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Volunteer for Rain City Rock Camp For Girls!

Want to make a difference for young girls? Want to rock out, inspire, improve self-esteem, and have the best week of your life? Then I recommend volunteering for Girls Rock Camps this summer, preferably at your local branch if possible! Mine is Seattle, Rain City Rock Camp…so what is Rock Camp all about?

Basically it is a camp for girls ages 8-16 with the main goal of improving girls’ self-esteem, leadership skills, building community,  and inspiring them through the power of rock and roll.  It’s not a camp to cover songs, or learn the “right” way to play (the right way is YOUR way) but helps girls to find confidence through music, give them a voice, both literally and figuratively. How many of us would have the inner courage to step up to the mic and speak your mind?

Rock camp aids in this by exposing these girls to strong female role-models, and giving them a chance to participate with their peers in an activity that traditionally doesn’t place women as the music makers. The camp lasts one week, with girls forming bands, learning instruments, and writing songs, which they perform at the end of week, live on stage. It is an amazing moment, I cry every time! This is what rock is about!

So, what can YOU do? They need  interns, counselors, instrument teachers, roadies, band coaches, workshop leaders, general camp support, and some floaters to do a little bit of everything. No musical experience required for some of these jobs, just a positive attitude to turn it up! For more information, check out the link below.

Want to be in a camp like this but you’re over 16? Rock camp interns are usually 17 and 18, and Ladies Rock Camp is for those over 18. Same idea, it’s just a week of camp powered into a weekend.

If you can spare a few hours July 24-31, please help out! If not, you can always donate gear, money, help promote the camp, and attend the showcase and cheer on the bands. There are so many ways to help out, and every little bit helps!

Loud! Proud! Rock campers rule the crowd!

Links, Links….how’s the family?

Summertime = new music!

Macy Gray is kickin’ it old school with her new album via CBC News.

Liz Phair has also got up some new music on her website via Pitchfork.

Tracy Bonham has a new album out as well, her first in 5 years, via Billboard.

Jewel talks about her new album “Sweet and Wild” via NPR.

Review of Kylie Minogue’s new album “Aphrodite” via SPIN.

Amy Winehouse covers Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party!” via NME.

Plus, get a first listen of Bjork & Dirty Projectors new song “All We Are” via SoundCloud.

Free MP3 “Windstorm” by School of Seven Bells via KEXP.

Interview with Karen and Amy Jones via Go Girls Music.

Lil’ Kim may be collaborating with Rihanna on a new song via NME.

Lady Gaga vs. Ace Of Base? Really? via NPR.

New Book about Karen Carpenter called “Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter” via Amazon.

Janet Jackson turns it up at the Essence Music Festival via Billboard.

The latest Bitch Magazine mixtape is all about Sisters Who Make Music Together. It’s awesome!

10 More Lilith Fair dates have been canceled via Paste. This really sucks. We need a strong comeback for women in music!

Salt Lake City (July 12), Montreal (July 23), Raleigh (Aug. 4), Charlotte (Aug. 6), West Palm Beach (Aug. 10), Tampa (Aug. 11), Birmingham (Aug. 12), Austin (Aug. 14), Houston (Aug. 15) and Dallas (Aug. 16).

Girls Rock Camp Seattle Needs your help! Donate money and gear here.

New Sara Bareilles music video “King of Anything” via RockHer.

EMP Pop Music Conference Day 2

Day two! Here are my reactions to the panel discussions I went to.

Engendering Technology Panel

  • Elizabeth Keenan, “Hipster Values: High Art Discourses and White Masculine Mastery in the Music of the Dirty Projectors”
  • Sarah Dougher, “How Girls” Rock Camps use Music as a Tool for Empowerment, and why it Sometimes Doesn’t Work.”
  • Emily Zemler, “Producing the Gender Gap: Male-Dominance in the Recording Studio”

Oh hell yeah. This panel was totally up my alley on the gendered dynamics of specific spaces within the music industry. The hipster discussion looked into cultural appropriation, and the nerd culture that goes along with knowing all of these obscure bands and musical styles, which of course, gets coded as male.

The Girls Rock camp one was also pertinent. I know even at rock camp, it felt like instrumentalists where still valued more over vocalists, and that the vocalists in the band I mentored did feel a little off-set from the rest of the band.

The recording studio discussion most closely mimicked the kinds of things I am interest in, in my own research on the music store culture. Recording studios are gendered, a man’s space, where he is the master of his techy tools and bodily fluids. I asked during the Q&A about what the panelist knew/experienced in the music store as women, and there was a sort of collective “Ha! I have stories…” of which one panelist talked about being ignored in the music store to the point of absurdity.


