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L.A. Beat

Billy the Kid not kidding around with her career

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Like the legendary outlaw, Vancouver based  singer/songwriter  Billy the Kid plays by her own rules.

She has “Lost’ and Give Back’ tattooed all over her, runs her own record label and tours  relentlessly.  She even just finished her  first acting gig where she played a bespectacled  mother minding a  daughter who looked just like her. Billy the Kid plays the Slice, Jan. 25. And she will be playing the Slice, Jan. 25, in the beginning of a new tour which will take her across  Canada to Toronto then down to Austin, Texas for South By Southwest, hitting a plethora of tiny towns along the way as well.

“A lot of people would consider me the definition of a lost cause. I quit two jobs to tour, then get another two jobs, then quit them to tour again. But this is my life and I’m completely happy with it,” she said. She has been performing and touring since she was 14 almost since she first learned piano.

 The stalwart indie musician finally hired a manager this year.

“There is just no time to effectively balance things. You don’t really need a manager  until there’s something to manage,”  said Billy Pettinger, aka Billy the Kid, whose next tour begins in Calgary, Jan. 21.

“It was getting to the point where I was getting burned out. I’d rather be playing than booking and there’s only so much you can do from the road,”  continued the bespectacled singer who has the words “Lost” and Give Back” among her many tattoos.

Through the magic of MyspaceShe not only connected with Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida to produce her latest five song EP, “The Lost Cause,” which was released on her own record label “Lost Records,” but connected with the Band’s Garth Hudson to play piano on a  track ‘The Drugs.’

“Today it would be through Facebook,” she laughed.

“Raine  Maida (from Our Lady Peace)  heard my demos through Myspace and I guess he liked them, the next thing I knew I was on a plane to Los Angeles. I don’t think I could have asked for anything more incredible,” she continued.

“He has really good techniques. And he likes all  the same music I like to listen to. He didn’t try to change it,” she saidding,  Maida is probably  the reason why some of the tracks have a Chantal Kreviazuk (Maida’s wife) feel.

“And Garth Hudson  also heard me on MySpace and the next thing I knew, I was driving to New York. It was blizzarding so I spent three days stuck in the studio with him. It was awesome playing with him,” she continued.

She has a 90 minute solo set  at the Slice, so there will be a variety of music performed including , new material, material from her rock band Billy and the Lost Boys and solo material.

“I’m going to  a lot of places I haven’t been  before on this tour,” she said adding while  she grew up listening to punk music, she eventually started performing more folk flavoured pop music.

“Punk music has a lot of pop in it. I always like the two to meld,” she said adding her song writing is inspired by direct  experiences, though not necessarily her own.

“I write about other people’s circumstances. Ordinary folks have extraordinary circumstances happening to them all the time. Really , the whole 9-5 experience is just plain wrong,” she laughed.

 The show is at 9 p.m., Jan. 25. The cover is five dollars.

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 22 January 2010 08:25 )  
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