Saturday, 18 September 2010

Lowkey - 'Terrorist?'

Lowkey is relentless. So much respect for this dude. The first time I saw him live he joined Drew McConnell from Babyshambles and I remember wishing Drew would just exit the stage and let Lowkey finish off the set (I wasn't there to see Mr McConnell in the first place, he was the support act). His speech at the Hip Hop History panel for the Octavia Foundation a few weeks back was mad inspiring and if his ridiculous Facebook stats are indicative of his potential for visibility and success, he'll get the bigger platform he deserves.

Friday, 17 September 2010

"The Lesbian Russ Meyer"

I'm on a diet of Vit C and Potter's cough remedy but I fully intend to make it down to The Horse Hospital this Saturday to attend this:

BBC World Have Your Say @ Southbank

Wears The Trousers HQ were invited down to take part in the interactive radio show World Have Your Say yesterday. The debate was geared around the failing Millennium Development Goals and whether women should take responsibility for ongoing inequality. It was held at Southbank and curated by Jude Kelly OBE, who was all kinds of inspiring. I didn't actually get any mic time - partly out of shyness and partly because the peeps of London Feminist Network were saying most of what I was thinking - but you should totes check it out anyway:

Shere Hite was there. I had no idea who she was until today, but I liked her white gloves and the way she said what she thought and felt on air with no apology.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Who controls the sound?

Last week a friend of mine told me that she'd started a part time course on sound engineering. She's in a band and she's promoted gigs, so it shouldn't have been such a surprise, but it was. I was a weird blur of happy-proud confusion. I pondered on that initial sense of "huh?"  a little later and realized I'd been so dazzled because it's such a boy-dominated profession and I'd never met a girl who said this was something she was interested in learning/doing.

Sadly, I was right in guessing that she's the only girl on the course.

I like it that she'd sidestepped any sense of permission in training for a role that's become (always has been?) so gender specific. I hear "sound guy" or "sound man" way more then I ever hear the gender neutral version of  "sound person".  I've been attending gigs, putting on gigs and promoting gigs for donkey years, and in all that time I've met just two female sound engineers. It's possible that I've forgotten some in a haze of beer fogged amnesia, but "hengineers" (eww) are so scarce in London that they tend to be memorable when you do meet/spot one; they have rare species status.

What has become apparent throughout my extensive emails/phone convos/face-to-face chats with lady artists is that it's not just that big ole rekkid label boss/macho magazine CEO/boys club networkers that keep women back - it's the fucking sound guy too. I've been interviewing women in music for over three years, and nearly every female artist I've talked to (yup, even the few who claim they've never been subject to second rate treatment) has a "super-patronizing sound man" story - that self-important dude who has assumed that these lil gals don't know how to tune their own guitar, or rolls his eyes when they dare to ask for a little more bass in the monitor.

I told my trainee engineer friend about this and she paled in disgust. She said that one of the first things her (male) tutor had impressed on the class was how instrumental the sound peeps' power is in the whole live show dynamic, that it's the sound engineer's job to support the artist in both a technical and emotional capacity and that musicians should be stepping out in front of their audience with confidence, knowing that they have a friendly, co-operative engineer backing them all the way through their set.

It's a shame then that female artists have to wade through so much ingrained opposition just to pick up a mic/guitar/etc and be heard in the first place, only to have some failed muso beat them down before they've even made it through the sound check.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Domestic Fight Club - September 13th

"During an average week in the UK 2 women are killed by abusive partners and 9 more will kill themselves."

Wanna do something about it? Take it to the streets like Tyler Durden? Then peep the link:

Pretty rad that they're appropriating a film/book that many critics believe to be an implicit attack on the 'feminisation' of the modern man.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Update on the Wears The Trousers/Ladyfest zine

In case you missed this, I'm curating a special one-off zine as Wears The Trouser's celebrates it's 5th bday this year and Ladyfest is throwing its 10th bday bash in November. With our mutual  DIY ethos and love for women in music, we thought a collaborative zine was in order. And YOU get to be a part of it! So scoot over to your CD/cassette/vinyl racks/ticket stub collections, and pick a song, album, female artist, female fronted band or even a live show that has had a major impact on you, and relive it in up to 400 words. And don't worry about writing skills, you don't have to be a music journalist to share yr story!

Everyone remembers the first time they heard one of PJ Harvey’s dark little ditties, or shrieked along to a Babes In Toyland number. Maybe you had your first mosh to L7’s ‘Shove’; maybe you heard Bikini Kill on a mixtape and it changed your life; maybe Kim Deal or Brody Dalle inspired you to pick up a guitar; maybe Tori Amos shocked awake the poet in you; maybe Ani DiFranco, Donna Dresch or Peaches helped you come out; and maybe Patti Smith or Kim Gordon taught you that being different can be way more fulfilling than fitting in. Maybe Mia Zapata helped you snarl a way out of the blues, or maybe you've got a poignant connection with a crackly Bessy Smith record.

This is about reconnecting people with the powerful experiences they've had through music, celebrating the impact music can have, and inspiring the folk who'll be reading them once they're all stapled together in a free, zine shaped bundle, so don't be afraid to get personal and bare yr bones. We're also welcoming photographic submissions, handwritten text and hand drawn illustrations. These should be A6 postcard size, and the font/handwriting on written pieces should as be a bold as possible! We've had some super duper submissions so far from some really rad people so why not jump on board with yr own tuppence worth?
Holla at me: 
 Deadline is Ocotber 15th and here are some pretty wicked ladies to get you inspired: Skin, Mia Zapata, Ari Up, Beth Ditto, Mary J Blige, Babes In Toyland, Nina Simone, The Shaggs, Edith Piaf, Kat Bjelland, Frankie Rose, MC Lyte, Corin Tucker, Tracey Chapman, Diamanda Galas, PJ Harvey, Dessa, Ms Dynamite, Huggy Bear, Courtney Love, Joan Jett, SWV, Lauryn Hill, Gwen Steffani, Justine Frischman, Queen Latifah, Kathleen Hannah, Missy Elliot, Tracey O, Hope Sandoval, The Runaways, Hole, Tracey Chapman, Tairrie B, Siouxsie Sioux, Viv Albertine, Grace Jones, Donna Dresch, Salt & Pepa, Peaches, Amanda Palmer, Yo Majesty!, Patti Smith, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughan, The Ronnettes, Brody Dalle.....

Friday, 3 September 2010

Thursday, 2 September 2010

"And this also," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the dark places of the earth."

So whilst Blair is hawking his tome of self-congratulation and nauseating coitus overshare, US and UK media are painting a golden hue around the supposed US pull out of military invasion in Iraq. I say supposed because according to New Statesmen:

"They have not left. At least 50,000 troops will continue to operate from 94 bases. American air assaults are unchanged, as are special forces' assassinations. The number of "military contractors" is 100,000 and rising. Most Iraqi oil is now under direct foreign control"
Rest of the need-to-read article here.

Al Lover - 'Baby Please'

I'd like this joint even without the video. But yeah. Ain't complaining.

Dude says on his blog: "I threw this together myself today thanks to piracy, and technology spliced up footage from a Russ Meyers flick, early 60's R&B sample, and conga drum".
LP Creative Controlled to follow shortly. 

Kick Ass 2

Mark Millar has announced that a sequel is happening. Sweeeeet.