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The 1990s in Music – Women Bring It!

Hole / Live Through This

The Sound Opinions radio show is quite awesome. They have covered various artists that I love including Chrissie Hynde, The Vivian Girls, and Janelle Monae. Now, the show is called “Sound Opinions” so, it’s a show featuring the things the hosts Jim & Gregg like. But I was a little disappointed in their recent show on the music of 1991, or at least the music that signified 1991 for them. That list didn’t include any women. ūüė¶

Now, it wasn’t until a a few years later when we had mainstream media exposure for a lot of female artists we think of as staples now-a-days (Sarah McLachlan, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, ect) but however, there were plenty of women doing grunge type stuff just as prolifically and passionately as Nirvana.

So for future reference, here are some albums that symbolize 1991 for me by the ladies who have just as much to say as Radiohead or NWA.

  • “Nature of a Sista” – Queen Latifah
  • “Bikini Kill” – Bikini Kill
  • “To Mother” – Babes in Toyland
  • “Smell The Magic” – L7
  • “Pretty on The Inside” – Hole
  • “Little Earthquakes” – Tori Amos
  • “Black’s Magic” – Salt ‘n Pepa (technically 1990, but “Let’s Talk About Sex” was released in 1991)
  • “Dreamy” – Beat Happening
  • “Gish” – Smashing Pumpkins
  • “Emotions” – Mariah Carey
  • “The Comfort Zone” – Vanessa Williams

Also, NRP’s All Songs Considered Blog just posted a note asking if the 90s were awesome and asking what music readers hold dear from that decade. Were the 90s awesome? Of course they were! Thankfully some readers made sure to comment on the amazing female artists of the time. Unfortunately, most did not mention the ladies and bands with the some ladies who rocked the decade. Sure, it maybe that none of the readers jammed out to Shawn Colvin, but we shouldn’t forgot these talented artists!

This is one of the problems with retrospectives and “best of” lists that get complied 10, 20 years after something happens. A few names get remembered (mostly male, see any Rolling Stone greatest list) and everything else disappears. That is why we loose so many amazing female artists because they do not get included in these types of lists or retrospectives ,therefore, later generations have no idea what was “cool” during a specific time period.¬† (Sure some male bands and artists are lost too, no argument there, but when it comes to remembering musicians, male artists dominate those lists.)

As a culture we don’t think these women are important enough to remember, or the list makers happen to be male, and often only include other men in their lists (they might not even realize, and it may not be intentional,¬† it but that doesn’t make it any less ok though.)

Yet another task for Jukebox Heroines, to make sure women who rock are never forgotten!

In case you don’t know, here are some women who turned it up in the 90s. By no means definitive, but this is just off the top of my head. Who am I missing? Let me know in the comments section! ūüôā

  • Courtney Love
  • TLC
  • En Vouge
  • Ace Of Base
  • No Doubt
  • Tori Amos
  • Sarah Mclachlan
  • Alanis Morisette
  • Spice Girls
  • The Cranberries
  • Fiona Apple
  • Lauryn Hill
  • No Doubt
  • Belly

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Folks Festival Favorites

Guest post by Ms. Wizzle at Feminist Themes.

Last week I was absent for very exciting reasons.  First, my mom came out to visit and then my partner and I headed over to Lyons, Colorado for Planet Bluegrass’s 20th Folks Festival.  And it folked my socks off.  Old favorites were there, like Ani DiFranco and Jenny Lewis, and I found some new favorites, too, such as Girlyman and Dala.  Consider the following to be souvenirs I brought back for you!

Ani DiFranco РHer new stuff keeps getting better.  Which is astonishing.  Check out this sweet folk ditty (sorry about the poor visuals, but the sound is great and this vid is from the festival!):

Jenny Lewis РJenny had me at Rilo Kiley, and her solo stuff continues to win me over.  She played Silver Lining at the Folks Festival, but this clip is from a different performance:

¬†Girlyman¬†‚Äď Girlyman is my new favorite band. They were fantastic free-stylin‚Äô banterers. If you ever, ever, hear about them coming near your town, go see them. This is their official vid (made with the help of comedian Margaret Cho):

Dala ‚Äď Dala is a Canadian duo made up of Amanda and Sheila who are great musicians, and fellow Beatles lovers.

Liz Longley РLiz Longley also blew me away, especially with her intense song The Gun and The Gold.  Liz was the winner of last year’s songwriter showcase, earning her a full set this year:

Alas, after two days of full sun my northern heritage was showing.  And by that I mean I had a nice little sunburn going, plus some general exhaustion from hot days, cold nights, and fanatical festivarians.  So we headed home on day three, missing a couple of pretty cool acts:

The Waifs ‚Äď From Australia.

