some thoughts on the C-Ville’s “Women in Rock” article

May 30th, 2010 · 33 Comments · By

There’s been a lot of discussion about Andrew’s article for the C-Ville Weekly this past week, the cover story entitled “Women are everywhere in Charlottesville’s arts community. So where are the women in rock? (If you haven’t seen it yet, check that link.)

For the most part, the article is a sincere examination of several local female musicians, including Marie Landragin from Corsair (who also plays in Mass Sabbath and Borrowed Beams of Light), as well as the two girls from Pompadour, Wendy & Carey from Dzian! / Grapefruit Experiment (née Pinko Communoids), Sarah White, and Kim Dylla from ThisMeansYou. (There’s also a sidebar accompanying the article, which mentions Katie from Kiste, Kristin from the Raquellos, Renee from the Hilarious Posters, the chicks from the Falsies, and a several others — although the fine musical contributions of Max Katz were sadly omitted.)

To this end, I think the article is great. I’m always glad to see hardworking local musicians get the respect and attention they deserve, and when the women in the article are a) all in really good bands, and b) largely friends and acquaintances of mine, so much the better. The article also discusses the phenomenon of Rock & Roll as a “boys club,” and asks why there aren’t more women in Charlottesville’s rock bands. Although its heart is in the right place, it’s here that the article falls short.

The introductory paragraph is the main offender here; although Andrew stands by his assessment of the band Corsair (which, it must be said, is not entirely inaccurate), using it as a way to kick off the article is a bit wrong-footed: the C-Ville is a paper that prides itself on it’s reportage of whatever’s perceived to be culturally “hot” in Charlottesville at the moment — presumably in contrast to the Hook‘s hard-on for hard-hitting investigative journalism (although at the end of the week they’re usually 85% the same newspaper) — and as such the C-Ville is often full of snarky, sarcastic, and pseudo-aloof commentary on the subjects it covers.

Furthermore, I’ve read more than handful of articles in there over the past few years (NOT by Andrew — usually it’s the “advice columns” etc in the back of the issue) which display a legitimate gender bias and a discomforting focus on traditional gender roles. (I mean, in a patriarchy you’ll see this in any newspaper, I’m just saying it’s something I’ve seen in the C-Ville as well.) So in the context in which the article is printed, some of the editorial has a very different ring to it than it would otherwise.

I should clarify that Andrew (the author) is a friend of mine, and a good dude who means well (he’s also contributed to this blog, in the past). The guy reeks of egalitarianism, and I know he has nothing but good intentions in writing this article, although it may not necessarily come across that way to the average reader of the C-Ville. I think part of the problem is that articles like this are always a tricky thing to write. By definition, this they tend to classify music played by women as separate and “other” from the music played by men; even when the actual content of the piece discusses the difficulties of women engaging in a male-dominated activity, and even when the article comes down heavily (if clumsily) on the side of “women playing music = a good thing,” it still helps to underline that gender divide.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for this type of cultural / artistic curatorial “affirmative action;” to pick one example, the film series I used to run has done several screenings of “films by women” over the past few years (all of which were curated by a woman, not by myself). It’s the sort of thing that’s sadly necessary, and is done for a good cause, but I can’t help but feel that it continues the unfortunate trend of categorizing art by women as a separate subset of “regular” art by men.

So maybe this is overly-obvious Feminism 101 stuff here, but I also think maybe this sort of thing isn’t reiterated often enough: when music (or any art, for that matter) is made only by men, it’s an exclusionary bummer, and it’s important for there to be more roles & more opportunities for women in Rock, in Charlottesville and elsewhere. But just over-correcting the disparity by having a “focus on the girls” thing every few years is not going to solve the problem. What’s necessary is a full integration of women into the day-to-day fabric of Charlottesville Rock&Etc. The problem arises when such things continue to NOT include women, either by design or neglect, such as a recently dude-centric annual music issue of the Hook; I can’t be the only one who saw this C-Ville article in part as a response to the conversation around that thing.

