If crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford is all you know about Toronto, then you have a lot to learn. While the Canadian city has become internationally infamous for the disturbing antics of its unfortunate mayor, Toronto has cultivated one of the most exciting and diverse queer feminist art scene in recent years. From last Halloween’s Lesbian Feminist Haunted House to numerous experimental queer bands, Toronto has a community that supports media makers who push the political and artistic envelope.
With so many folks starting new musical projects all the time, it can be super hard to keep track of who’s who.And while I'm a fan of more bands than I could ever list (who isn’t?), I've compiled a tiny sliver of a showcase of just four of our favorite new(ish) bands to watch out for next year.Come 2014, all of these bands will be releasing awesome new albums and playing lots of gigs.We wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the bands’ imminent hits, so listen up and follow away.
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.
Now, indie label K Records is releasing a double CD (and double LP) retrospective of their work, “Sooner or Later,” which pulls together the band’s rough recordings from 1978-1983. Listening to the album from guitarist Jennifer LoBianco (and, later, Meg Hentges), drummer Pat Baum, and sisters Kim and Kt Kincaid feels like hearing music that’s “from the end of the pen, the stroke of the brush, a hit across the back of the head with a 2x4” that is “joyous to the extreme,” as K Records founder Calvin Johnson puts it.
The 45-track album “Sooner or Later” goes on sale on October 15, but K Records is streaming the album on Bitch for free this week only. UPDATE 10/16: This album stream is now done. But you can listen to two songs for free below.
Nothing to Fear:
The details on The Neo Boys' album release party is below the cut. it sounds great!
The Julie Ruin just about burned down the stage at Portland's Time Based Arts festival last Thursday night. The group kicked off the contemporary arts festival as part of a national tour to celebrate their album Run Fast and as frontwoman Kathleen Hanna launched into their raucous playlist, the room suddenly felt hot, sweaty, and electric.
It's a big deal for Hanna to be on stage at all. The singer who brought seemingly boundless energy to Bikini Kill and Le Tigre has spent the last six years dealing with the effects of Lyme Disease, which hinders both physical and neurological abilities. When we spoke in early September, Hanna talked about living with an invisible disease, how vulnerability can create true confidence, and how the best thing that ever happened to riot grrrl is critique.
I walked into Other Music in New York's East Village, and asked the bearded, plaid-ed clerk, hoping he had the iconic music zine's 17th print edition in stock.
His Beardedness pointed me to a shelf with several other too-cool-for-school publications, and there it was: in all of its horizontal, blue, Grass Widow-covered glory, "legendary indie nerd bible" chickfactor.
A couple of years ago I saw ex-Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna speak in New York City, right before she donated her musical archives to New York University's Fales Library. I was struck by her acerbic wit, her 'I don't give a fuck' attitude.
While I was a teenager during the grunge and Riot Grrrl era, for some reason I was (at the time) more drawn to hyper-masculine, testosterone-saturated grunge and metal bands and was not that interested in what was happening on the other side of the scene. As Hanna's talk was intriguing, I took the opportunity to check out The Punk Singer, part of the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto.
About 10 minutes into the documentary, I knew that I had made a colossal mistake.
What better way to celebrate the time of giving than by giving back to your favorite labels, artists and general-music-enablers and purchasing some of their finest goods for a friend? 2012 was a great year for music, so step away from the dangfangled Internets and go into the real world and buy some albums! (Or embrace the internet and shop from your favorite label's e-store!)