Music, women, and listening habits
I was thinking about my music listening habits the other day while I was doing just that. I had realised that new music hasn’t been happening for me for a while: I basically gave up on JJJ a few years ago partly because of the disaster that was the Hottest 100 of All Time, and partly because when we came home from overseas it just didn’t appeal to me any more. Plus, I have less time to listen to the radio than I did a few years ago, when I had a (fairly) serious commute. So, considerably less exposure than say five years ago. The two albums I can remember buying in the last two years are Old Man River, after seeing him on RocKwiz, and Imelda May, after seeing an ad for her album on SBS (while watching RocKwiz).
So, I listen to a lot of the same stuff over and over, and I’m mostly fine with that – it’s stuff I’m passionate about and really do love. What I realised though is that there’s a dearth of women’s voices on high rotation. And why? Well, my immediate reaction was that women don’t tend to sing the sort of stuff I like.
I know, right? Maybe I should listen to Galactic Suburbia a bit more often.
Thing is, I’m not saying that women can’t or even won’t sing the stuff I like – which, for the sake of this post, is mostly rock; depending on who you talk to, the harder end of the rock spectrum, shading into metal. I’m saying that I haven’t found many women who do. I haven’t looked that hard for it, to be honest, because I like what I’ve found and I’m not the sort of person who always needs New Music (my iTunes random playlist just now tossed up the Beach Boys, and I’ve been listening to them for more than 20 years). And since I’ve never actively sought out new music, that means that at least part of the fault lies with the radio stations who have been failing me, and failing those bands that I would like, if they do indeed exist. So now I’m wondering whether there is awesome music that I’ve been missing out on.
(Yes, I am now feeling more sympathy for readers who say that they don’t read books written by women because they’ve never found them. However, the analogy falls down, because while I suppose you could go your whole life reading Heinlein and Clarke (and, ahem, Reynolds and Banks and Simmons…*cough*), readers tend to look for new stuff more often than I, at least, need new music. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shelf of SF without women in it… but yeh ok this could lead to an argument about proportions etc. Which I don’t want for this post, because dammit! I have a point!)
This post is a challenge: suggest bands I might like! For reference, probably my favourite band in the world at the moment:
(that would be Led Zeppelin)
(the Foo Fighters)
Before you despair of me totally, either for feminist or aesthetic reasons, I do listen to other sorts of music, and that does often include women: Goldfrapp is probably the band I listen to the most, interchangeably with Led Zeppelin, and I love Fiona Apple too, just as examples. Honestly I have eclectic tastes (protesting much?) – but what I’m really looking for is female voices doing awesome rock.
Can you help?
Yes, we got tickets. Well, I got tickets; my IT-pro husband has decided that I am the one to do online bookings and ticket purchasing. And in just 7 minutes of refreshing I got tickets. We’re old, so I bought seats; I couldn’t bear the thought of standing for 12 hours, or having to sit in the mud. As it turned out, this was a very good thing, since it rained for about a third of the day, and we didn’t get too wet, because I bought the best tickets in the entire world. We were in the second tier of seat at the G, in what is officially the Members Stand, and we were just far enough back that – except when the rain was going horizontal – we didn’t get wet at all. Hurrah! We were also right in front of the stage, so basically I am the Ticket Buying Master.
We got to the G a bit before midday, having not drowned in the torrential rain; this was quite an achievement. We left a bit before 11pm, again having not got too wet throughout the entire day. There were a couple of points at which we saw blue sky, but not many. I was viciously pleased to see that Sydney got some rain, too; is that mean? Not that I’m complaining about the rain per se, of course; we needs rain, precious, and we loves it. I’m just not a huge fan of being out in it. We had surprisingly few people around us; given it was meant to have been sold out, I think a few people must have piked out because of the rain. Also, I guess some didn’t come to their seats and just stayed standing up, probably propping up the rather expensive bar ($6 for a cup of Carlton Draught?? Hello…). Also, I have to say that a lot of the MCs were shite; they got basically every major Melbourne FM station to send along one of their DJs, and… it was just bad, mostly. Hamish and Andy were the best, even though I don’t always like their style; they were lightyears better than Gold FM’s Grubby and Deedee (urgh).
Anyway, what follows here are my rough thoughts on the whole day… which I’ll admit to basing on what I wrote on the day, which J thought was utterly hilarious and nerdy.
Jet: first up – a bit boring, and I felt a bit sad for them, because the crowd was largely disinterested and still coming in to boot. They then flew off to double up in Sydney; I hope they got a better reception there.
Gabrielle Cilmi: who?? I had actually heard of her, because she appeared with the Cat Empire for the Aus Open grand final concert; but seriously – who?? 17 years old, apparently youngest ever ARIA winner. Woohoo. She started with a verse of “Buy me a Mercedes Benz,” which had me amazing all these kids thinking it was her original…. Her band seemed to be made up of her Dad’s friends – old men! – and she finished with “Whole Lotta Love,” which made me nearly wet myself with laughter.
Coldplay, live from Sydney: yes, we got some stuff broadcast from Sydney, and vice versa, which was a really nice touch.I enjoyed Coldplay more than I expected, since I usually think they’re just whingy Brits.
Kings of Leon: a short set, but not bad.
Hoodoo Gurus, from Sydney: they’ve very cool for old blokes! for young blokes too, actually.
Paul Kelly: got a better reception than I was expecting from a fairly young audience; people didn’t seem to be paying much attention to him but every song got a rousing round of applause. I have a love/hate relationship with Kelly; I love his songs, but I hate them because they often make me cry.
Little Birdy, from Sydney: I love them!
Augie March: better than I expected, but I still see them as filler.
Architecture in Helsinki, from Sydney: didn’t find them that interesting.
Bliss n Eso: the only ‘urban’ act on the bill, J was very dubious, but he really enjoyed them – they have a brilliant stage presence and routine, and they worked the crowd exceptionally well. I liked their utter self-deprecation. And I quite liked their music too.
You am I, from Sydney: not really my thing.
Kasey Chambers, Shane Nicholson and Troy Cassar-Daley: for a set that’s really not my scene, they were ok.
Josh Pyke, from Sydney: we just didn’t get enough of him! We loves Joshy, eh, ?
Liam Finn and friends: the first couple of songs he did with Barnesy’s daughter EJ, and the first half of each was fine… but each one degenerated into self-indulgent bashing of instruments that utterly lacked musicality. Then he was joined by Tim and Neil Finn, and they broke out a couple of Crowded House songs, which everyone sang along to, and Liam was redeemed (a bit. Not much). Basically everyone singing along.
Taylor Swift, from Sydney: who the hell?? Funniest moment: she ripped her long black dress down the front to reveal a little gold dress underneath.
Jack Johnson: a man and a guitar and nothing else. Very Roy Orbison. Gosh he’s good.
Eskimo Joe, from Sydney: I do like the Joe. I do wish they’d sing the Sweater song still though.
Wolfmother: sadly for them, it was during their set that the rain was going horizontal, which of course stuffed up the sound for them. But they still rocked out. (As an aside, I think Andrew Stockdale chose new member of the band based on whether their hair matched his or not.)
Funniest moment of the whole night: a recording of earlier in the afternoon, John Farnham singing “You’re the Voice” with Coldplay. Every single person in the 80,000 crowd sang along, every single word. Truly we are a nation of patriotic bogans. Me included.
Kylie: suddenly appearing on stage after the minute’s silence, which most people observed (except for some drunken yobs). And making everyone sing along to “I am – you are – we are Australian” (with words on the screen! No trust of the Australian public).
Hunter and Collectors: oh. my. goodness. I had no idea they rocked so. hard. They were utterly, utterly brilliant. They finished with “The Slab,” which I’d never heard before but which is the most amazing pub rock thrash song. I LOVE the Hunters. And again, everyone sang along with “Holy Grail,” which was an awesome moment.
Presets, from Sydney: woohoo! So glad we got a little of this set.
Split Enz: a lot weirder than I think a lot of people would have expected; I had a hunch they would be. They started slowly but they finished well, and I really enjoyed them.
Icehouse, from Sydney: one of the bands I was a bit sad not to have in Melbourne, so again I’m glad we got them for a couple of songs… including, of course, “Great Southern Land.”
Midnight Oil: who were, frankly, the reason we went. Interestingly, it was almost a let down. They were what we expected – we’ve seen them live on DVD (from Wave Aid, and that live gig they released before breaking up), and they basically lived up to expectations. Which was fine, except that the Hunters had blown expectations out of the water; really, anything after that was going to be a little flat. Don’t get me wrong – they were good, Garret was as nutty a dancer as I could have hoped for – but opening with “Redneck Wonderland” felt odd, and… like I said, they met expectations, but didn’t exceed them
Overall, it was one of the greatest 11-hour stretches in memory. I’m so very glad we went, since we’ve been regretting not going up to Wave Aid for about four years now. No more regrets! I have seen the Oils live! And Hunters and Collectors!
JJJ Hottest 100
My little sibs take voting in the Triple J Hottest 100 quite seriously. I think my bro, Kim, takes it most seriously – but with very little encouragement the squister, Kat, gets in on the act. And so do I. So we have a little email discussion about who’s voted for what, and perhaps get a bit competitive… my bro is quite smug about having guessed who will be No 1 for the last couple of years. Anyway, for the record:
Kat says –
Cog – What If
Foo Fighters – The Pretender
Birds Of Tokyo – Black Sheets
Butterfly Effect – Reach
Dead Letter Circus – Disconnect And Apply
Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
Peeping Tom – We’re Not Alone
Mammal – Slaves
Josh Pyke – Sew My Name
Queens Of The Stone Age – 3’s & 7’s
Kim says –
Arcade Fire – Keep the car running
Birds of Tokyo – Wayside
Emilie Simon – Fleur de saison
Kings of Leon – On call
Muscles – Ice Cream
Muse – Knights of Cydonia
The Panics – Cruel guards
Silverchair – Straight lines
Spoon – The underdog
White Stripes – Conquest
I says –
Regina Spektor – Real Love
Beck – Timebomb
Bjork – Earth Intruders
Bumblebeez – Dr Love
Chemical Brothers – The Salmon Dance
Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up To Dry
Foo Fighters – The Pretender
Fratellis – Creepin Up The Backstairs
Jenny Wilson – Summertime (The Roughest Time)
Bluejuice – Vitriol
Note the almost complete non-correspondence. We’re not quite that dissimilar, but we certainly have been drifting apart recently in music. There are still some things that keep up together: Foo Fighters; Wolfmother (more the sis and me); Faith No More (I’m still being convinced of the heavier stuff); and Roy Orbison…
Until just now, when the Veronicas (urgh; and my GOODness they look trampy) beat out Rogue Traders and Josh Pyke for Best Pop Release, I had picked all the winners… ok so that’s only three, but still. Wolfmother for Best Breakthrough Album or whatever (aroooo!), Hilltop Hoods for Best Urban, and Youth Group for Best Breakthrough Single (much as I really find that song whingy and annoying).
This might turn into something of a running commentary… I am mostly watching this for Wolfmother, Bernarld Fanning and the Hoods, but Eskimo Joe were ok first up too. And – embarrassing as it is to admit – Rogue Traders too….
Later edit: weren’t the Rogue Traders meant to perform? I didn’t see them….
MTV Movie Awards – Snakes on a Plane!!
Watching these awards – it’s obviously pretty old, so don’t know why Channel 10 has only just got around to showing it; maybe it’s cheaper that way. Samuel L Jackson is presenting the award for Best Movie (I’m sorry, The Wedding Crashers ??)… but he’s claiming that next year, Snakes on a Plane will be winning next year.
Pft. As if.
HELP! snakes on a plane!!
The bro took a picture of a huge billboard in the US advertising the movie; pretty funny.
My GOODness, Jessica Alba is soooo tacky,
BUT WOW for good timing! I was about to go to bed… but Wolfmother just appeared at the end of the awards! YEH!
I have two new favourite songs:Â Ruby Blue, by Roisin Murphy – I’m seriously thinking about buying this album, if it is actually out yet – and Supermassive Black Hole, by Muse.Â I don’t think I will buy that album, but it’s a very very cool song.
And the father of a friend of mine has just discovered Wolfmother, which I think is very funny.Â She’s got a copy of the CD, but hasn’t listened to it yet; be interesting to see what she thinks, because I don’t think she’s quite such a fan of Led Zeppelin; I think she is more Split Enz (whom she will be seeing in a couple of weeks), and Moody Blues-type music.
I really love the new song by Wolfmother, Lovetrain.Â It’s the B-side for White Unicorn.Â I’m not going to go out and buy the single, so I really hope that it comes out on their next album, whenever that happens.Â If not, guess I’ll have to go the iTunes route, long as it is still there…
I just saw an ad for the Wolfmother album. Not a new one, just the old one – the album I bought months ago. I haven’t seen an ad for it before today. They must have made enough to afford an ad, or something… it did make me laugh, as well as making me quite bemused. As if it was a recent appearance in the stores. Pft.
Sucks be to Post-modernism
How I enjoy being me: not being at BDO, I have put on the Wolfmother concert I taped off Rage ages ago (bad me). I am also reading Charles Freeman’s The Greek Achievement.
This is not the reason I can say nasty things to postmodernists, although it is a bit out there.
No, the reason I am feeling smug towards PMs at the moment is what I just read in the aforementioned book. There was a philosopher who lived around 490-420BC, name of Protagoras. His most famous words, apparently, are “man is the measure of all things.” He claimed that if one person said a drink was bitter, then it is true to say that it is bitter; and if another person said the same drink was sweet, it was true to say it was indeed sweet. Ha ha! PMs are not so postmodern after all! They are indeed rehashing ancient ideas! And to add a cherry to this glorious statement, Freeman continues with: “This was easily challenged by Democritus, and after him, Plato. If all beliefs are true, so too is the belief that no beliefs are true and there is an insoluble contradition.” Mahahahaha.
*sigh* Back to school tomorrow.
General observations on the day after Australia Day
I have just had a run in the rain. Well, I stood in our courtyard while there was a sun-shower, anyway. It was very pleasant. But it is still hot.
Bernard F won the Hottest 100. Who’da thunk it? Particularly with Ben Lee at no. 2. This year’s voters must have been a particularly sappy bunch – the ones I don’t know, anyway, since my circle were all arguing between Mind’s Eye and something by the Foos as the top song.
6/12 songs from one album in the Hottest 100. That is mighty impressive, especially for a first album. Well done, that Wolfmother.
Wil Anderson is a knob.
Spray bottles are a God-send on hot days with too many people in one place having a bbq.
Marcos Baghdatis is a hero.