Over the past two decades, Margaret Cho has been a standup comedian, a sitcom star, a film performer, the subject of a reality show, a champion for the LGBT community and an assistant to a former model now living in the body of a plus-size lawyer. This fall she’ll be adding a few more jobs to her resume – singer, songwriter and recording artist.
Hang on to your socks and get ready for Cho-Dependent, the comedian’s debut music release, which is set to hit the streets August 24. The album features collaborations with Andrew Bird, Tegan and Sara, Fiona Apple, Patty Griffin, Grant Lee Phillips, The Raconteurs’ Brendan Benson, Ben Lee, Ani DiFranco and a host of other performers.
To mark the occasion, Cho will perform at Bonnaroo alongside Conan O’Brien and Aziz Ansari (June 10-11) and then launch a three-month U.S. tour August 26 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Ore.
Fans can expect to hear songs from the new album, as well as an evening of fresh comedy from a one-of-a-kind perspective.
Margaret Cho is about to turn the music world in its head.
True to Cho’s trademark no-holds-barred style, topics covered on Cho-Dependent include sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll – and lice. The album grew out of the comedian’s love for music and her friendships with various musicians.
“Over the years of being an intense music geek I got to meet a lot of my heroes and I tricked them all into writing songs with me,” Cho explained. “Most comics want to be rock stars, and most rock stars want to be comics, so it was an easy exchange.”
The project really took root after “My Puss,” a rap parody the comedian wrote and performed with fellow comedian Diana Yanez, became a YouTube sensation and she started integrating more comic tunes into her live act. Many songs on the album will also have videos directed by YouTube auteur Liam Kyle Sullivan (“Shoes”).
Would you trust this woman with your guitar?
Here’s the complete track list for Cho-Dependent (which you’ll probably want to avoid reading out loud in front of your grandmother or your priest):
1. "Intervention" (co-written with & featuring Tegan & Sara)
2. "Calling in Stoned" (co-written with Ben Lee / featuring Ben Lee & Tommy Chong)
3. "Your Dick" (co-written with AC Newman / featuring Ben Lee)
4. "Baby I’m With The Band" (co-written with & featuring Brendan Benson)
5. "Hey Big Dog" (co-written with Patty Griffin / featuring Ben Lee & Fiona Apple)
6. "I'm Sorry" (co-written with & featuring Andrew Bird)
7. "Lice" (co-written with & featuring Ben Lee)
8. "Enemies" (co-written with & featuring Jon Brion)
9. "Asian Adjacent" (co-written with & featuring Grant Lee Phillips)
10. "Gimme Your Seed" (co-written with & featuring Garrison Starr)
11. "Eat Shit and Die" (co-written with & featuring Grant Lee Phillips)
12. "Captain Cameltoe" (co-written with & featuring Ani DiFranco)
13. "My Puss" (co-written with Diana Yanez & Kurt Hall / parody of Mickey Avalon & Dirt Nasty song)
Hidden Track (on CD/Digital only): "Lesbian Escalation" (co-written with & featuring Rachael Yamagata)
Cho isn’t the only one who’s jazzed about the new album. Her collaborators on the project have been talking about it non-stop.
“When I heard Margaret was making her own music last year, I reached out to her and said I’d love to be involved,” Aussie indie artist Ben Lee – who co-wrote and produced several songs on the album – wrote in a blog on The Huffington Post. “The process of working with Margaret has been a complete revelation and joy for me. She started learning guitar at age 40 after seeing Madonna play guitar and thinking, ‘If that bitch can do it, it can’t be that hard.’ It’s this punk-rock enthusiasm that has informed every step of the writing and recording process.”
Sibs Tegan and Sara kept a running blog about working with Cho over the course of two days in Vancouver just after they finished their latest release, Sainthood.
“Imagine 10 hours of laughing, singing, eating, laughing, talking, eating and laughing and you might have a bit of a clearer picture of what our two days and nights were like,” the twin folk icons wrote. “The song itself turned out amazing. Margaret has a great voice and was so easy to work with. Definitely a budding musician!”
Look out Miley. Cho's comin' for ya.
Of course, Cho completely agreed with the accolades bestowed upon her by her collaborators – and then some.
“I want to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and on Elvis Costello’s ‘Spectacle’ so I can talk all serious about my songwriting ‘process’ – which is basically trying to figure out what rhymes with ‘dick.’”
Tickets for most dates on Margaret Cho's Fall tour go on sale June 11. Complete details on tickets and VIP packages are available at MargaretCho.com.