Anyway, I’ve always made an effort to see bands with women in them, play music made by ladies when I DJ, include female acts in the (few) shows I’ve booked, screen films made by women, etc. I’m not saying that I’m the perfect curator / perfect person or anything — everyone has prejudices & dispositions of some kind that they need try to overcome — I’m just saying I think it’s a worthy & important goal, and one that we should be conscious of. And I think it’s equally necessary to view that work on it’s own merits, rather than having a silly dichotomy in which art made by women is either an honorary placeholder, or in which the women who make art that’s “good enough” get treated like “one of the guys.”

So it may be true that Marie’s guitar playing comes from a fine tradition of very masculine guitar playing; I’m not saying that we should ignore the long history of heavily gendered performance in music, obviously that stuff is there to draw from or subvert or ignore or whatever, and to pretend otherwise would be silly. I’m just saying there’s a million other ways to think about it which need to be allowed for as well. Like; I don’t think Sarah White is “a great woman songwriter,” I think Sarah White is both “a great songwriter” and also a woman. Her music doesn’t fall into the condescending “women’s music” sub-genre that a lot of the adult-contempo / singer-songwriter stuff by her supposed peers does, it’s just great fucking songs that anyone can & should like. But it’s not like I’m not going to make some sort of bullshit backwards claim like “she writes songs as good as a man could have written them” or whatever, you know? (& I’m not saying that’s what Andrew’s done in this article. I’m just saying people DO say things like that, and it’s ridiculous.)

Looks like I’m sort of rambling at this point. What do y’all have to say about this? While I personally feel like the article is far from perfect, it seemed like a good jumping-off-point for a larger discussion, so I was hoping maybe to get something like that started here.

Anyway, whatever it is that one may think about this article in the C-Ville, I have to note that it’s a damn sight better than this week’s Hook cover story, which finally gives a voice to the obscure and neglected demographic of Dudes. Was anyone really considering the topic of summertime activities, and thinking “if only we could find out what some MEN thought about this issue…”?  (Seriously, guys? Wow.)

Tags: charlottesville · feature · rants & rambles

33 responses so far ↓

  • 1 James // May 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I hope nobody interprets what I’ve written as a direct attack on either the C-Ville Weekly or the Hook in general, but given the amount of crazy competitiveness between those two papers it’s bound to happen anyway, so allow me to clarify:

    -I did a bunch of freelance for the C-Ville a few years ago, and I’ve also worked with the staff of the Hook in various minor professional capacities over the years.

    -While many have rightly pointed out that it’s kind of silly that a town this small sports TWO local alt-weeklies, I can’t really imagine either one of those papers backing down from their 8-year staring contest, at least it makes up for our fucking atrocious daily paper.

    -I think both the C-Ville and the Hook are doing something of value, and I read most of both of them almost every week. They also each do things that drive me absolutely crazy, and when those things are questionable or misguided, I feel like they should be criticized for it… I just don’t want anyone to misinterpret & think I’m “picking sides” in Charlottesville’s ongoing local weekly-paper feud.

  • 2 gabe // May 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    right on, james. the first paragraph of andrew’s article threw me for a loop, like you say it did for you. and i certainly think he meant well, and i respect him for even trying to write a piece like this.

    i guess we just have to ask the right questions in order for the discussion about gender and local music to be fruitful. if the question, “why aren’t there more women in the scene?” is somehow wrong, then what is the right question?

  • 3 witchDylanRHYTHMmondMulshineBANDIT // May 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    marie rocks hard.

  • 4 coogan // May 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    in a note of irony, the overtly feminist entry on your blogroll is broken.

  • 5 Matt // May 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I know it’s not really what were discussing here but I thought Stephanie’s Dude article in the Hook was an amusing frame for discussing things a bored person of any gender can do in Charlottesville over the summer.

    It seemed to me quite intentionally lighthearted and therefore I don’t think there is really much there to find fault with unless there is an expectation that local newsweeklies should adhere to strictly serious topics. Either way, it is simply amazing that these two gendered cover stories are running concurrently. Are we really to believe this happened by accident?

