Archive for February, 2011

February 27, 2011

Mike Watt Performing Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill

Watt performs Bikini Kill.  Do I really need to say how great this is?





February 25, 2011

Ladies With Guitars Get No Action

Two fun blog entries on the internets today. The first answers the question, “do women with guitars get more ‘action’?” And we’re not talking about strings and necks here.

I have to somewhat disagree with the blogger. While I wouldn’t be surprised if men are intimidated by Neko Case and women of her talent and fame, I get approached by men far more often when I am carrying my guitar. But maybe that’s it. Maybe gentleman prefer to make advances on women who are carrying guitars, but not on ones who are playing them? Who knows.

The second blog (over on Huff Post) covers the ladies rock camp phenom.

Enjoy your Friday.

February 24, 2011

Thalia Zedek Interview

photo via flickr by incase

Thalia Zedek writes some of the saddest songs I have ever heard.  Her voice is low and plaintive, her guitar melodic, and her lyrics often mind-blowingly poignant and devastating.  She’s been an active musician since the 1980s with bands such as Live Skull, Uzi, and Come, and has been doing memorable solo work for the last decade.  I tracked her down for an interview through the very nice people at Thrill Jockey Records.

When did you begin playing and why?

I started playing when I was 12, after realizing that it was easier to form a rock band if you played a guitar , rather than a clarinet!

What was your first guitar, and how did you get it?

It was a Gibson Marauder, and I bought it and a Peavy Classic from this girl called Maura in high school with money I earned babysitting.

What equipment do you prefer now?  Which guitar? (From photos it looks like you have a Gibson SG?)  What amps, cables, pedals?  Why?  Has this changed over time?

I play a black Hagstrom 1 which I totally love, and use a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m writing and working on new material with my band for a new record.

Name one or two (or more) artists (musicians, writers, visual artists) you find inspiring.  Why?

Patti Smith for her singing, writing , and sheer guts. Leonard Cohen for his beautiful songwritng and sense of humor. Tara Jane O Neil for being both an amazing musician and singer as well as an awesome painter. Janet Bean from Freakwater and 11th Dream Day for general awesomeness and ferocity.

February 24, 2011

Thalia Zedek

Thalia Zedek performs 1926



And an old video for Come’s Cimarron.



And a link to a short clip of my favorite song from the album Been Here and Gone:  Back to School

February 20, 2011

Amy Klein On Music Magazines And Images Of Women In Rock

This may be old news for some of you, but I’m talking about it now because this is a fairly new blog and the topic is incredibly relevant to its content.  Last fall guitarist and violinist Amy Klein of Titus Andronicus and Hilly Eye posted on her own blog about music magazines like Rolling Stone and their treatment of women.

From Amy’s blog:

When I was fourteen years old, my friends and I discovered women’s magazines. Fascinated, we poured over the images of slightly older teenage girls doing what teenage girls are supposed to like to do—shopping, dating, dieting, dating, and shopping. Reading the magazines always brought on a kind of nausea, an awful sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me feel like I was sitting on an airplane and powerless to stop it from dropping out of the sky. For some reason, the feeling was addictive, and I always came back for more: All the candy-colored costumes, that shiny lip gloss, that bright future that the magazines promised us within their pages, and time after time failed to provide. I was pretty much in an abusive relationship with magazines. And why? I guess I was optimistic. I was looking for some kind of validation, as all teenagers are, when they are growing up. I was looking and looking for a picture of a woman who looked like me, a slightly older teen who I could identify with, a person I could see myself becoming when I grew up.

Did I find that person in a magazine? Of course not! What I found was hundreds and hundreds of denials of my self, and hundreds of disappointing statements about what women are supposed to be—statements which I immediately internalized, and which my brain chemically converted into ten years of serious anxiety and depression. In all those years, did it ever occur to me to open a copy of Rolling Stone?

I’m new to discovering Amy and her post was a joy to read.  And her music is a joy to listen to.  You can read her blog here, and she includes links to access all of her music, including her solo album, and Hilly Eye.  The Hilly Eye album is available for donation at Band Camp.

February 18, 2011

NYU Opens Riot Grrl Archive

Not quite enough to make me want a PhD, but close.


February 17, 2011

Double Nickels Benefit

Very cool event.  A group of local musicians, including my awesome guitar teacher, Nathaniel Braddock and an impressive list of local guest vocalists, are getting together to cover the entire Minutemen album Double Nickels on the Dime.  It’s a benefit for Girls Rock! Chicago, a rock camp for girls ages 8-16.

Chicago Reader article

February 16, 2011

PJ Harvey Interviewed Today On Fresh Air


Singer-songwriter PJ Harvey just released her eighth album, Let England Shake, a mournful elegy about war and the political landscape in her native England.

The album’s topics are brutal and bitter. Soldiers, landscapes and limbs are yanked apart, “falling like lumps of meat / blown and shot out beyond belief / arms and legs in the trees.” In “All and Everyone,” death permeates everything — the air, the sounds “coming off the mounds,” even “the laughter and drinking water.”


Interview available on NPR’s website.


February 16, 2011

Portlandia Renewed

The comedy-sketch show Portlandia starring rock guitareste Carrie Brownstein got renewed for a second season.  You can see Brownstein talk to the Oregonian about the renewal here.

If that’s not exciting enough for you, Corin Tucker will be on the show this upcoming Friday.  IFC even has some video.

February 12, 2011

Vivian Girls Release Video for “I Heard You Say”

Via Fader:

About the only thing that could make the newest quiet storm of a song by Vivian Girls even bleaker is a video that unfolds like a California cult fantasy. Stuck in what seems like a motel room on the bad side of Route 6, the gang have both matching florals and pyrotechnics, and the images bring to light just how much Vivian Girls, at their roughest, remind us of the darker notes of ’60s melodies, the Crystals getting hit by their boyfriends and some of the Manson Family’s most paranoid jams. Keep the creep coming ladies.

Read more:

The video’s pretty great.  Go check it out.

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