Monday, March 3, 2014

Some food for thought: Women's History Month (my high school/college years)

Today I learned from 89.3 The Current that March is Women's History Month. I was quickly inspired to write my own after reading Jay Gabler's article on The Current's website. I quickly got to thinking that it has been two years since I wrote my immensely popular 100 Greatest Women in Music list. Just had to share that link in case you just started reading my blog. That blog entry I think really got people noticing what started out as a lowly vanity project which quickly evolved into something bigger than I expected or planned for it to turn out to be.

In honor of Women's History Month, I decided to start creating playlists featuring influential bands that were either all women or were female fronted. Tonight's playlist features artists/bands that influenced me in my teenage/college years.

To go back to the original topic, through out my nearly 40 some years of existence on this planet, I have been heavily influenced by female musicians from The Bangles to Unter Null. Some of my fondest musical memories stems from my younger years when I was in high school and in college. For the first half of my high school years, I listened to some really shitty hair metal but after seeing a Social Distortion video on MTV which knocked some sense into me, I started getting into the alternative rock scene in '91. While everyone and the media was fawning over Nirvana, I was all about L7. I came across a blurb about them in an issue of Rolling Stone magazine which ironically featured Nirvana on the cover. That quickly piqued my curiosity. I remember buying a cassette version of Bricks are Heavy and having my ass kicked by such heavy, aggressive music and by women. That album got me to start looking for other bands like L7 which lead me to the Twin Cities own' Babes in Toyland and Zu Zu's Petals, Curve, The Gits, and 7 Year Bitch. This was all when I was in high school. I really loved the notion of women playing really aggressive music. BTW...best memory ever...moshing to L7's music during their set at Lollapalooza '94 on Harriet Island. I ended up getting dirty from head to toe that day.

When I entered college, I started listening to bands like The Muffs, Lush, Luscious Jackson, Concrete, Elastica, and Belly. Of course I was looked upon as a freak of nature, you would too if you went to school in Iowa. That was a short lived stint that I have been trying to forget for many, many years. On the other hand, that stupid school I was stuck at for a year led me to discover Siouxsie and The Banshees. That was a godsend. When I transferred to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my tastes in music continued to evolve. That was when Sleater-Kinney and Garbage started making a name for themselves in the music scene. I really took to Sleater-Kinney at the time more so than Garbage. I also started listening to Ani Difranco and Bikini Kill. I didn't start listening to Goldfrapp and Tori Amos' music until I returned home to the Twin Cities but it was like around that time which was about '96 (I think).

I have to admit I rather miss those years. Maybe because I haven't been tainted by the reality of idiotic co-workers, bills, taxes, politics, and stupid people in general, and now been polluted by cynicism and bitterness of the daily grind. Oh well I guess I can always drown myself in music when the daily grind gets to me...which is every day when I step into that damn office I work in with a bunch of fucking immature "children" I call "co-workers".

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