la butcherettes

and intelligence as much as their bodies, as we choose each other’s bed, which also means affirming the way i offer comfort and support (sexually and intellectually), choosing my gender presentation (and me choosing hers), choosing to exchange intimate care and good love with an integrity that asserts both of us as ‘fuckable feminists.’ the term is meant to be political as well as dense, complex, and inflaming; no different than the two words that comprise it.

from kai lumumba barrow’s domestic labor installation

so, on this heart-shaped ‘holiday,’ where love pays a commercial price for its pedestal, i salute the fuckable feminists of the world who are always standing on the verge of gettin it on; gettin it on despite imperialism and layered disenfranchisements; gettin it on in the name of freeing minds and liberating bodies; gettin it on because every movement needs a sexy-sweet-and-sweaty soundtrack, gettin it on for the fever induced by artsy femmes, a personal fetish. i see you, elegant hustler in scarlet stilettos, that defiant splash of ‘ride or die’ staining your skinny jeans, highlighting pages in your own manifesto, rifting the squared edges of the world with your middle finger’s manicure. you truly do. the damn. thing.

and i hope to be seen by you.

Betty Davis, Fuckable Feminist

“fast forward to reminisce on the poetry/if i ain’t in your vicinity, then woe is me\there was a song written, called your eyes open senses/ traded the cussin for kissin, your body’s a composition\intelligentsia, menace beyond the black fist/ squeezably lovable fuckable feminist”

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Download FREE T4GB Wintry [Re]mixes!

The south is once again on lockdown due to Mother Nature’s lashing of blizzardy whiteness. Since you’re probably spending way too much time in front of your computer screen, why not download these free wintry [re]mixes of T4GB tunes?

First up, “Creeped On” remixed by Bueller Tout nou:

Next, Mitch Rothrock’s ‘bundle up’ remix of Gut Lightnin:

The next two remixes are by one of DURTY Art Collective’s resident producers, Funkleberry. First up, Dandelion the ‘Heat Up the Leftovers’ Remix:

And the “Triple Fat Goose” Remix of LateNightSlowDance, another Funkleberry production:

And last but not least, the “Classic Original Heat” remix of Eatin Out (feat. sookee) by Apple Juice Kid:

Stay warm and ear-whetted, my fellow southerners. And nevermind those naysayers from other regions who don’t understand the way we slow drag in times like these. Our pace is an acquired one:)


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“I Am Woman,” Gladys Bentley (Ebony Magazine, August 1952)

In this article, written by Gladys Bentley in 1952 for Ebony Magazine, Bentley renounces her years of  inhabiting ‘the no-man’s land which exists between the boundaries of the two sexes.’

I’ve searched for this article for almost two years as I was gathering background information for my album Twilight for Gladys Bentley, a ‘re-imagining’ of the 1920′s blues singer and ‘bulldagger.’ I have found excerpts, but never the entire article (shouts to Corinna Kahnke for sharing). I am truly moved as I write, aiming to grasp the many complexities of the masks she wore, the external gazes that found her guilty in the court of social normalcy after living so many years as a confident, self-asserting, brash and unforgiving ‘bulldagger’. Please take a moment to read and share any comments you might have.




































































































































Letters to the Editor following publication of “I Am Woman Again”


















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“Get Dressed,” a Homage to Queer Clubbin, the Early Years

Flyer for Gladys Bentley at Mona’s Club

As I’ve been immersed in the life and unsung legacy of Gladys Bentley for the past 20 months or so, I began thinking about the juxtapositions  the queer club scene has safeguarded over the course of our morphing times. I imagined being on the repressive side of a closed door, while behind it, warm, rebellious bodies gyrated in secret and safety, carving out an openness otherwise threatened by the light of a straight world’s dawn.

I created a video homage consisting of archival photos set to “Get Dressed,” the opening song from my debut solo album, “Twilight for Gladys Bentley,” as an ode to the timeless defiance of queer clubbin. My hope is that it highlights a moment that has definitely perpetuated the way we–particularly queer people–protect, politic, and party, brandishing deviant bodies while stripping naked of repressive norms, orchestrating debauchery, and inviting a tinge of naughtiness to the notion of ‘a good time.’

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NYE Party + T4GB Re-Release + European Tour


Surf Club’s  NYE Bar Party serves many purposes for shirlette [T4GB]!

Final DURM Performance for an Extended Period


shirlette [T4GB] kicks off 2014 like a size twelve to the backside with a NYE Bar Party at Durm’s favorite waterin hole, Surf Club (Rigsbee Ave) on December 31st at 10pm. The evening begins and concludes with DJ sets by my T4GB bandmates, Tommy and Gabe. Sandwiched between is a set of T4GB originals right after the clock strikes midnight. We will also use the evening as a sendoff for T4GB bandmate Gabe Turner who will be spending a few months in Paris, France, which will limit our performances for a spell.
You are cordially invited to come usher in a year of new beginnings with us.


