How To Dye Your Hair (Discreetly) In A Mall Bathroom In 7 Easy Steps

Being a touring musician is always complicated when it comes to things like showering, staying fit, eating healthy, brushing your teeth, printing a document.. all the things that non-touring people with normal structure in their lives take for granted. But being a woman can sometimes add a few extra layers to the complexity of acting like a normal human being in public despite being essentially homeless.

Well, we are for real homeless on this tour, and since it’s such a long tour, there are certain aspects of grooming I can’t just put off “until I get home”. One of these is hair maintenance, and I have a LOT of hair. Luckily I was able to use the bathroom of one of our recent hosts to complete the hair bleaching process but I didn’t have any dye, so I had to wait for a day when we happened to be in a mall to find some. That day was yesterday. I present to you now, How To Dye Your Hair Discreetly In A Mall Bathroom – in 7 steps!

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To pull this off,  you’ll need the following:

-your hair dye of choice
-a shower cap
-a hairbrush or comb
-travel-sized vaseline
-travel-sized shampoo and conditioner
-a towel
-a toque (or hat, as Americans like to call them – so confusing!)
-a backpack to put it all in (people will look at you weird if you just carry a towel around in the mall)

 

Step 1: Assemble items and find a private or semi-private washroom

To my benefit the mall I picked was pretty swanky and in the woman’s washroom there was ANOTHER WASHROOM, like a whole washroom for disabled people with a door that shut and locked. It had its own sink so that was perfect. I would also advise you to choose a time of day that is least busy. The best is on a weekday, AFTER the lunch rush but before the 3 pm school day ends. That way the fewest number of people are likely to even come and go from the bathroom and you will be left in blissful hair-dying peace.

Step 2: Cover your hairline and ears in Vaseline

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If you’re lazy about dying your hair, like me, you usually skip this step. But damn, bitch, you on tour! You got a show tonight, you don’t have time to mess around with dye on your face and head! Slap that lube on there. I recommend using gloves to protect your hands from dye as well.

Step 3: Partition up your hair using any hair ties or bobby pins at your disposal, otherwise just do it by tossing your hair to and fro and hope for the best

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I gave up on gloves early on into the process.

PS, try not to make TOO much of a mess in the mall bathroom. I did this by mainly keeping everything in the sink, which is easy to clean.

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Step 4: Cover your whole head in hair dye, and put any/all excess dye in there. 

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Careful, well-planned and organized dying using a moderate or correct amount of dye is for people who have their own bathrooms. You, on the other hand, have clearly made some bad life choices and are frantically trying to get this done before the staff of the mall become concerned and start knocking on the door. You don’t have time for conserving dye – just squeeze it all onto your head and mush it around like shampoo. At least you’ll know that you probably won’t have any splotchy patches.

Step 5: Cover your hair with a shower cap, then cover the shower cap with a toque

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This will keep the dye from getting everywhere, the toque will keep everyone from seeing what a weirdo you are, and it has the additional benefit of added heat for dye-setting

At this point you’ll need to wait however many minutes for the dye to take. I used this time to attend to other important hygienic processes that can sometime get neglected on tour. The mall I was in was so fancy they had a whole separate “Family Room” just off the bathroom, complete with more sinks, microwaves, chairs, a TV playing Thomas the Tank Engine, and another bathroom with a locking door that was specifically for people with small children (it had one big toilet and one little toilet, one big sink and one little sink).

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Oh yeah, also MAKE SURE to clean up after yourself – don’t leave a mess!

Step 6: When the time comes, lock yourself in the bathroom again, jam your head under the tap and wash your hair out

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This was definitely the most time-consuming step of the process because most taps in public bathrooms these days are automatic, and the one I was using didn’t have particularly high pressure. Plus my hair is SUPER thick, so it took a long time to rinse out the entire 2 tubes of sparks hair dye I put in there (normally I use manic panic but I couldn’t find my color anywhere! – dammit Manic Panic, that’s why you need to sponsor me!!). Then there’s the shampooing and the conditioning. Just stick with it, you’ll get ‘er done!

Step 7: Towel dry your hair, clean up your mess and get the heck out of there!

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et voila! Before…

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And after!

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I Only Got Here Because Of My Tits

I’ve been meaning to write a blog about women, sexuality and the music industry for awhile. I got a little sidetracked but there’s nothing like a bit of vitriol in the belly to get one motivated to do one’s blog housekeeping.

