Starting on cello at the age of nine, Madigan Shive began her composing career at fifteen in the Pacific Northwest Riot Grrrl scene releasing music with seminal independent record labels K and Kill Rock Stars. Shive has gone on to establish herself as a singular and trailblazing performer, blending folk, art, punk, classical and avant-baroque styles. Her albums include Sew True, ...from the Burnpile, Saddle the Bridge, Plays for Change, and the recently reissued I Bleed: a Decade of Song; she is currently finishing her sixth full-length album, to be released in collaboration with her label, MoonPuss Music.
Shive has collaborated onstage and in studio with artists as diverse and influential as iconoclastic music producer Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, Allen Ginsberg, Laurie Anderson), Joan Jeanrenaud (Kronos Quartet), David Coulter (The Black Rider, The Pogues), Kimya Dawson, Neko Case, Cat Power, Gossip, Fugazi, The Good, the Bad and the Queen, Jolie Holland, Slovenian industrial-music-theater artists Laibach, Finnish chamber-metal showmen Apocalyptica and Academy Award nominee Elliott Smith.
Shive's music can be heard in films including Better Luck Tomorrow, But I'm a Cheerleader, Chain Camera and Crooked Beauty. Commissions include prepared solo cello suites for San Francisco Grace Cathedral's Vigil of Light, live score written and performed for the American Conservatory Theater's production of the Jacobean tragedy 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, London's Barbican Hall Twisted Christmas program, an original recorded score for Shakespeare Santa Cruz's The Lion in Winter, composer and musical director for Los Angeles' Getty Villa theater production of a new English translation of Sophocles Elektra featuring Olympia Dukakis in addition to the score and starring role in the experiMental silent film Transliminal Criminal.
She is a contributing author to the anthology Live through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction (Seven Stories Press), sharing company with bell hooks, Nan Goldin, Kate Bornstein, and other creative pioneers. She is a founding collective member of The Icarus Project, a grassroots support and media network led by people living with experiences commonly labeled "mental illness."
In the invisible republic built on the soul of the blues, the riot of punk, the playfulness of burlesque, and the sophistication of the orchestra pit, Bonfire Madigan Shive plies her trade. She and her cello are fashioning a new and desperately necessary approach to the hoary contours of the singer-songwriter and the composer. Her songs are ballads of resistance, hymns to liberation, string suites for the ramblers, rebels, and raconteurs of a new splintered century. Raucous and delicate, aggressively progressive, she moves subtly, seamlessly across the music you think you know and the music you never dreamed of. — Nathan Salsburg, Alan Lomax Collection, NYC
BMad band mates and intermittent collaborators have included: Jonathan Egg Hughes, Shawn Biggs, Shelley Doty, Tomas Palermo, Emily Palen, Aurisha Smolarski, Eliana Fiore, Joan Jeanrenaud, Jolie Holland, Matt Lucich, Ashley Adams, David Coulter, Tara Barnes, Ralph Carney, Elliott Sharp, Zef Noise, Sheri Ozeki, Christine Lehmann, Carla Kihlstedt, Chan Marshall, Spazecrafte1, Jane LeCroy, Elliott Smith, Laura MacFarland, Carey Lamprecht, Jake Rodriguez, Thalia Zedek, Kid Lucky, Sunshine Haire and more.
BMad Trivia Facts:
› Madigan was an adolescent artist housemate of both Hilary Swank and Miranda July.
› Madigan appears in the At the Hop music video for Devendra Banhart as an umbrella carrying woodland mystic.
› Madigan was one of the first queer youth to speak on American national television, guesting on one of the Donahue show's last season episodes alongside her teenage love in addition to the first queer teen character on prime time My So Called Life's Wilson Cruz, a Louisville high school student expelled for showing up to school in drag after months of being queer bashed and an adult queer youth advocate extolling the hard facts on queer youth having the highest suicide rate of any population. If anyone has or can get a copy of this early 1990's Donahue episode please send an email & copy to moonpuss music.
› Tattle Tale (BMad's high school song writing duo) in their 3 short years together shared bills with artists and acts including Thief Steal Me a Peach (a seed that became Sunny Day Real Estate), Modest Mouse, Unwound, Morphine, Mecca Normal, Spinanes, Mary Lou Lord, Kicking Giant, Nikki McClure (beloved die-cut artist), Heavens to Betsy and Excuse 17 (groups that evolved into Sleater-Kinney), Beck, Cat Food, Spitboy, That Dog (feat. Rachel & Petra Haden), Mountain Goats, IMIJ and Pinhead Gunpowder (feat. Aaron Cometbus & Billie Joe Armstrong).
› Bright Eyes, Vetiver, Unitard (Karen O & Nick Z from Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) have all been support acts for Bonfire Madigan.
› From the ages of 8 to 11 Madigan performed in a Seattle based touring production of the musical theater show, Peace Child, about young people ending the nuclear arms race btwn the USSR and the USA performing in both Russian and English.
› Madigan's mother called her Running Pony.
› Loves extra strong coffee & tea, hot toddies, lemon, vegan treats, beets, apples, ginger, sweet potatoes and purple kale.