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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. 😦

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! 🙂

  • 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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Breaking News & Hearts – Torry Castellano


Late last night, Torry Castellano announced that she is retiring from the Donnas due to a shoulder injury that has made it difficult for her to continue drumming.

Read the full press release here.

As a fan of the Donnas since 2002, and first time concert goer seeing them last summer, I am saddened that she will no longer be able to play. As a musician I know how much time, energy, and love you put into playing, and to have that ability diminished or taken away is heartbreaking. Torry has plans to attend Stanford University in the fall and I wish her the best of luck! Rock and roll is more than just about playing, it’s about your soul, about a feeling, and a state of mind. I know I can speak for all Donnas’ fans when I say that we are here for you no matter what! Rock on!

Photo via The Donnas.

I Heart Links!


Heart is hitting the road this summer to promote their new album “Red Velvet Car.” It’s their first album in 6 years! I’ll get the amazing chance to see them live in September and I cannot wait! Check out this article, and some photos via their facebook.

Leiana – Philly rocker who doesn’t take shit. We have a lot in common! PA produces a lot of in your face chic rockers…why? ‘Cause we don’t have much else to do beside be angry there…

Vote for your favorite female rock band: The Donnas, The Runaways, Indigo Girls or The Go-Gos. This poll is by Parade, and well, all I can say is that they are forgetting dozens of other women who rock, but then again, I don’t expect much from anything mainstream.

Free mp3 of “Everything to Lose” by Dido via amazon.

New Beyonce music video for “Why Don’t You Love Me?” is a total play on 1950s nostalgia and the black female experince. Awesome!

Wanna intern for Le Tigre? Hell yeah! They are looking for an intern in NYC this summer. More info here. I wish I could! It’s a riot grrrl dream!

Watch the Lady Gaga tribute on Glee, on Hulu or here. Full episode!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs photos from MOMA here.

Best Coast’s “Sun Was So High” 7″ vinyl is now for sale at ArtFag. Get it before it’s gone!

Those Darlins cancel their Australian tour due to Nikki Darlins’ arm injury, via Paste.

Get a La Roux and Major Lazer mixtape for free while it lasts via Filter.

Bettye LaVette covers classic British Rock on her new album, via Paste.

Lydia Mendoza, Mexi-American artist, Queen of the Tejano, freakin rocks the 12 string guitar via NPR.

Natalie Merchant live on World Cafe, listen on NPR.

Sixpence None The Richer to release a new album! via Billboard.

Jezebel interview with Melissa Etheridge here.

Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos is a superheroine! Well, yes, of rock & roll, but now comics to! Check her out in Lady Robotika via Billboard.

Link it! Link it good!


Peaches cribs! Love it!

We may be up for a new No Doubt album soon! via Paste.

Emmylou Harris and fighting against mountain top coal removal via Paste.

Listen to Patty Loveless’ Mountain Stage concert now, via NPR.

Mary J. Blige is set to play Nina Simone in a new biopic. Cannot wait! via Pitchfork.

Janelle Monae talks about her new album, fantasy, and string arrangements. via NPR. Plus, her performance on Letterman….totally smoove, watch it via Pitchfork.

Blondie added to Hop Farm Festival via NME.

Brett Anderson of The Donnas talks about marketing for indie musicians here, and has a new solo song out here. Proceeds benefit cancer research.

I am so SICK of the faux cat fights between female musicians. The latest is Lady Gaga vs. Xtina. Ugh. It’s like every time I see a feed about it, I get the visual of some dirty guy going “Oh yea, fight about who dresses weirder girls.” Please! I give props to Xtina for noting that all the media hype about her and Gaga is totally just to separate female musicians and make for raunchy gossip.

As she says ” There is room for all of us on everyone’s iPods. This is not the first time I have been unfairly pitted against another female artist but it will be the last time I comment on the matter. “Can’t hold us down….”” Via E! & Xtina.

RockherMag seems to be posting again! Yeah! Check it out for women in music awesomeness. Much like this blog.

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