Sunday, December 6, 2015

Girl Germs Live Tribute at The Turf Club on 12.05.15

Last night I attended the third annual Girl Germs Live Tribute concert at The Turf Club in Saint Paul, MN. I have been a fan of the concept since its inception last year when it debuted at First Avenue. To know what Girl Germs is about, you can it about their backstory at girlgermsmpls.com. I like to consider myself as a feminist as well as a music fanatic/junkie/geek/nerd/addict. I really liked the premise of what the organization is about which is about celebrating and empowering women in music.

The first show Girl Germs threw was in 2014 at First Avenue mainroom featuring The Fury Things, Lydia Liza, Crystal (featuring members of Brute Heart), L'Assassins, and Pink Mink. The second show  happened at the beginning of this year in January at The Turf Club with Aby Wolf, Alpha Consumer with Debbie Duncan, Kitten Forever, K.Raydio, and Yoni Yum. Last night's show featured Suzie, Bruise Violet, Bad Bad Hats, Mina Moore, and Nona Marie.

For the most part, I do love what Sally and Dana are trying to accomplish with Girl Germs. The music industry is pretty much still a male dominated field, just ask rapper Psalm One (my new favorite rapper) with her experiences with local record label Rhymesayers. You can read about her story here.The fact that the last two shows at The Turf Club has been sell outs so kudos to Sally and Dana for getting the word out about their shows and some credit does go to outside parties involved in the shows like The Current. Now here comes the huge BUT...what I have noticed is the slow move towards diversity in these shows.

The first Girl Germs was straight up lily white with no hip hop or r and b artists included, not to mention the show was not really female centric and there was more guys than I would have liked it to have had but you know that was the inaugural show for Girl Germs so I can forgive Girl Germs for that generic line up. There were some improvements made with the inclusion of Debbie Duncan and K.Raydio in the second show which was the strongest line up of the three shows. I must say Kitten Forever really rocked the house that night with the way the three women switched instruments and took turns singing lead which was pretty fucking awesome in my book. Aby Wolf nailed it when she covered Kate Bush's music.

Of the three shows, the second is my personal favorite. Last night's show was totally weak except for the youthful Bruise Violet and Mina Moore's sets.  Those two acts put on the most energetic sets of the evening. Both Bruise Violet and Mina Moore had so much spunk and energy in their set. I will be brutally honest, Suzie was awful. There I said it and I will not apologize for it. For the most part, I try to avoid being too harsh on bands I don't like but this is that rare occasion where I will be brutally honest. I opted to skip Nona Marie's set due to exhaustion and was simply ready to go home. I still wish the show included some hip hop music to really make Girl Germs as diverse as it should be as well as female centric. I would love to see one or all of the women in Grrrl Prty lend their voices to the show. Oh heck! Get DJ Shannon Blowtorch to dj the music in between bands. If the lack of hip hop in the concert series isn't bad enough, I feel like there should be some representation of the LGBT community too. The next issue is the role of men in the concert series. Unlike what a few critics of Girl Germs have said on their Facebook page I think excluding members of a privilege class (white, cis, heterosexual men) who consider themselves allies of the feminist movement is wrong. I think it is detrimental to the feminist movement to exclude our male allies from the show. By excluding men would feed into the preconception that feminists hates men which is something the movement still gets stereotyped by the MRA movement and other folks who hate feminists.

Despite my criticism, I will admit Girl Germs is still a work in progress and relatively new to the local music scene. The organizers certainly has learned a lot from the first Girl Germs show and has showed great progress in diversifying the musical line up with each show. I truly feel these shows are worth attending. The Twin Cities really does have a rich, diverse music scene and Girl Germs is one great way to get a taste of our music scene,

P.S...I have included a slide show of photos from all three shows I have attended.

goth_maven's Girl Germs Live Tribute Concert Series album on Photobucket

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