Saturday, 28 November 2009

PROMO: Next Ladyfest Meeting

Goldsmiths Ladyfest poster
The next Ladyfest Ten meeting will be next Monday at 7:30 at the feminist library near Waterloo Station.

Anyone can get involved just pop along and meet other people with similar interests.

Date: Monday 30th November 2009
Time: 7:30pm- don’t worry if you’re late
Venue: The Feminist Library- 5 Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7XW

To view a map of the area click here.

Friday, 27 November 2009


A recent article in the Guardian took the good part of 2000 words trying to convince the reader that hip hop was dead. While intelligently written and well thought through I believe the simple explanation for 50 Cent, Akon and the rest is that they have become lazy. Using old beats, relying on cliches and working only for the money has made the formerly political and aggressive form of art become just another pop song.

Hip hop, like indie, is on its last legs and could die if it doesn't diversify and look to others for new ways of creating intelligent music. There are only so many songs about bitches, hos and grills the public can take.

Hip hop should not, and will not, die but it should start from scratch and begin to look at music in a completely different way. I suggest that we look to the fringes for inspiration.

Those who have been on the fringes since the beginning have been women which is why I believe, scratch that, KNOW they are the future of hip hop.

Female rappers have had completely different issues that they want to rap about, whether it's sexism, sexuality, or world issues.

I hope you enjoy this mixtape, it's got some of my favourites on. It may be questionable to call some of the artists on this mixtape rappers but they're on this because I think they have added a lot to the genre.

Bamboo Banga- M.I.A
Boom (I Got Your Boyfriend)- MC Luscious
Salute Yr Nurse- Jenna Riot
Don't Need No- Pink Dollaz
U.N.I.T.Y- Queen Latifah
Rapture- Blondie
Get Your Freak On- Missy Elliott
Club Action- Yo Majesty
Bang- Rye Rye and M.I.A
Push It- Salt-N-Pepa

We Like The Cars That Go Boom- L'Trimm
Lost Ones- Lauryn Hill
Ship- Micachu
Make It Take It- Amanda Blank
Topknot- M.I.A
Billionaire- Peaches
Creator- Santigold


This month's 'song of the month' is a bit late. I've been pretty busy with work and stuff but I'm going to try and get all of the posts thay should have been up last week online over the weekend.

I've been listening to this song non-stop in the last couple of weeks. This girl is friends with M.I.A, had her record produced by Blaqstarr and she's only a teenager. I'm talking about Rye Rye and the track Shake It To The Ground.

The Blaqstarr produced track has a sparse, simple but catchy beat and along with Rye Rye's lyrics the song is light years ahead of some of the caveman-esque tracks released by more famous male rappers.

I'm really getting into my female rappers at the moment and Rye Rye, along with a number of other girls who I'll tell you more about in another post, is one of the best. Her songs give the listener an insight into where she is from, Baltimore, and what she loves doing, dancing apparently, without ever sounding like part of a scene.

I'm calling it now, Rye Rye is the future of Hip Hop. Jump on my bandwagon now before it's too late.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


If you're in the soho area of London tomorrow night head down to Cro bar where the amazing Blood Red Shoes play a one off intimate gig. If you signed up to the BRS newsletter like I did then you've probably already got this note from the band but oh well.

hey folks

we're playing the cro bar in london (it's in soho) this wednesday - 25th november - it's free entry. i think you can fit 70 people in there if we all breathe in real hard. get there at 8 and get in, or get there late and listen from the street. we will be playing on the floor right in your faces blowing your eardrums out and drenching you in sweat. feel the love.

brs x

Monday, 23 November 2009

Mondays Getting You Down....

.......don't frown here's The Vaselines.

**UNDER COVER** Happiness.... a warm gun in your hand.



We're Almost Famous...

Don't Dance Her Down Boys has received it's first bit of press.

Check out my interview with Sarah Barnes at Uplift magazine, she gives me a very lovely intro.

Click here to read more.

Friday, 20 November 2009

All Girl Band Night For Charity

This event sounds really cool and I'm really annoyed that I can't go. It's an all girl band night benefit for the charity Positive Action. More info below (ps. I stole the Press Release below from here).


Start Time: Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 7:30pm
Location: The Victoria, Mile End

The U-Turn project is a Bethnal Green based charity that is both under exposed and under funded. Its main aim is to help and work with “vulnerable and hard to reach women of all ages who have been trapped in the cycle of prostitution, drug addiction, physical abuse and homelessness from a young age”. U-Turn offers them “an opportunity to self-determine their future in their own communities”. Their main mission is to “support women who have suffered cruelty and abuse and encourage them to make sustainable changes in their lives.” U-Turn helps to try and change these forgotten women’s lives around.