Joy Kills Sorrow ‚Äď I was excited that this band had a guitar, bass, banjo and mandolin.¬† The more strings the better, right?¬† And voices to match.

It was an all around great festival, and I wish that we would have had the energy to stay longer.¬† Next time we‚Äôll need to get a whole crew together ‚Äď the campsite next to ours was having a great time‚Ķ¬† Any recommendations?

Ode to Links

Kate Nash’s¬†new album “My Best Friend is You” is out, and it is riot grrrl awesomeness. I want to be her best friend! via Spin.

Courtney Love is co-producing a new biopic about Kurt Cobain. via NME.

Plus from Courtney Love to Kate Nash via NPR.

Paramore launches spring tour via Spin.

Dum Dum Girls announce West Coast Tour via ArtFag.

Madonna tribute on Glee, in case you missed it, you can watch it on Hulu. The soundtrack is available¬†on itunes, and Madonna’s Live Sticky Sweet Tour DVD is out. via Billboard.

V.V. Brown Live Studio Session on World Cafe. Listen here, via NPR.

FREE Gemma Ray mp3¬†of “Ghost on the Highway” via Paste.

Plus 2 FREE MP3’s by Teenagersintokyo via Exclaim.

Diva’s of world music, via NPR.

Ani Difranco Live on the Mountain Stage, listen here, via NPR.

Happy Belated Birthday to Lesley Gore! Go Party Girl! via NPR.

Greatest Female Guitarists of all time! via VenusZine Magazine

This article is a little old but I just stumbled upon it and figured it would be worth spreading the good news. As you know, usually when any magazine makes a “greatest of” list, unless it has the word “female” or “women” in it, you won’t see any women on that list. So, I applaud Venus Zine for doing this, showing that there are plenty of amazing female guitarists out there and that they often get left out of those “great” lists. Even today, many people don’t think girls can play the guitar (this usually¬†means they can’t¬†electric rock guitar, if it’s acoustic¬†sappy stuff, that’s ok), and if they do, they are “all right for a girl.” They can’t do solos, or play as fast…blah….blah…blah. As if playing “fast”¬†is the height of musically¬†and creativity. Please. Whatever. I have heard this enough myself and it gets old. There have been many a female electric guitarists from the days of Mary Ford, to Carol MacDonald, to Nancy Wilson, Joan Jett, Courtney¬†Love to Allison Robertson to Oranthi. It wasn’t until the electric guitar became associated with masculinity, technology, and basically your own phallus on stage, (don’t know what that means? see Prince at the Superbowl HalfTime Show 2007 for example) did women get kicked out. Also, the size of the guitar has changed over history, and those who don’t have giant sasquash hands (even guys too!) have a harder time building their technique, hell, or even just being able to fret the darn thing. That’s why there are now a few guitar companies out there that tailor their products to smaller hands.

Anyways, enjoy the list and comment on who was left out! I would add: Charo, Allison Robertson (The Donnas), Lori Linstruth, Mary Ford, Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Gos), Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), Jean Millington (Fanny), Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Kelly Johnson (Girlschool), Jewel, Tracy Chapman,  and Paula Pierce (The Pandoras).

The Greatest Female Guitarists of All Time Issue #35

Venus Zine applauds 46 of the world’s best

By Venus Zine Staff

Published: March 1st, 2008 | 12:25pm


    • Jennifer Batten
    • Christina Billotte
    • Kat Bjelland
    • Rory Block
    • Carrie Brownstein
    • Elizabeth Cotten
    • Brody Dalle
    • Kim Deal
    • Ani¬†DiFranco
    • Tanya Donelly
    • Rosie Flores
    • Lita Ford
    • Suzi Gardner
    • Sue Ann Harkey
    • Polly Jean Harvey
    • Jessie Mae Hemphill
    • Kristin Hersh
    • Chrissie Hynde
    • Sharon Isbin
    • Cordell Jackson
    • Joan Jett
    • Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones
    • Carol Kaye
    • Tara Key
    • Kaki King
    • Courtney Love
    • Lydia Lunch
    • Barbara Lynn
    • Christina Marrs
    • Satomi Matsumoto
    • Memphis Minnie
    • Joni Mitchell
    • Odetta
    • Pat Place
    • Liz Phair
    • Bonnie Raitt
    • Toshi¬†Reagon
    • Michelle Shocked
    • Donita Sparks
    • Marnie Stern
    • Ruyter Suys
    • Sister Rosetta Tharpe
    • Mary Timony
    • Sarah Utter
    • Tal Wilkenfeld
    • Nancy Wilson

And for those who don’t think girls can play “fast” eat this:

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