Le Butcherettes

The nice thing about live shows isn’t always the headliner: it’s the bands you discover.

When I saw posters for an Agent Ribbons show with a band called Le Butcherettes, I was intrigued. With a name like Le Butcherettes, how could I help myself? I had to know more. So I found their bandcamp. And since stumbling onto this discovery, I’ve been hooked. Elements of PJ Harvey, The Kills, and riot grrrl make up the music and there are nice catchy hooks that are hard–nay, impossible– to resist. The lyrics themselves are intelligent and there is a passion in this music that can’t be faked. This is the stuff of a good concert, one where you lose yourself in the music and in the moment.

The band’s current lineup is made up of Teri Gender Bender (band founder/vocals/guitar/keyboard), Jonathan Hischke (bass) and Gabe Serbian (drums).  The music of Le Butcherettes is aggressive, energetic and confrontational, much like Teri herself, who is an unapologetic feminist. They’ve opened for bands such as The Dead Weather and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and performed at SXSW this past year.

Le Butcherettes have two albums under their belt, Kiss & Kill (2008), which is as riot grrrl as it gets, and their latest offering, Sin Sin Sin. In an interview with Tunecore, Teri explains the importance of feminism and art:

“I don’t want to yell my whole life. I want to express myself in a darker way now. I don’t want to use feminism anymore because I was let down by the non- existent movement. I want feminism to use ME as an example instead. I won’t let the movement down because I am not a movement, I am an individual. I just have to be myself and work on art with the purest of intentions. Sin Sin Sin was made to free me of my “so-called sins” laid on my mind in a machismo country which has so many strong and unfearing women and men. I am not afraid. This album is for the men and women that are fed guilt mixed with hatred for not marrying young, for thinking of themselves before others, for trying to see life differently.”

If you are looking for new music to listen to/a band to fall in love with, then today is literally your day. Sin Sin Sin was one of today’s new releases, so you should be able to find it at a record store near you! Check it out!

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Band Tips 101:The importance of a name

So. On one level, this is amazingly funny, in that really bizarre way that you almost wish wouldn’t exist. Go ahead and consider this your laugh for the day.

On another level, this is practically, if not actually, infuriating. You know what….infuriating is a bit overboard. How about….annoying. REALLY ANNOYING.

As a writer of fiction, often fiction where there are bands and musicians, I am not the most creative. My band names for many of these unpublished pieces of work are often stole from the names of songs that I like and want to reference as a guidance for the piece. But really, the point of this naming process: I know exactly where the name is coming from.

Is it too much to expect intelligence from modern bands? I don’t mind a nod towards other bands (Lady Gaga referring to Queen’s “Radio GaGa“? and could All American Rejects be named after the Bikini Kill song “Reject All American“? And Uh Huh Her-a band with an obvious nod to the incredible PJ Harvey), but to go from a nod to a direct, possibly ignorant, steal is just bogus.

Today I had the absolute misfortune of stumbling upon a band called Heavens to Betsy that does not include Corin Tucker or Tracy Sawyer. The facebook page describes this Heavens to Betsy as a Christian piano pop duo from Nashville, TN. The musicians? Ben Backus and Stephen Lynch.

A Christian Piano Pop Duo.

A Christian

Piano

Pop

Duo.

Outside of the “duo” aspect, these bands have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

And in fact, the idea that this good Christian band that happens to play in venues unheard of in the Christian music scene (oh no! Frat parties!) so that they can get their message to the masses is okay with stealing the name Heavens indicates to me that the band is very stupid or just ignorant. And either way, the band isn’t going to be around for very long. A real career in the music biz isn’t just passion. It’s business savvy. And business savvy includes the business of names. You wanna get your band out there? You can’t steal other bandnames. While this is more true for bands of the same name (consider the Annuals vs. The Band of Annuals)*, you cannot think that it is okay to use the name of bands that are not currently together, especially if your messages are entirely opposite. Think about it: If you were going to form a good country band with christian undertones, would you name your band Cradle of Filth? Especially given the media around the actual Cradle of Filth? (not like you could name your country band Cradle of Filth. This is purely hypothetical.)

