Working with early synths, tape loops and found sounds, Delia Derbyshire created unique, groundbreaking music through the '60s and early '70s. In her hands, anything could be musical, and it frequently was.
OK, first things first: I am a Beyoncé fan. However, fandom aside (well, sort of, because you can't ever really throw fandom aside) I must say that I'm surprised by all of the negative pushback Bey's latest video, "Run the World (Girls)," is getting. Not because it's a perfect video with a flawless, amazing message (it isn't), but because so many people are fired up about it. On the one hand, this pushback is terrific, because it means lots of people are talking about race and feminism and doing a close read of a music video, which doesn't happen all that often. On the other hand, this pushback is a bit harsh and asks more of a pop song and pop singer (whose heart I believe to be in the right place—more on that in a minute) than is perhaps fair.
The very first Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls took place in Portland during the summer of 2001. Since then, rock camps for girls have been popping up all over the world. This summer will mark the first Queer Rock Camp, brought to us by a group of very diligent organizers in Olympia, WA who want to make sure queer youth are given instruments and stages from which to voice themselves. Bitch caught up with two of the organizers for this year's Queer Rock Camp, Kinsey Bell and Molly Fischer. Bell and Fischer were nice enough to tell us about the motives behind Queer Rock Camp, to let us know how we can help them make this camp happen, and to fill us in on some of their favorite queer musicians.
Oakland-based Anna Petrisko sound-collages imagined jeepney soundtracks in her experimental music project called Jeepneys.Jeepneys are also vehicles that originated from United States WWII army jeeps abandoned at the end of the American 48-year occupation of the Philippines. Filipinos/Filipinas, including Petrisko's family, flamboyantly decorated the discarded jeeps-turned-jeepneys recycling them for public transportation. Much like her ancestor's creative reusing, Petrisko's tracks are built on layers of imaginatively used and reused sounds like transduced beats made by amplified thrift store necklaces.
To hear some critics tell it, women have been largely bystanders and groupies in electronic music. Tara Rodgers' Pink Noises steps into this void to talk to 24 female DJs, producers, composers, installation artists and more about gender, race, sexuality, sexism and music.
Read on for more.
Ellen Allien is a German producer, DJ, singer and label owner, familiar to anyone who follows the worlds of house and techno. She was resident at famed Berlin techno club Tresor in 1992, and has started two labels (Braincandy and BPitch Control) as well as releasing some acclaimed experimental music. With over two decades of work, she's quite an inspiration.
Overheard at the bar last week: "The thing is, I'm just REALLY not into female singers." Well, here are 13 tracks including music by Bebel Gilberto, Césaria Évora, and France Gall, that show how much you're REALLY missing out. These international ladies really know how to, ¿cómo se dice? ROCK.
One of the things that's really persistent in electronic music is the idea of female artists as proteges, molded, shaped by a man behind the scenes. As Joanna Russ detailed in How to Suppress Women's Writing, women's contributions to culture are actively suppressed. A man must have written that book, or those lyrics, or song. That "makes sense," to a culture that values men's creativity over women's.
I spent my weekend hanging out at FOC (Females of Color) FEST, a new Portland-based festival celebrating musicians of color from the West Coast. Two nights of bands in an empty bike shop may sound meager for a music festival, but by the time 2am rolled around on Saturday night I was completely exhausted (in a great way) from the weekend of awesome music.