Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Washing Machine Celebrates Their One Year Anniversary!

If you have yet to check out The Washing Machine, you're really missing out. Nicole Markham and Clara Muska play a great variety of indie and punk rock, and tomorrow they're celebrating their one year anniversary on CJAM 91.5fm!
Be sure to tune in from tomorrow (Thursday, February 26th) at 10:30am - noon, and stop by the station for some free cupcakes!
Stay awesome, girls!

Phog Lounge: The Number One Live Music Venue in ALL OF CANADA!

In the heart of our Downtown hub sits the small 60-seater bar, Phog Lounge who was just named THE BEST LIVE MUSIC CLUB IN CANADA! Today is a proud day for all of us Windsorites...especially the creative class!

Back in early February, CBC Radio 3 created a contest sending out their "searchlight," encouraging their listeners to vote for who they believed to be the best live music venue in Canada. The list started off with 114 clubs, and as the voting began to narrow down the list, the creative class in Windsor grew more and more excited as Phog was bumped to the Top 50...and then to the Top 10! It's been a long and exciting wait, but today at approximately 4pm EST, our little Phog was announced THE WINNER!

This undoubtedly will create a HUGE impact on Windsor's music scene. CBC also announced they will be presenting Phog with a line-up of "huge Canadian acts."

Phog has been such an encouraging and inspiring place when it's come to feminist and girl related events. Well-known Windsor musician Tara Watts hosts the open mics every Monday, they hold craft nights, women run fashion events AND Phog also just happens to be where Smash The Glass: Night One, and International Women's Day Jam will take place! So exciting!

Congratulations Phog Lounge!
We are all so proud of you!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blurt: Celebration of the End.

flyer by yours truly
February 20th, 2009.
A very sad day in the Windsor punk scene.
I know this has nothing to do with my topic, but as a frequent show-goer, I can safely say that Blurt's shows are THE ONLY punk shows in Windsor (or anywhere I've been really) where there is an extremely large female populous who not only attend, but get right in on all of the action.

Joining them on stage are W!nslow (Montreal), The Gutter Hearts, Mick and Jeremy of StereoGoesStellar, and Guilt Trip (Special Reunion).
The show is all ages, and is free.

Come help Blurt die.

KM Stitchery: Wearing Feminism

I'm sure you've all seen 454298572 (approx.) t-shirts with a photo of Che Guevara, or other revolutionary men, but what about all the awesome women revolutionaries? What if I want to walk around with Audre Lorde or Bell Hooks hanging out on my chest?

Browsing through The Bitch Blog earlier this morning, I came across an article entitled "Wearing Your Feminism On Your Sleeve," that showcased the Minneapolis-based, indie fashion designer, Lindsay Keating-Moore. She runs the clothing line, KM Stitchery, which showcases stenciled portraits of famous feminists on all of her pieces. The shirt above features one of my personal favorites, Gertrude Stein.

All of her clothing is recycled. She hits up thirft stores and buys overstock shirts in various sizes, and then uses water based, non-toxic paint for the stencils. She ALSO uses recycled cereal boxes to make her business cards and tags! Talk about an eco-veg friendly feminist!

She sells all of her stuff on, but she also keeps a blog about all of her endeavors. What's also great about her Etsy, is the "Who's that lady?" section she includes for each shirt!
So cool.

Some of the ladies she's stenciled include, Susan B. Anthony, Simone De Beauvoir, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the list goes on.
Keep in mind that my birthday is quickly approaching ;-)
Also, If you missed the Genesis episode Kate and I put on last night about Burlesque, you can read her blog entry about it, or listened to the achieved version.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Genesis Does Burlesque

I was going write a well thought out SECOND post on Burlesque, because myself and Kate are hosting a special edition of Genesis tonight about the topic, but then I figured you should listen for yourself tonight, and THEN I'll post all the issues we discussed.

Burlesque is a form of theatrical entertainment involving parody and exaggeration. It's rooted within nineteenth century vaudeville theater and was later resurfaced in the early twentieth century as a blend of satire, performance arts and adult entertainment.

We're going to be looking more into the origins of the art, look at why it is NOT stripping, how it can be looked at as a feminist enterprise, and highlighting some of the contemporary burlesque dancers and how it has been adapted into our everyday culture!

Be sure to tune in tonight from 8:30pm - 9pm on CJAM 91.5fm, or stream it live from

Monday, February 16, 2009

Milk and Vodka with Cristina Naccarato and Nicole Markham!

Nicole and I had a very successful show tonight! Aside from a few minor technical difficulties, everything went really well. We had no set theme tonight, instead we went through our favorite femcon stuff and shared it with the world!
You can listen or download the!

