Mary Lou Lord
Mary Lou Lord performing in 2006
|Born||March 1, 1965|
Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Genres||Folk, folk rock, pop|
|Labels||Kill Rock Stars, Work Records, Rubric Records, Loose Music|
|Associated acts||Elliott Smith, Helium, The Bevis Frond|
Life and career
Mary Lou Lord first gained attention playing acoustic guitar and singing in and around Boston's subway stations (particularly on the Red Line, as noted by the name she chose for her music and lyric publishing company, On the Red Line Music, administered by BMI.)
Lord became friends with Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain in the fall of 1991, before the group's rise to mainstream fame; there has been much speculation on the relationship. In 2010 Lord published an explanation from her point of view.
She met Elliott Smith though Slim Moon, the owner of Kill Rock Stars and her boyfriend at the time. Lord toured three separate times with Smith during the 1990s. Smith also wrote and helped Lord record a song called "I Figured You Out" in 1997.
Lord signed with the Sony subsidiary Work in 1997 and released the album Got No Shadow in 1998. On December 31, 1998 Lord and Kevin Patey, from the band Raging Teens, had a daughter whom they named Annabelle Lord-Patey.
Her recording of Daniel Johnston's "Speeding Motorcycle" (which originally featured on her self-titled 8-song Kill Rock Stars release) was featured in commercials for Target stores, after which her label reissued the song as the lead-off track of a CD single which also included two demo recordings from the sessions for Got No Shadow.
In 2001, Lord released Live City Sounds. This was a self-released disc of Lord playing live in the Boston subway. The disc was later re-released after she signed to Rubric Records.
She announced in 2005 that she suffered from a rare vocal cord affliction known as spasmodic dysphonia. She thereafter became more involved in A&R work and started a new management company with Kevin Patey, Jittery Jack Management.
In 2011, Lord used Kickstarter to record a new album titled Backstreet Angels which was self-released in 2015. In 2012 she began performing regularly once again.
In 2019, Lord began a podcast "How The Hell Did That Happen?". The podcast attracted attention from mainstream media, as Lord provided details of her romance and friendships with Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith during the 1990s.
- Real - Deep Music (1992)
- TSWL (To Sir With Love) - EW Productions/Demo tape (1993)
- Got No Shadow - The WORK Group (1998)
- Live City Sounds - Self-released, (2001) / reissue: Rubric Records (2002)
- Baby Blue - Rubric Records / Loose Music (2004)
- Backstreet Angels - Self-released (2015)
EPs and singles
- Some Jingle Jangle Morning (When I'm Straight) 7" vinyl single - Kill Rock Stars (1993)
- Mary Lou Lord EP - Kill Rock Stars (1995)
- Martian Saints! EP - Kill Rock Stars (1997)
- Mind the Gap EP - The WORK Group (1997)
- The Pace of Change EP - The WORK Group (1998)
- Lights Are Changing EP - The WORK Group (1998)
- She Had You single - The WORK Group (1998)
- (Untitled) EP - Kill Rock Stars (1999)
- Mary Lou Lord/Sean Na Na Split EP - Kill Rock Stars (2000)
- Speeding Motorcycle EP - Rubric Records (2001)
Compilation and soundtrack contributions
- Stars Kill Rock: "Camden Town Rain" - Kill Rock Stars (1993)
- A Slice of Lemon: "Eternal Circle" - Kill Rock Stars/Lookout Records (1996)
- Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon: "Power to the People" (with The Minus 5) - Hollywood Records (1995)
- Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits: "Sugar, Sugar" (with Semisonic), - MCA Records (1995)
- Safe and Sound: "Polaroids" - Big Rig Records / Mercury Records (1996)
- Jabberjaw: Pure Sweet Hell: "Birthday Boy" - Mammoth Records (1996)
- Yo Yo A Go Go: "Helsinki (live)" - Yo Yo Recordings (1996)
- Everybody Wants Some: "Jump" - CherryDisc (1997)
- 107.1 KGSR / Radio Austin - Broadcasts Volume 6: "His N.D. World" (live) - KGSR (1998)
- Zero Effect Motion Picture Soundtrack: "Some Jingle Jangle Morning" - Sony Music (1998)
- Wicked Good Sampler Vol. IV : "On the Avenue" - Sony Music (1998)
- SXSW Volume 5: "I'm Talking To You" (live) - SXSW (1999)
- Transmission 1: Tea at the Palaz of Hoon: "The Outdoor Miner" - Cosmodemonic Telegraph Inc. (2000)
- Rubric 01: "From Galway to Graceland" - Rubric Records (2000)
- Gordon Gano: Hitting The Ground: "Oh Wonder" - Cooking Vinyl (2002)
- For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records: "Cold Company" - Bloodshot Records (2005)
- Joe Harvard: Country Eastern – AERIA Records (2008)
- About me and Kurt (what you don't know) "Archived copy". Oedipus. 17 February 2010. Archived from the original on 2018-10-14. Retrieved 2019-01-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Nugent, Benjamin (2004). Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780306813931. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- Kemper, Nick. "Mary Lou Lord". Billboard. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- "Mary Lou Lord Becomes a Mother". Viacom. January 1, 1999. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- Donaghue, Erin (April 5, 2019). ""Born lonely": Kurt Cobain's ex gives intimate account of icon on brink of stardom". CBS News. Retrieved March 29, 2020.