Listen Up : Sugar Rush

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Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do? My name is Lauren Rearick, and I am the founder/editor/event planner and self appointed blog queen of The Grey Estates. It's a Pittsburgh-based music blog that's meant to highlight only the things we love, with special attention to female and gender-neutral acts. It's a platform of music criticism and features that isn't about hits, clicks or traffics, but about what we love and why.

You are launching an exciting new project - tell us more about that! What inspired it? I'm partnering with Negative Fun Records to release Sugar Rush - a tape compilation release of bands doing cover songs. Each of the bands featured contain female-members or gender-neutral members. Last year, two of my friends recorded a cover of Patsy Cline's "Strange," which is on the tape, and mentioned in passing how amazing it would be to curate a compilation of female bands doing cover songs. I've always dreamed of curating a physical compilation release and I couldn't have imagined a cooler project to start my dream with.

You mentioned to us that despite the disbelief from male friends and colleagues, you wanted to go ahead with this exciting new venture. Tell us a bit more about your past experience, getting you to this point. I can still remember in college and in high school that whenever we talked about what we wanted to be when "we grew up," that I was always met with hesitation or doubt that I would make it as a music writer. By no means have I made it to the point that I hope for my career, but I always let that disbelief and doubt propel me to the point I am now. Before starting The Grey Estates I wrote for a number of publications and I realized my voice wasn't reflected in the things I wrote, and I didn't enjoy the way I was treated. One day in 2013 it suddenly hit me that I could just start my own blog, and I shouldn't let disbelief or fear or the support of others stand in my way. There's still so much I hope to accomplish, but I think just waking up everyday and seeing the site, and reading the comments and supports from bands and readers reminds me that I'm making an impact, even a small one.

The name of your blog, Grey Estates is so interesting -- how did you come up with the name? It's a song from one of my favorite bands ever - Wolf Parade. They're one of the few bands that have stuck with me throughout my life, and their music has always been a source of inspiration for me.

And now, the loaded question, favorite artist/band/group of all time? Radiohead. No doubt about it.

Sugar Rush will be available on February 29th.  Check out The Grey Estates for more details.

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