October is here again and the weather here in Portland is starting to shift. Yep—it's fall, a time of transition. For some, it means headin' back to class, and for others it marks the end of their favorite season. For me, it means crankin' out a cozy mix of songs about autumn to help me get through the days of spiked cider and pumpkin pie. Luckily we're just two weeks into this season and still have lots of time left to enjoy the changing leaves, windy currents, and the reinstatement of sweaters. So listen up as we say goodbye to summer and hello again to fall.
It takes chutzpah for an indie band just starting out to get rid of the acoustic guitar. But that's how it went for Minneapolis/New Orleans/Chicago's Dark Dark Dark. Choosing instead to write their earliest songs for an accordion and a banjo (insert my inevitable fandom here), founding members Nona Marie Invie and Marshall LaCount build their eclectic, eery, inviting music from the consistently unexpected. Dark Dark Dark is the musical equivalent of the dialogue Noah Baumbach writes: You're never sure what will happen next, which is how dialogue in real life feels—but paying that extra attention, and allowing yourself to be surprised, will reward you with piercing, comforting insight.
If this blog were running a year or two years or five years from now, which female radio artists would I hope to see advancing conversations about women, art, and pop music? And which female authors do I hope become icons of "the female canon" in the same way it was a foregone conclusion that I'd include Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë when I started this thing? Here are just a few suggestions...
Sometimes music sounds youthful and exuberant, and then sometimes you flip the record cover over and see the a picture of three smiling 16-year-olds and you think "damn, they are actually are young and exuberant!" This week's BitchTapes is dedicated to those who don't wait around to start making awesome music.
Earlier this month, Vancouver, BC hosted the first (and fingers crossed, annual) Shout Back! — an all-ages, queer, radical, D.I.Y., anarcha-feminist music festival. Nearly 50 bands played over the hectic span of 2.5 days. From cabaret to punk, twee pop to noise, this BitchTapes is devoted to a few (yes, 15 is a few) of the bands and solo musicians from the Shout Back! 2012 bill.
Today we're going to perform a little compare/contrast action on David Guetta's tune "Titanium," featuring Sia, by jamming it with the poetry of a woman whose work can (and did today, again, several times) make me weep from its heartbreaking awesomeness. Give it up for Anne Sexton! *Brianna claps, snaps, sniffles.*
Those Brontë girls may have overcome their share of gender stereotypes and difficulties of being women writers in a restrictive time, and, sure, they may have filled my nightmares with images of monstrous villains and spooky hillsides, but they also kept falling tragically ill with consumption and the like. Mariah, meanwhile, has been mothering twins, rocking a high-profile marriage, maintaining her reputation as a lady you don't mess with on the music charts or in real life, and facing down Nicki Minaj. That is one hearty contender. I think I know where I'd be putting my money.
Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Good Time" tells the tale of a party-lovin' guy and girl who frequently sleep until twilight only to stumble out of their hotel rooms, dropping phones in pools, raising their hands up in the air with giddy jubilance at going to many fun parties and emitting plenty of I'm-lovin'-life "whoah-oh"s. Jepsen's share of the lyrics, specifically, paint a picture of a scenester lady who knows how to have… uh… a good time.
It makes me think of another famous good-time-enjoying party girl from times past who has since taken on the mantle of feminist icon: Zelda Fitzgerald.