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Know Your Hipster Gendered Band Names!

Whether I'm checking out music blogs, browsing upcoming concerts in my local alt weekly, or trying to download songs illegally, I can't help but notice some of the names that indie rock acts (read: hipster bands) are coming up with these days, bands named Women, or Girls, which turn out to be more like dudes and bros. It's like having a lady-indicative word in your band name is the new having an animal-indicative word in your band name! Well, almost. I've compiled a short list of current, contemporary bands that err on the side of both misleading and not-so-misleading gendered band names to help you navigate the tides of new and upcoming music. (FYI, Queen = all dudes too)

Women
Number of members: 4
Number of women: 0

Combining both melodic and ambient tunes into post-punk slow jams, Women is making a name for themselves on pretentious music blogs all over the country! You can catch them at thePitchfork Music Festival this weekend in Chicago's Union Park!

Dum Dum Girls
Number of members: One with back up band
Number of girls: One, or as one asshole from Pitchfork put it, "[One] woman, in the parlance of our times (female-American, if you're not into the whole brevity thing)"

Just recently signed to Sub Pop, Dee Dee makes staticky garage pop and pulls it off with crazy long arm tassels (and a back up band including members of Crystal Stilts and Blank Dogs):

Sons and Daughters
Number of members: 4
Number of Sons: 2
Number of Daughters: 2

Into Scottish pop rock but need something with a little more attitude than Belle and Sebastian or Camera Obscura? This foursome's for you, and as far as appropriately describing the sex make-up of your band in your band name, they're pretty good at it.

Girls
Number of members: 2
Number of girls: 0

I've only heard a few tracks from these two, but so far I'm into their lo fi surf rock ballads. "Solitude" sounds a little like Bright Eyes on the beach and I like the campy vocals and lyrics to "Lust for life" ("I wish I had a boyfriend, I wish i had a loving man in my life," "I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine"). No album yet, but they are on tour!

MEN
Number of members: 3 with some occasional help
Number of men: not for me to say!

Le Tigre members JD Samson and Johanna Fateman started this side project that's self-described as a "band and art/performance collective that focuses on the energy of live performance and radical potential of dance music. MEN speaks to issues such as wartime economies, sexual compromise, and demanding liberties through lyrical content and an exciting stage show." Umm....sold! Now on tour, Samson has picked up Michael O'Neill, Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Emily Roysdon as bandmates with Fateman and stepping in here and there to help. Better check out their tour dates right now!

Kid Sister
Number of members:1
Number of Kid Sisters: unknown

Chicagoland native Melissa Young picked up the moniker Kid Sister (her own kid brother is in Flosstradamus) in 2006 and started making bubblegum hip-hop songs about dancing and being fresh, and her single "Pro Nails" (below) was remixed by Kanye West. About to drop a new album soon, listen for a single called "Right Hand Hi!".

Kid Sister - Pro Nails ft. Kanye West

All Girl Summer Fun Band
Number of Members: 3
Number of Girls: 3 (you could say it's "all girl")

Originally a foursome, the AGSFB began as a collaboration between Jen Sbragia and Kim Baxter. Regrouping intermittently since 1998, the now-trio (including Kathy Foster of the Thermals!) is still making the same super fun, power-chord driven pop music that's awesomely addictive and as timeless as sprinklers and first loves. Their third full-length album came out last September, but it's summer all year long with AGSFB!

Parenthetical Girls
Number of members: four
Number of (girls): one

Fans of synth, horns, and Decemeberists-flavored pop will like this foursome whose violinist Rachael Jensen appears to be the only girl in this outfit but . Their Daytrotter recordings from this past April are a must too!

Junior Boys
Number of members: 2
Number of boys: 2

Sounds like:
What can I say? Their single "In the Morning" has been played straight on my iTunes for at least two hours. If you're into shaking your butt but not getting too sweaty, check out the dreamy electro pop from these two! They're also headlining Chicago's Wicker Park Fest which is at the end of the month!

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Comments

20 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Already been done

Decider already did this two months ago: http://denver.decider.com/articles/girls-girls-girls-and-a-few-dudes,27430/, but with different bands.

This is a really stupid post

This is a really stupid post and basically has nothing to say except that, OMG, people are using gender terms for band names. So what?

But isn't it great fodder

But isn't it great fodder for finding new bands? Joy for new music.

Hey, thanks Jewell. Hope you

Hey, thanks Jewell. Hope you found something good!

____________
Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?

You just got Junior Boys

You just got Junior Boys another fan. Great article

Agreed

While I wouldn't say it so rudely, I agree that this post is a bit pointless. As noted by X, it's just bands using gender terms. Nothing really related to feminism.

