City Paper is not for tourists
Guitarist/singer Megan Adkins of Seattle’s Mavis Piggott feels uneasy when her band is referred to by the city its members inhabit. Aside from the understandable terror of being territorially linked with Candlebox, Piggott is a D.C. band at heart. Adkins and drummer Nicole Thomas are former D.C.-ers and 1987 Emerson High graduates. (Thomas also played in the Dischord band Fire Party.) The two were high-school friends before the westward migration that ultimately led Thomas to Seattle and Adkins to Oakland. While in D.C., the two played in a band called Special K, but it wasn’t until after they had moved (and following a series of over-the-phone “practices”) that the two recorded as Piggott. After a successful EP, Adkins moved from California to Washington state and—with the addition of bassist John Wickhart—the current lineup of Mavis Piggott was born.
The group, named after an 18th-century actress, just released its full-length debut, You Can Be Low (Flydaddy). The album features tons of D.C. trademarks: impenetrably dense lyrics, angular, rockin’ tunes, and passionate vocals strongly reminiscent of Tsunami’s Jenny Toomey. And Adkins doesn’t shy away from the influence the D.C. scene had on her as a teen. “I was really inspired by it. It was hard not to be during that period of time. I was really into Rites of Spring,” she admits. “There’s just a lot of talented people there, and [they’re] a lot more cerebral than most musicians,” concludes Thomas. Adkins continues: “There was something really beautiful and appealing about [the scene], and it really gave me an opportunity to say ‘Oh, I can do whatever I want.’” So why did they leave, then? “Because d.c. space closed!” Thomas laughs.—Christopher Porter