My Bitch Tapes mix this week is a celebration of the punkest women out there: the women of country music. While other genres largely excluded female musicians, women country singers back in the day were a dime a dozen (thank god!) Not even poverty, abusive husbands and managers, substance abuse issues, or a male-run music industry could keep these ladies away from the mic. It was hard to whittle my list down to eight of my favorite songs, but here it is.
I know in my day I've had my fair share of rock star fantasties. It'd be amazing to stand on stage and display your art to the masses. Whether "the masses" encompasses ten of your best friends or hundreds of strangers who want to be your best friend, it must be a glorious feeling to actually make it to the point of making music, and then after that, taking that music on the road. Sara Jaffe and Mia Clarke, of indy ladybands Erase Errata and Electrelane, respectively, recently released The Art of Touring, a photo heavy diary of sorts that chronicles the journeys of the vans of such bands as Times New Viking, Pit Er Pat and Le Tigre. Why does this matter as anything more than a kewl, voyeuristic glance into some of your favorite bands' knapsacks and polaroid collections? Find out after the jump!
Throughout recent history, society at large has stereotyped ladyfolk as demure and pure certainly not interested in The Sex (save for sluts, a shameful variety of the ladyfolk who *gasp* enjoy having sex, sometimes even before or outside of marriage). Well, the female musicians and bands that follow give tired sex-related gender roles a big ol' slap in the face with unabashed lyrics and straight-up badassness.
Whether I'm checking out music blogs, browsing upcoming concerts in my local alt weekly, or trying to download songs illegally, I can't help but notice some of the names that indie rock acts (read: hipster bands) are coming up with these days, bands named Women, or Girls, which turn out to be more like dudes and bros. It's like having a lady-indicative word in your band name is the new having an animal-indicative word in your band name! Well, almost. I've compiled a short list of current, contemporary bands that err on the side of both misleading and not-so-misleading gendered band names to help you navigate the tides of new and upcoming music. (FYI, Queen = all dudes too)
Earlier this week, television stations around the globe clamored to cover Michael Jackson's memorial service, and tens of millions of us turned on the tube (or the internet) to watch. Now, before you write this post off as another hastily-made MJ mixtape tribute (not that there'd be anything wrong with that), give me a minute.
One of the things that struck a chord with me during the 177-minute, star-studded memorial, was Berry Gordy's eulogy for Michael. Not only was his reminiscing about the early days of Motown charming (who wouldn't love that story about the Gordy vs. Jackson family baseball games?) but it reminded me how effing awesome Motown's music is. (It is seriously awesome.) My other BitchTapes have made no secret of my love of soul music, but this time I am going all-out to present you with eight of my favorite Motown tunes.
Read about the songs, and add your own favorites, after the jump!
Happy 4th of July weekend! We know that a large portion of this great country is in tune with pop culture in one way or another. And music is a large part of that culture. We also know that last week, the King of Pop died, which has brought things to somewhat of a halt, so to speak. It is safe to say that almost every person in America has contemplated the death of Michael Jackson over the last week. The reactions have been anywhere from grief to apathy to supposed suicide pacts between some of his hardcore fans. Undoubtedly, Jackson's influence was huge, and speculation about what his life was really like into every nitty gritty sordid detail will surely unfold in the coming months. I heard someone say no one this influential in America, hell worldwide, has died since Elvis. And sure, it was too soon. Historically, there are hundreds of musicians that have died before their time, due to things like murder, eating disorders, suicide. So in paying homage to America and some of its ever honored musicians, I've made a mix of songs from artists who died young. Some whose deaths made just as much of an impact on us as their lives.
Friday night I attended an Indigo Girls concert at Ravina. Ravina is an outdoor concert arena but it is mostly lawn seating. People usually come bearing picnic baskets of cheese, wine and other snackables. It really is an experience. Friday night was pretty packed on the lawn as usual. People scout out their own spots and it's normally pretty hard to get back to the path if you are sitting too far in.
There were quite a good number of little girls attending with their moms. One such little girl was being lead, quickly, out of the lawn towards the path. We overhead the mom say loudly, "Come on, you can hold it. Squeeze! Squeeze!" Uh-oh...the potty run!
The mom was taking her daughter away from the best exit path, so one woman yelled out, "Over here!" A collective "whew" could be heard as the mom turned quickly and they were well on their way to the restrooms. "Sisterhood in action!" cried my friend.
I have no idea if the little girl made it, but I hope that the super long line parted ways for one of the littlest fans. Sisterhood indeed.
A city kid by nature, I am oddly fascinated by animals and bugs (as long as they aren't in my house). Plus, it seems particularly appropriate to dedicate my mix to critters during the season of camping and hikes.
Check out my tribute to all things wild after the jump!
not really sure where the term "vagina music" originated. The first
time I heard it was in Nicole Holofcener’s awesome film Walking and
Talking, when a male character complained to his female car-trip
cohorts, "Are we gonna listen to this vagina music the whole way
there?" ("Yes!") The second time was almost a decade later, on an
episode of Six Feet Under wherein one of Claire’s art-school friends
demands , "You guys are gonna have to change this vagina music
From these, we can infer that vagina music = music that others feel subjected to and wish to avoid.
Nonfictionally, in my own life, it’s come up in less
confrontational instances, usually in discussions of the famed Michigan
Womyn’s Music Festival—which was originally founded to showcase what
was specifically called women’s music—or the once-mighty Lilith Fair.
I used the expression just last weekend to refer to a band playing
Portland’s Pride festivities whose skinny jeans and self-conscious
rattails screamed ’80s synth revival ,but whose amps bleated out
something much more Indigo/DiFranco.