  • Douglas Wolk, “Beyond the Celestial Jukebox: The Future of Listening to Music”
  • Nick Minichino, “The New Scarcity”
  • Ned Raggett, “The Listener as Electronic Librarian”
  • Tim Quirk, “The Quiet Revolution: From the Walkman to the iPod, How Portability and Infinite Storage Have Changed the Way We Listen, and What We Listen To”

I learned a lot on this one. Especially what “The Cloud” is, and the idea that we need to all put music up into it for everyone to enjoy. Kinda like a communal, property free musical park if you will. I’m not quite sure how much of that I agree with, but it was interesting.

The idea of a scarce musical recording the digital age is interesting. What we think of as scarce is usually in the physical sense, an actual copy. But, everything is on youtube, so really, you can get to almost anything, so how is anything scarce anymore? Hum…..

I really loved Ned Raggett’s talk. I totally agree that in some ways, with our digital music libraries, we are our own DJs as well as, librarians of information. I am also anal when it comes to correctly labeling my mp3s as well. =)

Finally, the infinite storage thing with portable music media. I miss my walk(wo)man. I got it at a garage sale in the 90s. It was black with pink paint splatters. Gosh, I want it back. I don’t think I’ll have as much of an attachment to that as I do with my iPod now. But then again, I used that cassette player so much more. We’ll see in like 15 years.



  • Gustavus Stadler, “Warhol as Recording Artist”
  • Tina Majkowski, “Queer Gear: Percussive Technology and the Queer Sonic Body”
  • Alexandra Apolloni, “There”s No Other Superstar: On Lady Gaga, Disability, and the Technology of Stardom”

Sorry, didn’t really care about the Warhol piece. Mostly just cause I don’t really care about Warhol.

Queer Gear was too awesome. I love the idea that gendered personas are indeed coded into our performances as musicians, and to queer the gear, so to speak, involves and active participation in negotiating how and why you play instruments in a certain way, and the sounds they make. For example, you can play the guitar as a symbolic heterosexual phallus, low, in between your legs, or, you can do this:

Freakin’ Awesome!

Finally, my favorite piece, the Lady Gaga talk! It was a discussion on how Lady Gaga uses ideas of disability in her music and videos and I totally agree. As the speaker said, her usage of fame, celebrity and fashion, as a symbolic and physical disability for female artists was spot on. Women’s bodies are disabled due to restrictive fashion, much as their talent and creativity are stifled by music industry standards as to what good female artists should be. Word.

Retro Uses

  • Lauren Onkey, “Performing Vinyl”
  • Andy Zax, “”Don’t Ever Buy Nothin’ You Don’t Dig”: The Warner/Reprise Radio Spots, 1968-1972″
  • Charles R. Cross, “The Ghost in the Machine”
  • Michael Mannheimer, “Big Wave Rider: Cassette Tapes, Inverted Nostalgia, and the Creation of glo-fi”

Finally, the retro media talk! The performing vinyl piece was cool. What do you do, as an artist if you want to perform live your album that was pressed on vinyl in that order? There is a bit of nostalgia in the idea of hearing a record in that order, but that also assumes that when vinyl was the only option, people listened to it straight through as well, or didn’t hear out of order songs on the radio.

Andy Zax’s talk of old school radio spots on vinyl was classic. The spots were so hilarious and dated, it makes me want to reproduce them for myself. Ya know, make some funny ads promoting Jukebox Heroines with some psychedelic music in the background. Groovy!

The next discussion was on Jukeboxes, and I dug it. They really do have a place in our popular imagination and how they shaped popular songs at the time.

And last, but not least, cassette tape culture. In case you don’t know, cassette tapes are making a small, but trendy comeback for artists. Some release small runs of their music on cassette, sometimes only on cassette out of nostalgia, budget issues, or just pure aesthetic and artistic reasons. I am thinking myself of releasing my music on a limited run cassette. Could be fun!

Stay tuned for more of my thoughts on EMP Pop Music COnference 2010!

Photos from here, here, here and here.

Fun Around The Interwebs

Lady Gaga wins three BRIT awards! via Google.

Black women in rock music via Bitch Magazine.

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls Auction! via Bust Magazine.

The White House Celebrates music of the Civil Rights era. via NPR. Here is the link to the White House Broadcast of the student workshop on Civil Rights Music. Really cool!

Listen to Sade’s new album, streaming for free right now via Vibe.

And Video:

10 Greatest B-52’s songs via Paste Magazine.

Another Rolling Stone Greatest List that includes no women on it. And this one was made by the readers. Ignorance is leaving women out. Shocker.

New Drumming book for girls! via Tom Tom Magazine.

More Riot Grrrl discussion via Slate.

V V Brown…pop-punk at it’s best!

The best pop music you may not have heard on Blame it on the Pop!

Preview of a new Hole Song:

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