News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
SOUNDS: The Beauty Of Edie Sedgwick
Don’t be surprised to see Justin Moyer (stage name E.D. Sedgwick) wearing a dress when his band Edie Sedgwick hits the stage at this weekend’s Fredericksburg All Ages show at Read All Over Books. But then again, don’t be surprised if he isn’t wearing a dress. He decided a few years ago he doesn’t need to dress in drag for people to pay attention to his music, but he reserves the right to do it anyway.
Edie Sedgwick started blasting out soulful punk rock ’n’ roll as a two-piece in 1999 until Moyer was diagnosed with epilepsy and could no longer drive. Moyer continued making music as a solo artist, and the drag persona of E.D. Sedgwick was adopted to add an eye-catching gimmick to the solo act. However, it wasn’t the only gimmick (and Moyer is more than willing to use that term).
Edie Sedgwick started out writing and performing songs about celebrities: Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Rob Lowe, Macaulay Culkin.
“It was this hokey, jokey thing for a while,” Moyer said of the drag and the celebrity tributes. “We did it just for a laugh. People were writing really serious songs about politics. And not that that isn’t important to me, but it’s not what I wanted to write about.”
He said the celebrity-rock gimmick got old and now it’s a bit of a free-for-all as far as songwriting is concerned.
“It doesn’t have to be, ‘OK, I’ve got these lyrics, what celebrity could this be about? Ben Affleck or Jennifer Lawrence, whoever just won an Oscar,’” Moyer said. “It can be about what’s in my heart.”
But maybe there are still some celebrities in his heart.
“If I want to write a song about Adrian Brody, I could,” he said.
Moyer has been in contact with the family of his band’s namesake—the late actress and former Andy Warhol “It Girl” Edie Sedgwick. What he hasn’t had is contact with any of the celebrity subjects of his songs.
“I suppose it would be interesting if Macaulay Culkin called and challenged me to a duel over something I said in a song,” Moyer said. “Who wouldn’t want to be challenged to a duel by Macaulay Culkin over honor or something?”
All Moyer has ever really wanted is to leave an impression on the audience.
“I always try to get that [WTF] reaction,” he said. “They might not like my band, but they’ll remember it.”
Edie Sedgwick and Moyer himself are products of the D.C. music scene and members of the Dischord Records family. Moyer said that being a part of that scene is something special because everyone is more than just a musician.
“We’re engaged with the world,” he said. “I don’t think that’s necessarily cool, but it’s important.”
Edie Sedgwick has been touring locally for the last few months behind the November 2012 Dischord release “We Wear White,” and they will be hitting the West Coast this Spring. But Moyer, who has toured around this country and plenty of others, said he would be just as happy staying close to home.
“I’d rather play once a month in Virginia in every town in Virginia,” Moyer said. “It keeps you in shape. You have to be like a boxer or a marathon runner.”
The band has recently gone through some personnel changes, and Moyer said he’s excited for the FAA show because they will be playing as a trio rather than a quintet.
“It’s always fun and interesting to play music with fewer people, to see what songs work and which don’t. And we can all fit in the same car.”
The show may be one of the last Fredericksburg All Ages events to be hosted at Read All Over Books, which recently announced it was closing its doors. Janus Chidester, vice president of FAA, hopes the new tenants will allow them to continue holding events, or that a new venue will welcome them.
What: Edie Sedgwick with The Cosmonauts, Atoms Apart and Amarise Carreras
Where: Read All Over Books, 307 William St., Fredericksburg
When: Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m.
Info: fredericksburgallages.com; ediesedgwick.biz
Ryan Brosmer is also named after a celebrity.