As Mary Jane Regalado sings into her cellphone on the streets of her native Washington, D.C. while juggling a pack of leashed canine chums in her other hand, she very well may be working on a magnum opus. During her day job as a dog walker, the singer-bassist, 30, often finds herself trilling missing parts to the post-punk anthems she composes for her kinetic new combo, Gauche, which issued its debut album “A People’s History of Gauche” in July. She finds pets inspiring: “Walking dogs is fun, it’s flexible, and I can go on tour whenbever I need to. Plus, I can play back our instrumental jams or beginnings of songs and try to write melodies and vocal parts while I’m walking. It’s perfect for me.”
Ever run into serious dog/songwriting snafus?
I’ve definitely been walking a dog, and a really mean dog has run out of a house and tried to fight the dog I was with. It turned out fine, ultimately. But those kinds of things — when dogs interact with other dogs — can be really stressful.
Is it true that you also curate your own film series locally?
Yeah. I do it in a little art-house theater called The Suns, and they asked me to present screenings for, say, women’s history month or Latino history month, which is really cool. You’re bringing the community together by showing movies that we all love. And artistically, I find that it’s all circular. Musically, I was obviously inspired by a lot of feminist post-punk, and visually by a lot of feminist films by, say, Agnes Varda. There are so many women directors that are practically musicians, just under the surface. And I’ve loved taking the time to explore that.
Where do you locate your films these days?
It’s no longer the old rep house method. Now it’s almost like trading mix tapes, trading movies. I trade specifically with this one girl in France, and she’s also a DJ. But now with the internet, it’s a lot easier. Plus, I have a library card and can access a lot of Criterion movies for free at home.
You also DJ. But everyone in Gauche is so professional, your scratchy album feels like you’re just having fun, slumming. Exactly. It feels fun, and I don’t even feel like I’m writing the songs — it feels like I’m channeling something else, something from another dimension or another world. And lyrically, it’s just stuff I’m struggling with, like living in a capitalist, patriarchal, white supremacist society.
Your dogs might smell that urban decay you despise and want to roll in it.
All the time. That absolutely happens.
IF YOU GO
Where: Elbo Room, Jack London, 311 Broadway, Oakland
When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday