Monday, June 28, 2010

Music Monday: The Family Band

Who said Music Monday posts had to be only about deconstructing popular music or pissed off bad ass ladies? Not me.

I met my husband way back in high school, but then I went off to college and he toured the world, living on $5 a day, sleeping in squats or The Van, and generally living the punk rock lifestyle with this band. Then we reconnected about the time they became this band. And now he is in this band.*

And of course once your significant other is in a band, well then, you know lots of, many, many bands. But not very many of those bands are made up of ladies. Though we know these ladies, and some of the women in this band, and this band has a bad ass lady drummer, among others.

My husband has always agreed with me that there should be more ladies in the Bay Area music scene, and that we like hanging out together (duh, married), so he's been pushing me to do less critiquing of popular music and more making of probably not-so-popular music. So, on Thursday I picked up his guitar (rule #1: carry your own equipment) and we went to the practice space so we could make some punk rock (rule #2: pee before you leave 'cause ew, gross).

This was pretty much our first lesson:
Me: I don't know how to play anything.

(Not true, I can play "Come as You Are" as any self-respecting 14 year-old in 1994 could.)

Husband: All you need are these three cords.

(Shows them to me, I try not to get frustrated that I am not automatically awesome, reminds me that punk rock is sloppy, I remember that punk rock does not have valedictorians.)

Me: But, I'm not going to be able to transition quickly.

Husband: That's what distortion is for. Put in your earplugs and turn it up.

And so I did. And it was pretty awesome. By the end of it, my index finger was developing a blister and I had graduated to a thicker pick, 'cause you know its more bad ass, and I had a really good time.

So, I'll let you know how the progress goes. But until then, here is my inspiration, for becoming a bad ass lady musician:

And who knows, maybe a future Music Monday will be about this bad ass lady singing about something that pisses her off, though I doubt it will be considered popular.

*That band is super fun to watch, you should go see them, IMHO.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Music Monday: Fuck You, So Much

Satah Cameron got pissed enough about one of the side effects of warm weather that she wrote a pretty kick ass song about street harassment in 20 minutes.  You can read the full lyrics on her Tumblr.

via The Sexist.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Precocious High Schoolers

Jaime Keilis does her hair a la Seventeen magazine.
Jamie Keiles' blog has been buzzing around the blogs for the last few weeks. Jamie is an incredibly smart almost-graduated high school senior living by Seventeen magazine for 30 days.

Not only is she incredibly self-aware with self-esteem my high school self would have envied, one of her hobbies is sociology. Yeah.

Her posts on prom and analysis of race, gender and sexuality in the magazine are pretty amazing.

But what is really awesome about Jamie's blog is that she is not alone. Smart young women who pay attention to the world and want to change it for the better have always existed, but now thanks to technology some of them (ask Jamie to deconstruct privilege) can get their message to much larger audiences.

Which brings me to another (not so) awesome side effect of smart, young people...This week at work our high school intern started, which means I get to spend the summer with one of these amazing women. She is super smart and just turned seventeen, and makes me feel really old - "You mean blogs didn't exist when you were in high school?" Yeah...they barely existed when I graduated from college.

Oh, by the way, that was nine years ago.
Technology comics: One figure plays "Internet" arcade game while the other yells "Quick press 'blog'! Press 'Blog'!"
Comic by Joey Allison Sayers, which I totally stole from my husbands blog. Between us we've got four blogs and four Twitter accounts so at least we aren't totally behind the times and that is pretty awesome.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: Why We Are Tired of PETA - PETA Never Gets Tired of Boobies

A plane carrying a sign that reads: "MEAT ON YOUR GRILL - OIL SPILL  PETA"
Every time I learn about one of PETA's "confrontational" new campaigns, I want to cram foie gras in my mouth, wear veal earrings and slip into a bikini made entirely of tuna.

Helen Razer has a great take down of PETA's advertising and "work."
You’d think an organization like PETA might want to roll its sleeves up and help manage this habitat calamity. No. But they did release this intriguing press statement. PETA says that if we want to help injured Gulf animals, what we really should do is stop eating meat.

According to PETA, the devastation of marine animal populations is the result of the pot-roast you ate last Thursday. It has nothing to do with BP.

No. I don’t understand it either.

As oiled seabirds die a slow, painful death, PETA turns its attention back to core business: titties.
I was at a conference yesterday where one of the keynote speakers was discussing the branding of organizations who claim to be working toward a similar goal. She note that when people think of the ASPCA they think "cute kittens and puppies" and when they think of PETA they think "controversial."

She was a pretty amazing speaker, defiantly a pro in her field and at public speaking, and her only stumble was on the word "controversial." I'm pretty sure she would have agreed that some more appropriate words might have been:




But you know, it was a room full of 800 people that work in the nonprofit sector, which is a diverse group of organizations, some of whose employees have probably donated to PETA or work for them. So you know, "controversial" was a safe bet.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Music Monday: Hey Kids, Look! Lady Gaga is Boring

Yep, Madonna Lady Gaga put out another video...

A bunch of people wrote about it and said pretty much everything I thought. But, this week ushered in a new era of pop culture:

(AKA: Bras that give the wearer the power of the phallus, or exert the power of it over the wearer as is probably true in Katy Perry's case...)

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Oh and just in case we were wondering if Gaga is the ultimate producer of pop culture through catchy songs and headline grabbing attire and actions? There is this:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Advanced Aged and Kicking Ass

I like that this blog is becoming a repository for women I will aspire to be like when I am older. Next on the list? This woman:

Ilona Royce Smithkin is 90 years old, has lived above a nightclub in New York for the last 50 years, and at 80 started performing the Eyelash Cabaret in Provincetown. She doesn't wear makeup except for lipstick, green eyeshadow and eyelashes she makes from snippets of her own hair. Her thoughts on fashion?
“When I was younger I was insecure and tried anything unusual to be noticed. Now, with perspective, I can even wear something neutral and be comfortable in my skin.”
She also notes, "I feel beautiful inside and that’s beautiful enough for me.”

This week I also learned about Japan Pom Pom. A cheerleading group in Japan with an average age of 66.

The group was founded by Fumie Takino fifteen years ago when she was 63. Her theory on growing older?
“You can’t avoid getting old. Aging means people deteriorate physically and mentally. But…” she added with a smile, “everyone gets old, so why not just have fun?”
Dear husband, please take note: When I am old I will totally take up previously age inappropriate hobbies and wear crazy shit. Prepare yourself.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Music Monday: Xtina, Peaches and Le Tigre?

Music Mondays on this blog are quickly becoming posts in which I profess my dirty little Pandora secrets. Perhaps that is why they named it thus.

The feminist interwebs have been a buzz lately about Christina Aguilera's forthcoming album that may or may not include collaborations with Le Tigre and Peaches, among bad-ass lady others. Unfortunately, since I'm on PST, every time a leaked song was posted it had been taken down by the time I got through my RSS feed so I never got to hear the song that is in fact the product of Xtina, Peaches and Le Tigre - otherwise known as Stephanie's workout mix makes a feminist/pop culture baby.

Luckily today it is actually available:

90s Woman called this the most 90's song of 2010, and I think that is a pretty apt description. You can definitely hear the Le Tigre influence in both the beat and harmony.

Unfortunately, its a little bit more Spice Girls/Clueless version of the 90s when it comes to the lyrics:
My girls headed to the city, y'all
We got Cosmo on the dash and tickets on the floor
But on the upside, its a pretty solid, girl-centric summer jam and as the song says:
Now shout, my girls we're stronger than one
Now shout, and sometimes we gotta have fun (come on!)
Le Tigre style call and response will always have my heart, and after all, I'd rather we spend our summer listening to a party song with feminist roots, than other things that have giant production budgets.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: The Golden Girls

RIP Rue McClanahan.

Thanks for talking about friendship, finances, healthcare, age discrimination, homosexuality, marriage equality, and safe sex on a show I watched with my grandma.

And keep on rockin' Betty White.


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