There’s something special about Alaska. Okay, that’s not true. There are a lot of special things about Alaska. But there’s one that comes to mind today - Alaska’s sense of community. For example, one does not simply drive past a vehicle pulled over on the side of the road without checking first to make sure that everything is alright. It could be hours until the next car comes along after all. Community means everything in Alaska and the Anchorage music scene is no exception.
For one artist, her upward journey has inspired her to give back in a pretty special way. “I got my start playing right before the pandemic so I didn’t have much of a chance to perform live, but once I did I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to give back to this community that had given so much to me” wrote Pepper Kit when explaining the inspiration behind her recent series of Girl Crush Friday events. “That’s how GCF was born; out of that feeling of wanting to create my own community space where artists could come and feel comfortable to bare their souls and sing their hearts out, the community could come together and have fun, and women-run small businesses and vendors to read tarot, do face-painting, or whatever it is they do.” She even went so far as to call it “The Barbie movie of Anchorage arts events.”
This iteration of the event, the second of its kind so far, features musicians Karrie Pavish Anderson, Katie Scoggin, Scary Jeri, and of course Pepper Kit herself.
Karrie Pavish Anderson has been a mainstay of the Alaska music scene for a while now. Alaskans might remember her for The Climbing Project, released during the pandemic, where she brought together musicians from all corners of the world to perform together in a virtual choir on her track, ‘Climbing’. It is this same energy that brought her to Girl Crush Friday. “I love that at GCF I get to meet other Alaskan women artists from varied genres and ages and check out what they’re brewing up. As an artist with disabilities, the event feels inclusive too. All are welcome, and that’s beautiful. Alaska’s music scene is on its way up, and women are an integral part of it.”
For Katie Scoggin, the invitation to Girl Crush Friday came as a bit of a wake up call. When asked she explained, “I have been on a bit of a hiatus (from music due to other commitments in my life), but when Pepper Kit reached out to me, it reminded me that I am still an artist and I still have songs that I want to share with the world. To me, Girl Crush Friday means empowering women to remember their talents and gifts like Pepper Kit has done for me.”
Tonight’s event is a debut of sorts for one artist. Girl Crush Friday will be the first time that the closest thing Anchorage has to ‘The Phantom meets The Angel of Music,’ performs under the moniker, Scary Jeri. “I have an infinity for spirituality, tarot, astrology, paganism, etc, so Girl Crush Friday, for me, is a (way) to share magick and empowering energy with people through music. (Plus) I really love to rock out with my supporters and other incredible artists!” And rock out she will.
The night ends with a set from sad-girl pop/rock artist and Girl Crush Friday host, Pepper Kit, without whom GCF wouldn't exist. “There are a lot of amazing events and showcases in Anchorage and so carving out my own space took a bit of brainstorming. I love Phoebe Bridgers and her BoyGenius team touring the country and I love the idea of bringing that spirit of inclusivity and girl power to a smaller (but maybe just as powerful) stage.
According to a 2019 study done by University of Southern California-Annenberg's Inclusion Initiative, female artists make up 12% of songwriters, which is a crazy low statistic. And women are too often pitted against each other whether we want to be or not. An event like this is us reclaiming our power and coming together to create something. My hope is that this event is just super fun for everyone who comes and maybe even becomes an inspiration for other females to join our ranks.” Alongside the music, people will have a chance to have their tarot read or dive deeper into astrology with Tales of the Tarot and Astrology for the Seasons. If that isn’t your style, there will also be coloring sheets of the show’s poster, a Girl Crush Friday-inspired word search put together by one of the musicians, and some special giveaways from the event's artists and vendors!
Girl Crush Friday is a FREE EVENT that runs from 9 PM to 1 AM tonight (Friday, September 22, 2023) at Van’s Dive Bar. While this does mean this event is +21, Pepper Kit has assured us that if Girl Crush Friday continues, future editions will be at different venues as she wants to give fans of all ages a chance to experience. “We need more of that (here) because that’s how this generation inspires the next generation to make music themselves.”