Due to the dominance of the English language in rock 'n' roll, many artists who have chosen to record in their native language have not gained world-wide prominence. To see what else was out there, I went on a music research quest resulting in this week's BitchTapes mix of songs all recorded in French. Some current electronic French acts, a few synth songs from the '80s, some current rock, and finally a delicious pop song from the '60s (and a couple French Canadians and Belgians) made the cut. Track list after the jump! Appréciez!
There always comes a point, when someone asks me to write for them, that I decide it's time to write about sex.
When it comes to a column about music, that's not as difficult as you might think. Sex is everywhere in pop music—rock 'n' roll, hip hop, r&b, they're full of it. From the moment Elvis shimmied his hips on television, there's been something not just sexual, but transgressively sexual about music. From the moment there was a youth culture around music, we've used it to tell our parents that we were thinking about sex whether they liked it or not.
(Wild Flag cover the Rolling Stones' Beast of Burden. Genderbent covers=some of my favorite things...)
The big exciting announcement in music this week was supposedly that iTunes now has the Beatles catalogue. Well, in news that may shock some of you—I was A. unaware that they didn't already, as I'd never looked for it, and B. unconcerned, as I don't actually like the Beatles.
I understand that the Beatles are incredibly important to the history of rock 'n' roll. Hell, Ringo produced T. Rex, without whom I would not be who I am! (That was a joke. Partly.) But I never get the urge to sit down and listen to the Beatles. I am an Elvis/Stones girl, and yes I know that the Beatles had far better gender politics (well, sorta) than Elvis or Mick Jagger. But the heart wants what the heart wants.
It's a good day to be a feminist music fan, but to quote the immortal words of Levar Burton, "You don't have to take my word for it!" You can see/hear for yourself, because today's B-Sides is bringing you not one, not two, but three awesome ladymusic-related videos to brighten up your workday Tuesday. Lykke Li! Adele! Bikini Kill! Let's get to it!
I discovered Saul Williams on the Plea for Peace tour back in 2003 or 2004. I was living in Denver, and something the poet/singer/songwriter/rockstar said has stuck with me ever since. I'd be paraphrasing, but in this interview he said essentially the same thing:
...there is a major cleanse going on within the psyche and spirits of humanity and our world leaders are simply the toxins coming to the surface. But they know their time is up. Some of them will willingly surrender: allow stocks to go public, provide health care for their work force, release their last album and publicise it as such, while others will fight to the (or rather "their") finish.
But the dancefloor has always done it for me. Doesn't matter much what kind of music. In my days as a spookyweird kid in New Orleans it was goth night and punk shows, doing the cobweb-pull (goth inside joke) or slamming into other bodies in the pit, wearing my bruises as a badge of honor. I'm mostly too old (or fragile!) for that at punk shows now but at age 30 still got myself a tattoo as a reminder, paraphrasing Emma Goldman's famous, possibly-apocryphal line "It's not my revolution if I can't dance to it."
I'll tell you right off the bat that this post will focus at least a little on how much I like to look at pictures of the women who make up Warpaint. I have huge crushes on all of them. They wear pretty hats and dresses and scarves. PLUS they create dreamy rock music and they'll probably get really popular in the next year or two. Lovely women musicians on the brink of great renown? A whole bunch of the best traits for a band to have.
Not long ago, I got into a conversation on Twitter about why feminists love Bruce Springsteen. Of course I can't speak for all feminists or even most feminists, but I can certainly discuss my love for Springsteen. And it seems only right to follow talk about Johnny Cash and U.S. politics with discussion of the other oft-misappropriated American blue-collar icon who's a major influence in my life.