A profile of the artist by Taffy Brodesser-Akner [content warning: sexual assault]
"“A lot of our audiences are kids and teens, and they want to be in on the joke. And they’ll listen again. We’re just a little looser with this stuff than most traditional first ladies.”" -- Michelle Obama, interviewed by Variety.
This past May on Metafilter, we looked at “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls”, a wildly popular variety show that was broadcast every Wednesday night in the 1930's and 1940's from the state prison in Huntsville, TX. It featured performances by male and female prisoners. No recordings of the show have ever been found. In the early forties, eight inmates of the Goree State Farm prison unit formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country and their performances were broadcast on Thirty Minutes. The Goree All Girl String Band captured the hearts of millions of radio listeners but never cut a record or went on tour and have thus been ignored by music historians. When they were paroled, they nearly all vanished forever. [more inside]
Up close and a little too personal with The Last Shadow Puppets. As I walk away, I try to suppress my ballooning sense that something wasn’t right back there. Is it normal to be asked up to a male musician’s room — even as a joke? Or cheek-kissed, repeatedly high-fived, and stared down? Even if he’s entirely harmless (and I’m sure that he is), is this the sort of thing that I should let go for the sake of my job? After music journalist Rachel Brodsky interviewed the U.K. orch-rock duo, she came away with a very different article than she'd set out to write.
It’s an all-girl supergroup like no other: Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde, Jamaican-born singer Grace Jones, Sleater-Kinney guitarist and “Portlandia” star Carrie Brownstein, folkie Jewel, punk poet Patti Smith and 1970s icon Carly Simon. Only these women aren’t reviving Lilith Fair. They’re part of the latest trend in book publishing. In a genre once wholly dominated by male rockers, female musicians are now finding their voices — and their book deals.
- 100 Years of Fashion in 2 Minutes
- 100 Years of Men's Fashion in 3 Minutes
- 100 Years of Men's Swimwear in 3 Minutes (women's)
- 100 Years of Fitness in 100 Seconds
- 100 Years of Female Dance
- 100 Years of Music
- AFI's 100 Years ... (youtube playlist from American Film Institute)
- 100 Years of Black Beauty
- 100 Years of History in 2 Minutes
Jessica Gentile has compiled a brief-but-interesting listicle for Pitchfork: “Songs about PMS and Periods”
"So last week, when country radio promoter Keith Hill controversially suggested that stations should stop playing songs by female artists, it’s easy to label his actions another example of misogynistic, conservative politics.The Conversation's Clifford Murphy, on why [country radio promoter] Keith Hill’s comments about women in country music cut far deeper than misogyny [more inside]
However, Hill’s comments are actually indicative of something much bigger and far more troubling: the consolidation of an entire genre of music, and the type of environment this can create. In the case of country, it’s allowed for the repurposing of the genre’s history, and the exclusion of certain individuals."
"The record store, the guitar shop, and now social media: when it comes to popular music, these places become stages for the display of male prowess. Female expertise, when it appears, is repeatedly dismissed as fraudulent. Every woman who has ever ventured an opinion on popular music could give you some variation (or a hundred) on my school corridor run-in, and becoming a recognized 'expert' (a musician, a critic) will not save you from accusations of fakery." The World Needs Female Rock Critics, by Anwen Crawford for the New Yorker. Discussed in the piece is Jessica Hopper's new collection of essays, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, which has been greeted with glowing praise. Here's an interview she did with Hazlitt: 'Am I Womansplaining To You?' And here she speaks to Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy: "Being a fangirl is all the qualification you need. And don't wait for anyone to give you permission. They won't. And you should do it anyways." [more inside]
Yesterday, the organizers of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival announced that this summer's festival will be their last. [more inside]
There's somehow a notion out there that women don't make their own electronic music. In a recent interview with Bjork in Pitchfork, she brought up an instance of sexism she's dealt with for decades: journalists hardly ever credit her with composing and producing her own music. Since she's not being photographed in the studio working at her computer, the men she collaborates with end up getting all the credit. She cites MIA and Missy Elliott as other examples of this phenomenon. The tumblr female:pressure attempts to counteract this. "Here we offer a visual catalogue of female producers, DJ’s, media artists and electronic music Performers at work. These are not our press photos. This is a collective effort to demonstrate women and their use of technology in music and media production." It's also just a fantastic collection of electronic musicians, many of whom have been overlooked. Further discussion from Create Digital Music.
Nicki Minaj (autoplaying video) is a singer, rapper, songwriter and actress who is known for her outlandish outfits, makeup, and wigs, and gutsy, lyrically skilled rapping. She creates personas or "masks" in her music and videos to communicate her message. Recently, she released an album cover online to promote her new release, Anaconda, and to create buzz. Boy did it. (All links NSFW.) [more inside]
Without You I'm Nothing: The Believer looks at the memoirs of the wives and girlfriends of rock stars.
