Blog Archives

RIP – Poly Styrene, X-Ray Spex


Punk legend, riot grrrl original, and icon for rebel women everywhere, Poly Styrene (Marianne Joan Elliott-Said) died of cancer this Monday 04/25/11. She was the front-woman for the British punk rock band X-Ray Spex.

“Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard, But I think — Oh bondage, up yours!”

Stickin’ it to the power, standing up for girls, FOREVER.

Photo via bjacques

Get Your LadyFest Bham On!


Attention Lady Rockers, artists, zine-sters, and all around awesome-makers. Ladyfest 2011 Bellingham, Washington wants you!

Are you a Band? Educator? Workshop leader? Visual Artist? Filmmaker? Spoken Word Artist? Writer? Ziner? Riot Grrrl? How about supporter of women/womin/womyn? Then I encourage you to submit your work to be featured during the festival June 15-19.,2011 in Bellingham, WA. Dealdine is May 15th!

About LadyfestBham:

“Ladyfest is a music/arts/ideas festival celebrating the creativity of women/womyn/wombin, transfolks, queers, grandmas, gender nonconformists and allies. The first Ladyfest was held in Olympia, WA in 2000, and since then, women have organized their own festivals in cities across the globe. Expect to see concerts, art shows, skill shares, film showings, and games happening all over town.”

Check LadyfestBham for more information and to submit your application!

Photo via ladyfestbham facebook.

Where Have All The Grrrls Gone?


We’re entering a time of ’90s nostalgia….and that means plenty of Riot Grrrl recapping. You know, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Team Dresch, Bratmobile, ect. But what about now? Where have all the grrrls gone? Who’s out there raising hell, standing up, refusing to be silent? Where can you find powerful female role models, speaking up for their rights, breaking the mold and doing things outside the box in 2011?

Well, thanks to the magic of tagging on Band Camp,  I have found a few artists that I think carry the torch for Grrrls of the 21st Century. I am happy to introduce to you: The Cathy Santonies, QueenBee, Catherine Elms, the ovens, Räuberhöhle, Doll Fight!, Demimonde Slumber Party, and Lipstick Homicide.

Revolution Grrrl Style NOW!

If you can’t see their music players below, that means you don’t have Flash. Just click on their names for direct links to their tunes.

Photo via  here.

DIY, By Choice or Consequence? – Part 2 of 2


Welcome to part 2 of DIY: By Choice or Consequence.  What are the limits of DIY? What are the downsides? Below are some things to consider. Read Part 1 here.

I think artists that are uninhibited create the best art. These inhibitions include physical limitations, but mental ones as well.  And realizing that you don’t need that $500 microphone to sing is a big step. Work with what you got. Don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t done before. Therefore, it becomes more than just doing it yourself, but a complete philosophy on how you approach what you create.

Now, DIY does have some drawbacks. The most obvious is that for some, DIY has never been a choice. Some artists have to do it themselves because they do not have the funds to do it any other way. Some DIY because no one else will help them to do it. Joan Jett had to start her own record label to get signed. All-female bands in the 90s had to create their own scene when they were excluded from the burgeoning hardcore and indie ones. And at times, DIY can be overwhelming because there is so much work to do as an artist. Writing, recording, producing, mastering, promoting, touring, social networking, press interviews, photo shoots, practicing, distributing your material, staying informed of the latest music news…let’s just say that it can be too much for the solo artist, let alone a band to handle themselves. That is why many artists hope to get on a big label because so much of this work can be delegated out. Does that mean every band on a big label is just a puppet? No.  Does that mean every DIYer is awesome? No. It just means that there is a lot of work to do, and finding a way to make it work for the music is key without sacrificing art or paying the rent.

That is why I say we can strike a happy medium. We can make DIY a positive choice, a valuable and actual option, while making it a positive consequence of our increasingly interconnected culture.  You can retain your DIY ethic without selling out. You are your own expert.  It’s not a last resort due to financial constraints. You can have autonomy over your art, but still look for help from others around you, either friends, other artists, professionals, or those in the industry who share the same ethic. While for some DIY is a trend, the hipster thing to do for those with too many options, privileges, and time, I think we can safely keep DIY as a useful item in our  artistic toolbox without loosing sight of the goal—to create really good music.

Photos via crownjewel82, wadem, and sourdiesel. This post was originally titled “DIY: Back To Basics” written for and published on Crowdbands.

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