Out Means Out
By Zack Kopp | Photos By Photos by: Christine Cool & Lance Stack
According to self-made rock star Sars Century, Denver has been magnificent, unique, and inspiring at different times in their relationship. “I experienced this in 2010 and 2011, when Titwrench festival was hitting its stride, and there were a lot of excellent, challenging local musicians, such as Night of Joy, Lust-Cats of the Gutters, Hot White, Married in Berdichev, nervesandgel, and many other artists that absolutely blew my mind. There are still a lot of great bands, like Church Fire, Echo Beds, Architect, Lisa Prank, Tollund Men, and several others. I don’t say that I’m too good for Denver. I would never be the person I am if I had not lived in Denver. I never really considered myself a ‘local’ musician. Hopefully my art should transcend whatever city I happen to be in.”
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee and given to compulsive touring of the surrounding regions. Sara made Denver her home base a handful of years ago. Now her travel bug has led to her impending move to the West Coast, where she’ll continue to tour exhaustively and perform come fortune or sorrow. Self made rock star Sara Century isn’t one for getting pinned down by geography, genre or sexual orientation. With a particular affinity for NYC’s short lived “No Wave” scene, starring acts like Lydia Lunch (“Jesus and the Teenage Jerks”) and “James Chance and the Contortions”, Sara Century seems a postmodern artist of the first rank. She reinvents herself as a superized living comic, transforming her life to something epic by design, and Denver should feel exceptionally proud to have given her an instrumental foothold. ”I know there are a lot of people that would never have gotten gigs in Denver if it weren’t for me. That isn’t arrogance; there really was just nobody else to set up certain shows. If touring bands got to have good shows, or if local bands felt a sense of community based on the numerous events I have put on in my time here, that’s excellent. I do feel like people are often inspired by what I’m doing as a strange encouragement to fulfill their own artistic needs, and that’s great.”
There’s a clip on SoundCloud of Century beating up her guitar in a smoothly rhythmic manner which in this reporter’s opinion is a testament to the current running through her as opposed to any crafted pretense. Despite her devout contrarianism and “an intense dislike of seriously asking for favors of any sort”, Century’s looking for peace. “We should consider ourselves more or less on the same team if we are all interested in bringing music to the world on our own terms, I think. I enjoy people, but I haven’t spent a lot of time in my life attempting to gain approval. In that way, I feel very true to the ideals put forward by the DIY community, but possibly TOO true to them at times.”
Despite her stated intention of only playing one show during this visit (at Bar Bar with Olivia Neutron John and Between Youth), where brave souls came post-flood to hear her trademark energy, Century also made an appearance at Sidewinder Tavern on the northwest side of town with Colorado’s own M. Sage and Boston acts Emily Reo, Peace Arrow and Cuddle Formation.
Century has turned her hand to other creative endeavors locally over the last few years, among them the graphic novel series New Girlfriend, masterfully satirizing her loneliness via dreams and memories of lost former girlfriends, for which she threw a few release parties in Denver. She also conceived and hosted a female and queer friendly open mic at Deer pile above City O’ City. “Baby Hair is a challenging thing. You have to speak, and you have to listen. We were open to people not defined as female or queer, but it seems in hindsight like such a stroke of genius to include that tagline, “female and queer,” in all the promotions we did, because it limited our audience in the best possible way. I feel like it has been extremely successful compared to what I thought it would become.
I have three more Baby Hair events planned here, and then I believe that my partner in crime, co-founder of Baby Hair, and platonic lifemate Erica Adams and I will have to make some changes, as I will no longer be living in Colorado. What those changes might include is taking Baby Hair on the road, and having more of a list of set performers as opposed to an open mic situation. I can’t imagine not continuing on with Baby Hair as a part of my life, but there will necessarily be some changes. View the Facebook page for updates.” Having recently called a halt to the New Girlfriend series, she says, “I feel like that zine was deeply sad, which is only a small part of who I am, so plenty of people just sort of pigeonholed me as ‘the depressed lesbian.’ I’m moving on to other comic and writing projects. I’m looking for publishers for a few different fictional and biographical narratives, as well as writing more about my touring life.”
As evidenced by the title of her sometime band the Night Nurses’ 10 song demo, “Let’s Not Date”, Century’s mood these days is anything but fluffy. “As far as my love life goes, I can’t think of anything less interesting. Saying, ‘I’m gay,’ was an easy way to say, ‘You can’t speak to me like that, you can’t include me in that, because I have no place in that world.’ I am pleased to think that I (and unmarried straight persons as well) could visit their lover in the hospital due to the civil union law, but I truly balk at the idea of being integrated into society. I am not normal.