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.
It turns out Tacocat's in good company: there are a surprising number of upbeat songs featuring women rapping and singing about menstruation! I found seven other songs about periods—plus a bonus track of Maragaret Cho rapping—and am happy to present 28 minutes of vag-tastic music.
Hurray for the Riff Raff performing (in a van) for a live show at SXSW last year.
Alynda Lee Segarra plays for an audience of misfits. “My songs are about people who feel down and out and feel like outcasts in society,” explains the singer and guitarist best known for her band Hurray For The Riff Raff. “And that’s who I want to come to the shows, too. Maybe because they hate the music on the radio now or they feel like music doesn’t have a soul anymore or they feel like their gender isn’t represented there.”
This week, I wrote about a new album of North Carolina musicians making songs inspired by that state's Moral Monday protests. Listening to their album made me hungry for a whole playlist of American protest music.
So, I spent way too long putting together this mixtape of great American protest songs. It's an eclectic mix of hip-hop, rap, dance, and folk—it includes no punk, because that's just my taste. My desire was to make a mix that's enjoyable to listen to, in addition to being all about politics. The songs address a wide range of issues in American history, including racism, sexism, police brutality, inequality, and war. I put some serious classics on there (like "Talkin' Bout a Revolution") and some songs that make me laugh (like Peggy Seeger's "I'm Gonna Be an Engineer.") I put Nina Simone on there twice because she's Nina Simone.
Ironically, when I bought Barbara Dane's song "I Hate Capitalism" on iTunes, there was a glitch and iTunes wouldn't let me listen to it. I had to buy the song off Amazon. What can I say? Capitalism is one tough glitch.