What’s better than having a valentine? Having 24 singing valentines of course! And even better, raising money for Planned Parenthood. Presented by NY Night Train, Panache Booking and Bust, the 9th annual Valentines Village of Love brought together 24 women from the NYC underground music scene to sing their favorite love songs backed by Dylan Fernandez and the Heartbeats in a benefit variety show that spanned a huge range of genres going from classics to deeper cuts and back again. The band effortlessly switched feels from song to song no matter the genre and saw a rotating cast of musicians on stage all night including a special appearance by Fernandez’s mom, who played drums during “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure (sang by Zayn Shaikh of lal). Though I unfortunately had to leave right after the last performance, and had to miss Jonathan Toubin DJ set, I have no doubt he kept the party going well into the night. Over $5000 was raised for Planned Parenthood which made a really fun night even better.
In a night filled with plenty of highlights and heavy hitters, a few I really enjoyed above all were Maria Lina’s kickoff performance of the Tina Turner classic “The Best,” (which I may or may not sing on a regular basis to my cat) Hollye Bynum’s rendition of the Divinyls ode to masturbation, “I Touch Myself,” (as a little kid in 1990, that shit went right over my head for the next several years and I didn’t understand why so many people were scandalized) the above mentioned special guest drumming by Fernandez’s mom (my mom is not that cool), Nicole Sisti’s raging version of “Rebel Girl” (a song I’ve covered many times myself), and the crowd singing Happy Birthday to Shilpa Ray who is a Valentines baby and was very surprised to receive a cake on stage. Also any time I get to watch Mary Jane Dunphe perform is a blast and I am always amazed, she is one of the most absolutely relentless and fearless performers I’ve ever seen. The triple header ending of three Ronette’s songs, “Be My Baby” sang by Fiona Silver, and “Walking In The Rain” sang by Shilpa Ray followed by the entire lineup of singers coming together to sing “Baby, I love You” was the ultimate grand finale to wrap up an incredible night.
Happy Birthday Shilpa Ray!
An accompanying comp has also been released on After The Fall Records featuring 29 tracks by each of the artists who performed. The album was curated by Shilpa Ray and Alana Amram and all proceeds will also go to Planned Parenthood for even more ways to support this vital, life saving organization. The songs featured are originals by the artists — either solo tracks or tracks by the bands they are in — and serves as a really nice bonus from the show to get a taste of them singing sick covers and their original music.
Valentines Village of Love compilation (art by Hissy Fit)
List of songs performed at the show in order:
Tina Turner– “The Best” (Maria Lina of Frida Kill)
Irma Thomas– “It’s Raining” (Kailey Rocker of Old Lady)
Divinyls– “I Touch Myself” (Hollye Bynum of Razor Braids)
Heart– “Alone” (Adira and Alana Amram)
Bonnie Tyler– “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (Emily Ashenden of 95 Bulls)
The Cure– “Just Like Heaven” (Zayn Shaikh of lal)
Bad Company– “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (Jackie Greene of Reverend Mother)
Led Zeppelin– “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Alexandra Blair of The Silk War)
The Gories– “Nitroglycerine” (MG Stillwaggon of Spite Fuxxx)
The Stooges– “Gimmie Some Skin” (Syd Walsh of Flasyd)
Judas Priest– “(Take These) Chains” (Acacia Fusco of The Advertisers)
Motorhead– “Love Me Like A Reptile” (Riley Pinkerton of Castle Rat)
The Kinks– “All Day and All of the Night” (Leah Hennessey)
Selena– “Como La Flor” (Lola Pistola)
Tammy Wynette– “Stand By Your Man” (Chase Noelle of cumgirl8)
Kate Bush– “Hounds of Love” (Miranda Zipse of Miranda and the Beat)
Stevie Nicks– “The Edge of Seventeen” (Zohra Atash of Azar Swan)
Dusty Springfield– “Spooky” (Nikki Belfiglio of Bodega)
Shirley Bassey– “Light My Fire” (Kendra Morris)
The Ronettes– “Be My Baby” (Fiona Silver)
The Ronettes– Walking in the Rain (Shilpa Ray)
The Ronettes– “Baby, I Love You” all singers together
Scroll down for pics of the show (Pictures in order of performances. Photos by Kate Hoos)
VALENTINES VILLAGE OF LOVE