The latest Rolling Stone has an offensive retrospective on Madonna. Although Madonna’s iconic look is always the subject of dispute, lately, the media has treated her like a clown. The only explanation is that she’s over 50. Fifty year old women, they say, shouldn’t prance around on a stage and spread their legs. It’s unbecoming. Rolling Stone frequently participates in this mistreatment even though they’ve helped turn Madonna into an icon.  Many of their pictures deliberately show her in an unflattering light. In this retrospective, they do put a handful of pictures of her in her 50s, but they fill the pages with the youthful,Read More →

I have always loved kd lang. I liked her country-punk performance-art style back from Angel with a Lariat. She caught my eye in the 80s with her spiky hair, Buddy Holly glasses, and country-western wear; she was a genre-bending artist as much as a gender-bending one. Somewhere in my Texas life, where I was raised by a family of genuwine wannabe cowboy poets, I developed a secret, half-assed appreciation for the older fiddle-and-banjo country sound. Probably at the roller rink. I didn’t pay much attention to Lang’s music until Shadowland, though. I played the heck out of that CD because it harkened back to aRead More →

Like every good, card-carrying leftist, I know about Woody Guthrie and what he stood for. Surely everyone in the U.S. has heard part of “This Land is Your Land,” at least in the white-washed setting where it’s severed from its political roots. I didn’t know about the additional verses to the song, though. They are on on Wikipedia: In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple; By the relief office, I’d seen my people. As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking, Is this land made for you and me? The Wikipedia talks about how the lyrics were restored atRead More →

Trailers for the new Fame and all the buzz about the remake’s quality have gotten my attention. The cast includes Debbie Allen, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelsey Grammer, and Charles S. Dutton. I’m hopelessly retro, though, because the original Irene Cara song, and Erica Gimple’s version are better than the generic remake. No matter how corny the old versions are, they just capture the spirit better. I already talked about Seether’s remake of Careless Whisper. The Covers Project, a pretty decent website, has a list of..well…covers. But here’s my hopelessly retro feelings on the subject. My top ten list of pointless cover songs in no particular orderRead More →

I can’t believe it’s been fifteen years since Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville.” I’ve been listening to the CD a lot lately for some reason and then FLOW posted a brief commentary on its impact fifteen years later. I really loved this album, but I didn’t find it as much of a feminist anthem as might have. But it’s fifteenth anniversary re-release reminds me that back in ’93 I was busy listening to Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge. There was a brief spike in popularity for women musicians in the late 90s with the Lilith Fair crew, but today the scene for me is bleak.Read More →

Ok, I just have to say I really like the song “Valerie.” The original is by the Zutons and it’s very catchy. But the Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse version is great fun. I love Amy Winehouse’s voice. She sounds so jazzy and authentic. The Washington Post says this about her: Aurally, she evokes comparisons to Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, to Dusty Springfield and Nina Simone. Hers is a voice marinated in regret and pulsing with pain, yet soaked in snarkiness while fully rooted in the saccharine sensibilities of ’60s girl groups.Read More →

Here is what The Fish wrote back: we play evanescence, flyleaf, veruca salt, the cranberries, mazzy star, sneaker pimps…that’s the ones I can recall off the top of my head. Fiona Apple, Poe, Liz Phaire, Courtney Love (we play sometimes) are possibilities!check out THE CARDIGANS and the GATHERING! Of course I’ve heard of the Cardigans, but I haven’t heard of the gathering. Looking them up, I see they are a Dutch Metal band. Which of course raises the question of Kitty. We’ll see if my email made a difference. I’m gonna start checking out their playlist and seeing how often they play women.Read More →

I emailed The Fish at 104 the X today. Here is what I said: Why don’t you ever play any chick groups or groups with chick lead singers. The only one you play is Evanescence (over and over). Why don’t you play someone like Courtney Love, or Avril Lavigne, or Pink, or Cheryl Crow, Fiona Apple, Poe, Liz Phair, Joss Stone, L7. Seriously. I could go on and on. Where are the chick’s voices? If you want to mail The Fish too, his email is: thefish@104thex.com. I think on Monday I might call the programming director and lodge a formal complaint. Woo.Read More →

When Rolling Stone heavily promotes a new group or singer, something suspicious has gotta be going on. They liked Avril Lavigne’s new album, right? So when they went ga-ga over Los Lonely Boys, well… CMT played their video, showing a group of three Mexican-American men, one with long hair and sunglasses. Now, that is not something you see very often on CMT. After listening for three or so seconds, I stayed because the tune was so resonant. Their style resembles Santana with just a little bit of a country kick. On their website they describe themselves the same way! “It’s kinda crazy, we’re like theRead More →