The majority of the point of this place is to find and share new artists. However, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted about what I consider to be classics.
Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville is twenty years old this year.
My first listen was when I was about 16. I had never heard a woman sing about sexual experience and romance in such a realistic manner, in that the two don’t always go together. On some tracks, such as “Flower”, she is aggressive and forward about her desires, in a way I hadn’t previously known in this kind of music. On others, such as “Canary”, she longs for a relationship outside of something merely physical. Overall, the whole album is a refreshing answer to your more typical portrayal of love in pop music. It’s totally awkward and at times, it doesn’t feel that great.
This is such an important album, especially when it comes to subjects previously considered taboo amongst female musicians. It is justifiably considered to be a staple in anyone’s record collection. I still can’t get over the fact that it’s twenty years old.
Pop punk from Ponferrada, Spain. Even though they were championed by the likes of John Peel, it seems like they were another band who garnered more interest only after they had already broken up.
Look at that album artwork! Like, even the record itself! I know some people aren’t into kitchy vinyl colours and all, but I am a total sucker for it.
I need to brush up on my Spanish. This is just like my love for French vocalists from the 60s; Just because I don’t entirely understand what they’re singing about, doesn’t mean I can’t absolutely love it.
This is from their only full length release, El Resto De Mi Vida.
Like I’m sure I said the first time I mentioned Plumtree on here, it probably wouldn’t be the only time they would pop up. Predicts The Future is one of my favourite albums, probably ever. I’m slightly disappointed that the only version of this song I can find online doesn’t even have their name in the video title, BUT Scott Pilgrim VS The World introduced a lot more people to Plumtree than anyone could have expected. Also, I totally love this movie.
Anyway, this is the last song on PTF and is probably… the least Plumtree sounding? There’s certainly a Pixies/Frank Black thing going with the chorus (wait for it). It’s definitely a sea change and certainly a hint at what the band would grow towards on their latter material.
Okay, to be fair, Jejune were split vocals between Arabella Harrison (bass) and Joe Guevera (guitar) I would put Arabella slightly in lead, which is what earns them a place here. Plus they’re just really great. Late 90s emo (the real stuff, but I’m not getting into that argument… again) that went a bit out of the box, in the best way possible.
Fingers tightly crossed they make like many of their contemporaries and have a reunion some time soon!
Kenickie were pretty much the epitome of this little moment in mid 90s England probably best described as bubblegum punk.
There were a handful of female bands that came around who were too poppy to be considered riot grrrl, but too alternative to be mashed in amongst the rest of the charts. It was a slightly more polished era for girls in rock music after the grittier influence of American bands such as L7 and Hole. Bratty, brash, all the fun stuff.
What most people will note Kenickie for these days is the fact that it first introduced the world to television/radio darling Lauren Laverne.
Jangly indie pop from Belfast although they were released through a label in… San Francisco. Yes. Their original lineup in the early 90’s split after only one show. They ended up trying again in 2003 for a few years. They could easily be mistaken as something from the C86 era. If not entirely that, then they certainly sound like the sort of music they should have ended up making if they had made it past that one gig in ‘92.
Okay, so this blog is mostly dedicated to the more alternative side of females in music, which means it will mostly be a whole lot of twee and riot grrrl but that isn’t to say that it’s strictly limited to that. Plenty of more mainstream genres have their weird sides too.
Obviously, Missy was one of the biggest artists in the late 90s/early 2000s, so there’s little chance you don’t already know who she is. Her first album, Supa Dupa Fly, with assisted production by Timbaland proved she was out to do something different in hip hop but it was the videos, especially her collaborations with Hype Williams, that gave a real insight into her mind.
On second album, Da Real World, her material went a bit darker. She released She’s A Bitch as the first single, which I remember stirred a bit of controversy at the time. What she was intending was to bring power to the term, rather than make it demeaning.
This video in particular is insane. If it wasn’t for maybe the opening titles, you would be forgiven for mistaking that this was a video being released today and not THIRTEEN YEARS AGO. Seriously, I understand that music videos aren’t as important as they used to be when they were actually getting rotation on television, but nothing coming out these days even stands close to what this is.
A shoegazier baggy/baggier shoegaze (um) band fronted by Petra Roddis from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England. A John Peel championed group who would go on to record a session with him. They played with bands like Ride and Slowdive, with the latter eventually stealing their guitarist.
Petra no longer plays music these days, and has instead become a teacher.
Also, this video cuts out a bit at the end due to it being ripped from a VHS tape. Aw.
WARNING: The following post features opinions such as “Their early stuff was better” and “Boo major labels” also known as basic music blogger automated material. This does not typically reflect the nature of this site’s writer as she typically does not care where her music comes from regardless of label or money. It was just unavoidable in this situation. Thank you for still reading this far, even after this silly intro.
So, chances are you already know who The Donnas are, unless you’re under the age of 15 or didn’t own a television in 2002. If you fall in to either of those brackets… fair enough. The Donnas were quite a breakthrough for girls in bands, even if a lot of girls IN bands don’t want to admit that. They were the first big MTV rock band of the 2000s to be entirely all female. Obviously, there were others around at their same time, such as Sahara Hotnights who had a favourable amount of airplay, but few were as recognizable as The Donnas.
They have been around since the early 90s and began to work their way into pop culture towards the end of that decade, as the stage/prom band in teen movies Jawbreaker and Drive Me Crazy. After the success of single “Take It Off”, they started showing up everywhere, in television shows both live and fictional. Their songs were used in commercials and movies constantly. It was hard to escape them at one point.
Anyway, this post isn’t about that. I’m not one to use the “I liked their older stuff better” card, typically, but I’ll make an exception. The Donnas had already been around for the better part of a decade when they released their major label debut, Spend The Night, and by this point had become exceptionally accomplished musicians. Their sound was polished, the songs were tight, and they could easily stand beside (more like ahead of) any other rock band on the charts at the time. But… rock music on the chart sort of sucked in the early 2000s. This is the point I’m trying to reach with this one. Their early material was four girls who wanted to be The Ramones. The later was four girls who just sounded a lot like (new) Foo Fighters/stadium rock. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just much more fun to go with the former.
So, in the case that you only know this band for what you heard on some car commercial a few years ago or saw in that weird Rose McGowan movie - that was totally not for 12 year olds - here’s a gem from back in the day. Fifteen years ago, in fact (shudder). Yes, the production is rough, the video’s budget looks like it was done as a school project, but it’s FUN, and sometimes that’s all I want in my music.