I'm just going to put this out there: I am not musically talented. I picked up the saxophone as a kid because two of my childhood heroes played it (Lisa Simpson and Bill Clinton), but that was a complete waste of time. I have, however, always had a fantasy of being asked to join a band where all I do is stand at the back of the stage and whistle. I am a really good whistler! Even people I don't both for compliments tell me I'm a good whistler. Someday, my dream whistling band will come along. I know it. Until then, I have compiled this inspirational mixtape of songs that feature whistling. It's damn catchy. Happy weekend.
In the week I spent sprinting between shows at SXSW last month, Brooklyn electronic R&B duo denitia and sene’s performance stood out. I reveled in the band’s moody, sexy electronic sounds that weave in warm human voices.
Meredith Graves, the 26-year-old lead singer of Syracuse clamor-punks Perfect Pussy, refuses to stay quiet.
Riding high off their recent performance at SXSW, and their newly released debut album, Say Yes to Love, on March 18, Perfect Pussy have received more backlash for their risqué band name—but also for their outspoken criticism of Syracuse’s hardcore community. Hardcore has struggled with a historically sexist and exclusive attitude that often keeps girls to the back of shows—or out of the scene altogether.
This mix is inspired by openly queer artists who are making electronic/dance/house/groovy/SHAKE-IT tunes. When times are tough, you've gotta keep movin'. Queers know that sentiment all too well. There's nothing like a great mix to lift the spirits and move the body!
This mixtape is curated by Dani, who is a member of the queer punk-house band Du Og Meg and loud gay bands Love & Caring and Forever. She also DJs groovy vinyl records and does some writing for She Shreds (the Magazine for Female Guitarists and Bassists). You can check out the work recorded at her studio, Sister Secrets, and email her here.
This mixtape includes some of Reverse Couple Skate's favorite lady singers of the '60s and '70s (as well as some other decades). Girl groups have had an influential role on pop music and continue to produce some of the most memorable and enduring harmonies. Solo and together, through pop, R&B, disco, country & rock—these ladies let it out. Special thanks to Madame DJ.
“Vengo, en busca de respuestas con el manojo lleno y las venas abiertas/ Vengo, como un libro abierto, ansiosa de aprender la historia no contada de nuestros ancestros.”
(“I come for answers, with a bundle of full and open veins/ I come as an open book eager to learn the untold story of our ancestors.”)
The first lines of Ana Tijoux’s new album Vengo, which dropped yesterday, set the scene for an album of introspection. In her third full-length album, the Chilean rapper introspectively looks at her life and the world at large in terms of decolonization. But “Vengo” isn’t just the title track, it captures the spirit of the whole album. You hear her vocals dip from conversational and knowing, to soft and thoughtful, then rising in an urgent call to action—all delivered in cadence in Tijoux’s signature expert flow.
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!