The 254

Kat Dixon

By Kevin Tankersley

A Marvel-ous Song

There’s one line that jumps out from Kat Dixon’s musical resume: Marvel bought one of her songs.
That’s Marvel, the entertainment company that Disney bought in 2009 for $4 billion.

The song is called “Face It Tiger,” and was inspired by the line Mary Jane Watson says to Peter Parker when they meet for the first time: “Face it, tiger. You just hit the jackpot.” It appears in the comic book “Amazing Spider-Man #42.”

Dixon and other members of the band Married with Sea Monsters wrote the song on spec after working with their good friend Robbi Rodriguez, who had created the alternative universe character of Spider-Gwen. Prior to that, Dixon and bandmates had recorded a soundtrack album for Rodriguez’s comic series “Frankie Get Your Gun,” which could be filed in the “acid western” genre of music, Dixon said. And she then began writing songs based around the hero’s battle with villains. That’s how “Face It Tiger” came to be, and the song somehow caught the attention of someone at Marvel.

“They approached us, and they bought the song and they still have it,” Dixon said. “They haven’t done anything with it yet. Every once in a while, when they’re making a new Spider-Man movie, there will be rumblings of, ‘Oh, we need this recording or whatever,’ and then nothing happens.”

Dixon first picked up a guitar when she was 15 or 16; it was her cousin’s Hamer electric with the Floyd Rose system, a locking tuner system that makes tuning and changing strings a difficult task. She stuck with that guitar until her mother and grandmother bought her a Tacoma Road King with a bass sound hole, a “really distinctive-looking guitar” that she still has.

After her mom married a Texas man, Dixon and her family moved from Connecticut to Moody, and Dixon enrolled in the commercial music program at McLennan Community College, where she earned degrees in songwriting and guitar and vocal performance.
“It was amazing,” she said. “That program is phenomenal.”

She and some friends then started the band the Mussentuchits, playing “really weird music, super way out there, very artsy, kind of stuff,” she said. “Art rock, I guess is what you would call it. We all thought we were very progressive and coming up with stuff that had never been heard before. But we were kids and it was really fun.”

Around 2009, she joined the rock band Married with Sea Monsters, taking over as guitarist and lead vocalist. The band is currently “on an extended hiatus.”

Dixon is also the customer service manager at Guitar Center, where she’s worked for six years and is “basically the Dwight Schrute of Guitar Center,” she said. That job allows her the flexibility to pursue some solo musical avenues, for which she’s been writing songs.
One of the features of Guitar Center is that anyone can come in, take a guitar from the wall and plug it into an amp for a test drive. Dixon said she’s heard plenty of versions of Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes, and the Arctic Monkeys’ Do I Wanna Know. But she doesn’t really get tired of hearing classic rock songs played by customers “because it’s a different version every time. Literally nobody plays it the same way.”

And she actually never tires of a classic from Led Zeppelin: “I’m probably the only guitar shop
person that thinks Stairway’s a pretty song.”

Good Clean Fun

In addition to her creative work as a musician, Kat Dixon also makes a line of soap, face scrub, bubble bath and skincare products that are available through her company, Earthstrung, on its Etsy page.

She learned to make soap from her mother, and it starts with two simple ingredients: oils and lye. Once those are mixed together, they go through a process called saponification, which turns the concoction into alkali salt, “and that’s what soap is,” she said.

From there, Dixon adds essential oils or botanical ingredients. Her personal favorite soap she calls Old World. It’s made with patchouli, cinnamon, paprika and a handful of other fragrant ingredients.

“It smells like cinnamon in an old library,” she said.