Let me tell you something about me; I’m a sexual person, like pretty much every other person on the planet. Not in a weird way like I’m stealing your dirty laundry, but in a way where I think sex, flirting, and sexuality is fun on many levels. Here’s the other thing: I’m a musician, and a music industry professional, a person who has worked with bands for a few years now coordinate tour after tour. And I’m a woman. And that puts me in a very precarious position. You see, there are sometimes that I’d like to express myself on social media in a flirty or sexy way. But I don’t, and I can’t. My musical integrity hinges completely on how I represent myself as a woman, and the amount that I am taken seriously as a professional and musician is in direct proportion to what percentage of my body is either covered/uncovered by clothing. It doesn’t matter how much I rehearse; it doesn’t matter how many songs I’ve written; it doesn’t matter how many shows I play – people out there will always discount and discredit me not because they don’t like my style of music or think my musicianship is poor, but specifically, these people will count me out because in their mind clearly, I have used my sexuality to get ahead. My modesty can and will trump my years of professional experience as a booking agent in the music industry, my investment and my skill as a musician earned through countless hours of practice.

This leads me back to some facebook/twitter drama last week.

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Mykel and I had a little fun with an internet random who first admonished me after seeing this photo I posted on my personal Instagram which feeds to my personal facebook timeline.

 

Due to my choice to spend money on my first tattoo in 2 years rather than musical instruments this random person who knows nothing about me went out of their way to judge my music and value. I have more than enough instruments, thank you very MUCH… I happen to have some very pricey and rare ones!

I reinvest every penny I earn back into my music career and haven’t had much in the way of disposable income lately. Soooo… I can’t treat myself once? Am I not allowed to post pictures on my personal facebook timeline to share my life events with my friends (of who this fellow  is supposedly one)? He pulled the old “you don’t know who you’re talking to, little girl” (little girl?! I’m almost 30! the diminutization of women is one of the most common forms of sexist oppression that exists… when people call us “baby”, or “honey,” or “little girl”, it’s a way to let us know that we are not the equal of the person who wields that terms and clearly establishes them as the dominant/wiser/elder/more respected party in the conversation). Finally we got all the way to me being told that my band sucks and people only like me because I show my tits off.

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aaaand.. this is why I DON’T show my tits off! Man… would I love to show my tits off. They are great tits. I am not ashamed of my body. I’m not exactly skinny, sure, I have some imperfections, but I love my body. It’s strong and healthy. I carry all my own gear, I lift weights, I ride a bike. And dammit, I’m sexy! But I know that once I cross that line, there’s no coming back. I’m not even anywhere close to the line and still the accusations of my sexuality being the only thing going for me come rolling in – this is not an isolated incident, but it is the perfect exemplification of my conundrum. In other words, this is what I’m fuckin’ talking about. My integrity as a musician, and the integrity of all female musicians, can be called into question at any time, trumped by sexuality. Insult us, tell us we suck, tell us our music is no good – but don’t dismiss our bodies of work, our mastery of our instruments, our power of composition, our artistry, simply because we are women who have tits. It is the epitome of insults, an implication that I don’t work as hard as anyone else and that I “get by” on my looks. Let me tell you something – looks only get you so far, and living on your looks is probably anything but easy (I imagine it takes a lot of work to look good enough that it can pay your way anywhere). But I digress.

If you’re a male-gendered or male-identified person who takes women in the music industry seriously completely apart from their sexuality, this article is not about you. And good on you. I just want to put that out there because by no means am I painting y’all with the same brush. Don’t feel defensive, but realize that what I say is true, and my experience is real. Sadly there are still a large percentage of menfolk out there who will simply not take female musicians seriously no matter what we do. No matter how good or how largely accepted we are, it will always boil down to – do we flaunt our sexuality?

This is where my dilemma comes in. I must tell you that I have, to this point, furtively guarded my sexuality like the good china you only bring out when company comes over, because I am aware of the system that I exist in. But I’m angry. Why SHOULD these two things be connected? We can accept that a person can be a talented artist as well as a father, or mother, or politician, or activist, or welder… whatever. You get it. People’s identities occupy multiple spaces at once. Your experiences as a father, mother, or sex trade worker might influence your material, but WHERE IS IT WRITTEN that a person can’t be an excellent performer, singer, guitarist – and a sexual being?

