The metaphor — the idea that, at 42, Frisby was literally revealing a new skin that had been hidden all along — extends to the music, which leans indie-folk versus the heavier punk rock of her bands FuzzQueen and the OSYX.
“This was very much about recognizing shifts and changes that sometimes, I think, are surprisingly easy to not recognize in yourself and not know about yourself and to frame them in a positive spirit towards an idea of growth,” Frisby says.
She’s also selling four linocut prints on her Bandcamp page that tie into “Ecdysis,” which was funded with a grant from the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council. Frisby started writing the album last summer, recording it this summer as the coronavirus pandemic transformed regular life and all but eliminated her opportunities for playing live. Working with her girlfriend and the OSYX bandmate Selena Benally, Frisby went searching for a place to record vocals when nearby construction made her Brentwood home too noisy.
“We were driving around looking for a great place to get a warm, natural sound and ended up at this abandoned school over on Fort Lincoln,” she says. “It was amazing. I was in the old basketball court: a huge room with lots of nice, warm wood. While I was there, somebody was playing saxophone on the roof. They tore the school down the next week.”
With all this change in herself and the world, the New Orleans native, who moved to Ellicott City during high school and studied opera at the University of Maryland, took a very community-focused approach to dreaming up her perfect day in D.C., which she’d spend with Benally. “What can we do to support local businesses and musicians and artists and make sure that we’re going to wake up one day and this dream is going to be a reality?” Frisby wonders.
We’re going start with coffee and a muffin at the Vigilante Roastery & Cafe in Hyattsville. I’ll get the chronic tonic. It’s coffee with an orange slice and some sparkling water. It’s really zippy, vibrant and great. They have a good carrot muffin, too. FuzzQueen played for a Halloween show, and they don’t often have shows there.
Pyramid Atlantic is over there. They’ve just got the coolest stuff from local artists. I bought a Rose Jaffe print there that I absolutely adore.
We’re going to stop at Red Onion Records and peruse. They have the OSYX record there. Shortly before everything was shut down, they did an art exhibit for women artists in conjunction with Studio SoHy that I participated in. It was taking vinyl records of women artists and creating something new out of it, which was really fun. I did a Janis Joplin piece.
Then we’ll head over to Artist & Craftsman, which is my favorite art supply store. They’re super knowledgeable, they treat you well and you can spend hours and hours in there. We’re going to pick up some sketching and some printmaking supplies.
Then we’re going to head back to my house and pick up my dog Idgie. She’s a Catahoula rescue. We’re going to walk over to the Bladensburg waterfront. There’s an Anacostia waterways path that connects to it and I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors exploring this summer. It’s been super exciting because I’ve seen so many more animals than usual. We’re going to see some osprey as we walk along the path and probably great blue herons. I’ve seen an oriole once. Maybe this summer has made me a birder?
If we walk two miles we’ll get to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. They’ve got these beautiful spots to relax and sit and look at the garden, the lily pads. We’re going to pull out a packed lunch, which is from Sweet & Natural in Mount Rainier. It’s vegan soul food and they’re so nice. Their vegan mac and cheese is so good — it’s just amazing. I’d bring that and definitely the collard greens. We can pull out our art supplies here and sketch a little bit.
We’re going to take a quick little trip out to Atomic Music. It is the best music store. I bought one of my very first electric guitars there, a ’76 Mustang, two locations ago. And some of the same people are still there. It’s just a really welcoming place. I have an orange amp that I got there pretty recently that I really love. I’m always looking for a real quirky guitar.
After that, we can walk around the corner to Sonidos! Music & More, which is a woman-owned record shop that’s right around the corner. They’ve got all kinds of really cool used stuff and some local stuff too.
We’re going to go just past my house, right across the D.C. line to Roaming Rooster, which is this tiny, fabulous chicken sandwich place. They mostly do one thing and they do it really, really well. There’s sometimes a line out the door, but it’s worth it. The best thing to do is to take a friend and get two sandwiches and split them so you can taste some of each one. They’re huge, so I’m not even going to get any sides. We’re going to take that over to DC Brau because it’s right next door and grab a beer with our food. I love the sour lavender lemonade Berliner Weisse.
Now it’s time to go into D.C. proper and stop by 7DrumCity and play a little bit. Just get a room and jam or join a workshop. There’s always musicians there. There’s always professionals and children and their parents and people just wandering in and saying, “What is this?” and getting a tour and looking around. It’s a pretty vibrant place.
We’re going to stop by ALOHO, A League of Her Own, over on 18th Street. It’s just a cool, relaxed, fun lesbian bar. They have games and if I get hungry, I might get some truffle tater tots. I’ve only been there a few times, but it was really one of my first experiences going into a place that was specifically created for queer women. And it felt really comforting and relaxing. It kind of felt like going over to like a friend’s house who has like one of those great moms who’s like, “Get in here, I’ll make you a big bowl of spaghetti!” I enjoy that, and there just aren’t a ton of lesbian spaces left in this country. We’re fortunate to have that, and any kind of space that creates a relaxing, safe environment for people who are marginalized is just such a treasure.
We can end the day at the Black Cat. We have so many great local bands that I would love to hear on that awesome stage. We’re going to have Sheila open. They are a trio with twin sisters who are also educators. We’re going to have Kid Claws, one of my favorite D.C. bands, play and also Clear Channel, which is fronted by Awad Bilal, who is also in Too Free. Lightmare will play as well. Let’s have Ex Hex headline. That’d be a really cool show.