Rebel Girl, You Are the Queen of My World

So apparently over at the AV Club, there was a list of 17 well-intentioned feminist songs that didn’t quite land correctly. For the most part, I pretty much agree with the list (although I got a little sad when they derided Antiflag’s chorus of “this is what a feminist looks like/this is what a feminist sounds like” because that was one of the things we chanted at the March for Women’s Lives in New York City in 2004). Jezebel did a follow-up list, and I’d say that I agree with some of them.

Here’s a couple of my favorites (though by far not at all an exhaustive list). A lot of these aren’t particularly “anthemy,” and I tend to prefer things that rock a little harder, but these stuck out as some songs that didn’t make the list and might not usually get attention. I left off the “gimmes” like Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Siouxie, and the Epoxies. Not because I don’t love them (I do! I’m listening to Bikini Kill right now!), but rather because I wanted to aim for at least slightly different voices. In no particular order…

Ciara, Like A Boy

Seriously underrated, people. Ciara and her back-up dancers dressed like boys and grabbing their crotches? Solid gold. I get a little hot and bothered every time I see it.

There’s also something to be said for an artist who is generally very formulaic and acceptably pop culture to pull out something like this. Baby, you make my heart beat faster.

Neko Case, Pretty Girls

It’s no secret that I have a big ol’ crush on Neko Case. She’s an incredibly talented musician, but she’s also a conscious citizen of the world. Nobody’s gettin’ Neko Case down.

I had a hard time picking just one song of hers, and ultimately decided on this one because I think it ties in with my post from yesterday. Stop writing off the pretty girls.

Northern State, Vicious Cycle

Northern State always gets such a mixed reception. Some people love them. Some people hate them. Some people think they sound like idiots. Some people rightly point out that the Beastie Boys really didn’t sound much better when they started out, so STFU. What they do well is have fun–the entire Dying in Stereo album is just plain fun. They work in their politics here and there, and “Vicious Cycle” is the most overt.

You gotta respect an all-girl rap group that can seamlessly work in the word “palimpsest.”

Camille, Je Ne Suis Pas Ta Chose

This song veers toward the “scorned lover” category, but I still love it. Camille sings entirely in French, but the refrain (“je ne suis pas ta chose”) translates to “I am not your thing” and she makes reference throughout the song to how she is not just something for this man to put his hands on and play with. I love Camille’s ethereal voice in general, and there’s something satisfying about singing along in a wispy voice to a song with hell of backbone.

Also, any song that demands to be listened to with a glass of red wine is pretty awesome in my book.

Mirah, Monument

This isn’t a directly feminist song, but I think it’s a song that everyone should have in their music library, no matter what their personal taste in music. Again, I like to rock a little harder, but sometimes you just feel small and you want to curl up on the couch under a blanket and whimper. That’s when I listen to this song. It’s like a soft, gentle injection of courage. It’s so smooth and easy that you don’t even realize your insides are getting reinforced while you listen. It’s a pretty great song.

And although I’ve posted this song before, it just needs to go up again…

Yelle, Mon Meilleur Ami

Another French one, I know. And I don’t just love this because her dress just needs a red boutonniere to look like the smiley from Watchmen. I fucking love this song. It is, get this, a love song to her vibrator.

The title, “My best friend,” is the subject of the song–the thing which guarantees infinite pleasure in bed, relieves stress, and can go anywhere with her! The only irritating thing is changing the batteries, of course. Yes, those are all lyrics. This song is goddamn awesome.

Yelle is pretty rad in general, and a lot of her songs carry strong feminist overtones. If you speak French or your up for a bit of translating, I highly recommend her music.

Extra credit: go watch her video for “A Cause Des Garcons” and delight in the dancing toiletries: Also? I totally want her sparkly dress from the end. How fantastic is that? On top of all that, the song is about how much we ladies go to ridiculous lengths for dudes, and the crazy things we do, including to each other. Yeah, I’ve got a bit of a trans-Atlantic crush on Yelle. What of it?

Find yourself some music that makes you wanna rock out and then get out there and rock out. Music is fuel, and music makes us dance–and dancing keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. So forth, righteous babes, and take a little time to rock out!


03/16/2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized.

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