Monday, July 12, 2010

More female instrumentalists: The Hush Sound, Eisley, Bikini Kill, Yoko Kanno

My post on female instrumentalists a couple of weeks ago got a ton of terrific responses - I’ve thoroughly enjoyed investigating your suggestions! Throughout the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share videos of some of the artists mentioned in that post, going in order. Lyrics can be found in the comments.

Casey of Pop-Punk Junkie (a friend from school) suggested several artists. One of my favorites was The Hush Sound, who have a lady vocalist/keyboardist, Greta Salpeter. Following is their song "Wine Red":



Casey also recommended Eisley, which consists of three sisters, (lead guitar) Chauntelle DuPree, (guitar and vocals) Sherri DuPree, and (keyboard and vocals) Stacy DuPree, and their two brothers. They performed the song "Marvelous Things" at SXSW last year:




Bikini Kill
is a classic riot-grrl band with Kathleen Hanna, Kathi Wilcox, and Tobi Vail. It is a failure on my part that I did not mention this obvious choice. This is “I Like Fucking”:



Cessen of Privileged White Male left a rhapsodic comment about Yoko Kanno. He wrote in part: “She plays the piano. But more over, she is a brilliant composer, crossing almost every genre. She has done blues, pop, orchestral of many kinds, rock, electronic, folk, jazz, new age, etc. etc. etc. and she does them all BRILLIANTLY.” He also suggested the following video, a Cowboy Bebop instrumental medley:



Look for another post with more music...at some point!

9 comments:

  1. Lyrics to “Wine Red” by The Hush Sound”:

    Who shot that arrow in your throat?
    Who missed the crimson apple?
    It hung heavy on the tree above your head

    This chaos, this calamity, this garden once was perfect
    Give your immortality to me; I'll set you up against the stars

    Gloria,
    We lied, we can't go on
    This is the time and this is the place to be alive

    Who shot that arrow in your throat?
    Who missed the crimson apple?
    And there is discord in the garden tonight

    The sea is wine red
    This is the death of beauty
    The doves have died
    The lovers have lied

    I cut the arrow from your neck
    Stretched you beneath the tree
    Among the roots and baby's breath
    I covered us with silver leaves

    Gloria,
    We lied, we can't go on
    This is the time and this is the place to be alive

    The sea is wine red
    This is the death of beauty
    The doves have died
    The lovers have lied

    The sea is wine red
    This is the death of beauty
    The doves have died
    The lovers have lied

    The sea is wine red (Gloria, we lied)
    This is the death of beauty (we lied, this is the time and place)
    The doves have died (Gloria, we lied)
    The lovers have lied (this is the time and place)

    Lyrics to Eisley’s Marvelous Things

    I awoke the dawn
    Saw horses growing out the lawn
    Ah ah .....

    I glimpsed a bat with butterfly wings
    Oh what, marvelous things
    Ah ah....

    Dark night...hold tight, and sleep tight
    My baby
    Morning light...shall burst bright
    And keep us here safely

    I followed a rabbit
    Through rows of mermaid entwined Shrubbery
    Ah ah....
    Oh what marvelous things but, they are, they are, they are
    Giving me the creeps

    Dark night...hold tight, and sleep tight
    My baby
    Morning light...shall burst bright
    And keep us here safely

    Oh...lying in the sun
    Everday feeling all of the magic in life
    and wonder.....

    Dark night...hold tight, and sleep tight
    My baby
    Morning light...shall burst bright
    And keep us here safely
    Morning light...shall burst bright
    And keep us here safely..
    Ah ah.....

    Ah ah.....

    Ah ah.....

    Ah ah.....

    Ah ah.....

    Ah ah.....

    Ah ah.....

    Ah ah.....

    Lyrics to “I Like Fucking” by Bikini Kill

    Hey! Do you believe there's anything
    Beyond troll-guy reality? I do. I do. I do.
    It gets so hard, just to be okay
    Sometimes being happy baby is what
    I'm most afraid of
    Baby, you know, It gets so hard for
    Me to fight--I don't know how I
    Guess I never did--Why don't you
    Show me how--how to lose control
    (she's so very I don't care)
    Just 'cause my world, sweet sister, is so fucking
    Goddamn full of rape--Does that mean
    My body must always be a source of pain?
    No. No. No.
    (She's so very I don't care, She's so very I don't care)
    Just 'cause I named it right here sweet
    Chickadee don't mean for a minute you
    Should think I'm the opposite of
    Anything--but if you wanna know for sure
    I'll tell you
    We're not gonna prove nothing nothing
    Sittin around watching each other starve
    What we need is action/strategy
    I want I want I want
    I want it now.
    I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure, babe.
    I do. I do. I do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You learn something new every day! I always loved the music in Cowboy Bebop; it's a well-crafted show and the music is always perfect for it. Green Bird is one of my favorite songs of all time :] it's great to link that music to the artist.

    Thanks for posting the follow up to this and I look forward to more of the same!

