Portland's annual women-centered arts fest Siren Nation is back, from November 5-8! This three-day festival is packed with women musicians, filmmakers, artists, and craftsters. Siren Nation's mission is to showcase and support women in the arts--and inspire other women to make their own. This year's festival promises to be as great as ever! The film lineup alone is awesome: four documentaries on four strong women, including Ahead of the Majority on Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American woman to run for president, and Ridin' and Rhymin' on cowgirl-cum-poet Georgie Sicking. As for music, check out this rundown of lineup, including Lovers and Tender Forever:
Northwesterners, get your tickets now! For non-Portlanders, it's worth it to check out the line-up for unknown artists you didn't know you were missing.
love electronic music—a genre that had its mainstream heyday in the 90s
with a small resurgence in the form of electro-clash in the early
naughts. Throughout my years listening, I've gathered quite a
collection with my favorites including: Aphex Twin, Plaid, µ-Ziq,
Boards of Canada, Bogdan Raczynski, Venetian Snares, Squarepusher and
on. Guess how many of those musicians are women? Zero. Sure. I like
Mira Calix and Ellen Alien...but they are rare in their field.
So when a friend posted a mash-up
on his Facebook page featuring one of the early innovators in
electronic music, who happened to also be a woman, I was intrigued.
So, Halloween is upon us once again. Or, as I like to call it, "The Night of a Thousand Gagas."
You guys! SO MANY PEOPLE are going to be Lady Gaga! You can find tips on how to be the Gaga of your choice; you can design your own Gaga; a close friend of mine is getting into the spirit by manufacturing multiple Gaga costumes for a Gaga-themed party.
The appeal of the Gaga costume is undeniable. For one thing, it is easy. It goes (a) blond wig, (b) sunglasses, (c) the most absurd thing you can think of. Do you have a leather jacket? Would you consider wearing it with a swimsuit? Lady Gaga sure would! BLAM, Halloween costume achieved. But then, there's another factor: the fact that the entire "Lady Gaga" concept is, basically, a Halloween costume already. Gaga just wears it all year round.
To commemorate the end of Bed, Bitch and Beyond and to honor those naughty Halloween costumes that currently are flying off the racks, I bring you a very special, very sultry, totally Kenny-G-free compilation of sexy jams. Turn down the lights and turn up the mood music.
The saga of Lily Allen just keeps getting sadder. Not so ago, she announced that she was probably going to quit making music (though her publicist denied it), and deleted her anti-file sharing blog after it was deluged with angry comments and criticism from the sort of people who believe that having to pay for someone else's work is one of the greater and more terrible forms of oppression. This week, she decided to quit, not just her blog, but the entire Internet: she's reportedly left MySpace, Twitter, and even e-mail.
Lily Allen is shutting up. Lily Allen is shutting down. And I don't even know that I blame her.
I'm going to come out and say something right now, Adam Lambert: I don't get you. I know a lot of people were really excited about you when you were on American Idol. Just the fact that you existed, and were doing well on the show, seemed to be making them happy. And those people usually seemed to be coming from a very sweet, genuine place. I mean, I don't want to reduce you to your sexuality, but: you made a lot of people feel good, apparently, just by accepting your sexuality and not ever really steering away from it and doing a good job on a show that relies on winning over the American public. I'm happy that you made people feel that good. It's a worthwhile pursuit. Good job.
Artsy kids' film Where the Wild Things Are is doing great at the box office, and the soundtrack, written by Yeah Yeah Yeahs' frontwoman Karen O, is one of the best things about the movie (along with all those big hairy monsters with broken hearts)--and you can listen to the whole thing online!
O says "I guess I got involved because of Spike [Jonze, the director], because I guess there is a childlike innocence about my music or my persona or whatever that he always just kind of dialed into." And she's a perfect fit: like the movie, the soundtrack is both raucous and quietly stirring (apropos for recess or for lullabies).
A while back, a commenter raised the issue of why I had focused mostly - in fact, almost entirely - on female artists in She Pop. There are a few reasons for this. First, the way that female personalities are packaged and sold, and the way people react to them, is a more interesting topic for analysis than just pointing at a sexist male pop star and being like, "look! He's being a sexist!" You might actually arrive at a conclusion you hadn't planned on, for one thing, and the discussions tend to be more complex and interesting, and you don't get stuck at that "I agree, he IS a jerk" round-table consensus level of Conversation Death. For another thing, many of the male pop stars working today are boring, at least in comparison to their lady counterparts. There are just too many worthwhile, interesting female pop stars, providing too much food for thought, for the men to compete.
But today, I intend to begin rectifying my shameful omissions. By providing you with INCREDIBLE TRUE STORIES of DUDES WHO HAVE BEEN JERKS! Dudes in the realm of MUSIC, no less!
Beginning of course, with John Mayer. Perhaps you have heard about his latest episode of jerk-like behavior?
Rihanna's new album is coming out soon. And with the new album - about which we know pretty much nothing, aside from a few vague quotes - comes the speculation about whether she'll address The Incident - her public assault by, and break-up with, Chris Brown. Specifically: is she going to be angry?
An article at CNN.com (via ONTD) says: maybe! Ne-Yo, who worked with her on the album, has said that we can "expect an edgier, almost angrier Rihanna on this one." And it is, as CNN reminds us, The First Album Since The Incident. But Tracey Johnson, of NeonLimelight.com, says "[Some fans] feel like it would be good for her to represent abused women in some sort of way and say something, but in my perspective, she doesn't owe us anything."
I don't know much about her website, but I'm with Tracey on this one. She doesn't owe us much. Particularly not one specific emotion. After what she's survived, asking her to present us with one simple "appropriate" or fan-requested emotion is just unfair.