  • 6 James // May 30, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Coogan; i confess, the blogroll has not been updated in like, 2 years.

    Matt; I respectfully disagree. In my mind there’s a big leap between “a fun summer article written in a lighthearted tone” and “an article which completely excludes women, for reasons that seem arbitrary at best.”

  • 7 James // May 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    this is pretty much completely off-topic, BUT:

    does anyone remember a Tea House show from like, mid-2005(?), where Red Wizard played to celebrate the midnight book release of the 6th Harry Potter book? Fairly certain this was a Max Fenton-related event.

    That night Red Wizard, in addition to the usual line-up of Max and Grey, also featured Marie and perhaps Jared Hood? (or maybe Nicholas?) I didn’t know any of those people yet and had just come back to town from 2 solid years in California & New York, so I was thrilled to discover that we had an awesome local stoner/doom-metal band.

    Afterwards Marie was talked into reading aloud the first 2 chapters of “Half-Blood Prince” in her stately Australian accent. If memory serves the opening act was some UVa Lit. Grad students performing musical skits under the name “Harry Pot-Head and the Sorcerer’s Bong” — somewhere I’ve got a photo of the old-school Tea Crew doing beer bongs onstage in wizard hats. Anyone else remember that gig?

  • 8 Bradical // May 30, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I gagged on my sandwich a little when I read “she plays guitar like a man” and then realized this needless comparison was being used in a context that implicitly characterizes male guitar playing as either inherently better than that of women’s, or as the ultimate from of shreddery for which one can strive.

    I also didn’t entirely understand the point of the article beyond the general “where the ladies at?” vibe. That’s not to say the story wasn’t interesting, but there were LOTS of loose ends in it. For example, what the hell was the point of Carey’s “woman drummer” story? Knowing Carey, I’m confident that the story had a concise point to it, but the article just kind of meanders off, leaving the reader with the impression that her professor and his gender-essentialist analysis was on point…and I HAVE to disagree since I know plenty of hard-hitting, talented female-identified drummers. And then the sidebar plays up women who aren’t “in rock” but can be found in folk and country…but then goes on to spotlight Katie Jackson, Carter Lewis, and Morgan Moran who all play in rock bands. I’m glad these women got some attention, but the framing didn’t make any sense.

    While I commend Andrew for attempting to write the article (for real, I’m stoked that he did it!), it ultimately felt rushed. This topic is a doozy, so I wish that he’d have taken more time with it. Having said that, I think Andrew’s writing is generally on point, and it’s still much better than any music writing I’ve seen coming out of The Hook recently. Not to stoke the fires of that competition, but fuck it, that’s how I feel.

    Grumpy old man, signing off.

  • 9 Matt // May 30, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I dont really want to get into a full on debate about this silly article and I also dont want to stoke the fires of competition between the two local newsweeklies because I dont have any loyalties whatsoever, but I guess I cant resist …

    Now it may have been a silly piece, but James, I don’t know what it is about an article with the title “Summer Guy’d” and an image of a bunch of guys doing ridiculous things on its face that would lead anyone to believe that it is not about or centered around Dudes in a ridiculous and one-sided way. If you dont see the article as being the silly thing it is and not as something you would like to spend time reading because it does not represent women, then you have the choice to ignore this piece of writing that is distributed around town free of charge. Whether or not you think the concept of the article is humorous or appropraite in any way is entirely a matter of your opinion, not well connected to the larger discussion.

    So, yes, I’m sure what you are referring to as an exclusion of women in that Hook piece was indeed arbitrary and intentional. But I feel pretty confident that it was also probably whimsical and may have simply descended from the pun in the title (but that is a complete guess). I dont think that arbitrary and whimsical alone equate to a campaign of gender disenfranchisement. For that, we’d need a trend from this paper and this writer. Let’s not forget that the article was in fact written by a woman, which should say something decent about the state of gender equality in this town, right? Your assertion that this article about Guys excludes women is really quite far beside the point. The article is not about women. Why would you expect that there would be woman in it? Likewise, I did not expect any men to to be interviewed in the Cville article about women musicians because it was about … women musicians.

