I spent the last month and a half working on my women's studies group presentation.
Our topic of debate/discussion was "women in rock".
We decided on focusing on this statement. "While women in mainstream rock are still claiming less space, women in indie rock are making great strides."
Throughout the course of all our meetings, discussions, brainstorms we concluded that there just isn't enough music fronted by women out there.
As an avid music listener I honestly was a little shocked, but all together not that surprised that mainstream radio is completely dominated by men.
I suppose that's why indie rock, pop, dance, punk exists. It creates and allows an avenue for those female (and male) musicians out there to create music and not be completely marketed, enthralled and controlled to death by one of the 4 major record labels out there.
Its such an interesting debate and I've spent the majority of this month thinking about it.
I love that when I look at the albums that I buy, or listen to, that a lot of the artists are female.
I think its a matter of personal taste. It takes a specific person to search for music elsewhere. Mainstream radio just isn't providing enough of a variety in terms of role models. Listen to the peak 100.5 fm. It was my favourite radio station when it came out a few years ago. But now once I actually listen to the songs.... most of them are sung by men. An hours worth of the peak, maybe even two hours, and you'd be lucky to hear a female musician on the radio.
The songs all seem to blend together, the voices of men all in the same vocal range, it really creates a specific perspective on music to only provide such a small variety.... I think so, anyway.
Since we're on this topic.
Here is a list of female fronted/backed/supported musicians.
You may want to take a few listens.
30’s-50’s: Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Carol King, Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Tina Turner,
60’s: Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Nico, Grace Slick, Emmylou Harris, Susie Quattro, Marianne Faithful, Francoise Hardy, The Mama’s and the Papa’s, Jane Birkinm, Fleetwood Mac
70’s: Joni Mitchell, Chrissie Hynde, Blondie, The Runaways, Carol King, Kate Bush, Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, The Slits, Bjork, Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, Kira Roessler(Black Flag), Annie Lennox
80’s: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Annie Lennox, The Go Go’s, Heart, Aretha Franklin, Hole, Babes in Toyland, 4 Non Blondes, Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), Kim Deal (The Pixies), The Gits, Charlotte Gainsborg, Beat Happening, Mazzy Star, Alanis Morissette,
90’s: Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney, Gossip, Sinead O’Connor, Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, Garbage, Sonic Youth, Lauren Hill, Shania Twain, Spice Girls, The Sounds, Alison Mosshart, PJ Harvey, Neko Case, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Cat Power, Jenny Lewis, Feist, Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, Broken Social Scene, Glass Candy, Veruca Salt, The White Stripes, Blonde Redhead, Peaches, Portishead, Mary Lou Lord
00’s: Dead Weather, Kills, Feist, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, CocoRosie, Cat Power, Css, Distillers, Beach House, Paramore, Metric, Ladyhawke, Crystal Castles, Serena Ryder, Be Your Own Pet, Tegan and Sara, Pretty Reckless, Gossip, Lykke Li, M.I.A, Ting Tings, You Say Party!, Beach House, Lady Gaga, Sleigh Bells, Joanna Newsom, Dirty Projectors, Fiery Furnaces, Bat for Lashes, Xx, Arcade Fire, Vivian Girls, Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls, Gang Gang Dance, Kimya Dawson