Listening to What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, the sixth studio album from real-life Manic Pixie Dream Girl Regina Spektor, is a pretty philosophical experience. Spektor has done a lot of changing. Her music has changed, her career has changed (read: exploded), her audience has changed (read: used to be some people, is now ALL OF THE PEOPLE). But she's also done a fair amount of staying exactly the same. This isn't going to be a wistful post from a longtime fan, bemoaning the loss of an indie darling to the riptide of the mainstream. I promise. But Cheap Seats, as it turns out, are where you get the best view of the big picture.
JD Samson is certainly no stranger to Bitch; a significant voice in the Riot Grrrl movement, and a more than prominent queer and feminist icon, it only makes sense to let you know what she's up to this summer. Last week, while attempting to figure out exactly what to write for this post (because leaving you with just a list of tour dates would be boring), a dear friend deemed me a “JD Samson connoisseur.” While I gladly accepted this title, there's definitely a bit of a difference between knowing a lot about someone and having a mild obsession* with (read: giant crush on) that person, and you can probably guess where I stand within this spectrum of connoisseurship. Though, with this giant crush, comes a great deal of respect and admiration for JD as both an artist and an activist.
The word “forward” keeps popping up in my sphere. Wisconsinites wielded it during their recent recall election (it’s their state motto). Obama has chosen it as his new campaign slogan.
I’ve decided to adapt it as my personal slogan as well. My life has gone in about a million different directions over the last year—I finished school, went through a major break-up, threw stability to the wind and moved halfway across the country. I know I’m not alone in feeling uncertain about the direction my life will take from here (it is graduation season after all), but that doesn’t make moving forward any easier.
So, to those of you who aren’t sure where you’re going either: I made this “forward”-themed mix for you. Track list after the jump!
Kat Edmonson makes warm, hand-holding love songs that hearken back to smoky 1940s lounges or swinging 1960s girl groups, with simple lyrics and arrangements that keep her message accessible and sweet. And now that it's almost summer, the breezy, throwback pop which makes up Edmonson's sophomore album Way Down Low is exactly what the doctor ordered. Read after the jump for an interview with Austin native Edmonson on music, writing, champagne, and birth doulas (!!).
The lead singer of Against Me! came out as transgender in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, which hits newsstands on Friday. While some of the comments on Rolling Stone's online article are predictably disgusting, commentators on the official Against Me! message board have been overwhelmingly supportive.
After all, any diehard fan knows it's the music that matters. And if transfolks are the ones making it, well, that should come as no surprise.
I discovered Naomi Hooley's warm, powerful music a few months ago, when a friend pointed me first to her song "Tornado" and then the album that spawned it, the gorgeous It was a Great October. Her sound is earthy and approachable, and her backstory is the stuff of serendipitous musical legend. My theory is, no matter where you listen to Naomi's music, you will be reminded of home.
Tip: Find a friend with a convertible, or a friend with one of those bikes with a fat sound system on it, and get Colleen Green's recently re-released Milo Goes to Compton. Wait for a sunny day, combine said friend's form of open-air transportation with the album, and cruise around town, maybe with some iced tea. Even if Colleen Green sings about down days (and being really stoned), her music comes purpose-built for forecasts above 75 degrees.
There are few songs I like less than Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl.” I dislike most of her music (that skit she did with Elmo, however, is adorable), but “I Kissed A Girl” bothers me most of all. You’d think such a song would be tailor-made for me—after all, I have, in fact, kissed girls and liked it! But it’s really not a song for me, or for any other queer woman (even though I know queer women who like the song). It’s a song for straight men who have “lesbian” fantasies in which femme women make out with each other but don’t present any actual threat to male sexuality and dominance. It’s a song for straight women who find the idea of kissing other women to be a “scandalous” and fun way of entertaining men, but who ultimately aren’t romantically or sexually attracted to other women. It’s a song about false, constructed, performed bisexuality, and it isn’t doing anything to help the acceptance of non-monosexual folks.
One of the funniest (read: most irritating and laughably asinine) consequences of reproductive-rights discussions is that the word "choice" has many, many, many more meanings than what a woman does with her own body, but the same word is used to apply to all of them. For those of you that don't remember Samantha Bee's perfect illustration on the Daily Show of how incredibly loaded the word choice has become, watch here. To sum up Sam's point, we all make choices. And we should! That's how life gets lived! So let's reclaim...decisions. No, wait, that's not quite right. It's like an alternative... What's the word I'm looking for?
Here is a BitchTapes dedicated to all sorts of choices, from your pro-choice friends at Bitch Media. Track list after the jump!