    Let me think of a counterexample to beat my point further into the ground … Ok, there could be an article penned about prominent Cville women and their favorite books and it would not lead me to believe that men were being arbitrarily excluded. I would think, ‘hey, people can write whatever they want and frame an article around whatever arbitrary thing they think works and this author chose women and i can choose to read this or not if i am open-minded.’

    I’d like to add that I am not defending the decisions of the writer or editors. I’m merely pointing out that I think your expectations of them in this case are out of sync with what they themselves are telling us it is that they do. Forgive me if this sounds like preaching, but editors and writers typically get to have their druthers (including you) and I think it’s fair (and fairly important) to note that local newsweeklies often do favor their editorial and artistic sensibilities over the kind of impartial reporting we’d expect of wire services. I respect (and often emphatically agree) that it’s important to note disagreement with their editorializing but I think reading too much into their intentions is an exercise in creative fiction since they are decidedly not wire services and they do not frequently explain their decision-making rationale to the extent that would satisfy most of us.

    Ok, I think I’ve spilled enough ink over this sidebar point to satisfy my male ego.

    I would also agree with Brad that Andrew’s article may have taken on more than could be neatly wrapped up in the frame that he used. Still, good on all the writers and editors out there for taking on issues that are tough and for keeping things lighthearted in a rough world too. It takes everybody. We are making progress, daily, even.

  • 10 alonzo // May 31, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Friday July 15th 2005 at the Teahouse: Red Wizard with Hairy Pothead and the Sorcerer’s Bong. Yes, that did happen, it was not just a Fordian fever dream. It was the first Red Wizard show after Sara left and Marie and Jarrod joined Max and Gray for, I think, that night only. I believe the Potheads were from Richmond and they did have a beer bong that they invited people to drink Sparks from, for purely magical purposes.

  • 11 victoria // May 31, 2010 at 10:56 am

    the only comments that matter are the ones that contain the phrase “for purely magical purposes.”

  • 12 James // May 31, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    aha! I knew I wasn’t making it up (& of course Alonzo remembers the exact date…)

    thanks for your thoughts, everyone.

  • 13 Matt // May 31, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    nothing matters.

  • 14 Fecund Wind // Jun 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    More than the clumsy gender theme, which was an innocent, goofball mistake, I was put off by the references to “bands” whose performances would appear to consist of two occasions of performing in a three band night at the Tea Bazaar. It seems to me that there’s way too much lionizing of talents that are strictly local and not even that important in this context. Case in point:

    “Wendy Hsu and Carey Sargent are both pursuing graduate degrees while maintaining an imposing presence in the local music community with their groups the Pinko Communoids and Dzian!”

    I have never heard of either of these imposing musical units. Now admittedly I don’t go out that much anymore so maybe these and other groups mentioned are more influential than I know. And local music writing is always going to be clubby with “my friends’ bands” getting a disproportionate amount of attention and hyperbolic praise, and well plenty of just plain crappy writing that doesn’t offer good criticism, such as this from the Hook:

    “Although Cedermark declined an interview, due to his role as the music editor for C-ville Weekly, his presence on the tape adds a sharp, yet dreamy perspective. Cedermark plays powerful live shows, with energy that permeates the audience. Recorded, he is folksy, or “jangly” as Bierce aptly terms it. He plays intimately, with each guitar strum accentuated, each changing pitch of his voice notable.”

    I do think it’s great to champion local bands. But if you’re in the role of a music critic the writing should attempt to be as objective as possible and offer the person who’s never heard them a chance to understand the music influences they cite, the musical influences the writer can hear in their performances, purple prose free descriptions of what their music is like, in musically literate terms–it doesn’t have to provide musicological analysis like Alan Pollock’s Notes on the Beatles but something a bit more polished than “dreamy permeation of the audience” for cryin out loud.

    Clearly Andrew’s piece on Girls in Rock was coming from the right place, and you’ve got to give a new writer a chance to get their sea legs, just as you would a new performer. But I really do believe the bar could be raised quite a bit. The ungodly profusion of new bands requires some critical oversight to give the would be supporter or curious listener the chance to figure out what they’re about before committing money and a night out to hear them.

