Musician, activist, and all-around cool lady Kathleen Hanna was interviewed by Laura Flanders for GRITtv last week. While the interview covered a range of topics (from endorsing Willie Mae Rock Camp's own Awkward Turtles to reflecting on the "arrogance of youth"), Hanna's most interesting comments regarded the complicated and sometimes problematic sides of building feminist leaders, archiving riot grrrl history, and comparing blogs to zines.
NPR did a segment on break-up songs. Tigerbeatdown devoted a week on the subject. And Thao Nguyen has written an article breaking-down the break-up song for Bitch. But I got to thinking about the break-up songs are good for you, the ones that are less about the blues and more about kicking-ass.
Tired of listening to Taylor Swift sing about all those love pains she's endured? Yeah, me too. In (dis)honor of Valentine's Day, here are some of my favorite tunes to smile to that present a love that is sometimes problematic, often tiring but never boring.
While my love for female-based rock music is well-documented and longstanding, even a fangirl like me can easily admit that riot grrrl and the punk scene more generally have long been a largely homogeneous affair, with a lack of racial diversity and inclusion among its iconic musicians and those who loved them. Partially inspired by Black History Month and partially by Beyonce's rendition of Alanis Morissette's classic at the most recent Grammy's (skip to 3:10 in the video), I wanted to showcase some women who defied narrow expectations and produced amazing music.
You asked for it (well, one person asked for it): a pop punk edition of BitchTapes! Punk pop, power pop, bubblegum punk - call it what you will, as long as you pogo your butt off and sing along in your brattiest sneer. Warning: pop punk is contagious.
As we've seen in past editions of BitchTapes, many Bitch Media staffers spent the 90s listening to super cool, street-cred building riot grrrl jams. Well, I've got a confession to make: Even though I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, I had no idea that riot grrrl was even happening until it was already over. No, I spent my formative feminist years listening mainly to top 40 radio. Lucky for me, that included a whole lot of all-female R&B music. Behold:
So, can I ask what the obsession with Ke$ha is? I only ask, because I too am completely enamored with her while simultaneously holding back the urge to be violently ill. The 'party girl' aesthetic and persona is certainly nothing new. From Paris to Lindsay to every other brand of this celebrity girl whose name is synonymous with blackouts and so-called 'bad behavior" – we've seen/heard/and stomached it all. Yet is there something special about this Nashville-bred DIY artist (I, too, wear cowboy boots and rock gaudy gold when the mood strikes me)? The simple answer is ..
Pepa of Salt'n'Pepa's Let's Talk about Pep, a new VH1 reality show billed as a "Black Sex & the City," debuted last night. Here's Pepa's take on it, did anyone else catch it? (In way less-glamourous news about hip-hop women being on reality tv, Lady Soveriegn is slated for Celebrity Big Brother. She will be housemates with Sisqo. [Stereogum]). • Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings will have a new album, I Learned it the Hard Way, ready for May. [BeatCrave] • You can watch an entire Thao and the Get Down Stay Down concert at Baeblemusic.com [KRS]. • M.I.A., who's always been outspoken about political unrest in her birthplace of Sri Lanka, has bashed the New York Times on Twitter (screenshot) for listing the country as the #1 "place to go" in 2010. (Pitchfork]. • Solange Knowles, the Dirty-Projectors-covering, safe-sex promoting, little sister of Beyonce is going to be on the upcoming Of Montreal album. [Pitchfork] • And music recs after the jump!