glucklich | Indy Week

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Re: “The guide to the week's concerts

A note from the oft-inflammatory Ms. Shane: The trouble with turning a 15 minute conversation into a 200 word blurb, is that a lot of the conversation can't be injected into that blurb. Bryan and I discussed a lot of things and he started the conversation by saying that the scene has so many women musicians in it, but to me, on the whole, the visibility of women musicians, particularly in the larger acts around here, has a long way to go. A lot of the sort of "big name" acts of indie rock do have a female bass player (amazing women like Kim Gordon, Kim Deal and Chapel Hill's own Laura Ballance), and MANY wonderful acts around here do also (Red Collar, the Pneurotics, CGJ, Schooner, to name a few off the top of my head). I am not discounting the wonderful musicianship of the bands you've listed or saying that Anne, Beth or Mimi don't rock at their instruments, but it seems to me that women tend to be pigeonholed into particular roles in indie rock--namely the bass or keyboards. It's not fair and it's not right but the truth of the matter is you're not just a "regular indie rock band" when a woman is singing your songs, you become a "girl-fronted indie rock band." When a female guitarist can play, it's not "wow, she's good," it becomes "wow, she's really good for a girl." That kind of thing is still pervasive around here. When I interviewed some of those women you listed, they spoke about being pigeonholed, not taken seriously, called gimmicky or "cute" instead of called goofy, eccentric or some of the other names stylistically similar male-fronted bands have garnered. The real question is, does it make me a cliche as a woman, to think that there should just be an expectation for women to have the range of male musicians, from lousy to amazing, and without their sex becoming part of it? If you think so, then fine. To quote the wonderful Polly Styrene, "I AM a cliche."

Posted by glucklich on 10/03/2008 at 1:49 PM

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