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.
Girls Rock NC is in it's 10th year of holding rock music feminist camps for girls in North Carolina. Their programs use music as a vehicle for building community and self-esteem in young girls. Each year, the camp gives the girls a mix CD of women who have rocked out before them. Camp co-founder Beth Turner put together this selection from some of those mixes, with songs ranging from Bikini Kill to Luscious Jackson.
Sifting through the archives of Bitch, I happened upon a big, bad pile of the other Bitch: a newsprint zine from the '80s that called itself "The Women’s Rock Mag With Bite." To a metal fan like me, this zine is gold: one issue even featured Rude Girl/Chastain screamer Leather Leone on the cover! Inspired by this lucky find, "Hail to the Metal Queens" is a righteous, rip-roaring mini-compendium of some of the most powerful—and underrated—voices in heavy metal. Let loose your hair, throw your fists in the air, and get ready to get loud!
For our mixtape this week, I put together a playlist to facilitate one-person dance parties. I know I'm celebrating Valentine's Day by dancing around my room with the music turned up loud. Pants optional.
It turns out Tacocat's in good company: there are a surprising number of upbeat songs featuring women rapping and singing about menstruation! I found seven other songs about periods—plus a bonus track of Maragaret Cho rapping—and am happy to present 28 minutes of vag-tastic music.
In honor of Minneapolis band Têtes Noires' latest release, The New American Dream, here is a mixtape of ladies currently dominating the electronic, hip-hop, and garage rock music scenes straight from the Land of 10,000 lakes. While Prince doesn't make a gender-bending appearance, the Têtes feminist infused '80s hits are mixed in. So rock out to Kitten Forever, chill out to Vandaam and don't forget to get your GRRRL PRTY on and dance like a madwoman in between.
This week's BitchTapes mix collects some favorite songs from artists we didn't know about this time last year. Music writer Katie Presley recently rounded up some of her feminist music discoveries of 2013 and I thought they'd make a pretty sweet mix. I was right!
We recently celebrated the completion of our 200th free mixtape, put together every week by Bitch staff, contributors, and assorted music-lovers. The mixes highlight the work of mostly female and queer-identified artists, mixing big names and small fries. To mark the occassion of our 200th BitchTape, I looked through the collection of feminist mixtapes and pulled out our 12 most popular mixtapes ever.
The most popular mixtape we've published is... drumroll please...
Keepin' it Tropical(ia)! Contributor Emilly Prado put together this Brazilian psychedelia tape back in 2012. Give it a listen.
This 200th mixtape is a return to lo-fi roots. Stick Shift Records, a DIY feminist punk record label run by two ladies out of their apartment in Burlington, VT, curated this compilation of bands from all over the world. It's sort of a compilation of B-sides from bands whose albums Stick Shift has released, featuring a range of punk rock styles.
This XIGGA playlist is an afrofuturistic journey through time, space, and energy. It embraces the XIGGA afrophilocosmology that affirms the funky fresh and courageous ways that people navigate being both on the margins and at the center. Deep inside us lives a spirit that is bold and capable of afroastral flight. When we tap into the origins of our people, the truth of our spirits and the bass-beats of our hearts, we are capable of magic. It is true, our people could fly, and we do.