Performing on the night will be a seminal mixture of bands and POETS:

All the way from Manchester

London via Oxford

(her blog)
(co-run press)


(a poem)
(her Brighton based reading series)


PROMO: Calling Out of Context Festival @ ICA

I've been getting loads of emails from the PR people at ICA recently. They have mistaken me for someone with power. This has already started but oh well to get it out of the way here's a plug for the festival. I have become a pawn in the vast media industry.

Uplift on Beyonce & Lady GG's Gun Happy New Video

Arrrgh two posts about L to the G in one day, I'm going to need a lie down soon.

Just a quick one to link to Uplift Magazine's post on Beyonce and Lady Gaga's weird new video. It's basically just them in bikini's with guns.

I bet the NRA loved it.

To read more about Uplift's take on the video
click here.

Girls Are Followers Not Leaders

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be posting about Lady Gaga but here I am. I appreciate that she is doing well, she does make good pop songs (I can't get Bad Romance out my head) and she is certainly different but at lot of her sucess is built on sexuality, porn star sexuality at that.

To get get back to my original point the Guardian recently wrote a piece somehow linking a few girl popstars, some new some not, to Lady Gaga. The girls featured in the article are Nikki Jane, Eva Simons and Janelle Monae. There isn't much of a basis for the article and it kinda just feels like the Editor told them "Shove Lady Gaga somewher in that story will you, we need a tedious celebrity link".

I doubt it was meant in the way that I perceive but it can't be denied that every new female artist has to be linked to a previous one to validate them as such. This happened to Lady Gaga when she first popped onto the scene. The next time you see a woman who plays guitar in a music magazine I bet you they'll be compared to PJ Harvey. It's lazy journalism and it should not be accepted. Women have more influences than the last flavour of the month.

To read more
click here.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Albums of the Decade (through a male gaze)

At least K to the O and crew got a look in

It's not a surprise that The Strokes topped NME's top 100 albums of the decade poll, neither is it a surprise that both the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The White Stripes have two albums in the poll. It is a complete surprise though how poorly represented female musicians are in this poll.

Bands with female members make up for under 10% of the poll. I'm aware of how poorly magazines represent women but I concluded this was because of all the business crap that gets in the way of creativity and that most music writers appreciate female musicians away from the office.

There are so many bands and artists that have been missed out that I don't really know where to start. I'll just list those whose place in the list is questionable.

For starters anything with Pete Doherty in, including every Libertines record. He encouraged a whole generation of pretentious, vapid, stoned, self-serving boys to pick up guitars and make millions from yelping on about nothing.

Arcade Fire are just boring. I don't care how many critics love them I tried to get into them before and I fell asleep.

The Klaxons are a great band and all. Nice to dance too, but album of the year. No. How they won a Mercury is still one of the biggest unanswerable questions of the known universe. What the Klaxons essentially did was serve up nostalgia music for 90s babies to flail around to. It should not be award winning, just nice.

I think I'll stop now. I've gone to a dark place.

To read the NME's Top 100 Albums of the Decade
click here.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Riot Grrrl & I by Jade French

Hi I've been meaning to post this review for a while but I've just got so distracted with everything that I've just delayed it and delayed it and now I definitely have to post it.

The Nottingham Trent Photography student, Jade French has gone beyond the usual expectations of a girl writing about riot grrrl. A simple thrown together zine would have sufficed but not for this girl. Jade decided to make a book documenting her and other girls experiences with riot grrrl and how the movement has developed.

First of all I have to say I love the idea for the book. Lately there has been many books, magazine features, column inches and zines dedicated to the memory of riot grrrl. While those interested in riot grrrl want to learn about it's history it is also important to document what we are doing now for ourselves and girls in the future.

The book does not deviate too far from the riot grrrl diy ethic and is presented in a scrapbook/ diary format. It includes sections on Ladyfest London, Ladyfest Manchester, an interview with feminist Red Chidgey, pictures of those who call themselves riot grrrls and an interview with Jade herself which must have been either quite hard or ridiculously easy to do.

I loved the riot grrrl portraits. There are so many pictures of riot grrrls of all genders, ethnicity's and looks, none of which fit into the stereotype of what a feminist or riot grrrl look like. It's really quite inspiring to see all those faces. It reminds you that even when you feel like your alone in your thoughts and beliefs there are thousands of people who are just like you.

The only negative about the book is that it is far too short. I finished it in one sitting. This is probably down to lack of funding and resources to be able to document everything that's going on in the movement today.

If we all pull together we make a even bigger document of our history for everyone to enjoy.

To purchase Riot Grrrl & I
click here.
For more information about Jade French:

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

GIG REVIEW: Peggy Sue @ ICA 6/11/09

Peggy Sue + Sons of Noel and Adrian + Mechanical Bride + Lulu & The Lampshades

My evening started out with me in a distressed and panicked state lost in central London, yes that’s right I am so dense that I can get lost in central London, right next to Trafalgar square.

