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Philadelphia band Pussy Mannequin is making a Dallas stop and wants to cure your ills.EXPAND
Philadelphia band Pussy Mannequin is making a Dallas stop and wants to cure your ills.
Marc Maddox

Mannequin Pussy’s Marisa Dabice Says It’s OK to Come Alone

Between taking time off after the release of album Patience and hitting the road, Mannequin Pussy are staying home in Philadelphia to mentally and physically prepare for their first headlining tour, which comes to Three Links in Deep Ellum on Sunday.

"I think that our shows are kind of intense and aggressive and cathartic and very freeing," says singer and guitarist Marisa Dabice. "I think there's something that people really connect to in those moments where you have something that is instrumentally aggressive and you're yelling on top of it. There's not very many instances in a person's life where they can just like scream and get it out, but at one of our shows, I'd say it's very appropriate for someone to allow themselves to do that."

The band's new album, Patience, released on Epitaph Records on June 21, features a delicate balance of the hard-driving, screaming force the band has come to be known for, in addition to a newfound sense of softness that deals differently with pain.

"You're able to exorcise those deep feelings inside of you by just pushing them out," Dabice says of the album's harder moments, "but we all express our pain in different ways. It's kind of unhealthy to do the same thing over and over and expect yourself to get through it in the same way. Singing (unlike screaming) has its own emotional gravity as well."

With songs deeply immersed in the struggle between independence and co-dependence, Patience asks listeners to take on the full spectrum of human emotion and deal with the negatives in a more positive way — something Dabice invites people to do by attending their shows.

"I think the show above anything else should be a positive experience," she says. "A lot of the shows that we play have been really positive experiences, with people dancing and screaming and singing along, sharing things that they've been through."

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There's a stigma-like awkwardness attached to attending a concert alone. It's easy to feel alone when one is surrounded by groups of people sharing the experience together.

"I have people who, like, tweet at me all the time who say, 'I love you guys, but I don't want to go to a show alone,'" she says. "I like to respond saying, 'Come to the show alone. I guarantee there'll be someone else there who you might be able to meet or who is also coming alone.'"

Those who face their fears and their social anxiety are certain to be rewarded. Dabice says that the communal experience Mannequin Pussy offers its fans is bound to turn strangers into friends and maybe even more.

"I've heard of people who met their boyfriend or girlfriend at one of our shows," she says. "It's a very unique experience that allows for a bunch of people who don't necessarily know each other but are searching for something to find each other in that way."

Whether a person finds a new friend or a new partner at a show is really beside the point. In many ways, going to see a live performance is an entirely personal experience no matter who you may be with at the time. There is real freedom in being able to lose oneself in a performance, as Dabice notes.

"I think it's kind of nice sometimes not to have to deal with other people and just be there for the musical experience of it," Dabice says. "I'll go to the movies alone, and I'll go out to a restaurant by myself. I don't feel lonely just because I'm alone."

Dabice says she is excited to be bringing Mannequin Pussy's raucous live show to Texas. Dabice thinks that Texans do not accurately represent Texas politics.

"I fucking love Texas," she says. "Texas gets like this extraordinarily bad rep in terms of politics and whatever the fuck else, but there are not so many places that have as intense of a culture as Texas does. I like that Texas pride. Texas likes to go hard, you like punk music and you like all that shit that we're trying to do. I think it's beautiful."

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