February 2021

Musicians in Bathrooms featuring molly ofgeography (an incredibly dumb name, which I acknowledge, but am saddled with thanks to a series of internet accidents).

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

What’s your sign?
I am a Taurus Sun, Taurus Rising, which essentially means that I am the most stubborn person alive, and I can eat an entire block of cheese in one sitting. I definitely think that horoscopes are fake, but also, I absolutely do read mine every single day. I like the idea that the universe is out there being interested in my life, like, “What’s that funky little fake blonde getting up to today? Oh, spending money she doesn’t have on books she isn’t going to read? Love that for her.”

Most underrated song that, in your opinion, should be a classic?
“Poster Girl” by the Backstreet Boys. Yes, I said the Backstreet Boys, and I’m right. No, I will not be accepting criticism at this time.

Biggest compliment you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
This one is really hard. People have said really, really kind things to me—sometimes about my lyrics, sometimes as a response to me as a person, which is very funny because in my head I’m like, this preposterous gremlin woman whose advice and opinions should be ignored at all costs. But I keep every note and email that I get sent in a folder on my computer called “I’m a sentimental baby.” I’m usually too embarrassed to go back and read them, but I do have them all. I think probably the thing that’s really stayed with me the most is I’ve gotten a lot of folks write to me about a line in “Mile Magnificent” (“never been much of a good, good woman”), which was helpful and comforting to them during a period of exploring and coming to understand their gender. I’m cisgender, so that line means something different to me, but (a) the author is dead! Art means whatever you want it to mean, and (b) it makes me feel really happy to have been part of that experience.

That was a really serious answer, which is embarrassing. One time a fan said, “I think you’re at least four things,” and did not elaborate, and I think about it once a week. What four things? I don’t know. It’s none of my business.

What do you sing in the shower?
Oh, genuinely anything. Whatever comes on shuffle. It does not matter if I know the words or if I sound good.

Favorite cereal?
Okay, there is one right answer to this, and it’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Reese’s Puffs are good, but they’re better dry, and as like, a mid-afternoon snack. Frosted Flakes are a real “midnight shame snack” kind of vibe. I do have a real softness for Raisin Bran, but only the top half of the box, because after that it’s all raisins. Lucky Charms are a scam. Eat the marshmallows and throw the rest away.

What is your favorite piece to perform?
Hmm. Tricky. I know this question is about my own songs, but I think the honest answer is “Top of the World” by Patty Griffin, on the dulcimer. I like performing my own songs, but I feel very silly about it. It’s not that I don’t like attention; I’m the baby of my family and my parents are divorced, so obviously I love attention. It’s just that it’s less fun for me to feel like I’m that guy at the party going, “Anyway, here’s Wonderwall,” and ruining the vibe. That being said, I think probably “Bowerbird” is the most fun to sing, or maybe “Mile Magnificent.” I like the bops. Ballads are fun in their own way, but it must be said that I really like the bops.

At what venue do you most like to perform?
I come from a really musical family, and we often play together at home, so honestly, probably there. I didn’t start really recording my own stuff aside from joke songs about hockey until late 2019, and then this crazy thing happened where we all got locked inside our houses for a year.

For me, music has always been about hanging out with people, playing around and goofing off. The idea of a structured show is very strange to me. I’d much rather be in a small room with people and we all decide what we’re gonna play and sing together. At what venue can I do, like, stand-up comedy interspersed with folk covers of early-2000s slow jams? Wherever that venue is, that’s my favorite.

Most requested song at shows?
In the history of all bands? Probably “Freebird.” Requested of me personally? “Island of Lost Things,” which I’m grateful for, because it’s extraordinarily easy to play on the guitar.

First concert you attended?
’N SYNC! I hit Justin Timberlake in the head with a plastic bead necklace. It was a very exciting time.

Favorite artist?
I know this is probably a question about music, but the honest answer to that is I don’t have one. I like too many things, and I’m fickle. My favorite painter is Gustav Klimt, I think, because that funky lil’ dude lived in a bathrobe and loved gold: highly relatable. Also, one time I went to the Klimt museum in Vienna and one of the guards followed me around doing a sketching of me. It was super weird! I loved it.

Place you go to get away from it all?
Running! I know running is not a place, but the nice thing about it is that you can do it in any place. I am a big distance runner. There is no happier place in the world for me than putting on some headphones and just running out into the world. My brain is way too messy to meditate, but I think running is probably as close as I come.

Do you tweet, gram, or book?
I have both Twitter and Instagram (@ofgeography). I do have a Facebook, but I feel a real vibrant hatred for it and would just delete it if I weren’t such a hoarder. I’m notoriously bad at like, PR, so I honestly just use them to scream my shower thoughts into the abyss or make jokes about art at museums.

Finish this verse as if it were the hook of a song: “Sally went down to the bayou…”
Sally went down to the bayou, and she wouldn’t tell me why;
The still waters called to her more than any shifting tide
Sally went down to the bayou, and I stayed home with just my pride.
But pride don’t keep you breathing when the waters start rise.

Who would star as you in the epic retelling of your life on film?
If we’re doing this based off of who looks the most like me, it’s probably Elizabeth Moss, whom I get mistaken for in restaurants not infrequently now that we’re both blondes. If I just got to pick anybody, it would be Eiza González, who looks absolutely nothing like me but was in the first telenovela I ever watched (Lola Érase Una Vez) and has my unending loyalty for that reason.

First instrument you learned to play?
I learned guitar and piano kind of simultaneously but stuck with guitar for longer and returned to piano later. I wish I was better at both. I could practice, and achieve this, but the very good reason I don’t is that I [loud construction noises].

Song you were thrilled to finally master?
The first song I learned to play on the dulcimer was “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates, and I had a great time doing it.

hat do you wish you knew more about?
Almost everything. I’m an absolute nightmare about learning things. I get these insane hyper fixations and devour everything I can get my hands on. Right now, I’m very fascinated by wine forgery. I think wine forgers should just be allowed to do their crimes because it’s the funniest crime in the world. Perhaps an easier question is, “What do you wish you knew less about?” To which the answer is: the Yellowstone supervolcano. If you’ve got anxiety and don’t know anything about the Yellowstone supervolcano, do not look it up.

What animal do you most identify with?
I mean, right now? In pandemic times? The sloth, probably. Maybe a panda. I asked some pals what they thought for this question, and the consensus was “an animal raised by a different breed of animal,” which feels right.

If you got super-famous and had to change your name, what would your new name be?
There is something very funny to me about naming myself after some very famous historical figure. Marie Antoinette, and no I won’t explain it. Have some cake and stop asking questions.

What famous musician would you love to sing a duet with?
Carly Simon, in 1971.

  1. I really want that to be a full song after that verse…

    — M    Feb 12, 07:28 pm   

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