  • 15 MzFitz // Jun 2, 2010 at 9:49 am

    While I thought it was a huge improvement over Stephanie Garcia’s “Why aren’t there any girls in your band,?” this article hasn’t really scratched the surface. It seems that Mr. Cedarmark has been itching to write this piece for some time, and could have written an interesting story, but it seems to fall flat. My suggestion would be to either avoid making it an article about feminism, and just have a showcase of the women in town who rock, or make it an article that looks at local rock musicians from a feminist perspective. Additionally, it isn’t necessary to cover EVERY female musician to make that point. Perhaps a bit of research into feminism, and less novelty.

    As a woman, I ask myself why there aren’t more women in (insert professional/cultural field here) all the time. It’s not just music, but with music, there are years of cultural gender norms that must be overcome before there’s equal representation in most fields. Also, instead of discounting women in support roles, he may have found some answers by actually working with some of the women who, as he put it, “serve sausage at this barbeque.” Women who are not musicians, but are passionately involved in the music scene are just as important, and could provide some insight.

    I thought it was great seeing a lot of talented local women get some ink, and I thank Mr. Cedarmark for that. However, I would suggest that he never refers to something a woman does as being “like a man” again (or vice versa). That left a bad taste in my mouth through my entire read of the article.

  • 16 Kyle // Jun 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I thought it was fairly strange that Alex Angelich (of Astronomers) wasn’t mentioned in this article. It was possibly a matter of overlooking her, but I can’t really think of much excuse for failing to recognize her as being one of the more prominent women in the local music scene. As Fecund Wind said above, the quote:

    “Wendy Hsu and Carey Sargent are both pursuing graduate degrees while maintaining an imposing presence in the local music community with their groups the Pinko Communoids and Dzian!”

    references some pretty obscure bands…and it kind of gives this tinge of cliquishness that I find hard to ignore. I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining about this for selfish purposes, but I mean… come on.

    That being said, James, I thought your post was appropriate and gave a fair view of the ups and downs of Andrew’s article.

  • 17 James // Jun 2, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    thanks very much for everyone’s input here.

    I gotta take a moment to stick up for Wendy & Carey; it’s true that they’re not the most “famous” band in town or anything, but they’re hardly a fly-by-night act either…

    Wendy & Carey used to play in a band called Pink Communoids with a guy named Kevin (who’s since moved away, I believe), for many years they were a regular fixture at many UVa music-grad events (Technosonics, etc) as well as a ton of the “artier” downtown events; I did a bunch of shows with them at the Tea Bazaar stretching back to ’05 or ’06, so basically they’ve been around for as long as I’ve been involved in Charlottesville music. I must have seen them play about 10 times and that’s not counting all the gigs I missed.

    They also co-run the HzCollective (also partially based in Richmond) and have booked a significant amount of noise / glitch / experimental / improv events at The Bridge over the past few years (along with Jonathan Z). Recently they’ve been performing under the name Grapefruit Experiment, which involves playing music on bicycles and an amplified cactus, among other things. It’s true that none of those things fall under the strict genre definition of “Rock&Roll,” but that doesn’t mean that what they do isn’t significant and well-established.

    Dzian!, however, are DEFINITELY a Rock & Roll band, and have played far more than “two occasions at the Tea Bazaar” … they’ve done a gig every two weeks or so for the past few months, at locations as diverse as The Box, The Bridge, and Fashion Square Mall… I believe they just got done playing some sort of festival up in New York, and they may be playing on the downtown mall next week. (they’re also a five+piece band with only 2 boys in it.) Dzian! are a surf band with international influences, who are equally comfortable playing for sweaty drunks at midnight as well as families with small children at noon. I’m just totally guessing here but I think they’ve played about 20 gigs in the past year (and I’m not even sure they HAVE played the Tea Bazaar).

