Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Feminists We're Calling You, Please Report to the Internets

Tonight one of my friends called me, and she was telling me about a band named Grizzly Bear. "I wasn't even gonna buy their album, because there was, you know, so much hype," she told me, and she said 'hype' with a lot of contempt. "Because, you know," she explained, "whenever EVERYONE says that an album is great, and I get excited about it, I buy it and listen to it and I end up hating it. Like, I'm just not impressed."

"Well, it's hard," I said. "You've got so many self-appointed tastemakers, or whatever, like, people who have blogs, and they're all telling you what you should be listening to, and it's hard to sort through everything and figure out who's a real, legitimate music critic, and who isn't." I said this with zero irony, well-aware that I am one of those many music bloggers, even if I don't consider myself a tastemaker, or tell people what to listen to.

My friend's story has a happy ending, I'm glad to report, she read some print reviews of Grizzly Bear's record, listened to it, didn't like it at first, and then tried it again and ended up loving it. And that's great, but after I got off the phone with her, I found myself wondering, who are all these music bloggers? Because I'm a bleeding heart feminist, I'm going to assume that the majority of them aren't women writers. And of the ones who do happen to be female, I'm sure only a small portion of them are self-identified feminists, and that an even smaller portion are applying their gendered experience to their album and concert reviews.

The two women music bloggers I read on a regular basis are Trish Bendix, who writes about music over at Afterellen.com, and Carrie Brownstein, who writes for NPR's website. Who else is there? And how do we find these other unknown lady music bloggers? There are tons of live blogs out there, and as far as I know, there still isn't an efficient way to search blogs.

I started this blog because I didn't think there was anyone else out there writing about the ways in which women and gender have influenced punk and hardcore. But it's my experience that every field that has a limited number of visible women has a lot more unseen women than any of us realize.

So, readers, help me out here, and tell me: who else do you read? What other women bloggers are talking about music and art, making you think, and entertaining you? And lady music bloggers, if you're out there, we're calling you! Please report to the Rock and the Single Girl front desk, or at the very least, leave a comment and a link!

5 comments:

EHR said...

Well, I have a website the reviews music, not a blog but an online zine that I co-run with husband (http://www.digitalisindustries.com/foxyd/index.php), and I'm female. I'm also a feminist, and so is my husband. I do most of the work on the zine, and I occasionally have time to write reviews myself. I've been trying to interview more women but it still frustrates me that I seem to be the only one. And finding female writers is really hard - in the 6 years that we've been doing this, I think I've had almost 100 writers, maybe 10 or 12 of which were female.

But I've been involved in plenty of music scenes where women's contributions were just not appreciated at all, and I think most women are coming from that kind of beginning. I think it makes us all really hesitant to even try to write about music. Plus, (a female musician friend of mine and I talked about this) women aren't taught to talk about music the way men are so either your writing might get rejected by editors/readers as not being enough like stereotypical criticism or maybe you just don't feel confident enough to do it in the first place because you read stuff like Rolling Stone and know that you can't write like that. At least, that's how I felt when I first started!

But I'm glad that I found your blog and I will be reading it a lot more in the future!

Chels said...

*raises her hand*


http://narrowcrafts.blogspot.com/

If you're into the Canadian indie scene at all. ^^

JMP said...

All I want to say is that I really like Grizzly Bear's other two albums and am just now getting into the new one. NPR's All Songs Considered got me hooked once on a trip home from NP, post-college.

Star Beat Music said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Star Beat Music said...

Hi there, Kate Wadkins recommended your blog to me and I’m glad.

Tobi Vail has a blog called Jigsaw Underground, it has some of the most interesting commentary on underground music, females, and feminism I’ve read in a while: http://jigsawunderground.blogspot.com/

I do have my own music blog called Star Beat Music. I cover a wide range of music and don’t write from any sort of perspective. But some entries I’ve written that focus on women and music and or feminism include:

* Tom Tom Magazine Debuts First Issue about Female Drummers + Photos - http://starbeat.blogspot.com/2009/11/tom-tom-magazine-debuts-first-issue.html

* Shiragirl: Breaking strings and being positively reckless? - http://starbeat.blogspot.com/2008/06/shiragirl-breaking-strings-and-being.html

* Women’s History Month Special Report: Part I - http://starbeat.blogspot.com/2009/03/womens-history-month-special-report_30.html

* Women’s History Month Special Report: Part II - http://starbeat.blogspot.com/2009/03/womens-history-month-special-report_5333.html

* This Week in Female Fronted Rock & Metal News -http://starbeat.blogspot.com/2008/06/this-week-in-female-fronted-metal-news.html (I haven’t done this in a while, but perhaps I will start again)

I’ve written on numerous bands with females: shiragirl, screaming females, in this moment, otep, exit she calls. Not all necessarily feminist bands or anything. But I do feel a need to showcase both male and female bands and musicians. There is a larger story than the two Women’s History Month reports I’ve included. I interviewed a bunch of musicians for that piece but I haven’t published the full piece yet, even thought I more or less completed it in April. Anyway, I hope this helps and thanks for raising my awareness further with this blog!