Grand Rapids’ Lipstick Jodi is fronted by nonbinary guitarist and singer/songwriter, Karli Morehouse. The new iteration of the trio (Morehouse now joined by Andy Fettig and Connor Middlebrook) releases its sophomore album, More Like Me, June 4 via Quite Scientific.
“I think it really shows through on the album just how on the same page we all are musically, while still bringing our own things to the table. When More Like Me started coming together, I was honestly floored because I had never written and played with musicians that understood where I was trying to go musically or emotionally to such a degree that my bandmates Andy and Connor do.”
The band just dropped a remix of the latest single, “Notice,” by Now, Now.
Out Traveler recently spoke with Morehouse about the band, their music, and the best places to go in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Can you tell me about the band’s name? Why Lipstick Jodi?
Honestly, it was a joke I had made about my friend at the time. She wore lipstick all through high school, and one day I was referencing her to the band when casually “oh you know, lipstick Jodi” came out of my mouth that immediately followed “oh no that’s actually a good band name.”
Do you often drive fast yelling out of car windows?
I definitely drive fast yelling into car windows. I’m not sure I want anyone hearing me outside of the stage or in their headphones. My own experiences with just having to scream the words to a song I hear because it hits just right has made me the songwriter I am today. If the song doesn’t have its own spark/feel or it doesn’t get immediately stuck in my head, I never finish it.
Are you originally from Grand Rapids?
Kind of. I grew up about a half hour north of Grand Rapids, but I was always finding myself driving out of my small town to find work and places to be all through Grand Rapids. My mom grew up in town here too, so it was always pretty familiar to me.
What’s the music scene like there?
It is a very tight knit music community full of a lot of different folk/rock genres. It’s been really cool to see a small pop/synth wave make a splash in the last two years (including us, ha ha).
If you were going to take an out-of-town friend around to show them the city what are some places you wouldn’t miss?
Most of what I love about this city is the gastronomy and of course the art and music. If you’re hanging with me, I’m going to plan most of our weekend together as a full-course culinary tasting tour. For coffee/tea, I would have to pick the Sparrows Coffee, Tea, and Newsstand [below] for their Law of Cardamom oat milk latte (it’s honestly one of my favorite coffee drinks).
I’m vegetarian, so I would definitely drag you to The Winchester for (in my opinion), the best veggie burger in the city. If we’re not feeling burgers, we should definitely hit up Condado or Donkey for all things tacos and margs. I would definitely love to end up at The Apartment Lounge, Buffalo Traders, or The Meanwhile at the end of the night, all serving the best drinks and good energy in their own unique way.
Obviously if shows start popping up, I’m making us buy tickets at The Pyramid Scheme for an enclosed sonic experience, The Summer GRAM [Grand Rapids Art Museum] series when weather and pandemic permits for that good good sunshine and sound, or any Founders show we could get our hands on. Obviously if we’re allowed to go out of town I would have to take you to Lake Michigan to take in the beautiful water we have so close to us.
Do you have a favorite queer venue?
That is something that I wish this city had more of because there aren’t a ton of specifically queer spaces to choose from here. I absolutely miss visiting the Apartment Lounge. Oh what I would give to sit in their vintage booths watching queer music videos for the night (it is a vibe).
Where should tourists go if they want to see the local LGBTQ+ community?
As we don’t have as many queer spaces in Grand Rapids as I would like, there is definitely space at The Apartment Lounge and Rumors Nightclub [above] as well as our Pride festival in June at Calder Plaza [virtual in 2021]. Other than that, there is a pretty widespread queer community here in Grand Rapids that you can find at any local coffeeshop. Ha ha.
When you aren’t making music where are you most likely to be?
Honestly, the places I listed above for our hypothetical out of town friend are my Grand Rapids staples that you could find me at on a normal weekend with my group of friends. If not there, I’m probably visiting family in Cedar Springs, on my uncle’s boat in Spring Lake/on Lake Michigan with family/friends, walking the beach in Saugatuck with my fiancé, or in downtown Petoskey visiting my bandmate Andy and his girlfriend Alanna.
Will Lipstick Jodi be touring in 2021?
We are hoping this is a possibility with the recent vaccine distribution and our album coming out this summer (fingers crossed!). We’re currently speaking with different Pride festivals that we had booked that had to postpone last year about this coming summer, so hopefully we can squeeze a few safe, outdoor shows to play our new album live and to save my sanity! Ha ha.
To plan your own trip to the Michigan city, visit Experience Grand Rapids.