A Think-piece About Female Pioneerism in Electronic Music, Post-post Feminism and Some Sassy Statements On Sexism ’Woman’ is not a genre. Stop acting like we’re a passing fad. Delia Derbyshire (previously), Daphne Oram (previously), Wendy Carlos, Doris Norton, Suzanne Ciani, Cynthia Webster… even Goldfrapp and Add N To (X)’s Ann Shenton. These women weren’t on the periphery of electronic music…they pioneered it”, says Mollie Wells of dark pop band Funerals in an Electronic Beats feature on women in electronic music. And she is right. Females have, since the post-war inception of electronically produced music, played a crucial role in its development and presentation. [more inside]
"But something happened. Once industrial music had fully transitioned from avant-garde venues into nightclubs, the stench of Axe body spray began to dominate the subculture as a certain douchey, bro-tastic vibe emerged. Where the goth/industrial scene had once existed as a safe haven for artists, weirdos, outcasts, geeks, dreamers and rebels, a disturbing trend of sexism, racism and anti-intellectualism is driving people out."
Women of Punk 30 shows containing almost 400 video clips exploring the role women have played in Punk music from the 70's to today, with rare interviews and concerts, videos, documentaries and feature films.
"I don't want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living" - Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, has apparently canceled her 2013 tour via Tumblr. (previously)
Kathryn Bigelow's striking bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty arrives in wide release tonight on the heels of a final artful trailer -- one with oddly familiar musical accompaniment. The funereal hymn, a cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (lyrics), deftly recasts the 90s power ballad as a haunting dirge of quiet grief, shattered ideals, and a singleminded focus on revenge, a perfect distillation of the film's profoundly grim thesis. But while the song may be fitting, it wasn't composed for the project -- it's just the latest success story from Belgian women's choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers, whose mournful reinterpretations of classic and modern rock -- catapulted by their rendition of "Creep" in The Social Network -- have made them famous around the world, with star turns in the likes of Homeland ("Every Breath You Take") and Downton Abbey ("With or Without You"). Cover comparison site WhoSampled offers a list of YouTube comparisons between the covers and the originals; look inside for more of their work in movies and television. [more inside]
Democracy Distilled: A History of America's Voting Rights. Remember to vote this November. Women in America, let's rise up. [more inside]
"Daphne Oram was the first woman to direct an electronic music studio, the first woman to set up a personal studio and the first woman to design and construct an electronic musical instrument." [previously: 1, 2, 3] [more inside]
Geoff Barrow of Portishead calls "Top Post-Punk Artists as Determined by RYM Ratings" an "amazing musical journey." But that's far from the most interesting list Rate Your Music user Goregirl has created. [more inside]
Popular punk band Screeching Weasel has dis-banded after front man Ben Weasel punched two women at SXSW last week. Weasel offered an apology (kind of). Last night, the other four members of the band resigned. [more inside]
Pink releases music video for the song Fuckin' Perfect: Explicit Version (Youtube, possibly NSFW) / Radio Edit: Youtube / MTVMusic. Background: Pink's Website / Wikipedia. Note: Both versions of the video depict anorexia, cutting and suicide.
Female-Fronted Punk Rock 1977-1989. A huge, 12 (!) disc, mix of punk rock sung by women.
Elvis rode to fame on one of her covers and Janis got rich on her signature song, but you haven't truly heard Hound Dog or Ball & Chain until you've experienced Big Mama Thornton belting them out. A seminal blues figure who could play the harp with the best of them, she was true original. In her heyday, Willie Mae was a 6-foot tall, 350-pound, gun-toting crossdresser who led a rough and colorful life and took no guff whatsoever. Emaciated but still powerful, she gives a final raw and expressive performance of Ball & Chain and Hound Dog shortly before her death in 1984. [more inside]
Sounds of America is a new monthly streaming audio program, a collaboration between the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Global Sound. Up now are 3 episodes: African-American music in New Orleans, Women in American Music, and Freedom Songs of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
HERSTORY is a YouTube playlist that details the history of women in Rock and Soul music over the course of 50 songs from 1958 to 1981.
The Rhythm & Blues Review is a one+ hour Google video clip of a 1955 Apollo show featuring Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway -- and at 1.05, Miss Rhythm herself, blues diva Ruth Brown singing her signature song, Teardrops From My Eyes. Ruth Brown sadly passed away on Friday. [More on Ruth Brown]
Hormone rock "Rock with the cock taken out and it's what a lot of women want to listen to right now"
In 1975, over 4 million people attended the funeral of Um Khaltoum who was the dignified voice of female Arabic music. Flash forward thirty years, and the times, they are a-changin'. Unsurprisingly, some consider Nancy an unsuitable role model. Meanwhile, Arab youth are being asked the crucial question, Coke or Pepsi? (Comments more serious than mine appreciated)
Women I grew up worshipping: Penelope Houston, Poly Styrene, Exene, Tina Weymouth. (God knows I'm forgetting a few.) The distaff side of punk and, uh, new wave, at their most lyrical, outraged, and articulate.
Women Rockin' 4 Women 2002 Festival. THIS IS BIG. Over twenty talented women. Eight female fronted bands. Nine solo female artists. Third annual event. Two sound stages. One venue. One night. Benefitting shelters for victims of domestic violence. More estrogen in one place than you can shake a stick at. You're not busy on September 28th, are ya? Granted, it might be a bit of a commute for some, but... Heaven's gonna touch Earth.
Women Rockin' 4 Women 2001 Festival - If you don't live in Dallas Texas USA, you have two days to get here. If you do live in the Lone Star state, you don't want to miss this. Five Clubs. Over 25 beautiful, talented, guitar-carrying women. One night. Proceeds for this benefit go towards helping the victims of domestic violence. We have great music every weekend in Deep Ellum, but this event's gonna be heaven.