Last October, Marisa emailed me the press release to Lilith Fair with the message “We’re obvs going to this together. Maybe Jon will come.” I responded “OH MY GOD I am dying of excitement. Excitement that I didn’t feel about Lilith in the 90s. SO PSYCHED!”
We spent the last 10 months preparing for the day that, according to Marisa, would be “somehow really important for both of us.” I listened to a lot of Sarah McLachlan. Marisa talked up Lilith in interviews for her book, Girl Power, and pondered her clothing options, noting, “it might be a matter of how much tie dye I want to wear in one outfit.”
On August 1st, we went to the Lilith in Hatford, Connecticut. Jon has already had his say about it. Here, Marisa and I kinda, sorta give our own review as we chat about the allure of free tampons; how selling condoms isnt very 90s; Amy Ray’s hotness; and more.
Marisa: So Lilith. Where to even begin?
Kara: We could begin with the tailgating Connecticut lesbians who warmed our hearts upon entrance. Our cargo-shorted sisters.
Marisa: I only wish I had played beer pong with them. Confession: I have never played beer pong.
Kara: After we admired the tailgaters we went and walked around and came across the Lilipad.
Marisa: Omg, the Lilipad. Sponsored by ob, stay free and one other… carefree?
Kara: Maybe. I was mostly interested in ob, my favorite. You were pretty psyched. We left Jon outside so that we could go gather up free tampons.
Marisa: Why aren’t tampons always free? If men menstruated, would tampons be free?
Kara: Whoa. That is a really deep and important thought. That reminds me of the flavored condoms that Planned Parenthood was selling.
Marisa: Selling condoms is not very 90s, in my opinion. I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay for condoms once during the 90s. There were free condoms everywhere. Was that a college town thing?
Kara: I gave away free condoms in the basement of my dorm.
Marisa: The ones in Olympia were oddly always black. I also had Fitz of Depression condoms from a show once.
Kara: What about the lame merch? But, like, we knew it wasnt going to be cool, so we weren’t disappointed. I mean, part of why you go to Lilith is to really embrace a certain feminist aesthetic that you and I are really fond of but don’t really adhere to in our own pseudo-bougie lives.
Marisa: The best part about the merch was the sterling silver earrings designed by Sarah Mc that said “made by a woman-owned company” on them.
Kara: How about the show itself?
Marisa: Ingrid Michaelson made me feel bad about being white when she covered “Toxic” and did that dance.
Marisa: I could give a fuck about Sara Bareilles. So much Greys Anatomy music.
Kara: Jon just called! I told him we were gchatting Lilith Fair and i had to call him back.
Kara: SISTERHOOD. Anyway, I don’t get Sara at all. She does nothing for me. Ingrid….she was sort of wannabe 90s? Or, like, low-rent Lisa Loeb or something?
Marisa: So true. D-list Lisa Loeb. Except prob more famous than Lisa Loeb is now.
Kara: I thought it was interesting that both Ingrid and Sara did Britney Spears covers. I wanted that to be a theme of the night. Like, the Indigo Girls doing “Blur.” OMG THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.
Marisa: I want to live in a world where the Indigo Girls cover “Blur” and Britney covers “Closer to Fine.”
Kara: The Indigo Girls were amazing. I hadn’t seen them since the 90s. They did not disappoint at all.
Marisa: I was truly moved. Like, my head was on your shoulder, and if it wasn’t, I was sitting up and kind of feeling like I might cry, but in a good way. Also: Amy Ray is so hot!
Kara: Amy Ray is the hottest. If she flirted with me I would probably blush.
Marisa: I have flirted with her. I probably was the one blushing.
And then after the Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan was kind of whatever to me. But I know you have a super-special connection to her and maybe you want to talk about it.
Kara: I do.
Kara: I mean, as you know, I “found” Sarah when I was, like, 12 because they played her on the canadian radio station and I grew up near Canada. (I’m so glad I have this blog and can re-tell that story once a month or so.) And I realized during Lilith that she might have been my gateway to Tori Amos and later Liz Phair and those kind of, um, edgier singer-songwriters.
Marisa: I think defining taste at a young age is all about gateway drugs.
Kara: Also, has anyone except for me heard her first album? The songs are good! I dont know. I liked them when I was 12.
Marisa: I was sad that she didn’t play “Into the Fire.”
Kara: Me too! I dont think she played anything from that album, did she? She played newer stuff, which doesn’t speak to me.
Marisa: Remember how mad you got when she played “Ice Cream”? YOU HATE THAT SONG SO MUCH.
Kara: LOL X 100. I was all “I TOLD YOU SHE WOULD DO THIS.” “Ice Cream” is, like, the song that leads us right into her oprah-esque stuff. Starbucks. Not into it. But the people behind us were into it! The guys. There were more guys at Lilith than i thought there would be! Kind of old guys.
Marisa: There is something about Sarah McLachlan I do not mind. Like, I could see how she could grate. But I have a fondness for her. But I also want her to be better. And dress better.
Kara: I would like to note that we also went to the Kelis and Robyn show last week. And it was full of guys. Getting in our way and stuff.
Marisa: I was really sad about that. I wanted it to be full of girls like us. Which made me think that women really need to take back pop music
Kara: So many gay guys were forced to touch my breasts when they walked by because I decided I didnt feel like moving for them every 2 seconds. Watching guys dance around to songs about being a girl and HIT ME while doing it was bumming me out. Which is why we left and got ice cream.
Marisa: It was also 8000 degrees
Kara: Testosterone heats things up pretty quickly. It would have been frigid if it was just girls like us!
Anyway, that show reminded me part of why we said we wanted to go to lilith in the first place, which was: to be around girls.