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Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

06/16/2019

Worriers Coming to Oregon for Two Shows in June / Preview

By C. FRANCIS O'LEARY // The Brooklyn-based, melodic Punk band, fronted by singer-songwriter Lauren Denitzo (pronouns: they/them/theirs), are bringing their political Punk outfit to Oregon for two shows this month. They’ll be playing in Portland on Tuesday, June 18, and in Corvallis a week later on June 25.

Do you long for the good ol’ days when Punk was about paying lip service to inclusivity while hardly doing anything to make shows safe places for people to express their gender- and sexual identities however they felt comfortable? No? Neither does Worriers. The Brooklyn-based, melodic Punk band, fronted by singer-songwriter Lauren Denitzo (pronouns: they/them/theirs), are bringing their political Punk outfit to Oregon for two shows this month. They’ll be playing in Portland on Tuesday, June 18, and in Corvallis a week later on June 25.

Denitzo began playing instruments as a child, beginning piano lessons at the age of 7. They were always interested in music, but it wasn’t until the late ‘90s and early ‘00s that they began getting into Punk music. Throughout middle and high school, they attended house shows and basement parties, often hearing bands’ frontmen profess the need for inclusivity and welcoming younger and marginalized musicians and fans. Nonetheless, it was rare to see anyone but white men on stage.

Denitzo began practicing guitar and songwriting, and eventually joined The Measure [SA], a punk band based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Seeking a further creative outlet, Denitzo started Worriers as a side project based around their songwriting skills. Worriers released its first single, Past Lives in 2011. Shortly after the release of Past Lives, The Measure [SA] broke up, and Worriers became Denitzo’s main band. In 2013, Worriers released its first EP, Cruel Optimism, followed in 2015 by its first LP, Imaginary Lives, and in 2017 it second LP, Survival Pop. Throughout the band’s 8 year run thus far, the only consistent member has been Denitzo.

As the band’s founder and sole constant member, Denitzo’s songwriting and vocals are always at the forefront of the band’s sound. The instrumentals are still loud and fast, as any Punk song should be, but unlike some punk music, where the listener has to train their ear to understand the screaming vocalist, Denitzo’s voice always rings through clearly. The mix of warm, energetic instruments and catchy, evocative lyrics create a listening experience that’s easy to get in to.
Worriers are, without a doubt, a Punk band. Some may contest that based on BPM or some other meter by which to determine what “real Punk” is, but Worriers has the Punk ethos to back up their credentials.

Worriers are political like a bunch of Punks should be. Songs like “Yes All Cops” and “What We’re Up Against” let the listener know exactly where they stand on social issues of police violence and resistance to domination. Further, the band continues to embody the DIY spirit. For a group that has played Riot Fest, its nice to see they still play basement shows. You won’t see billboards with Denitzo and co. but you might see flyers stapled to electrical pole, put up by some fan. And, for a nationally touring group, they’ll still play free shows or, like the show on June 25, shows with a suggested donation. Remembering back to their first exposure to punk music, Denitzo also cares about “the scene.” The scene really should be inclusive, it really should make room for up-and-comers, it really should center marginalized voices. That’s why you see Worriers working with promoters with “booking priority to women/queer/poc artists” in their bios.

The two shows in Oregon this month are another part of the Punk lifestyle. Denitzo calls it the forever tour, an allusion to the band going wherever, whenever. These shows are part of an eight-show run along the West Coast from June 13 to the 25th. The first Oregon show will be on June 18 at Killingsworth Dynasty. Doors at 8. $10. The second show will be in Corvallis on June 25. For location go to CorvallisDIY.org or DM @bitterhalfbooking on Instagram. Doors at 7. Suggested donation $7-10 for the touring band, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

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