SHOW OF THE WEEK – merry mary quite contrary
by Caleb Green and Maia Sauer on November 19, 2019
Posted in: Interview
This semester, the WRMC exec board decided it was time to start highlighting some of the many fantastic shows that run every week. Starting now, keep a look out for new blog posts, where we’ll interview featured DJs and get to know the faces behind the air waves.
Last week, Maia and C sat down to have a conversation with Mary Grace Gately about her show, “merry mary quite contrary.” There was also plenty of time to reflect on anime house music, making dildo art, the scariness of post-grad life, and sweet potato fries.
C Green: Maybe we can just start with name, your major, and your class year.
Mary Grace Gately: Okay, well, I’m Mary Grace Gately. I’m a senior—just a regular senior. I’m an art history major, with Studio Art and Italian minors. What else was I supposed to say? I’m 21 years old. I am an Aquarius. My moon is Sagittarius or—no, my moon is Aries, and I’m a rising Sagittarius.
Maia Sauer: That’s a lot going on.
MG: Yeah, I have a lot going on all the time. In my soul.
MS: Do you want to talk a little bit about your show? What it’s about, what it’s framed around?
MG: Yeah. I was thinking about doing a show about food, originally. And then I ended up taking thesis for studio art. So I’ve been doing a lot of introspection on what I want my art to be about. So I kinda changed my original idea. [Now] I want to talk about food in, like, a more subversive way, and I’ve been doing, like, ASMR food readings on the show.
And then music-wise it’s really just up to what I feel and various playlists that I’ve been compiling over the years. Like, last week I did songs that were stories. And then I feel like I’ll have “low fi beats to study and chill to” one week. Yeah, I feel like for music [it’s] definitely a grab bag. But in terms of talking points I try to be, I guess, subversive, and I tell random stories about things that make me remember songs, or songs that have very strong memories.
CG: What was the name of your show?
MG: “merry mary quite contrary.” And that just comes from [how] I’ve always been really fascinated with how dark nursery rhymes and children’s stories are—like, they’re all really disturbing. Yeah, next semester I was thinking of taking it more in a weird “origin stories” kind of route, like how “Ring Around The Rosies” is about the plague and stuff. Topics along that line, like secretly dark childhood ruiners.
MS: Is there any music that you’ve been listening to a lot lately? Or any new stuff that’s been coming up for you?
MG: I hate this, but I’ve been listening to a lot of house music recently. In high school I was so anti-EDM. I hated, like, all things electronic music. But now I’m finding a new appreciation for it, just because so much of the indie scene is becoming more electronic-based, and I find the most interesting parts of the indie music I listen to are ideas [that are] expanded further in house music.
CG: And do you have, like, three specific go-to house bands or groups?
MG: Oh yeah, I’ve got Macross 82-99. I think [they’re] more, like, anime. Like “anime house?” Yeah, I don’t even know if that’s a genre, but it’s what I’m listening to. And I think the Japanese language really compliments that style of music better than gross, like, Germanic English. It’s so harsh. I’ve also been listening to a lot of sampling. I don’t know what genre that is—instrumental, I guess. Like, more experimental audio tracks of people talking, with weird beats in the background. Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book, I’ve been listening to a lot. And Yaeji. I really like Yaeji these days.*
MS: What about three of your other go-to bands? Maybe not stuff that you just found, but the stuff that you keep coming back to?
MG: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, definitely, is one of those bands for me. I keep listening to Richard In Your Mind, also. And probably Toro y Moi. I can’t stop listening to him.
MS: Have you listened to his new album?
MG: The pink one? Is it Outer Peace?
MS: He just released a new set of DJ tracks.
MG: Oh yeah, yeah, the green one. Yeah, I’ve listened to those. I like them. They’re fun.
CG: How has your semester been going?
MG: Um, good. I’ve been doing a lot of work—a lot of writing. I’m writing a thesis for Art History, and I’m in this Italian literature class. But then my other two classes are art classes, so I get to really express myself creatively, which is nice, because writing is stressful and hard. Making art is fun and hard in a different way.
My thesis for studio art has been so much fun, and I just want to do that all the time. The studio technician will buy supplies, so we can literally make whatever we want. And our professor is really helpful. She will tell you exactly what your art is about in, like, the perfect way—like, way better than you could ever describe it yourself. And it’s just really refreshing to be like, “Okay. Things that I think do actually mean something, and they’re not just stupid.”
MS: I love those kinds of people. I always wish I were one of those people who could just verbally articulate everything that I wanted to say so clearly and easily.
CG: I feel like I’ve gotten better at articulating what I think something is about. And that feels really satisfying, because when I go see my friends’ art things, it’s like, “yeah, I think this is like this, this and this.” And maybe it’s not what they meant it to be, but it’s nice to hear back, like what you’re saying. Yeah, like someone else thinks your art is something.
MG: And it is also interesting to see someone get something totally different than what you were intending. And that’s happened a couple times. Even if it’s the opposite of what you want, your art was successful in making somebody think something. And that’s important.
MS: Have you figured out what medium you’re using?
