Têtes Noires performing at Minneapolis venue First Avenue in 1985.
The best album of 2013 was actually recorded in 1984. That was the year that Têtes Noires—a relatively unknown, but critically acclaimed all-female rock sextet—first released their sophomore album, American Dream. For many reasons, Têtes Noires is an important band in rock history. For one, they are touted as Minneapolis’ first all-female rock band. For two, the ladies accomplished a helluva lot in their relatively short period of being active (from ’83-’87). In that time they started a record label, self-released two albums, toured nationally and earned critical acclaim. Right about now you should be asking yourself, “Wait, how do I not know about Têtes Noires?”
This week's BitchTapes mix collects some favorite songs from artists we didn't know about this time last year. Music writer Katie Presley recently rounded up some of her feminist music discoveries of 2013 and I thought they'd make a pretty sweet mix. I was right!
Let's start by saying this: Calling a year "good for women in music" is fairly ridiculous. What that phrase translates to is usually more like "I can name three lady songs from this year!" or "Beyoncé made an album this year!"
With so many folks starting new musical projects all the time, it can be super hard to keep track of who’s who.And while I'm a fan of more bands than I could ever list (who isn’t?), I've compiled a tiny sliver of a showcase of just four of our favorite new(ish) bands to watch out for next year.Come 2014, all of these bands will be releasing awesome new albums and playing lots of gigs.We wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the bands’ imminent hits, so listen up and follow away.
We recently celebrated the completion of our 200th free mixtape, put together every week by Bitch staff, contributors, and assorted music-lovers. The mixes highlight the work of mostly female and queer-identified artists, mixing big names and small fries. To mark the occassion of our 200th BitchTape, I looked through the collection of feminist mixtapes and pulled out our 12 most popular mixtapes ever.
The most popular mixtape we've published is... drumroll please...
Keepin' it Tropical(ia)! Contributor Emilly Prado put together this Brazilian psychedelia tape back in 2012. Give it a listen.
This has not been a great year for women mega-pop artists. Lady Gaga’s Artpop fell flat, as well as Britney Spears’s Britney Jean. Sure, there was Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz but one could argue that her on-and-offstage antics suggest that she was more focused on getting press than creating music with longevity. What will make Beyoncé, the album Beyoncé Knowles surprise-dropped last Friday, stand out is partly the lackluster playing field and partly because the digital-only format which includes 14 well-produced, highly stylized videos to accompany the 14-track album (with three additional bonus videos) has satiated the public’s appetite for Netflix-style entertainment.
This 200th mixtape is a return to lo-fi roots. Stick Shift Records, a DIY feminist punk record label run by two ladies out of their apartment in Burlington, VT, curated this compilation of bands from all over the world. It's sort of a compilation of B-sides from bands whose albums Stick Shift has released, featuring a range of punk rock styles.
This month's new music roundup is heavy on the dance music—consider it a DIY antidote to the gray sky and wintery weather. We've got music from Ghana, Berlin, Portland, Brooklyn, the UK, and the tippy-tippy top of Cape Cod. Plus, we've got guitars and remixes and cow hearts to boot. Read below the jump for what was on the feminist music boilerplate in November!
Until this week, I was only peripherally aware of Lily Allen. Sure, I’d downloaded “Fuck You” and “Smile,” her funny pop confections with a bracing dash of intelligence. But I never qualified as a Lily Allen fan, and in fact had kind of forgotten she was a thing until the Internet blew up with a heated debated about the video for her new song “Hard Out Here.”