Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Get Excited: The New Year in Blogs

Have you ever lost something -- your keys, your phone, the remote, etc -- driven yourself crazy looking for it, and then found it as soon as you stopped looking? This apparently applies to blogs, too: awhile back I posted about the lack of feminist and lady music bloggers, and all but begged my comrades to come forth from the shadows. Sadly, few did so, and I felt resigned to my feeling of loneliness. And then shortly thereafter, I started to find exactly the sort of blogs I'd been hoping for -- how crazy is that!? Here are some of my favorites, so far:

Star Beat Music tracks, hypes and reviews quite possibly every single band that comes through New Jersey and New York City, and never ceases to amaze me with how quickly, accurately, and exhaustively it reports area music news. Run by Star, who is probably the hardest working blogger in showbusiness, I depend on this site for show info, and I maintain that every town and city should have a blog like this one.

Where Star Beat fulfills my news needs, Suck My Left One and Soul Ponies provide me with much needed regular doses of Riot Grrrl and queer history. At Suck My Left One you'll find videos, images, lyrics, songs, and links, all related to prominent Riot Grrrl bands, as well as other woman-powered rock of the period.

In contrast to these little daily relics from Riot Grrrl history, the nascent Soul Ponies has no fear of the long, reflective essay, and supplies smart, sassy commentary and context for every video and mp3 it posts. The blog also features book and show reviews, relevant tour and music news, and a much needed critical and aggressive approach to the documentation and sharing of our ladypunk history.

Etta Strange, though technically on hiatus during the construction of a new website, has a long and rich archive for new readers to dig into for now. I've been coming to this site to read about music, genres, websites, and record labels I've never even heard of. Self-described as having 'eclectic' tastes, the author/self-professed obsessive audiophile posts songs, videos, photos, playlists, and concise, smart observations and opinions about everyone from Charlotte Gainsbourg, to Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, to Uganda's Death Row Choir.

Finally, Feminist Music Geek is probably dearest of all these to my heart (much as I hate to pick a single favorite). The name "Feminist Music Geek" alone accurately describes what I am, as well as author Alyx Vesey. Vesey turns her laser sharp gaze on everything from album covers to movie posters, and writes fearlessly about women and gender in all musical aspects of pop culture. Her work uses theory but remains accessible, gets critical without getting nasty, and always manages to both validate my feelings about an issue and make me think about things differently. Vesey's take on Patti Smith is a good example.

I am in love with how these blogs inform me, entertain me, and introduce me to new ideas and artists. I'm heartened to see these bloggers documenting their changing tastes and thoughts on music and popular culture, all while they collect and preserve information and make it accessible to other readers and bloggers. Whether they know it or not, these bloggers carve out an important space within which dialogues can happen, and within which we can all actively consider and engage with music, media, and culture. These blogs allow us to become part of the cultural process, and that's more than just exciting. It's downright inspiring.

5 comments:

Bev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bev said...

I've been looking for these too. Thanks again.

jamie said...

My pleasure, dearest. Happy reading!!

Alyx said...

Hey, Jamie! Thanks for reading. I like knowing there's lots of feminist music geeks out there. :)

Also, you've got a great blog title too. I look forward to following it.

jamie said...

Hey Alyx, anytime, and thank you!

One day, us feminist music geeks will outnumber everyone else. We shall overcome!