The fact is, you can’t do it. And you wouldn’t want to.

If you’re going to start a band, and if you’re going to go from your garage to the world of online social networking, or small indie distributers, make sure you do your research. This band name that you love so much…has it been used before? And if so:

WHY ARE YOU STILL USING IT???

 

*I was actually in Chapel Hill NC when the Annuals were becoming popular. When I moved to Utah, I quickly discovered that there was a band in Salt Lake also called the Annuals, and that due to the publicity and emergence of this NC band called the Annuals, this little Salt Lake band could not exist under the same name. Thus Salt Lake is Home to the Band of Annuals, while Chapel Hill is home to the Annuals

Adventures in Musicland!

Today is one of those magical days which remind me why I do what I do with this blog, and why I started in the first place. In the course of 2 hours, I have introduced (and re-introduced) myself to several different girl/girl-fronted bands from all over the world. Well, I should say that thus far the “all over the world” tag is limited to Europe and South America, but I fully intend to find more elsewhere. It’s amazing how much music you can discover in a short period. I’m overwhelmed.

I could easily use this post as a place to showcase every single video I found today…but I’m not! This post is where I ask you to please make sure you’re following the When She Speaks I Hear the Revolution Facebook page! I post cool music videos/songs on a weekly basis (could potentially turn into a M-F daily thing, if I have enough content!) and I do love your feedback! I’d love to know what you’re listening to, as well! I don’t just live, I thrive on new music, and I want you to give me your favorite picks. Who are you listening to? What are your favorite non-US Bands? What are your favorite new discoveries? And are you in a band? If so, gi’me a link! I want to hear what you’ve got!

Leave your mark here or on the facebook page! Let’s discover music together!

 

 

 

Revolution GIRL STYLE NOW!

If you’re at all familiar with the riot grrrl movement of the 90s, and some of the riot grrrl heroines, then you have probably seen countless show reviews and previews of the Kathleen Hanna Tribute that was held this past Saturday in NYC @ The Knitting Factory.

Picture from the blog Skirts and Tights: http://skirtsandtights.wordpress.com/

So you’ve probably read about it and saw some of the people who showed up (Kathleen Hanna! Kim Gordon! JD Samson! Care Bears on Fire! Kaia Wilson!) but I have to go over it again, here. Here in Salt Lake I’d heard rumors of the show and thought, oh how cool is this! The event was organized by Sini Anderson, who’s working on a documentary on Kathleen Hanna and the riot grrrl movement. The night included 20 or so bands, each who got to perform a song from the Hanna Scrapbook (from Bikini Kill to Julie Ruin to Le Tigre). Bands ranged from Care Bears on Fire–an amazing group of talented young veterans from The Rock and Roll Camp for Girls to MEN (with former Le-Tigre bandmate, JD Samson)-a band that focuses on the energy of live performance and the radical potential of dance music. And would you believe me if I told you Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth notoriety) was there? Well she was. And would you believe that she got up onstage to read the riot grrrl manifesta?

Well. She did.

And then there were all the bands I didn’t mention which run like a list of bands that you should be paying attention to if you don’t know them already:

And while there have already been countless blogs/reviews posted of this show–I have to write this entry. Mostly because finding all these amazing reviews and videos from the evening has had an impact on me. A mix of emotions are running through me right now–hope, seeds of inspiration, excitement, and most of all, just an overwhelming sense of WOW. The fact that this show happened and was so successful was reportedly AMAZING for all involved just fills me with awe. I think the success of this event shows us how vital the riot grrrl movement of the 90s was and REMAINS. The fact that the show drew veterans of the riot grrrl scene–which broke almost TWENTY YEARS AGO-and young punk/pop rock high school kids is a testament to how meaningful the music and the message remains in our world. Yes women in music have made advances, but there is still a place for those of us with feminist leanings who want to make music and kick ass while doing so. This in of itself is beautiful, and leaves me at a loss for words.

Then there’s the fact that Kathleen Hanna herself took to the stage. Just writing these words sparks excitement. I am one of those riot grrrls who never got to be part of the original scene. And my introduction to the movement was through research online and in books about women in rock/punk. And I unfortunately missed Kathleen Hanna’s time as a frontwoman for Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin, and Le Tigre.

And while it is–to a large degree–unfair and even wrong that she should be one of the main icons for the riot grrrl movement, she is. And the fact that she made the public announcement at this wonderful tribute/benefit that SHE WILL BE RETURNING TO MUSIC with the Julie Ruin Band is something that I think will have definite repercussions. Now, I could be wrong. I am not one of those people who like to pretend I’m always right–I’m not–but oh this could be the thing that causes massive ripples within local music communities. There are going to be the girls who lived through the riot grrrl movement who shout and scream and get really excited about Kathleen’s return to music, and tell their sisters/their daughters about this frontwoman who helped spark a movement that’s still making a difference. Those same girls might just get re-inspired. Remember when we got involved and made our own music? Remember when we were making zines and creating communities and going to punk shows all over the place? They might get re-involved in the scenes. Their sisters might get excited too. They’ll see bands like Care Bears on Fire and the Awkward Turtles and say–wait, I can make music? I can do this?

And come on, The Julie Ruin Project is gonna need some local bands to open for them. They’ll need the local riot grrrl band to come forth and say, “I love what you do, and you inspired me to make my own music and make a difference in MY community.” And local communities need these bands to speak up and create this space for grrrl fronted music. I see a resurgence in Ladyfests all over the fuckin’ country. I can barely type this, my thoughts are on fire and it’s hard to translate this excitement to the keyboard.

I just barely started reading Greil Marcus’s Lipstick Traces, and came upon a quote that I thought of as extremely relevant, and totally true. “Music seeks to change life; life goes on; the music is left behind; that is what is left to talk about.”

Right now, as I write in this dim coffee shop, my enthusiasm bursting over, I don’t believe this quote is quite as right on as I thought. Movements such as the riot grrrl movement have actually had a lasting impact. And the stuff happening RIGHT NOW? It’s proof. Concrete, beautiful, amazing proof.

I am so excited to see what the future holds. I am so excited to continue bringing new music to this blog and creating an awesome riot-grrrl inspired community in the place that I live. And the open mic I host here in SLC? The When She Speaks I Hear the Revolution open mic? Oh, is it going to continue being awesome. And if you want in on the action…let me know. 2011–The year of the Grrrl.

Re-Visioning

The problem with life is that it never goes the way anyone wants it to. You can nail down the “Aha! This is what I want to do! This is what I’m passionate about” question and then watch as your passions are consumed by the waves of your daily life, which makes it hard to really put your passions into practice. You get lost in the efforts of survival, and when you do get tiny glimpses of your passions, you feel momentarily at ease. You feel like–Oh yeah. That’s what I want.

But until you get back into the practice of following your passions, it is just momentary glimpses. It’s hard to do what you want to do when the world around you is shuddering and trembling and you’re spending 95% of your time wondering how the hell you’re going to get through the month, and the other 5% of your time wishing to forget every single problem and just ENJOY time for a change.

That’s where I’ve been. That’s what I’ve been dealing with. And the deep unsettled feeling in my soul is starting to drive me crazy. I want to re-find myself. I want to do what I enjoyed and see if I’m still passionate about. Which, I’m positive I still am. There are those moments, when I’m with friends and they’ve given me control of the music where I get excited to the point of music nerdery. Where I remember how awesome it is to share music with people and turn them onto artists like Northern State, Poe, and other musicians who’ve made my life what it is.

I think I know what I need to do to get back into this blogging thing. I need to remember what the hell got me into music in the first place. So if you’ll bear with me, dear reader(s?), I shall go off into semi-nostalgic territory and re-eximine my passions and the meaning that certain music has had on me. And then….well…we’ll see what happens.

Music Discovery

I was never lucky enough to have an older sibling/best friend who introduced me to the cool bands like Nirvana or Bikini Kill. I grew up with the Cars on heavy rotation and a love for Queen and Alice Cooper that came from a deep love for the movie for Wayne’s World. Ah yes. And a bit of the classic grrrl-stuff, like Heart and the Bangles. 🙂 When I was in middle/junior high, my music taste was none-to-interesting. I listened to the pop station for a long time and yes, I was one of those damn teens that fell head over heels in love with  boy-bands like the Backstreet Boys and Hanson and I can’t believe I’m about to admit this, but YES. I listened to the Spice Girls. I’m kind of happy to say that most of these bands were in fact, phases, which isn’t to say those of you who do like them are in the wrong. They’re just not for me. And knowing the music I know and love now, I can’t help wondering what the hell I was thinking. I will however say that Ace of Base still rocks. But I’m going on a tangent. Let’s go back to center. I was happy with my music and the mainstream pop station for a good while. I enjoyed the tunes. But then…oh then! I discovered that my main station played JAZZ every freaking Sunday morning. And ugh. It was just NOT for me. At all. I hated it. It was noise. It was atrocious to hear. Plus, I wanted the music I loved. So I had no choice. If I wanted music (and I did), I’d have to find another station. So I searched. And ohhhh did I hit jackpot.

103.9, KUWL FM, was my musical salvation. It was an alternative station that played a lot of great music and the DJs were great. I loved it. Every now and then, before I went off to school, I’d press the record button on my tape player so that when I got home, I could listen to the tape of the time I missed, so I wouldn’t miss too much. Some of my favorite (lost) mixed tapes were made from that station. I grew up on Garbage. I believe their self titled (pink) album was my first ever CD purchase. I remember listening to that album with all kinds of shock. Every song on there was just….angry, and revolutionary in ways I didn’t fully comprehend. I loved the song “this is not my idea of a good time” and “As far from god as heaven is wide” just because, damn….this was a woman who didn’t take crap from anyone. I don’t think I ever fully came to that conclusion, it was more of a a gut instinct that made me take notice. And yes, I grew up on No Doubt. I can probably sing any ND song from Tragic Kingdom to Return of Saturn on demand. I loved it all. And Alanis Morrisette? Meredith Brooks? Fiona Apple? Damn these women were all revolutionary to me. I craved these words, I craved the images, the sounds, the presences of these women. To this day I place Meredith Brooks, Garbage, Fiona Apple and Paula Cole on my top 5 favorite CDs.  Oh. And Sheryl Crow’s self titled album. This music was all women-fronted and strong. Strength, lyrics, and a rock foundation was of primary importance to my musical discoveries.

One more thing I should probably write about: I was introduced to Cake in a drama class. There was a very cute boy in the class who knew his music, and I don’t remember how, but he got me into them. I still hold a special place in my heart for that band 🙂

European Discoveries.

High school was interesting. As a military brat, my sophomore-senior year of high school took place in the Netherlands (though my family lived in Germany, we were near the border!). So I suppose you could guess that my music took some interesting turns. I had been introduced to Rammstein while still in Alaska (the years I wrote about above) due to their famous song, Du Hasst. But in Germany, I learned a bit more about them. And then I discovered HIM. Oh my god, you have no idea how much I enjoyed HIM. Mainly because the whole imaginary exchange in my head that would go like this:

Me: Have you heard of HIM?

Person B: Who?

Me: HIM. He’s really cool.

Person B: Who’s he?

and so on. Yeah, yeah. I know. Real great reason for loving a band. But seriously. the exchange cracked me up. And I liked the darkness of HIM that I was kind of unfamiliar with. At this point, metal hadn’t really entered my life. I enjoyed The Rock. I enjoyed bands with a heavier sound, but it didn’t go much heavier than what you’d find on your regular rock station. I think my love for System of a Down might’ve started seeding during this time, though it wasn’t till later that it really grew.

But anyway, my love affair with HIM lasted me through my European years, till about 2002. Then Ville got kind of popular. And it was like, hmm….this isn’t that fun. I also got pretty heavily into Poe during this time. I had been introduced to Poe in the early years, thanks to her song, “Angry Johnny” which was dark. And I loved it. Ohhh it was so dark. And angry. But anyway, she released the album “Haunted” which I bought and still to this day can lose myself in. I was also introduced to Placebo, through the album Black Market Music. Yes, I came to Placebo late, despite having heard some of their music on KUWL fm. It just never grabbed me. But Black Market Music…I listened to that quite a bit. And my favorite thing about Germany and that part of my music existence?

The music videos! I loved the German music television chanels. to these days some of my favorite videos are from this time period. There’s a song by the German band the Guano Apes (led by frontwoman Sandra Nasic) with another artist that’s a rock take on the infamous folk song, Kumba Ya. Wanna see it? You should.

Then I was introduced to Farin Urlaub and Die Aerzte. OMG. Their videos were fabulous. Here’s a quickie from Die Aerzte.


seriously. How can you not love this video? It’s so fast and angry and short all in one go. And this is just one tiny video. Freakin’ hell, I loved these guys.

Then there was Die Toten Hosen. Now it wasn’t till after 21 that I really drank alcohol, but that didn’t mean much when it came to this video by Die Toten Hosen. Here’s a video that’s sooooo good you don’t need to speak German to get what’s happening. All you need is a quick translation of the title, Kein Alkohol ist auch Keine Losung–which basically means No Alcohol (Is also not the solution)…

Seriously. Awesome.

Oh! And I was introduced to A, who is IMPOSSIBLE to google. Hell. If it weren’t for youtube, I prob’ly wouldn’t have ever found them. Some of my burgeoning interests in punk as a genre came from here (not like you can tell from this video, which is pretty poppy. But between this, and Green Day and a few German bands, it definitely started seeding.)

Okay, final mention on this, just because I’ve always kind of had a special place in my heart for this song, despite my lack of familiarity with the artist or actual song content–it’s just a pretty song. I dare you to disagree:

Mmm…just relistening to this song gives me freakin’ chills. 🙂

Final notes on the German edition of my musical interests: My love for Garbage continued strong, with albums like Version 2.0 and songs like “When I Grow Up” which I identified with somewhat 🙂 I also developed a strong love for the Foo Fighters, and their kickass videos, especially “Learning to Fly”, plus, damnit, the drummer was hot. You better believe I loved ’em.  Also, I didn’t grow up with MTV. I grew up with Viva and Viva Zwei. And like with MTV vs MTV2, Viva Zwei was always better. the music videos on Viva Zwei (which became Viva Plus) rocked much harder. 🙂

Post 2002

While in Germany, I was introduced to Evanescence, as was the rest of the world. Like a lot of other people, I enjoyed their blend of rock and goth. Then my cousin introduced me to Nightwish. And Lacuna Coil, and these two bands eventually bridged the gap and made my musical horizons span farther than ever. After I moved to Chapel Hill for school, I met someone via iTunes who had similar artists in his music library. He then introduced me to stuff like Opeth. And Arch Enemy. And my passions went from angry/passionate women in rock to women who kicked massive ass in METAL. Women who rocked as hard as the boys and, in some cases, better. I learned to appreciate the intelligent metalheads and their love for the intelligent rockers that could make both heavy death metal type music complete with the death metal vocals as well as slower, sadder songs of lament with gorgeous vocals and lyrics that could connect as easily as any song by a known singer/songwriter type. I was introduced to Amon Amarth, which is VIKING METAL. The best of all possible musical combinations. I found Otep, who is thus far, the only openly lesbian metaler I know of. I found her with one of the most soul crushing songs I could ever imagine, and for a while, couldn’t get into her, due to how perfectly the song captures an emotional breakdown, which is terrifying to be part of, even if just as an observer.

Most of this heavy metal introduction took place while I lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chapel Hill, let me take this moment to say that Chapel Hill is known for its legendary music scene. It is during this period that I became an advocate for local music. Bands like The Ex-Members, the Midtown Dickens and The Old Ceremony (who I went to see many times, at one of my favorite haunts, the West End Wine Bar) made it impossible NOT to fall in love with the local scene. I went to my first LadyFest. I went to my first CONCERT during this period. And that concert was by far one of the best I’ve been to. It was a show at Cat’s Cradle featuring the Dresden Dolls, and it was just….mindblowing. no live show will ever match this. though some have tried (The Dead Weather came pretty damn close though…)

Anyway, North Carolina, specifically when I was in Chapel Hill, was really where all of my love for music came together in a way that made sense. I had always loved writing, and I had always loved music. And then I read Rock She Wrote, which featured the music journalism by several women writers. And a light clicked on. Oh–you could write about music. And that’s actually a valid career, if you embrace it totally. This blog was initially started on that wave of revolutionary mindset, on the heels of discovering that and the riot grrrl punk era that I’d missed in the 90’s, which fully embraced the idea that girls can do whatever they want. They can make music… and if it’s not perfect, who the hell cares? they’re doing something. They’re being active and accomplishing at least part of their dreams. If you’re not already doing something, you’ll never get better, you’ll never grow and develop. And all of this, all of the music that had been part of my life suddenly made sense.

I embraced my love of random music, my love of writing, my newfound love of feminism and queer politics and became someone who followed her passions. And seriously, this time in my life was so absolutely inspiring.

But then we do the full round circle and go back to the beginning of this blog. I moved to Utah and got so lost. I lost a sense of self. I lost a sense of passion, and have since been trying to reclaim it. I’ve still been involved in discovering new music and loving music in a big way, but the writer part of myself has fallen to the wayside.

I think I’m ready to embrace the craft of writing again. I think I’m ready to get back on my feet, dust myself off, and say, FUCK YOU to everything that’s been holding me back. Music and my internal self have always been intertwined, part of each other. And I want to embrace this fact. I want to share the passion I have for riot grrrl, revolutionary, kick ass women artists, musicians, and poets with the rest of the world, even if only through the medium of this blog. In the fictional realm of writing, I want to create characters who defy the norm of what is ‘expected’ (still) of women and rock so hard that they just fly off the page and get in the reader’s head and inspire them to achieve and be who they are.

Goddamn. I think I’m ready for some change. I’m ready to really embrace this again. And I hope that you, dear reader(s?) might help me do this. If I’m not writing, if I’m not posting, sharing new music/thoughts, email me. rebelgrrrl.theblog@gmail.com. If you find things that you know I’d like, bands I’d be interested in, let me know. I’m going to start making this blog something interesting again, and I’d love your help.

Thanks for tagging along. It’s been a long crazy road in the existence that is my life, but….I think I’m ready to come back. I’m excited. And nervous. And oh so happy. Thank you.

Mission Statement, Aug 2010

Have you ever had a weekend that was just amazing? One that was completely inspirational? One that reminded you of why you’re really here and what it is you want to do/achieve? This weekend was one of those.

When I started this blog, I was your typical college student. I was young and idealistic. I had just discovered feminism, and the fight for equality in the areas of gender, sexuality, class, race, and all other intersections. I found the queer community on campus and immediately felt like I was at home with all the wonderful revolutionary and creative people within the group. It was one of those times I really discovered who I was and what I wanted to be involved in.

Then I found the book “Rock She Wrote”, an anthology featuring women rock journalists. Combine music and a love of writing? Yes, PLEASE. I started this blog with the intention of featuring bands, both under and over the radar, that featured women leads/all women bands, but I didn’t want to limit it to that. I wanted to include pieces on feminism, on LGBTQ in/equalities, on the fight for justice, on anything that remotely falls under the feminist umbrella or interesting pop culture.

And for a while I kept it up. I wrote a variety of pieces on bands as small as the NC-based Midtown Dickens, to national (though not super mainstream) acts like Sia. I bought music that looked intriguing to review/spotlight on the blog and I enjoyed it (the Noisettes were one of those amazing discoveries). I wrote Feminist Friday pieces that took a critical look at stuff we take for granted, like fairy tales.

Then, I moved to Utah. My blog writing grew more and more intermittent to the point that months went by between entries. My blogging was discouraged by people who believed they knew what was best for me. I was told that blogging was pointless. It’s not a career, after all. And no, it’s not, but it sure feels good. It’s a great self-publishing tool that, while far from perfect, is a good beginning for a writer.

And more and more time went by between entries. My musical spotlights dimmed with time and just didn’t happen.

This weekend, however, has inspired me. I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday positively basking in music. For those not located in Utah, this past weekend was the 4th Annual Women’s Redrock Music Festival. The festival is located in Torrey, UT and features women musicians, but it’s for everyone. This year was absolutely fabulous, and arguably (according to WRRMF veterans) one of the best line-ups. Artists ranged from local (Marie Bradshaw and her band) to national (BITCH). Genres spanned from acoustic/folk (Blame Sally) to jazzy (Ayo Awosika) to good ol’ rock-n-roll (Runhoney).

It has taken a good two years for me to really regain my enthusiasm for music writing, and blog writing in general, but I think I am finally there. I am not going to write a whole lot about the festival in this entry, because it deserves an entry of its own.

This is an entry with one purpose and one purpose only: It’s a joyous reclamation of past passions and current. It’s a “fuck you” to the people who told me that my purpose was not a purpose, that there will be no success in my future if I follow my passions (not exact wordings, but certainly the message).

I hope you stick around, because things in Salt Lake City are about to get loud.

xoxo

Lilith Fair? bah. humbug.

I know what my problem is.

Well. Before I go into that I’m going to say it’s not just my problem. It’s a problem on my side and on the side of Lilith Fair.

My problem: my music tastes are just to rock and roll. My tastes aren’t easily suited toward singer/songwriter material (you’ve gotta REALLY prove yourself to stand out in my mind). My tastes are geared toward the rock and roll stars who say “Fuck you world, I’m doing my own thing and I’m gonna do it in ways that are badass and you’re gonna regret fucking with me.”

Lilith Fair…doesn’t. I mean—it’s not completely void of attitude. The Gossip is on tour, and they used to really fit the rock ‘n’ roll attitude that gets me so high. Their new sound is a bit too pop, honestly. Not for me.

So I’ve decided I no longer care about Lilith Fair. I appreciate what they’re doing, but the way this year’s tour has been a mess of “here’s some information, now wait for more; oh here’s more, but that’s not all! You’ll have to wait for the rest” and so on has annoyed the crap out of me. The fair and its corporate sponsor of CBS have tapped so many musicians that an ideal lineup is impossible.

Especially if you’re me.

I give up on Lilith Fair. If I had the money, I’d book my tix to  the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. At least they know what they’re doing and you’ll see everyone on the scheduled list. (By the way…what’s up with the Butchies being on the performance list? Umm…) (there are other problems with MichFest, but that’s a topic for another time.)

But really, what I really need?

I need a fucking LadyFest. I need a women’s music festival with edge. I need a women’s festival that features women who kick ass and take names. Angry women. Think: Skin, from Skunk Anansie. Think: Lita Ford. Think: Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy. Think: Otep.

I have a feeling I’ll be waiting a while for this.

Oh, and while I’m in wishful thinking mode: I need a music festival that’s DIY based. Where the enthusiasm isn’t in the “OH, some big festival is organizing this festival and it’s hitting my area! Yes!”

Screw that. I want music-ly inclined people throughout the US to come together. Share names. What bands are in your area that are cool/doing something edgy/something interesting and just aren’t all that well known? What about similar bands in Phoenix? Atlanta? Some small town in the outskirts of Denver?

What kind of contacts can we create with local music venues? how can we showcase the people who aren’t getting the attention they deserve?

I think the idea of a “make-your-own-music-festival” would be awesome. I think that’s what Ladyfest is. And that’s why I need it. But here’s a thought: the makers of local ladyfests should not stop at the creation and execution of their own ladyfests. There needs to be sharing of information from one city to another. That way artists don’t have to be stuck in their respective city. Doors can open for them in other cities and other states.

Is it too much to ask for a musical revolution? An emphasis on the real underground spirit and DIY ethic?

Maybe. But I’m still asking. And in serious thoughts: where’s the nearest LadyFest near Salt Lake City? I doubt we’d have time to organize one here—I don’t have the contacts yet, let alone bands that’d be interested—so I may have to look somewhere else.

And on a final note: I think a queer music festival of the same nature would be kick-ass. Anyone wanna help me make this happen? Let’s talk. For real.

Thanks for listening to me rant. I apologize for the rawness of the entry. But Lilith Fair has been bothering me for a while.

PS: Interested in Lady Fest  ’10? There are some meetings going on for sure in the UK. Check out the LadyFest ’10 website. After this is published, that’s what I’ll be doing.