Anyway let’s skip to me actually at the ICA. The venue as a whole is pretty impressive and caters to every type of alternative music. I’m actually signed up to their, well I don’t know what it is but they send me press releases of their upcoming events hoping that I will promote them on my site or go and review them. They have confused me with a blog that can actually influence people.

Anyway I digress. The Peggy Sue gig was held in the theatre space which is basically a medium sized room with no character whatsoever. I was late and missed Lulu & the Lampshades which is a shame because I really wanted to see what they are like live.

Before I start my review properly I have to confess that I do not really like the acoustic, folk, “I’m bringing back the ukulele ‘cause it was always so cool” thing that’s going on right now. I am sorry. I never have liked it. I’m used to the more guttural, angsty sounds of the guitar, anything less just sounds pathetic.

But I am willing to change and both L&TL and Peggy Sue could be the bands to have me drooling over a ukulele or even a violin.

The first band on were Mechanical Bride. Their songs mainly comprised of ghostly harmonies, slow moving bass lines and haunting accordions. I enjoyed what I heard and the lead singer has a beautiful voice but it’s something I need to look into before I make my mind up about them. The best place for music like this is not necessarily a gig. They would probably be more at home as the soundtrack to a seance.

The next band on were Sons of Neil who were a ten string gang made up of numerous guitarists’ violinists and drummers of all shapes and sizes. They had a little bit of stamping along with the bass drum while playing. This got annoying after the lead singer did it for three songs in a row. I didn't like this band. I didn’t like the numbers, the folky tones, the beards nothing.

But it doesn’t matter because here comes Peggy Sue, formerly known as Peggy Sue and the Pirates I never found out why they changed their name. Rosa and Katy both seem shocked that the gig is packed out and repeatedly thank the audience for coming. They were joined by newish recruit Olly on the drums who helped pound in the Peggy Sue rhythms into our skulls.

It is easy to get carried away by a band like Peggy Sue. With their soulful voices, pounding drum beats and simple riffs it's no wonder they have a hoarde of guys and girls eating up their every riff.

I loved the new song 'Yo Mama' which includes the "My mama she gave me these lungs/ my papa he gave me this tongue". 'The Sea The Sea' was a big hit with the crowd and had everyone bopping up and down to the girls’ soulful rhythms.

When all was said and done I can honestly say I still don't like acoustic folk music. I like good, moving emotional music. Sometimes it will crossover and include some music that may contain an acoustic guitar, such as Peggy Sue and L&TL, but very rarely.

If you are intrigued by this post Peggy Sue head up north at the end of November.

For more information:

PS. If you can't see the slideshow it's because Photobucket is crap. I will be using Flickr from now on. To see my pics click on the view all images button.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

She's A Punk Rocker Documentary

This has been out for a while but I've just got round to posting about it. There is a "new" documentary about women in punk, made by a woman in punk Zillah Minx lead singer of the band Rubella Ballet.

I've only seen the trailer but it seems to come at a different angle with a female director at its helm. It even covers different, unknown bands and talks about what other punk girls were doing at the time.

She's a Punk Rocker U.K (5 min Official Trailer)

Shes a Punk Rocker U.K. MySpace Video

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Next Ladyfest Meeting Announced

MEET AT 6.15 at the Nelson Mandela Statue outside the entrance to the Royal Festival Hall if you wanna go to the meeting together!

Date: Monday, 16 November 2009
Time: 18:30 - 21:30
Location: Southbank Centre, London
Street: Royal Festival Hall, Level 2 Foyer, Blue Side (by the lift)

Raincoats Interview in the Guardian

There's an interesting interview with The Raincoats' Gina Birch and Ana Da Silva. Apparently Birch and Da Silva didn't really get along in the seventies which resulted in their break up in 1984.

"We broke up after every record," says Da Silva. "We broke up after every gig," says Birch.

To read more about their breakups and how Kurt Cobain apparently saved the day click here.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Happy Belated Halloween

This post is a few hours late to be relevant but oh well. I was too ill yesterday to do anything much. I stayed in bed all day with a head cold, sore throat thing.

When my friend called and told me to come out to the house party down the road I decided I could show my face for a couple of hours, it would do me good. It didn't really, I still feel ill, but it got me into the halloween spirit.

This post was going to include a mixtape of halloween/spooky songs but it's quite a hard genre to search for especially as girls only.

So far I have PJ Harvey's 'Meet Ze Monsta', Heavens To Betsy's 'Monsters' and any Be Your Own Pet song about zombies, they wrote a lot of them.

Since I'm ill, lazy and tired I'll leave you with Vice Magazine's charity song 'Do They Know It's Halloween' featuring the lovely Karen O, Arcade Fire, Jenny Lewis and Sonic Youth.