Lowell examining some tasty trash at SXSW and the cover of her new EP. (Photo via Lowell's Instagram)
SXSW has changed a great deal in its 27 years. For most of two decades, the country’s largest urban music festival had a reputation for leaving the big name stars to other circuits, and centered itself around showcasing up-and-coming artists who were looking to be signed while they were in town.
I grew up on punk and alternative music and given that my introduction to feminism came from Riot Grrrl, I was strongly attracted to woman-fronted bands and so many great bands came out of Los Angeles, including X. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I would seek out music that sounded more like the Los Angeles that reflected my upbringing and my community, which was predominantly Latino. Los Angeles' Los Abandoned was my gateway drug.
For the Maps & Legends issue of Bitch, I wrote about of my favorite LA bands in an article called "Riffs of Passage—Three L.A. bands with more than music on their mind." Here's a mixtape to accompany that article.
I've been running all over Austin this week, trying to cram in as many SXSW shows into my days and nights as humanly possible. I've done a pretty decent job, hitting up 17 shows in two days. Here we go!
When Beyonce’s fifth studio album dropped late last year, she nearly broke the Internet. It was an epic reconnaissance commissioned by a pop queen determined to flex her might as a self-possessed businesswoman—someone who knows that her brand is dependent upon her celebrity status, and vice versa.
Girls Rock NC is in it's 10th year of holding rock music feminist camps for girls in North Carolina. Their programs use music as a vehicle for building community and self-esteem in young girls. Each year, the camp gives the girls a mix CD of women who have rocked out before them. Camp co-founder Beth Turner put together this selection from some of those mixes, with songs ranging from Bikini Kill to Luscious Jackson.
Sifting through the archives of Bitch, I happened upon a big, bad pile of the other Bitch: a newsprint zine from the '80s that called itself "The Women’s Rock Mag With Bite." To a metal fan like me, this zine is gold: one issue even featured Rude Girl/Chastain screamer Leather Leone on the cover! Inspired by this lucky find, "Hail to the Metal Queens" is a righteous, rip-roaring mini-compendium of some of the most powerful—and underrated—voices in heavy metal. Let loose your hair, throw your fists in the air, and get ready to get loud!
If crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford is all you know about Toronto, then you have a lot to learn. While the Canadian city has become internationally infamous for the disturbing antics of its unfortunate mayor, Toronto has cultivated one of the most exciting and diverse queer feminist art scene in recent years. From last Halloween’s Lesbian Feminist Haunted House to numerous experimental queer bands, Toronto has a community that supports media makers who push the political and artistic envelope.
For our mixtape this week, I put together a playlist to facilitate one-person dance parties. I know I'm celebrating Valentine's Day by dancing around my room with the music turned up loud. Pants optional.