    So while you may not be very familiar with them, or may not fit into what you expect or think is “cool” from a rock band, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they ARE well-established, valid, and worth mentioning.

  • 18 James // Jun 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    also want to take a sec to gently refute statements like these:

    “local music writing is always going to be clubby with “my friends’ bands” getting a disproportionate amount of attention and hyperbolic praise” (Fecund Wind)

    “it kind of gives this tinge of cliquishness that I find hard to ignore.” (Kyle)

    look, this town is NOT that big. EVERY band has friends. people who are involved in music tend to know other people who are involved in music. So what exactly are music journalists supposed to do here? NOT get to know people who play in bands? I agree that the review cited leaves a lot to be desired. But I disagree with the assessment that music writing should all be objective. Journalism, sure, but Criticism is effectively useless if it’s not highly subjective.

    However, I believe there is ALSO a journalistic responsibility to reach outside of one’s comfort zone & try to see what’s going on in town outside of one’s preexisting cultural radar. To the extent that I know Andrew and Stephanie, I believe they’ve both done at least that, whether we’re satisfied with the results or not.

    Look, it’s not like Kyle or, um “Fecund” would be made to feel unwelcome at a Dzian! show in the slightest. But like 85% of complaints of this nature, the “elitism” in question exists mostly in the minds of the detractors.

    That said, I also hate that kind of Pitchfork-style writing that only references bands in terms of other bands, with no entry point for the uninitiated. Speaking for myself, when I’m writing about a band I always try to include enough information that someone who is totally unaware of them can at least get a good general idea of what type of thing it is, while still including enough specifics that the people who DO know their stuff don’t get bored; it’s a tricky tightrope to be sure, but I think it’s a good goal to have.

    However, writing about bands more obscure that DMB will ALWAYS get you called a snob by somebody or other, and likewise the musicians who get less coverage than they think they deserve are always gonna have a snappy put-down on hand (I’m definitely NOT talking about any specific bands here, just griping about the general tribulations of being a music writer.) One is left with very little choice but to soldier forward & continue writing about the things that one thinks are valuable and worthwhile, you know?

    Anyhow, thank you all for adding to this discussion. It’s always heartening to have a civil debate down here in the comments section on Nailgun.

  • 19 baconfat // Jun 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    writing about bands in terms of other bands was around a looooooong time before Pitchfork, James – it’s not like they invented or have an exclusive on that style.

    also, there are at least 3 current Pitchfork writers (including the managing editor) that have at least some sort of tangential relationship to the Charlottesville music scene, so let’s not be dissing that publication wholesale, shall we? i know the site’s not perfect, but remember it’s made up of individual writers just like any other publication. i don’t talk about the “hook style” when i’m describing a certain former writer’s penchant for writing about how much he had to drink at a show and giving very limited or incorrect information about the concert he supposedly saw.

  • 20 Kyle // Jun 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I do agree that you have to be subjective as a journalist, as much as you can without putting off a lot of your readers (which, while often acceptable, isn’t very beneficial to the publication). Andrew is a good guy and did write an article that was well-intentioned and overall well placed. My remark was certainly not intended as a plug for Astronomers (which is why I’m not posting anonymously), but a question as to why most female rock musicians in town were mentioned except one. She has not said anything about it herself, but I and a lot of others thought (and think) she deserved mention for being a really strong presence in the local scene. I suppose it’s impossible to seem objective about it, but I suppose I have to accept that fact… if nothing else, I just wanted to give her some recognition, because I think she deserves it, and certainly deserved it in an article of this scale.

  • 21 Matt // Jun 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Baconfat, at least you didn’t have to live with him. Just kidding, MG!

    But now that you bring it up, it occurs to me that it would be cool if someone wrote an critical piece about the history of music criticism/writing/reporting in Cville given all the illustrious alumni, their subsequent careers, and the many mini-scandals they’ve engendered.

  • 22 Vijith Assar // Jun 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Who is the third writer you guys are thinking of, aside from Mike Powell and Mark Richardson? I’ve seen shout-outs from Amanda Petrusich, Brian Howe, and Nick Sylvester, but I can’t figure out which, if any, ever actually lived in Charlottesville.

