Guidance Counseling: Alynda Lee Segarra

Published  March 2013

Alynda Lee SegarraAlynda Lee Segarra is the soft-spoken but powerful, creative voice of Hurray for the Riff Raff, one of New Orleans’ most promising homegrown acts. They’ve been steadily gaining notoriety worldwide since the release of their album Look Out Mama in the fall of 2012. The past few months have seen them touring in support of rising stars like Alabama Shakes and visiting a multitude of foreign shores (where they have been eagerly lauded). More recently, on the anniversary of Florida teen Trayvon Martin’s death (February 26th), Alynda Lee released a stark and simple video performance on HFTRR’s Facebook page of “Everybody Knows,” a stirring tribute she penned in his memory after visiting the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. American Songwriter magazine even picked up on it, reinforcing what those of us in New Orleans already know: Alynda is one of the best songwriters working today. On March 17th, the Riff Raff land at Siberia for a glorious homecoming show (after touring the Midwest and Texas) with friends Spirit Family Reunion and Sam Doores + Riley Downing & the Tumbleweeds opening. It will be an excellent alternative to drinking more green beer. With a conscience as strong as her voice (as well as a healthy dose of Beatles-worship), Alynda Lee is perfect to play this month’s guardian angel.

I’m a lesbian just rolled into town and I’m looking to see what’s what. Where do all the cool, hot dykes congregate?

Great question! I’ve noticed the queer scene in New Orleans is flourishing right now and there are tons of different events happening where you can meet that special someone of your dreams or even just a buddy to knit with. As for the hot dykes round town, I say go to Deep Lez! “Grrldykebutchqweenfemme focused dance party” is how their Facebook page describes the night. It’s at Big Daddy’s bar right across the street from Mimi’s in the Marigny, every second and fourth Tuesday night!

I just wrote a song and put my ex-girlfriend’s name right in it. And I would change it except that it rhymes perfectly and just fits right into the lyrics, melody, etc. It’s perfect. Should I risk it and keep it in or find a different name? 

This is a crossroads for every songwriter to come to. My child, you have a decision to make. I would say there’s some things to consider. What is the context in which you mention her? Is it along the lines of “Damn that girl was crazy and I hate her guts”? If so, that’s not classy and you gotta be more creative. Don’t end up like Eminem. Songs are meant to express our emotions, but if you got that rage I think it’s best to change the name and get it out in a more productive way. With my song “Daniella,” I just couldn’t change the name, so I tried to write about the troubles my old friend and I went through in a way that would be fair to both of us. However, if it’s meant with good intentions and about the love you once shared or are possibly still feeling, I think it can make a really amazing, truthful song. She will probably be flattered no matter what; think about how that Frenchie Michelle feels about the song Paul McCartney wrote about her!

I made the mistake of sleeping with a coworker. Everyone at work was pushing us together and we always used each other as fake partners when a customer hit on us, but we both knew better. Then Mardi Gras happened. Now things are verrrry awkward at work, maybe in part due to the fact that the sex wasn’t so great (we were both wasted!). And actually, I like her a lot so now the situation is really dire. What can I do to reset the situation?

Hello! You gotta talk! If you guys care about each other as friends it’s time to be grown ups and have a conversation about feelings. If I were you I’d ask her to coffee and talk it out, but please remember to be open and respectful when she tells you how she felt about the whole situation. Drinking and sex is risky business (but it’s a business our city runs on); we got to take care of each other and make sure we don’t hurt each other by mistake. I hope the two of you can have an honest talk about everything and remain friends!

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