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Marilyn Mitchell melds life, politics on new solo album

 Lipstick Conspiracy guitarists Sarafina Maraschino (left), Shawna Love and Marilyn Mitchell performing at the SF Eagle bar in 2009
Courtesy of Lipstick Conspiracy
Lipstick Conspiracy guitarists Sarafina Maraschino (left), Shawna Love and Marilyn Mitchell performing at the SF Eagle bar in 2009

Singer-songwriter Marilyn Mitchell, a member of San Francisco’s popular 2003-2010 all-trans rock band Lipstick Conspiracy, shares new music and life stories – and hints that her former group may get back together.

Her new album, Lives Aligned, has 12 songs inspired by politics and personal life. Mitchell wrote all of them, showcasing an intriguing variety of style and tempo. We hear four of them on this week's Out in the Bay, along with a Lipstick Conspiracy favorite.

Two of her new songs skewer former President Trump. Over hard-driving rock, “I’m So Glad (You’re Gone)” includes the lines:

Blatant lies, fallacies, fabrication,
All a part of your planned occupation
In spite of this they took it in, an illusion
With all your help, tried to rid the constitution

Mitchell, a kinesiology professor at San Francisco State University, tells guest host Christopher Beale that she started transitioning around 1999, while teaching in Colorado with some “macho … over-masculinized” colleagues who were “getting on everybody’s nerves” – especially hers.

“I think my brain was looking for some kind of escape, and I started experimenting around with makeup and things like that.” Looking in the mirror, she said to herself, “Oh my gosh, there’s somebody else in here that I don’t even know!” So she took an SF State post and started to get to know “this other part of me.”

Lipstick Conspiracy fans may be stoked to hear that Mitchell and co-founders Sarafina Maraschino and Shawna Love recently laid down some tracks that could lead to at least one new song and that the threesome has “some other ideas,” she told us. Stay tuned!

Hear much more on this week’s Out in the Bay, produced and hosted by Christopher J. Beale.

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Marilyn Mitchell‘s Lives Aligned album, co-created with musician and audio engineer Craig Dukes, was released in November 2021. Hear it and more of Mitchell’s music on her Bandcamp page. She also plays lead guitar in Mott the Hoople tribute band Nott the Hoople.


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Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.
Christopher J. Beale is an independent radio host, producer, and journalist living in San Francisco.