On a rare, rainy Friday evening in downtown Carson City, Nevada, recently I was lucky enough to sit down for coffee with Thee Reverend Rory Dowd, familiar to many as a longtime player in Reno’s lively, unique and ever evolving arts and music scene http://www.worstlittlepodcast.com/. Sitting alongside us, and offering up a little of her own savvy, was Carolyn Gates, drummer of many years in the great indie band Blunderbusst, these days singer and bassist in Betty Rocker https://www.facebook.com/betterbettyrocker and, on top of all that, quite the fashionista herself.
I prepared questions for this interview under the very mistaken notion that Dowd would agree with my premise that having no style is simply having no style. Silly me- It was a bit humbling to have my admittedly simplistic and narrow view so handily dismantled-ha! Dowd’s own fashion sense and awareness of the role of fashion in the performing arts is almost as rare as rain on a Friday night here. When asked why he thought the ultra casual onstage look for bands has become so common today, Dowd reminded that “there’s a proud tradition of anti-fashion in rock and roll” and that many bands vary their look depending on the gig and perhaps desiring to fit in with their audience. He feels the “decision to not do something is just as valid a decision as to do something” and that this holds true for fashion.
Dowd’s ability to express himself through fashion runs deep, way back to costumes in childhood theatre to those he dons today. Perhaps someday we’ll get to see him in the powered wig he mentioned he’d like to do! Meanwhile, Dowd explained how he enjoys the cognitive dissonance of hearing pretty music coming from a band dressed as Average Joes.
Listen to my entire interview with Thee Reverend Rory Dowd here for a delightful diversion!