Women’s sexuality in music is problematic because for a long time, we know that it was used as a marketing tool above and beyond the calibre or quality of the product. Yes, it is true. Sex sells. Big breasted beautiful women sell. In the past, I would argue that these women’s sexualities were packaged and sold in spite of their talents and autonomy, often against their will, because there was no other choice for them and because someone with more power said they had to – check out Charlotte Church’s experiences here. But we are living in 2014 and this is an age where I think we are all a little smarter and we can engage with these kinds of issues in a more critical way. Whether a woman’s sexuality is in the hands of the record label or the marketing firm, and it’s being used without her participation to sell records, or whether a woman disowns her sexual self because society at large will discredit her artistry if she embraces it, is the same side of the coin. The power over her sexuality, the control and the decision making lies in the hands of others, not in her hands. Let’s take for example Nicki Minaj and the whole “anaconda” scandal – this amazing article breaks down why you should think twice about judging Nicki’s sexual displays. What about Yo-Landi Vi$$er, the hypersexual rap machine from South Africa, once voted one of the “Top 10 Ugliest Celebrities“. She’s certainly not playing the tired old trope of big breasted blonde Pamela-Anderson type – yet she owns her sexuality, wears it proudly and is one hell of a rapper, regardless of being sexual or nonsexual.

It’s problematic when we forget that a person can be sexual and can be good at something. Wait, did I say person? Let me rephrase that – that a WOMAN can be sexual and be good at something. You know who was really openly sexual and slept around and even got naked and waved their genitalia around in public? Charles Bukowski. Pretty sure no one accused him of getting by on his sexuality. What if Miley Cyrus waved her genitalia around in public – might she lose some respect as an artist? (oh wait). How about Jim Morrison, Pablo Picasso? Did anyone ever accuse Jack Nicholson, who openly alleged that he slept with more than 2,000 women, of NOT being a good actor and of having slept his way to the top? Gene Simmons, Charlie Sheen.. I could do this all day. You get my point. Women don’t get to brag about how many people they’ve banged because other people will already be talking about how many people they’ve banged in a negative connotation. Maybe women want to reclaim their right to exist as sexual beings AS WELL AS being respected as experts in other professional fields. I know I do. I’m envious of those awesome suicide girls fillin’ up my instagram but far be it from me to be able to engage in any kind of empowered, consensual, provocative photography – I won’t even wear a skirt without tights underneath at our shows. Frankly I’m a bit of a pariah when it comes to this stuff and this is exactly why.

In conclusion; I would like to think that as a society we are enlightened and sex-positive enough to move foward realizing that identity is not black and white, nor is it a one-sided thing. We are musicians, businesspeople, punk rockers, mothers, fathers, kinksters, femme fatales, nerds, composers, athletes, activists, academics and deviants ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Expand your mind, please and thanks. If and when you see me showing off a bit of skin just appreciate it but don’t devalue my art because of it.

 

April Shower Bring May Flowers

Hi all;

Just a quick update this time. I’m going to work on my consistency in the blogosphere and try to work on weekly blog updates for alll you KM hardcores out there. We are here in Toronto getting settled and setting up the rest of our year: we will be playing many shows in Quebec and Ontario and are planning a tour to the states for later this year. Who knows what else might happen?

We dropped in at CMW to see some of our friends in The Deadset and Gypsy Chief Goliath. It was so awesome to see so many music lovers out supporting rad bands. We look forward to our showcase at North By Northeast next month – keep an eye out for us!

Here are a list of our upcoming shows-

May 23 – the Cage, Toronto ON FB EVENT HERE

May 24 – Fitzy’s By the Bay, Barrie ON

May 30 – The Rockpile West (Etobicoke/Toronto) ON FB EVENT HERE

June 13 – CIDERFEST, St-Hyacinthe QC FB EVENT HERE

June 19 – Manik Mondays, Montreal QC

We will be coming to a town near you over the summer! If you think there are any festivals, shows, venues or events we should be playing, let us know! We want all the suggestions you have.

In other news, my guitar amp was stolen last month. It was upsetting and kind of a clusterfuck but it seems that there’s nothing we can do to get it, or any of my pedals, back. That’s about $600 or so worth of gear. Luckily, I found the amp of my dreams just sitting in Long & McQuade waiting for me! I am the proud new owner of a Mesaboogie Dual-Rectifier head. Now’s the hard part; paying for it. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as I’ll be selling some hand-made art and putting deals on our merch to help cover the costs.

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TIME TO HIT THE ROAD

Hi all;

In a few short days we start our #PUNK#ZOMBIE#ROCKNROLL tour. It seems no matter how well organized I strive to be or with how much structure I approach such a grand undertaking, I always end up in the same position; out of clean underwear and smelling like a homeless kid who’s misplaced their debit card. Staying on top of twenty different aspects is a hard road…being in a band is not glamorous. The saving grace is that the liquor store I frequent has a good selection of beers over 9%.

We gave up our apartment on Feb 1st in order to save money; well, I wouldn’t really call it saving. We’ve easily spent what we’d normally spend in rent money on all the things we need to be tour ready including new merch, CDs, dropcards, a trailer hitch, and so on and so forth. I want to take a moment to thank our friends Steve G and Will S for letting us crash at their houses this month, as well as all the kids at the Matador house in Vancouver.

