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That's What She Said

That's What She Said

Taking the age-old lesbian U-Haul joke to the next level, Amy Turner and Kathryn Lounsbery, of lesbian musical improv duo That's What She Said, have reached a new milestone with the debut of their first CD, Girl-on-Girl Music.

Taking the age-old lesbian U-Haul joke to the next level, lesbian musical improv duo That's What She Said has reached a new milestone with the debut of their first CD, Girl-on-Girl Music.

Comprised of partners Amy Turner (vocals) and Kathryn Lounsbery (piano, vocals) That's What She Said "is a look at what the lighter sides of what makes lesbians lesbians," says Turner, who compares the duo's live show to Paula Deen, the queen of Southern hospitality. "There are so many styles of songs that we have in the show; there is something for everyone. Although there are specific references to things gay-lady-like, we never want it to feel like an inside joke. So many different genres of people enjoy our show from lesbians to gay men to our straight parents to people who didn't really know what to expect."

TWSS formed three years ago when Turner was performing an improvised show at Second City Hollywood when Lounsbery approached her and mentioned that she played piano.

"I had never seen a performer like Amy," Lounsbery says. "She was improvising all these amazing, musical, funny songs on the spot; I was blown away. At that point I was really looking to do something creative and knew she was someone I could work with."

Turner sparked to the idea and after a meeting at the Improv on Melrose, they "admitted that we both had secret dreams of writing a show," she says. "Our first idea was to sing covers with the gender pronouns reversed, but we quickly moved to all original material."

That original material includes such comedic gems as the "U-Haul Rap", which the duo have recorded a music video for; as well as "Fanny Pack Lover", which "makes you feel like you are in a Sapphic jazz club on the isle of Lesbos," Turner says with a laugh.

"Because who can't relate to that?" Lounsbery interjects.

Both songs are featured on Girl-on-Girl Music, their debut CD that the couple financed themselves, though Lounsbery is quick to point out that they "are currently accepting cash donations."

All the songs on TWSS' Girl-on-Girl are all "original and varied," Turner says. "We really tried to be true to each genre and give it that extra musical spin.… 'Mixed Tape' is a wacky '80s power ballad with an almost Keytar effect to it. 'U-Haul Rap' speaks for itself in its hardcore rappitry."

" 'Rappitry' IS a real word and only used by hardcore rappers, by the way," Lounsbery laughs.

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Turner says some of TWSS' songs are based on personal experiences and Lounsbery says they've also noticed "some of our songs have turned into self-fulfilling prophecies. We now worship fanny packs and we have 'U-Hauled.' "

Meanwhile, "First Date" is "our homage to light opera a la Gilbert and Sullivan — Sara Gilbert and Annie Sullivan of course — complete with tubas and piccolos," Turner says. "We have two ballads that are not funny. 'Drink Her In' is about wanting what you can't have and 'Why Is My Right Wrong' is something we wrote after Prop. 8 passed."

"I guess both of our ballads are about wanting something you can't have," Lounsbery adds.

"We are more than funny song writers," says Turner, who works full-time doing wood-grain paper pet portraits. "We are also song writers. We hope people appreciate all we have given them on the CD."

The duo spent about a year and a half working on the CD and spent "every spare minute in the recording studio," Lounsbery says, without missing a beat, adding that Amy "looks amazing with huge headphones on. It's hot."

And as for working with your significant other, Lounsbery and Turner are all thumbs-up.

"It is amazing to share something that you have worked so hard on with the person you have worked with to make it happen. It is like our child," Turner says. "Our rainbow parka-ed, overly processed, lesbian-themed child. We make sure we check in with each other because a) that is uber lezzie; and b) with performing and writing comes certain stress. We want to make sure we are both on the same page."

Lounsbery adds that she's most comfortable in creative partnerships. "From the time I was five and had a band with my best friend, I've always had close friendships or relationships that were creative," says Lounsbery, who works as a keyboard editor for a major music publishing company. "I think it's one of the most wonderful gifts and I feel so fortunate to go through all this with someone I love."

That's What She Says celebrates their CD release at 8 p.m. July 18 at M Bar in Hollywood, and beyond will be hitting the film festival circuit after the "U-haul" video was a hit at San Francisco's Frameline Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

Click here for details.

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Lesley Goldberg