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Of music and wool

BY HANNA ROSMAN | JANUARY 21, 2010 7:30 AM

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All musician Lizz King needs for a tour is a blue station wagon and the camaraderie of a friend.

She will perform in the Datagun CD release at the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., for a 19-and-older show at 9 p.m. Friday. Admission is $5.

King defines her musical style as “spastic crooner” — she is a porch-like singer with country-blues inflections. Often, she has a pattern of singing melancholy songs about infinite subjects and dance songs that focus on animalistic feelings.

The 29-year-old musician began performing at the age of 16. She described her youth as her “amateur” years in music and said she recently took a more serious approach to performing.

She will stop in Iowa City on a cross-country tour that began in her hometown, Shepherdstown, W.Va., where she works as a bar manager at her family’s restaurant, the Blue Moon Cafe.

On the station wagon’s built-in cassette player during her travels on the road, she plays not a mix of the latest band but books on tape. Recordings of Appalachian women writers, mythology, and geography help pass the hours away.

Lindsay Guild, King’s good friend of 10 years, travels with her to help with merchandising.

“I am traveling with her being her protector, roadie, and comrade,” Guild said.

Among their stops in King’s tour, the two will pick up Breezee One, a rapper in Detroit, to travel and perform with them until they reach San Francisco.

“She will get to play a set if there is room for her — if not, then in my set,” King said.

The artist creates a fashion style to match her stage theme. Her typical outfit while performing includes a zebra-striped onesie and moccasins. She defines her everyday style as hand-me-downs and second-use items.

“In the spring, I like to go Dumpster diving in college towns,” King said.

Some of King’s other lifestyle interests include maintaining a natural diet and learning to grow food. Her organic lifestyle also encompasses dogs, kimchi, raw fermented foods, composting, and wool socks.

“I like wool socks because even though my feet sweat, they still stay warm and dry,” she said. “I have packed a lot of wool socks for this month because I will be in the Midwest.”

King is familiar with the frosty Midwest winter, but this will be her first visit to Iowa City. She looks forward to seeing wildlife and recreational areas because she has heard about their beauty.

“It would be nice to camp out, but not in January,” she said. “I would like to come back in the summer for that.”


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