Monthly Archives: January 2010

Quick Riffs – Around The Interwebs

Interview with Rusty, drummer for the all-girl The Coathangers via Tom Tom Magazine.

Older article about Girls Rock! Camps starting up in Canada via Gender Across Borders.

 Three women singer-songwriters are reviving the folk movement in Israel via PRI The World.

Another article talking about the roots of Riot Grrrl via  Campus Progress.

FREE Vivian Girls MP3 of them singing “He’s Gone” by the Chantels. I love it! Click here to download.

New Ella Fitzgerald compilation CD out via NPR.

Beyoncé & “Single Ladies” Song of the Year? Via NPR.

Kid Sister on Sound Opinions Radio Show.

The Pretty Babies – The only all female Blondie tribute band is now on tour. From NYC!

Listen to Hanging On The Telephone here or One Way or Another here. Via Bust Magazine.

Jody Miller – I Can’t Believe What You Say

Via Kathleen Hanna and alexandergeoffreyfrank for this video.

Chic Mix Playlist – My Teen Years Vol. 1

New segment! Chic Mix Playlists!

Here I will feature 7 songs that I like, revolve around a theme or genre, or are just cool. This is the first of hopefully many!

My Teen Years Vol. 1

There are some songs that defined my awkward adolescence. Some of these artists were the first cassettes/CDs that I owned!

  • Madonna – Ray of Light
    • I also had Madonna’s Immaculate Collection, but Ray Of Light was the first album I had by the pop queen. It really got me into India and Henna.
  • Spice Girls – 2 Become 1
    • My girlfriends and I performed this at our highschool talent show. What can I say?
  • Mariah Carey – Fantasy
    • I remember singing this one over and over and wishing I could roller blade.
  • La Bouche – Be My Lover
    • My dance tune. “Ah ha, yea, hey he, wanna be my lover!”
  • No Doubt – Just A Girl
    • I played the Tragic Kingdom album in my cassette player when I would go for walks. I always think of it when I excercise now.
  • Alanis Morissette – Ironic
    • A sample of my angst bitterness….I haven’t outgrown it yet.
  • Ace Of Base – Beautiful Life
    • Another great dance tune! Love the piano.

Photo by Looking Glass.

Spice Girls – The Musical!

Look out! There maybe a Spices Girls musical in the future! There are not many details yet, except that it is tentatively titled “Viva Forever.”  I am very intrigued about this idea.

I was waaaaay into the Spice Girls in highschool. I even sang with my other girlfriends in our highschool’s talent show. We sang “Two Become One.” I was “Baby Spice.” Ohhhh, now I get that song! Oo, we were edgy!  But I had their album, posters, the movie, dressed up like “Scary Spice” for Halloween. I was sooooooo into it.

Now, just as many people are divided on whether The Spice Girls were positive role models for women and girls, as much as people debate if Madonna was/is or Lady Gaga. Granted, they are huge pop sensation, I think the biggest thing from Britain since the Beatles if I am correct. They dressed in crazy, glittery, animal printed outfits, sang about friendship and loving your mama, and looked like they had a blast doing it. Sure, their “Girl Power!” motto was a watered down version of the empowerment that started with Riot Grrrl. By the late 90s, strong, independent women were the “in” thing, and marketers and trendsters used it for all that it was worth. But I don’t think it’s fair to automatically dismiss them because some jerks in R&D figured out they could sell back women’s awesomeness and power via products. It’s like the Sleater-Kinney song “# 1 Must Have”, where the song lyrics go:

“But they took our ideas to their marketing stars
and now I’m spending all my days at
Trying to buy back a little piece of me”

The Spice Girls are rather tame when you compare them to current “Girl Groups” like the Pussycat Dolls. Even so, I think the Spice Girls were positive, and I’ll tell ya why.

1) They were sexy, fun, but I do not think “sexed” up. They were confident in their clothing and if you look at how they portray themselves in their videos and on stage, it is about sisterhood and letting go, not playing it up for the “male gaze.”

2) Their songs were about things that many girls my age at the time could relate to: not giving up yourself for a man, staying true to your friends, loving your family, hope, and being able to have fun without worrying about what other people thought.

3) Most importantly, the girls wrote their own material and dance routines. What more do you want? Seriously.

Sure, I know they are not like the Riot Grrrls, but not every artist is. I think they had their own flair and that is why I love them, and my feminist, @ss kicking Bikini Kill. I know there are problematic issues with much of mainstream music an how women are portrayed in it.  But, I also think that we sometimes judge female artists so harshly, and to such a high standard, that not even Gloria Steinem screaming into a microphone, smashing a pink vagina shaped guitar, while burning her bra  is enough to convince some people that female artists are not just tools. I love the fact that we can have such a variety of female musicians and styles that can touch and influence people in so many ways. We need to celebrate this diversity! As they say, “Spice Up Your Life!”

This one makes me cry every time: I love my mom!

Kathleen Hanna & Riot Grrrl Archives at NYU

Thanks to Grrrl Sounds for first posting about this news. Please visit her site as well and keep up with all your riot grrrl rock needs! Women in music need to stick together!

Kathleen Hanna, the famed Riot Grrrl (of Bikini Kill & later Le Tigre) who kicked off the movement in the early 90s (though she’s so modest and doesn’t want that title) donated a whole ton of her ‘zines, writings, and other material to the New York University Special Collections Library. They will be housed in the Fales Library Special Collections called The  Riot Grrrl Collection to preserve this amazing movement combining feminism, music, and young women.

The library notes on their website why it is important: “Because Riot Grrrl was (and is) both a political and a cultural movement, its output was diverse, including writing, music, performance, film, activism, photography, video, and original art, as well as documentation of activism and performance. This research collection will provide primary resources for scholars who are interested in feminism, punk activism, queer theory, gender theory, DIY culture, and music history.”

I think that this is just great! I have been trying to get copies of Kathleen’ Hanna’s, as well as, other Riot Grrrls zines from eBay and such, with some success. I mean, since they were photocopyed, you can make more, but after a while, the copies of copies of copies get rather hard to read. I am so happy that Riot Grrrl and the movement is getting some credit from the academic side. I mean they have for a bit, some texts have been written about it, but preserving these documents ensures it will never be forgotten!

You can listen to Kathleen on Zinecore Radio taking about it. Also check out a new riot grrrl article in The Guardian.

Another place that is trying to keep Riot Grrrl alive is the EMP (Experience Music Project) here in Seattle, WA. 

I visited the EMP, and have looked at their collection online and it is not bad. Sad though, because in comparison to all the men featured in that museum, the Riot Grrrl collection was more like a whisper than a growl.  When I was there, their Jimi Hendrix exhibit basically took up the entire museum. Ugh.

%d bloggers like this: