May 4, 2007

Musical Misogyny

I read Twisty Faster over at I Blame the Patriarchy religiously and through her I recently discovered Sinister Girl who I immediately had to add to the blog rolls and now read daily too. About a month back Ms. Jared at Sinister girl decided to put together a feminist music exchange and asked who would like to be involved. I did, and so I sent in the promise to snail mail CDs to every other woman who wanted to participate, in exchange for CDs from them. The assignment was feminist music, defined as music by women or music for women. I say that leaves the interpretation wide open, I figured it'd be easy. The month went by and I made a mental list of songs I knew I wanted to include. Last week when I sat down to sort for those songs I can to the realization I really only had 3 songs in mind and after listening to the lyrics they really weren’t what I would consider feminist music, they were just beautifully sung by women. It’s ok that still fit the assignment, but I had to find a dozen or so more. I combed through my music collection in disbelief, no women. I could go back to my college collection of CDs in the basement and find some Alanis Morissette, but Sinister girl published a list of what was handed out last year and most of my college feminist music collection was there, I really didn’t have much to add. Tracy Chapman, Indigo girls, and Sarah McLachlan were done already and besides I didn’t even have any of that in the collection of songs I’ve listened to over the last three years. What women did I have that were recent? - Lori Berkner (which I did include on the CD) and Ella Fitzgerald (not exactly cutting edge new). I did finally dig out 15 songs from various artists I’ve downloaded in the last few years but it’s a paltry few and I am ashamed. So, with great anticipation I await the CDs from my fellow bloggers waiting to understand what feminist music is and also waiting to discover some new artist. By this time next year I swear this assignment won’t be so difficult for me.

Songs I sent:

Juliette by the Januaries
Alright by Lucy Nation
Catch the Moon by Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell
Free Hot Chocolate by Snoozie & the Miltonics
Who’d Stop the Rain by Dressy Bessy
Half Acre by Hem
Sarafin by Celina Pereira & Ivo Pires Ban
I Really Love to Dance by Laurie Berkner
Hyperactive by The Donnas
Us by Regina Spektor*
4 Big Speakers by Whale
Portia by Throwing Muses
Edge of the Ocean by Iby
Paris in the Rain by Telephone
Speak Easy by Maria Taylor

*I did buy this Regina Spektor CD but it was for Dan not myself. (sheepish grin)


Chrissy said...

With last year's list it's tough to think of new stuff. I lovelovelove Le Tigre. I also like the Sonic Youth songs when Kim Gordon sings. And have you heard of a band called Nouvelle Vague? They do covers in a bossa nova style and they are SO GOOD. Ethereal and sarcastic at the same time. Oh! And the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, natch.

This is fun! I wish I had signed up. Maybe next year...

Jenny said...

Oh - I forgot about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Darn - ok poison gas cloud up next. so stay tuned. Then I swear I'll get to everything.

ms. jared said...

oh yay! lots of those songs are new to me so i'm looking forward to receiving your mix!

and i know what you mean about loving a song and then when you really listen to the lyrics you're all "dang! that one's not really as 'grrl power' as i thought."

one of the spoken word pieces i included in my mix last year was by michelle tea and she used the word bitch in a negative way. i struggled with including it because i don't like that word used that way, but i ended up letting it through coz the overall message of the piece is a good one.

anyway, i found at least one or more artists i'd never heard of or never listened to before on every single cd i recieved so prepare for a treasure trove of beautiful music coming your way.

and just think, by this time next year, you'll have a larger library of "chick music" to choose from for "feminist music exchange vol. 3"!
xoxo, jared

cameo said...

love nouvelle vague!
and you can't forget about concrete blonde - one of the best ever.
romeo void.
yea, i know, they aren't new, but good never goes out of fashion.

incidentally, happy birthday to you!!!!

and i'm still wanting to know about the business thing.

ms. jared said...

i'm downloading the songs to my ipod right now, but there's an extra song on it that's not listed. it's between "free hot chocolate" and "who'd stop the rain". do you 'member? it's new to me so i'm clueless. i love the mix though! and i love nouvelle vague too! and feist!

Jenny said...

Ah-ha, "Charolotte's Web" by Snoozie and Miltonics. I thought I'd cut it out alltogether and it seems to have made it into some of the CDs because I had to restart my computer while burning the CDs. Can we just call it my secret hidden track?

ms. jared said...

hee. i LOVE hidden tracks!

your mix is great. i think we have similar taste and i haven't heard a lot of the bands on yours so new music for my library. hooray!

thanks a ton and happy friday!