I wasn’t too familiar with Warpaint until I saw their set at this year’s Pickathon Festival in Happy Valley, Oregon. While I was living in Minneapolis, I remember their lead single “Undertow” was popular on Minnesota Public Radio. The DJs used cheesy words like “psychedelic” and “groovy’ to describe their sound but that didn’t keep me from turning up the volume without shame.
Bold new bands fronted by LGBT folks are busting open Seattle's music scene, which has long had a reputation as the epicenter of a sound dominated by plaid-wearing indie rock dudes. We talk with the organizers of Seattle's 'Mo-Wave queer music and arts fest, get music picks from queer music podcast Homoground, and talk with show-stopping Seattle band Glitterbang.
This episode pairs well with our recent QueerShake mixtape, which features bands like THEESatisfaction and Magic Mouth.
A photo from the San Francisco event marking the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in 2010. (credit:Steve Rhodes, via Creative Commons)
Last month, I dropped my daughter off with my mother and went into San Francisco to be a part of the tenth annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
On the train on the way over, I spent some time on Twitter. That morning, news about R. Kelly was blowing up my feed. Finally, it seems like music fans are actually talking about the outrageousness of his new album Black Panties, whose cover and promo campaign include images that are practically bragging about his appetite for black teenage girls.
In the mid 1980’s Seattle was bursting with pride when several independent rock bands that created a musical hybrid that incorporated rock, heavy metal, hardcore and punk gained national and international attention. Grunge music and its accompanying culture coincided with the emergence of third-wave feminism and Seattle bands featured the work of a number of strong women musicians and artists.
This is a big year for musicians who grew up with the Riot Grrrl movement. In this episode, we talk with iconic musicians Kathleen Hanna and JD Samson about their new albums and writer Laina Dawes provides a different perspective with an essay, “Why I was never a riot grrrl.”
Autumn is the best season for new music, in terms of sheer volume. Musicians record all winter, road test in the spring, play the hits on summer festival stages, and put out the new material in the fall. To kick off the season, I've chosen nine of the best feminist artists' songs and albums coming out in September or October.
There's disco here, and rock, folk, punk, American blues via Malian Bambara, and more. Let us know what you think, and tell us what you've been listening to this month!
• Umme-Hani Khan, who was fired by Abercrombie for wearing a hijab, has won her discrimination case. Abercrombie argued to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that their workers are not employees subject to regular employment law but actually "living advertisements." Nice try, jerks. [Today]
• dapperQ tackled the lack of diversity at New York Fashion Week by co-producing their own fashion show, representing "queer owned and operated brands designing menswear for masculine presenting women, gender-queers, and trans* identified individuals." [Autostraddle]
Photo: Ma Rainey and her backing band in 1925. Via NotesOnTheRoad.com
When Gertrude "Ma" Rainey—known as "The Mother of Blues"—sang, "It's true I wear a collar and a tie… Talk to the gals just like any old man," in 1928′s "Prove It on Me," she was flirting with scandal, challenging the listener to catch her in a lesbian affair. It might not seem like a big deal to us now, but back then, pursuing same-sex relations could get you thrown in jail.