I'm not a fan of indie-rock either, but I think this post would have been better served had it just been about the musicians and their music as oppose to trying (a little too hard and far fetched) to tie it to feminism in some distant way.

Next time, just title the post "Indie-Bands We Like".

yea, i was gonna mention

yea, i was gonna mention some girls who were on the list linked above. 0/5 ladies there. and here in cleveland we have cheap girls, featuring 0/3 girls. there's got to be more.

glad men got a mention though. "off our backs" is my latest fave.

Actually

The linked Decider article was about band names with "girls" in the title. This is not the same article, especially because the Decider article told me what I should like because I'm a girl ("Their ponytail-bouncing sound definitely makes them girl-friendly" the article says about the band The Girls. Which, by the way, I only listen to music that makes my ponytail bounce.) Kjerstin's post actually got me questioning why these bands with zero ladies call themselves Women or Girls when there are no women or girls in the band. At least with Men we can venture a guess that they are saying something about gender via their band name, but when it comes to, for instance, The Ladies (Zach Hill from Hella and Rob Crow from Pinback) it's perplexing because those guys are not exactly known for theorizing about gender or lackthereof. Also, yes, most of these bands are great, indy bands and there is certainly a trend as of late in that sphere to use nouns that indicate, explicably or inexplicably, one gender or another. If it's meant to be commentary, where's the commentary? If not, then why?

I Think You Missed One...

What about the Barenaked Ladies? They are neither barenaked, nor are they ladies.

Okay, but

I just thought it was interesting that a very similar article was posted a few months ago on a different site, in the exact same format (intro asking why dudes are in bands with girls in the title/bands/rundown of how many of them are actually women). I think the articles actually have the same effect in making us wonder why men are using female monikers. This post didn't really go into any analyzation of each of the bands, like you just did in this comment. Maybe if it had, it would be a little different than the Decider article. Instead, they both are just pointing out the weirdness, and describing some of the bands that do it. Also, it's not a new "hipster" thing, as the Decider article points out. It's been happening for a long time.

Hmm...

You can say that JD is a man, since that is how he identifies. I think it's kind of lazy to cop out with that cutesy "not for me to say" business.

JD does not identify as a

JD does not identify as a man and in fact identifies as a butch lesbian, FYI. I read an interview with her a few months ago. But I agree that "not for me to say" is indeed a cutesie cop-out. And disappointing when framed as a "feminist response to pop culture"! This entire post lacks the critical substance that I've come to expect from Bitch but am sad to say I've been seeing less and less of in these blog posts.

I totally agree that it's a

I totally agree that it's a cutesie cop-out and was surprised to see a line like that here on a feminist website. FYI, though, JD does not identify as a man & in fact identifies as a butch lesbian.

Oops!

Sorry I was mistaken! I thought for sure that JD identified as an FTM and used the pronoun "herm."

On that note, if JD identifies as a butch, then why did the Michigan Wymmyynns Festival ban Le Tigre from playing over the presence of JD?

Re:

I really was not sure how JD Samson identified when I wrote the blog post (it's a bit dicier to fact check than say, whether Rachael Jensen is the vocalist or violinist for Parenthetical Girls). "It's not for me to say" was my response, which while playful (in keeping with the rest of the tone in the post, which I'm not going to pretend is political or hard-hitting in any way), was a little more succinct than "I don't feel comfortable at all assigning someone a binary sex category even though that's the pretty little corner I painted myself into with how I set up this blog post."

Anyway, I'd be happy to change it but that also seems like another cop-out, no? Let me know what y'all think.

____________
Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?

I just wanted to say that I

I just wanted to say that I often find that when people disagree with a post on the Bitch Blog, a Bitch editor other than the original poster will come in to defend the views. I don't mind doing this if there is racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, or other seriously offensive things going on in the comments that need to be addressed, but in this thread, someone just pointed out that a similar story was posted by a different blog. No need to get defensive, and also can't the OP handle as they see fit? It actually makes me not want to comment if I disagree with the post, which is kind of sad.

Parenthetical Girls...

FYI, Rachel Jensen is not the "vocalist" of the band ( she only sings in a couple songs on their latest record, and none on their last ), but is instead the violinist. Zac Pennington is the vocalist, and an amazing one at that.

Unless you've got some

Unless you've got some specific information that I don't, number of girls in this band might be (decline to say).

Thanks for the nice post. It

Thanks for the nice post. It made me thinking how much of my favorite bands can I add to this list?
It turned out I have not even a few but one band to name. Nevertheless they are great guys.
-Blondie
P.S. Oops, sorry, one more band- Chemical Brothers...

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