Twilight for Gladys Bentley Re-Released by Springstoff Records


I’m also pleased and grateful to announce that Berlin-based Springstoff Records will issue a digital re-release of Twilight for Gladys Bentley in December 2013 (like, now:). The re-release features a bonus remix of “Eatin Out” produced by The Apple Juice Kid and a guest appearance by my new Springstoff labelmate, sookee! Visit to browse the entire roster of Springstoff artists!


 And last but not least…. 2014 European Tour!

In May 2014, shirlette [T4GB] will embark on our first ever tour outside of the US with an international triptych of quing emcess reppin 3 different continents–sookee (Germany), Lexicon (South Africa) and shirlette [T4GB] (US).  Check for an official announcement of the Purple Velvet International Female Hip Hop Tour on 1.1.14 as well as a schedule of confirmed performances throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

To say I’m excited is a gross understatement. Learn more about my quing comrades below:


sookee: Berlin’s original Quing Emcee, sook and I have toured the southeast US twice in varying configurations of Pretty Precious Cargo. will be releasing a new album in April 2014. This tour in support of the new release, will begin in sook’s native Berlin, Germany and span dates in Austria and Switzerland as well as other parts of Germany.





Lex La Foy

Lex La Foy:
 Hailing from Durban, South Africa, Lex La Foy is a Poetess and performing Femcee  who’s prefix Lex is derived from her alias ‘Lexikon’ by which she was known from 2005-2012.As a musician, her style is derived from a  fusion of  Electro, Dance (EDM), Pop and BoomBap.

shirlette [T4GB]: As a native of rural Mount Olive, NC, it’s overwhelming to consider how amazing it is to join these dope emcees who represent various global experiences that are kindred to my own. i won’t bore you with my resume. since you’re already on my website. you’re welcome to look around:)

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Two unreleased songs from shirlette [T4GB]‘s Hopscotch Performance


shirlette [T4GB] at Hopscotch Music Festival, Sept 2013 courtesy of

The following video(courtesy of Hopscotch Music Festival, Dan Schram, and Ash Crowe) is from shirlette [T4GB]‘s Hopscotch Music Festival performance at Tir Na Nog on September 6, 2013. The first is, “Joy Division,” the second is called, “Expensive Experience.” Each video is followed by the song’s lyrics and each song is yet-to-be-recorded or released. Hope you enjoy! T4GB personnel is Gabe Turner, Tommy Rau, and shirlette ammons.


 Joy Division

Verse I:
I embrace the art of things
this music is my doppelganger
each lyric is like my pinkie ring
except its on my middle finger
been known to take a bit of change
make lots of sense,  that’s Bentley shit
forgive and then forget about it
submerge it in my converses and walk it out
it’s like don’t be an imbecile
overplaying in local places and
underrating my way with decibels
plus I’m adversarially literary
So I fux with dewey decimal
while you bloated up on hype and notion
regaining a lame and lost composure
I’m over it like  OWN and Oprah
whoa what I mean is
just breathing is as cheesy as Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’
so I wail against the pavement
til its blue beaten and bleeding
with a legion of deviant intentions
misfits horny loud and listless
listening to Joy Division

Verse II:
Your mission is an atrocity exhibition
In a gallery of flesh and canvas
an acrylic of cynics full of divots
Drippin like dalis clocks on acid
I’m in the corner making love to corporate daughters
They want a taste of poverty and magic
Trust funds wilted with guilt
I’m teaching them filth
they callin me mammy and daddy
I’m mistaken honesty for promises
Meaning whatever you want you can have it
Tonguing a descendent of gluttonous men
Again she screams again and again
She’s a pleasure heathen so I ain’t leaving
And I’m a bastard so I ain’t comin either
misfits in love horny lord jesus
It’s that Joy division

Expensive Experience
Verse I:
Too often its cosmetic
you show for the shows
on this whole come get it
few dollas at the do’
and some mo for a beverage
I’m guessin
you mad cuz the ticket price wasnt half price
like if my rhymes were half nice
logic deaded
I don’t serve refreshments
yet my chords are liquid swords
plus warm and quenching
Don’t ride benches
I’m a first stringer
with lyrics fully loaded
I’m coaxing my trigger finger

thank you ladies and gentlemen
your time and attention
your presence is of the essence
this experience expensive
now lay it back now
it aint what you paid
its how you overreact now

every seizure of the speakers
is a payment to the people
every lyric from the spirit
of the record and the needle
before the stage is preparation on paper
fuck the feeble, unrehearsed
this artistry is my carpentry


I can’t say I’ve licked a pair of lips in the back of a limousine
I can’t even say that that’s a likelihood or fantasy
A six figure salary that may never happen for me
Sometimes I feel resigned to keep gambling
I can say I’ve loved in black and white and also stereo
I can say my favorite cassette was In Effect Mode
I can say that I can take
A slap on the hand, but not the face
Retrace my pace name my mistakes
Lately they made of lace and sharp edges
Hot to the touch and fuck I get burned quick
what’s too much for some Is my not enough
And I fiend for this like an addict
so thank you ladies and gentlemen


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