    ReplyDelete
  3. She's awesome, right? Cessen had a bunch more to share in his email:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEqEh9GGyx4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbeycenfDds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWOOyS3QsPE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIVgSuuUTwQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpGRXCp_BXA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJjnbhSTuqQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCs1yOtvf8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75-BMEv53DE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3kJT5tdJ1g

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know, you might want to consider investigating the riot grrrl movement more deeply to see which bands came before, which came after, and the sort of bands who owe the riot grrrl movement a great big thank you card. After all, riot grrrl was in response to the sexism at punk shows and in the music industry in general-- as a result, riot grrrl bands were demonized as being more political than musicially inclined, thereby dismissing the music they DID make and negating the messages entirely.

    Plus, they're so heavily linked to zine-making, which was so democratic, so cheap, and pre-blog, that the riot grrrls may prove to be more and more important in retrospect as the years go on. I THINK there's a riot grrrl museum or something somewhere; I know Kathleen Hanna (I THINK) just donated all her old zines to be preserved.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I understand where you're coming from, Miranda. Riot grrl could definitely be an entire post on its own. I think when doing a mad rundown survey of "women who play instruments" that's not the time, but you're right. (As a side note, a lot of the people further down the list are riot grrl-esque bands, like Sleater-Kinney, Hole, etc - but as RMJ noted she's just exposing people to non-vocalist women).

    I do think that a lot of the time, however, we think of riot grrl as the only real generation of women in music, particularly alternative music. As people pointed out in the first post, women in all areas of music, and women in all genres of rock, have been around FOREVER. Ignoring the women who were in classic rock bands in the 60s and 70s, in hardcore bands despite the
    sexism, were band leaders with all male bands, or merely don't subscribe to the riot grrl movement or aesthetic is negating their experience as well.

    Which is not to say that riot grrl isn't important, but merely that in my experience the adjective "riot grrl" became a form of validation for an all-female or mostly-female band, and a venue for it being acceptable for women to be in rock.

    We should definitely be respecting ANY way a woman wants to express herself, and if she's inspired by riot grrl that's cool, but that's not the most important thing we need to notice: surely it's the music that counts.

    Tangentially, though, if you want to share your knowledge of riot grrl history, I'm sure no one would be opposed :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Miranda, I think my problem with your comment is that it vastly oversimplifies the history of women in rock. Firstly, you suggest some kind of timeline of riot grrrl, but that's like attempting to define the origin of punk music (do we count bands like Iggy and the Stooges, which we now retroactively refer to as proto-punk, do we start with the first band to call itself punk or the first band to make music currently defined as punk?). History is subjective, which is pretty basic to the concept of feminism. It can be defined by whoever is in charge of making that definition. Trying to organize an organic, political, social, and musical movement by date or place more or less value on a certain group is both arbitrary and dangerous.

    Second, it implies that riot grrrl occurred in a vacuum, and comes off as though you are saying that other women who have made music since that time somehow owe more to riot grrrl than to any earlier female musicians or to any male musicians that might have inspired them. Female musicians today owe no more (or less) to riot grrrl than they do to Patti Smith, Joan Jett, or Lorna Doom. There have been women in rock for decades, and implying that riot grrrl is somehow more important that other female musicians of the past and present is limited in scope and insulting to hundreds of other women musicians.

    Finally, this post isn't about riot grrrl, nor was the one that spawned this. It was about the specific artists mentioned by a wide array of commenters and RMJ's intent to cover a spectrum of those artists in coming weeks. If you want to write a thorough primer on riot grrrl, I'm sure RMJ would be happy to see and perhaps publish it, but your comment is pretty narrowly focused on a single aspect of the huge topic that is being addressed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interestingly, any comment on a blog about the history of women in rock is likely to be a deep oversimplification, as we don't have enough characters among any of us to detail it.

    However, if you reread my comment, I did mention the words "before" and "after" and "those who owe", implying a vague timeline, which I didn't feel the need to do on a blog post that wasn't about riot grrrl. I was in no way attacking the blog, just reminding that the riot grrrl movement is a cool place to do an in-depth exploration of one facet of women's history in rock.

    Thank you for jumping to conclusions and pedantry.

    ReplyDelete
  8. uhh hey?

    this comment has nothing to do with the riot grrrl movement or a timeline of females in rock and roll history or anything..

    ..but, rmj, did anyone tell you to look at fiona apple? i mean, it's laughable when you consider all the 7th grade angsty bullshit that comes with her, but she is a very talented pianist and songwriter.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hooray, "Wine Red" is my favorite Hush Sound song!

    Also, if you liked Bikini Kill, listen to Le Tigre if you're not already. It was (is?) Kathleen Hanna's post-BK band and is just as riotously feminist.

    I do agree with Miranda that there could be future posts about riot grrrl and the awareness it brought to feminism and women in rock. I love hearing and talking about the history of musical genres though. Lunamorgan, you are correct to say that riot grrrl did not occur in a vaccuum, but as a social force it was mostly limited to a particular time, so Miranda is not incorrect to refer to it as happening at a specific point in time. Organizing events by these markers is not incorrect because events have to happen somewhere at some time to be events. And if we're talking about women who play instruments, then women who were or are in riot grrrl bands are certainly to be included in that conversation.

    ReplyDelete

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