Sunday, September 14, 2014

Volunteer Profile Kristie Billings

Kristie Billings could be the girl the Heads were singing about in "Punk Lolita."  She is free spirited, unedited and unapologetically herself.  Not to mention her distinctly punk aesthetic.  As Kristie tells it, she marched to a different beat early on.  On Saturdays at 6PM, you can hear her on WERU as one of the hosts of Daydream Nation.  Kristie plays an eclectic mix of everything:  punk, blues, rock 'n' roll, reggae, Motown, 1980's.  "Whatever," she says, "I feel like busting out that night!"
You might not guess it when meeting her, but Kristie grew up in a fishing family in the small coastal village of Deer Isle.  She describes a time when there weren't many kids who had dyed hair or shaved heads or rocked the goth look.  She says people could be judgemental about the way she looked.  "Why?  Who knows?  I didn't look like anyone else.  That scared some people."  Kristie says that her early love for music, especially punk rock, gave her an important outlet to express herself and shaped her into the person she is today.
Kristie asserts that she is a Mainer through and through.  Her childhood in coastal Maine gave her a deep love for the ocean.  She affectionately describes lobstering with her dad, who sadly passed away last year, and her frequent swims in the crisp coastal waters of the Atlantic.  "I like to make things interesting," says Kristie. "Still do."
  1. Favorite genre of music?  I would have to say punk/rock/post punk.  The first LP I ever purchased was a Beach Boys' record.  They were my first favorite band.
  2. First music memory?  I was a little girl.  Maybe 3?  For some reason, I believe that Donnie Osmond was coming to Stonington to play at the Legion Hall.  Who knows how I came up with this?  I went and got myself all dressed up and waited and waited for one of my parents to take me to see "Donnie Marie."  My mother did not know what to make of it.  She told me to wait until my father came home from lobstering.  Typically, when my father returned home from after a long day of fishing, the last thing he wanted to do was go see a concert.  But he was a good sport.  He played along with his youngest daughter's funny ideas.  He told me to go ahead and get in the truck, and we'd find Donnie Marie.  We drove to the Legion Hall, and he proceeded to drive me all over Deer Isle looking for the elusive Donnie Osmond.  I was a bit disappointed to have missed him, but I was happy to have had a reason to get dressed up and cruise around the island, listening to the radio, with my dad.
  3. If I could hang out with anyone who would it be?  Oh boy.  Jeez.  This is a tough question.  I am such a geek.  I would have to say Henry Rollins.  I have been a huge fan of his and his music since high school.  I would love to spend a day with him; record shopping, book shopping, drinking coffee, anything.  I have great respect for him.
  4. What animal would you be?  If I could be any animal I would be a seal.  I used to think I would want to be a cat.  I am a crazy cat lady.  However, I love to swim.  I think seals are gorgeous, graceful, and playful.  Just amazing.  I would like to spend my days sunning myself on the rocks, slipping gracefully into the ocean and being a seal.  Sounds perfect!
  5. What would people be surprised to know about you?  I think people would be surprised to learn that I am shy.  
  6. What three words best describe you?  Goofy, loving and funny.
  7. Who has inspired you?  My family, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Nick Cave, Sylvia Plath, Michael Gira, Boy George and many others!
  8. What is your favorite color?  It's a tie:  black and purple.
  9. What makes you laugh?  Nearly everything!  I laugh every day.  I laugh all the time.  I can't pinpoint what I find funny.  Silly, nonsensical, the everyday blah...all of it!
  10. What did you want to be when you grew up?  Here's a list of things I have wanted to be since I was a child:  A nun, a race car driver, a fashion designer, a fashion merchandiser, a writer.  Now I believe I would be a great cat sitter.  Or a vinyl sitter.  Let me come and sit with your vinyl records!

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