MG: I mainly do sculpture and installation pieces. But I’m working on an animation right now, too. And I accidentally started this painting. For one of my installations I’m molding dildos for this table that I’m making. And one of them—they’re like silicone—leaked out and got stuck to the piece of wood. So now I have a new piece, because I don’t want to waste the materials that got stuck together.
CG: Do you have a favorite thing that you’ve made this semester?
MG: It’s been more centered on works in progress, but the one I’m most excited about finishing is probably my dildo installation. I’m making this chemistry set on the table, and I’m engineering a spill, which is, like, really hard to make look like an accident. And there’s going to be dildos everywhere—and phallic, yonic things all about. I’m trying to let go of the creation process. It gets chaotic and messy, but that’s really hard for me, because I want to control the way it looks. I’m excited to see how it is when it’s done.
MS: Switching gears a little bit, is there anything else you’re looking forward to, generally, with school breaks coming up, or just another part of your life?
MG: Um things I look forward to… most basic: I’m looking forward to dinner. I have chicken that I’m gonna make. But big picture stuff: I’m excited to graduate, I guess. I don’t have a job. I don’t know if I’m gonna find a job, and we’ll see how it goes. But I’m still excited to get out into the world. Maybe I’ll go back to school, but not right away. I can make some money—that’s exciting. Yeah, I guess I’m just excited to see what’s in my future. God, that sounds awful. I mean, I don’t know what I want to do, but I feel like I could do a lot of things, and I’m excited to experiment and figure out what my life is going to look like.
MS: What about your favorite fashion accessory right now?
MG: That’s such a hard question. I got my ears pierced when I was little, but one of the holes closed, so now I only have one ear pierced. I wear this little bunch of grapes, and it’s on like a little ball, so it kind of jingles around a bit, and it’s really soothing to play with. Yeah, I think that’s my favorite.
CG: I guess there’s no way to say this other than we are gonna do two Fuck, Marry, Kills.
CG: The first one is one that we both really like: swamp, bog, marsh.
MG: Um, I would marry a marsh. Specifically because there’s this marsh really close to my house called Dyke Marsh. It’s literally spelled D-Y-K-E and everyone all through school would be like, “oh my god, are you going down to Dyke Marsh?” [laughs] They thought it was like the funniest thing, but it’s really a great place, and I loved it. I would probably fuck a bog and kill a swamp.
MS: Bogs are just so cool.
CG: Yeah. Cranberries. Like, have you ever seen cranberry fields in bogs? You can just float around in there.
MG: Yeah, and I’m from DC, and that’s built on a swamp, and it’s literally sinking into the ground. The whole city is.
MS: Okay, second one: those three bands you gave earlier. It was Toro y Moi and Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
MG: I would kill, oh god, probably Uncle Tony. This is hard. This is really hard. I feel like I would fuck Toro y Moi, because that’s like an Anderson .Paak situation. It would be really fun, but I would not want to date [him], you know, based on the music. And then I would marry Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Like, hands down.
CG: Can you set up the next thing?
MS: Sure. So there’s this series that Pitchfork magazine does called Over/Under, where they’ll give a word or a phrase or a person or an event and ask whether you think it’s over or underrated. So it can just be as simple as we say a word and you say “over” or “under.”
CG: But you’re welcome to explain.
MS: Yes, please explain.
CG: And we’re just fully just ripping it off.
MG: Oh, yes. It’s a great idea.
MG: Underrated for sure. And there are so many styles of moshing, too. There’s the like, Nine Inch Nails mosh, which is, like, I don’t feel safe in that kind of scenario—like, injury wise. [laughs] But then there’s, like, a Palehound mosh, which is kind of like, “Oh, I’m just gonna completely relax my body and, like, just bounce around.” And that’s my favorite kind, which I think is so underrated. There should be, like, a class on how to mosh properly, honestly. People don’t know how to do it, and then they get in there and end up punching someone in the mouth. There should be a class—I’ll teach it.
CG: Atwater dinners.
MS: New WRMC sweatshirt design.
MG: I love it. I think it’s great. I think the, like, tiny logo on the front with the big art on the back is an underrated sweatshirt design. Just in general.
MS: What about sweet potato fries?
MG: I feel like those are overrated, honestly, ‘cuz half the time they’re burnt. I don’t know. I think they’re overrated.
MS: Hmm. Never met a sweet potato fry I didn’t like.
MG: I mean I think they’re good, but I don’t think I’ve ever had sweet potato fries and been like, “This is the best side I’ve ever had in my life.”
MG: Underrated. Because I don’t have a car here, and I would love to be able to drive to Hannafords or something. [laughs] And also it’s just nice to drive around sometimes to clear your head. But traffic sucks.
MS: Last but not least: those over-the-shoulder fanny packs. You know what I’m talking about?
MG: Yeah. Honestly? I feel like they’re underrated, because the waist fanny pack is, like, fine. But the over-the-shoulder fanny pack increases your style, for sure. And it also increases your accessibility to whatever is in there, because you don’t have to reach all the way down. It’s just right by your heart.
MS: Nice. Anything else?
CG: No, I think that’s it! Thanks!
*MG would also like to note that she shouldn’t have forgotten Daft Punk, and that “Daft Punk is supreme.”