June first started in the spoken word biz at the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas, 1998, where she performed irreverent poem-songs such as “Space” and “Cochlea” in acapella fashion, using just one backup singer. It went over well, much to her surprise. Once she returned home she somehow convinced various musicians and vocalists of Southern California to accompany her. The backup singers sang “Bah, bah, bah” in the background. The guitar players ignored her accordion. The percussionists used whatever they could, sometimes banging on a table with simple kitchen utensils. Stranger still, bookings started coming in.
She toured. She was featured at the Seattle Bumbershoot Festival, and in New York City at The Knitting Factory, The Nuyorican, Bar 13, and CBGB's. She was a guest performer at museums such as the UCLA Hammer Museum, and the Museum of the Living Artist in San Diego. She was invited on five European tours with performances in clubs in Amsterdam, Munich, Regensberg, Hamburg, Bonn, and Passau, Germany. She was featured in London and at the Bristol Poetry Festival.
She discovered that some of her poem-songs appealed to children when she won the Children’s Poetry Slam in Edinburgh, Scotland, with the piece “Little Bonking Sound.”
The purpose of this album, June Melby and Her Future Enemies, was to capture some of the magic that had been happening on stage during live performances between 1998 and 2002.
But rather than record a live show, June chose to make this album in a studio in Los Angeles. She wanted to get more musicians involved; she wanted more music in general. Some tracks are simple song and are not poems at all. Generally, the goal was to make a recording of June’s poem-songs and music that would stand up to repeat listening.
There is quite a mix here, because it was not put together as an album with one “vision” in mind. These are some of the pieces that June and her band were doing. Some of the pieces are funny (“Dust” and “Ants”). A few are more poignant (“Island” and “Dear Diary”). June is happy with the results. She hopes you like it too. (Currently her favorite is “In Soup” but most people’s pick is “Bonking Sound.”)
Thanks for listening.