  • 23 baconfat // Jun 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    @Vijith it’s a bit of a reach, but Marc Masters was a grad student here and a DJ at WTJU for a very brief period back in the day. Oh, and I actually forgot that Amanda did live here for a while, even if she wasn’t actively involved in the local scene in any way I could tell (though she could be counted on to sell back some really sweet promos to Plan 9 from time to time).

  • 24 Vijith Assar // Jun 3, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Ian Cohen wrote reviews for the Cav Daily while he was at UVA. Wow, they’re coming out of the woodwork.

  • 25 RyantheGirl // Jun 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    My band has two females (who are both musicians AND vocalists). We’re called The Rock River Gypsies- check us out at http://www.myspace.com/therockrivergypsies. We’re playing an opening slot at Fridays After Five on July 16 as well as a bunch of other shows nearby in the coming months. Would love for you all to check us out. Yay for women in music!

  • 26 Jeff // Jun 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Jeez hacks abound…here’s Jon Pareles from the NY Times doing that band comparison thing. But I find this very effective; I know a lot about the album without hearing it, and it gives me a critical overview of where this work fits in their Gesamtwerk. And Wittgenstein would agree too, since language isn’t much in isolation but rather acquires meaning in the associative game playing that we do (how’s that for snobby name and language dropping?) :

    ***
    The band sets aside grunge power chords for blues-rock riffing by way of Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin in “Huckleberry Crumble” and “Hazy Daze.” It turns to glam-rock in “Hickory Dichotomy,” with a spoke-sung vocal à la Lou Reed (or David Bowie’s take on Lou Reed). And the band comes up with straightforwardly romantic power pop in “First Kiss on Mars” (hinting at Weezer) and folk-rock in “Cinnamon,” which simpers, straight-faced, “You’ve got to be the prettiest girl I’ve ever witnessed in the whole world.”

    ***

  • 27 Fecund Wind // Jun 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    “…I’m whining about this for selfish purposes.”

    -Kyle Woolard

    also, she really has a “strong” presence in the charlottesville music scene? i’m glad you think so, but i don’t know how many people outside your band would really agree with that statement, kyle.

  • 28 Jeff // Jun 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Hey who hijacked the moniker? The “Fecund Wind” was mine but I decided to play straight. You can be Foetid Wind if you want. Or make up your own damn name but don’t be a lamprey.

  • 29 James // Jun 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    it appears to be one of our regular anonymous posters. I can verify Jeff didn’t write that last “Fecund” post.

  • 30 James // Jun 4, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Kyle – it’s true there were a lot of folks left out, and Alex was one of them. the point I was trying to make, I think, is that somebody’s always gonna get excluded, one way or the other. but thanks for shouting out your band-mate in full-disclosure; I tend to prefer that to anonymity. I’m glad you’ve contributed to the discussion.

  • 31 Nailgun Media Rescues Women In Rock | Sarah White // Jun 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    […] some thoughts on the C-Ville’s “Women in Rock” article […]

  • 32 James // Jun 4, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Dom: I know, they’re an easy target. Frankly there’s a million places I could have picked to choose an example of that type of writing, but that particular bit of seemed to be the easiest one that the majority of readers could relate to. (Besides, what’s the point of writing about music on the internet if you can’t bitch about Pitchfork?)

    Levity aside, I do think that site’s a lot better now than it was five years ago, due in no small part to a large influx of really credible and insightful writers. I’ve actually never met any of the Cville expatriots who write for them now (all before my time), but I really like a lot of the folks who are writing for them currently, like Tom Ewing, Drew Daniel, and Nitsuh Abede.

    Matt – I’d love to see something of that sort. Not sure who’d be the ideal person to write it, though. Certainly not me.

  • 33 A Woman // Jun 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    andrew’s article wasn’t really about specific women though it was more about WOMEN in rock. so maybe it was a little odd that some women were left out but that’s not what it’s about. the fact that the article makes you think about other women in rock who weren’t written about is probably one of its purposes….