About Us

Molly Does Not Approve is a burlesque-inspired ensemble playing original tunes rooted in vintage American music, like jazz, rock, rockabilly and roots. They perform their mix of poppy, fun songs solo or with other acts, including pole dancers, burlesque performers, jugglers and other vaudeville-style acts. MDNA can work with acts provided by the club/event organizer, or bring in their own.


Molly Does Not Approve started when Bassist Bjorn Roche started helping Molly Mae write songs while separately jamming with high school band-mate Jake Hart. When Bjorn introduced Jake and Molly, and Jake heard the songs, the band was formed. Molly's fellow college jazz a capella singer, Michael Rutberg, was recruited to be guitarist and pianist. Molly felt that her music should not get too aggressive, loud or Rock and Roll, but she agreed to have drums and electric guitar if it meant her music would be played live. The band name was chosen to reflect Molly's taste, but she has since expanded her repertoire and reportedly does approve of the Rock and Roll arrangements of her music.

Since Michael has moved to Boston for grad school and Jake is on the road with his other career as a writer, the ensemble currently consists of Molly, Bjorn and a rotating cast of backup musicians, although Jake and Mike's influence can still be heard.

Molly Mae has always loved singing and performing. From her starring role in Miracle Worker as a young girl to being part of a national tour of Tartuffe, she is excited to be able to approve and disapprove of all aspects of her current project.

Bjorn Roche has worked with experimental musicians and pop artists alike. He enjoys recording and arranging music, but has recently become more involved in developing music software, and he currently writes award-winning software for the music industry. When questioned, he insisted he was not in it for the money or the sex.


Past Shows 

MDNA has performed at a number of shows around town including:

Nuyorican poets cafe (Sat 1/23/10, and Sat 1/22/11) as part of a variety show.

Pianos, Upstairs Lounge (Fri 1/21/11) (by invitation, with Squeeze Rock)

R Bar (Thurs 24/6/10) (our own event, "Femme Totale" included Burlesque, Pole, and Juggling)

Galapagos Art Space (Sun 10/3/10) (by invitation for "Polesque", a pole dancing competition)



Houston Press


"Social Worker", an upbeat rocker with a country twang and a bit of our signature surprise.

Performed here with Kyra Johannesen pole dancing. (note: The sound gets a bit better a little bit into the video, but all-in-all the sound is not great. For better audio, please check out one of our other videos.)

"Pinup Girl", a tongue-in-cheek rockabilly number. Very upbeat and silly.

Performed here with the Rhinestone Follies burlesque dancing.

"Good Lookin'", a Stray Cats-style blues-rock number sung by our bassist.

Performed here with Latex Lily

"Baby," a ukulele driven song with minimal percussion

"Cigarette Girl," A classic piano vocal/piano jazz duet, with some blocking and on-stage costume changes.

Technical Requirements

While Molly Does Not Approve is generally flexible about our setup and we do our best to work in a variety of stage and technical situations, please keep in mind that we have some minimum requirements. We have found that our setup works best with our full lineup, and we only do acoustic or limited lineups on very rare occasions. If you do not have space for our full band or time for our full band to setup and tear down, please make this clear at booking time.

  • Drums:
    • We are generally not picky about drums and are happy to use a house kit.
  • Electric Guitar (Amp):
    • We are generally happy to use a house amp in good working order. Please mike the amp if at all possible even in small venues as most guitarists we work with play on the quiet side.
  • Acoustic Guitar (DI or Amp+DI):
    • An acoustic guitar is not required at all shows.
  • Upright Electric Bass (DI or Amp + DI):
    • Any working house amp is fine. We can provide DI.
  • Piano or Keyboard (Keyboard DI):
    • We may be able to do a show without Keyboard or piano.
  • Ukulele (DI):
    • This can use the same channel as the guitar if necessary. We only use the Uke on one song.
  • Vocals:
    • 3 Mikes, one for Molly, one for Bjorn and one for our backup singer. Please use your best vocal mike for Molly. Straight stand with a round base is preferred for all mikes.

We can supply up to three DIs, and a guitar amp and Bass Amp, however, we are quite happy to use equipment supplied by venue. We can supply a stage plot if required, but we are pretty flexible about stage setup and so we generally do not. Please ensure that power is single-phase (or properly isolated) and clean.

Input List:

  1. LEAD VOX. Molly Mae. Please use your best vocal mike, preferably on a straight stand with a round base. Will also be used by Bjorn Roche in one song.
  2. Announce. Bjorn Roche. straight or boom stand. This will also be used as a BU vocal mike.
  3. BU Vox.
  4. Acoustic Guitar. DI.
  5. Electric Guitar. Miked Amp.
  6. Ukulele. DI.
  7. Piano/Elec Piano. Miked/DI.
  8. Upright Bass. DI, into amp, or both. Bjorn Roche.
  9. Drum kit. minimally miked is usually fine (kick and snare). moderately miked for larger venues (kick, snare, 2 overheads) is usually fine.


The most important thing is vocals in the drum monitor. After that, a little guitar and piano all around helps. Generally, vocals in the monitors are not as critical as they are with most bands. No bass.