Song Premiere: Longstocking “Child Star”

Originally released on CD by Olympia’s Chainsaw Records, queercore/riot grrrl legends Longstocking’s debut Once Upon a Time Called Now LP will be available digitally and on vinyl for the first time this Friday via Jealous Butcher Records. The early era of Longstocking is also chronicled on new digital compilation Singles and Demos: 1994—1998 due out the same day. The forthcoming collection and accompanying singles “Teenage Angst At 27” and “Jehu On A Rollercoaster” have been met with critical support.

Ahead of release day, they share brash, biting new single “Child Star.”  In speaking about the single Tamala Poljak & David Gomez (bassist) said, “Tamala wrote Child Star in 1995, after spending time with someone they met in the LA punk scene who had been a well-known child actor in the 70’s. They were struck by some tragic stories the person had shared with them about their experience as a child actor in Los Angeles. Longstocking usually opened their live shows with “Child Star” and although the song had been a fan favorite, it didn’t make it on the album. Longstocking v3.0, with Tamala, David, Sherri, and Woody, recorded it in 1998 with Sally Browder, who also recorded the legendary L.A. band, The Red Aunts. Child Star was meant to be released on a cassette compilation that Candy Ass Records was planning to release, but it never came to fruition.”

Gomez liked playing the song because the chorus octave guitar parts reminded him of early SoCal punk bands such as Agent Orange and The Adolescents.

Poljak (Oiler, Fleabag, Infinite X’s, Team Dresch, Automaticans) began their music career playing in the Los Angeles underground punk/noise scene.  Tapping into the galvanizing queercore/riot grrrl scene that was entrenched in the Pacific Northwest back in the ‘90s, fans were locked in step with Longstocking.  Tamala Poljak (Oiler, Fleabag, Infinite X’s, Team Dresch, Automaticans) and drummer Kevin Hair together blistered audiences with their boldness and punk sensibilities that were infectious to the ears. 

The Longstocking Singles and Demos: 1994—1998 digital compilation features previously unreleased songs that capture a steady development towards the bold sound found on the band’s lone studio debut. Remastered for turntables and digital listeners, Longstocking’s debut is a record of 1997 with 2021 vision. In fact, the title couldn’t be more accurate: Once Upon a Time…is ready for right now.

As for the re-release artwork to look current and now, Tamala tapped Portland artist Nathan Paul Rice for the collection’s album artwork + animations after falling in love with his paintings in Spring 2020. In Nathan Paul’s work, Tamala saw a take on diversity, inclusivity, weirdos, and a wondrous, child-like playfulness in the inner world of these characters and wanted to bring this spirit to the album, which has a similar, timeless quality in itself.