I thought that it would only take me a few days or maybe a week or two to complete all my uncompleted projects, and that I’d have time to coast and couchsurf and practice guitar before hitting the road. I was so. wrong. I have three days left in Vancouver and I’m only now finishing all that needs be finished, the biggest project of which was the epic hand-drawn comic book I recently completed to accompany the new release. A 17-page hand-drawn and colored piece of art is a lot of work for anyone but is a special challenge for me. this month I’ve had a long-awaited, much-anticipated, badly-needed formal diagnosis of ADHD. Not a shock and not news, but a relief to finally have the validation that I’m not lazy, stupid, clumsy, or an airhead. People often say to me, “Dusty, you’re always so busy, you’re always working on something!” What probably seems like a virtue to many is a personal prison for me; I CAN’T relax. My mind is always racing, my feet are always tapping, my fingernails are always picking or scratching, my mouth is always talking. So, I can start any project with boundless enthusiasm; completing a project is another thing. ADHD has interefered with my ability to keep a job, to keep friends, to have pets (i’ll get into that another time), and to feel good about myself. To actually follow through and complete a project once the initial “brain candy” of something new has worn off was excruciating. It sometimes only came a page at a time or even a panel at a time; my poor publicist has been hounding me for weeks. The truth is that completing this comic is one of the first (personal) things I’ve done on my own in years and tied neatly with a bow. I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it if it hadn’t been for the help of doctor-prescribed medicine and the support and sometimes very strict enforcement of “work time” by Mykel.

Tomorrow we are releasing the EP of the same name and I am excited to announce that we will be providing a free download link for everyone along with a comic that I drew by hand to accompany the release. This re-release of ours features a brand-new acoustic version of “Geisha With A Switchblade” so please download it!

We’ve put out a video for our single “Law Abiding Citizen”, check it out here.

We will also be releasing a video for “I Want Revenge” on Tuesday, March 11th. We worked really hard on this video together will director Will Strawn and we are so proud of what we accomplished. I’m super stoked for you guys to see it. I want to take a moment to thank Mykel Exner for producing and Will Strawn for directing/camera op. Special thanks to Cariboo Brewing and Dead Reckoning clothing for sponsoring our video, and to Terminal City Rollergirls, Academie Duello, and Audrey Bride for being in it!

We’ve also gotten some pretty amazing reviews of the re-release. Our favourite is this review, in which the reviewer calls us “like the Beach Boys, but evil” and says that I sound like “a female Rob Zombie”. I’ll take it! Check it out here!

This review says that my vocals are perfect – best. compliment. ever. Canadian Beats says the album makes you feel empowered just by listening to it. We are super happy with how much positive press this album has been received and are excited to lay it on you all for this tour.

I’m so excited to move out of the administrative phase of the tour and into the actual rock and roll phase of the tour that I could squee and just roll around on the floor. March 6th can’t come soon enough! I can’t wait to see everyone again and to bring you all new merch and new tunes.

Below is a list of dates for our tour – any changes or updates will be posted on our facebook page and on twitter.

Feb 28 – Abbotsford, BC – Gators Pub (details)

Mar 6 – Vancouver, BC – Railway Club (details)

Mar 7 – Maple Ridge, BC – the Wolf Bar (details)

Mar 8 – Mission, BC – the Zoo (details)

Mar 11 – Kamloops, BC – Cactus Jacks (details)

Mar 13 – Vernon, BC – The Green (details)

Mar 14 – Williams Lake, BC – Overlander Pub

Mar 15 – Prince George, BC – the Croft Hotel (details)

Mar 16 – Burns Lake, BC – Private Party (message dusty@sinagency.ca for details)

Mar 17 – Valemount, BC – Log & Rail Pub

Mar 18 – Hinton, AB – Valley Zoo

Mar 20 – Edmonton, AB – Studio Music Foundation (details)

Mar 21 – Edson, AB – Fat Greasy’s Metal Lounge

Mar 22 – Calgary, AB – Dicken’s Pub

Mar 23 – Red Deer, AB – Slumland

Mar 25 – Moose Jaw, SK – 23 Main Street (acoustic show)

Mar 26 – Regina, SK – The Exchange (details)

Mar 27 – Brandon, MB – North Hill Inn

Mar 28 – Thunder Bay, ON – Black Pirates Pub

Mar 29 – Timmins, ON – Victory Pub

Apr 3 – Sherbrooke, QC – Bar le Magog

Apr 4 – Montreal, QC – Katacombes (details)

Apr 5 – Sorel-Tracy, QC – Pub O’Callaghan’s

Apr 8 – Toronto, ON – Bovine Sex Club