Waxahatchee Responds To Criticism About Joining Lena Dunham’s Lenny Tour

Waxahatchee have a new album, Out In The Storm, coming out later this year, and yesterday it was announced that the band would be one of the acts featured on a tour put together by Lena Dunham and Girls producer Jenni Konner to support their Lenny newsletter. After some backlash to the decision to join the tour, Katie Crutchfield has posted an open letter to her Facebook page explaining why she decided to participate in a tour put on by “lightning rod human” Lena Dunham. Her letter is below.

To all the Waxahatchee fans on this earth, I have some words:
First is that I love you. I love all of you. That’s really important for me to say. I don’t say it enough. You’ve changed my entire life and without you I would not be the same. I want to just pause in this moment briefly and say that I really appreciate you being there, existing, advocating for me and being so vocal about your connection to my music. It’s been the pleasure of my life, to make music, both for myself and also for you.

I would like to secondly, quickly walk you through my decision (the process and the conclusion) to join the LENNY tour that will be happening this summer. Lena Dunham reached out to me 6 weeks ago to ask me to be a part of a variety show of sorts that would tour the Midwest and would basically be a stage full of amazing women, speaking, singing, telling jokes and answering questions in front of a live audience. 6 shows. Sounds fun to me. I ask her a lot of questions and we go back and forth a bit, I think, I talk to my friends and peers and closest people and the two reasons that I decide this is a good, positive, proactive thing for me to do are:

1) We will be giving a significant amount of the proceeds to numerous organizations benefitting the LGBTQ communities that are local to the cities we are performing in– this is, hands down, the biggest reason that I agreed to do this. The opportunity to contribute to this level of fundraising for such organizations felt like something I could not walk away from. What better way to push back in such politically jagged times than to donate my time/skillset to something that is actively making money to donate to these organizations.

2) The incredible lineup of amazing, brilliant, respected women that will be joining me on the tour. I’m just going to name them all really quick: Sasheer Zamata, Chloe Caldwell, Jenny Zhang, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Morgan Murphy, Charla Lauriston, Rachel McKibbens and Jaqueline Novak. All are very google-able. All are very, very, very cool and smart and I absolutely relish the opportunity to share the stage with and get to know them all better. Sounds like an absolute dream come true to get to share and build something with them.

I know that Lena is a lightning rod human. I have so much respect for the work she does and so much empathy for the shit she gets. But I would like to just take the opportunity to point out that this stuff can exist on a gradient. I can feel a whole spectrum of things about a person or a tour and still decide that it’s the right thing for me to do. I am choosing to do this tour because I feel like it’s an opportunity to do some good in the bad, bad times. I looked at all the criticism she has gotten, from the very legitimate to the over-the-top outlandish, and I came back to those two reasons I listed above.

To those of you who still feel alienated by this choice, I can only say that I’m sorry you feel this way. Maybe someday we can have a coffee and talk that out. Maybe not. I am a human being and I’m usually trying my very best to do what feels like the right thing.

So much love to all of you.
-Katie

Lenny IRL Tour Dates:
05/31 St. Louis, MO @ The Sheldon
06/01 Lexington, KY @ Lexington Opera House
06/02 Chicago, IL @ Harris Theatre
06/03 Saint Paul, MN @ Fitzgerald Theatre
06/05 Des Moines, IA @ Hoyt Sherman Place
06/06 Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater

Out In The Storm is out 7/14 via Merge.