My name is Katie, and I have a really terrible singing voice. I'll admit it. I'm not ashamed. This presents a huge problem, though, because I do love Karaoke a lot, am very, very, very easily embarrassed, and lack the stage presence that makes up for being a bad singer. It should be noted, too, that no amount of alcohol changes any of these factors (well, maybe the being embarrassed part). There is such a delicate art in picking a song for Karaoke, with plenty of trial and error (emphasis on error). I present to you, in no particular order, the songs that I am never going to attempt ever again at Karaoke. Ever. I swear. It's an important life lesson, really.
On B-Sides last month, Sara Kantner introduced us to the pioneering female rock star Suzie Quatro. But before Suzie and her sister Patti brought girls that rock to the public's (and Joan Jett's!) attention in the 1970's, Genya Ravan founded Goldie & the Gingerbreads, the first all-girl rock band to be signed to a major label. After the band's breakup in 1967, Ravan went on to become one of the first female producers in the music industry and hosts "Chick & Broads" on Sirius Satelitte Radio. She may not get as much credit as Joan Jett, Cherie Curie and the Quatro sisters, but Genya Ravan is an essential trailblazer for women in rock music.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup final is this Sunday! Soccer/football and music have a long and wonderful history—championships have official songs and teams have unofficial anthems and chants, from the obvious (Queen's "We Are the Champions") to the unexpected (Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone"). Most of the songs here are about European teams, because I tried to choose ones that got far in the World Cup this year, but you can find more at this database or this plainly and accurately titled blog. If you're looking for some good old-fashioned male objectification, the ladies at Kickette can help you out there. Throw on your kits and prepare for inappropriate nationalism!
There may be no one better to teach girls how to rock than music and culture critic Jessica Hopper. She's clocked massive amounts of hours as a tour manager, band publicist, DJ, touring bassist, Girls Rock Camp booster, and fanzine publisher. Her "music-is-my-life" credo and infectious passion for young women and feminism are evident from even a split-second glance at her work.
Now she's just released her first book, The Girls' Guide to Rocking. Heard of it yet? Perhaps you've seen the kick-ass promo. Read on for more!
Friday night I attended an Indigo Girls concert at Ravina. Ravina is an outdoor concert arena but it is mostly lawn seating. People usually come bearing picnic baskets of cheese, wine and other snackables. It really is an experience. Friday night was pretty packed on the lawn as usual. People scout out their own spots and it's normally pretty hard to get back to the path if you are sitting too far in.
There were quite a good number of little girls attending with their moms. One such little girl was being lead, quickly, out of the lawn towards the path. We overhead the mom say loudly, "Come on, you can hold it. Squeeze! Squeeze!" Uh-oh...the potty run!
The mom was taking her daughter away from the best exit path, so one woman yelled out, "Over here!" A collective "whew" could be heard as the mom turned quickly and they were well on their way to the restrooms. "Sisterhood in action!" cried my friend.
I have no idea if the little girl made it, but I hope that the super long line parted ways for one of the littlest fans. Sisterhood indeed.
That journalist Sheila Weller's NYT Bestseller, "Girls Like Us" also features Carole King and Carly Simon is a nice extra, of course. I haven't even finished this book yet, but I just have to gush about it. It's music history, it's women's history, it's American pop culture history...what's not to love?