Cristina's picks
Nicole's picks
* Canadian

Nanuchka - Madam Ching
Catlow - Added Up *
Dandi Wind - Drawing Straws *
Astrid Oto - Can't Farm In The Rain
Yoko Ono and Le Tigre - Sisters o Sisters
Bikini Kill - Rah-Rah Replica
Be Your Own Pet - Blackhole
Citywide Vacuum - Sweet Kraut *
Elbow Beach Surf Club - Our Hood *
Yelle - Amour Du Sol
Lemuria - Hours
Lemuria - Mechanical
Lemuria - Get Some Sleep
The Bran Flakes - You Can Do Most Anything
Miss TK and the Revenge - Fake Italians Aint No Stallions
Stereo Total - I Love you, Ono
Land of Talk - All My Friends *
Jenni Omnichord - The Old Prince *

Lemuria: Get Better

I remember seeing Jay Reatard a few months back, and some dude was was either pissed about being at that show, or just wanted to get Jay all riled up (kind like that time he punched a kid), but he went up to the stage, and placed a note next to Jay's set list that read, "Pop-punk sucks, go to hell." I laughed, but the truth is there's nothing that can make my heart skip-a-beat faster than my semi-unhealthy obsession with the energetic, jovial sound of pop punk. As cheesy as that sounds, it's totally true...but probably not exactly what you're thinking of either. By "pop-punk," I'm not referring to Blink-182, Green Day, or more contemporary mainstream stuff (though I love that stuff too), I'm talking about the likes of The Descendents, Screeching Weasel, The Queers, The Ergs, etc. just to name a few.

Sheena Ozzella fronts Buffalo, New York pop punk band, Lemuria along with Alex Kerns and Jason Draper. They've been around since the fall of 2004, leaving a lasting impression on all of their audiences. They have two full-length releases on Asian Man Records and their catchy, sing-along sound, mixed with Sheena's super cute, girly voice has instantly made them one of my new favorites.

Their two LPs include, The First Collection, which has all of their tracks from previous EPs and splits compiled onto one convenient album, and Get Better which is their newest effort, released in 2008.

Can You See The Sunset's review said:

Get Better
takes the best parts of rough-edged pop-punk and washes them with little bit of indie rock into something catchy, earnest, believable. Sappy, a bit off-kilter, and unrefined rough around the edges, this shouldn’t work but it does. Get Better is unpolished and better because of that.

The female/male dual vocals of Sheena Ozzella and Alexander Kerns are filled with tension and are the “it” factor that makes this album totally amazing. Kerns vocals are subdued and restrained while Ozzella’s are much brighter and way more in-your-face and together (especially when harmonizing) it is so f’ing good that I’m struggling for words to describe this.

I agree. If you like pop-punk remotely, or even if you're into indie pop, girl vocals, whatever, there is something in this album that everyone can get into. The other night, Janine and I went up to London to go to a show. We we're in a room with around 80 people. Give or take 20 we're female. It's SO great to see a woman fronting such a male-dominated music genre, and doing such an awesome job while she's at it.

This video is pretty low-quality if you actually want to check out what they sound like. BUT, this video shows them in all of their punk glory. Tons of sing alongs. Tons of stage dives...and tons of high-fives. You can also see how much Sheena rips at guitar. I'd suggest checking out to their myspace for better recordings, OR you can tune in to Milk and Vodka tomorrow night (Monday, February 16th) from 5-6. Nicole and I are going through some of our favorite femcon for the show, and I'll slip in a few Lemuria tracks for all of your listening pleasure. LISTEN!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Plastic Fantastic: Barbie Turns 50!

Barbie is the most iconic, popular and controversial doll of all time. Approximately 3 barbies are sold every second of the day, bringing in $3.6 billion in revenue every year. Just about every North American girl has owned one at some point in their lives. At 50 years old, Barbie is still maintaining her banging, and completely unrealistic dimensions, which have (thankfully) been widened from the original 36-18-38, 5'9 stature.

Barbie's body has been under criticism ever since her creation. She instills an image of false womanhood in the eyes of little girls, which has even inspired eating disorders and low-self esteem. According to Robert Dobson's article in The Sunday Times,

“These ultra-thin images not only lowered young girls’ body esteem but also decreased their satisfaction with their actual body size, making them desire a thinner body.”

Dr Margaret Ashwell, science consultant and former director of the British Nutrition Foundation, said: “These results are very important and show that children can be influenced at a very early age. We need to be aware of that and take the appropriate action.”

In 1965 the creation of "Slumber Party Barbie" hit the stores. She came with a book entitled "How to Lose Weight" that suggested, "Don't Eat." She even came with a cute scale that was stuck on 110lbs. Approximately 35lb lighter than any healthy woman would be at 5'9. Adorable! Right?

Even though Barbie has the "perfect" body that any 14 year old, prepubescent teenage boy would swoon over, she's also been depicted in a variety of different ways other than her tall-blonde-decked-in-hot-pink self. She has had a wide array of powerful careers over the years. You can buy Doctor Barbie, Astronaut Barbie, Rockstar Barbie, PRESIDENT Barbie, and she has never been seen as a woman who has been pressured to marry or procreate. So why is Barbie an object of such feminist scorn? Shouldn't she also be regarded as an empowering play figure for young girls?

Carol Oakman, an Art professor at Williams University did an Interview with The Economist about her extensive research on Barbie, and she believes Barbie is not seen as female empowering because, "ultimately, it's the fact that people think a woman can't look like that, and be so obsessed with her appearance without being a bimbo... Barbie's origins in that time makes it hard for her to ever escape the thinking that formed her, which was less empowering for women."
As adults, it's easy for us to write off Barbie from a much more critical stand-point, but in the eyes of a young girl, Barbie encompasses a world of endless possibilities. Barbie can be used as a form of escapism and an outlet of creativity. Personally, I know when I was younger, I never looked at Barbie as a "hero" or "role model" hoping one day to grow torpedo breasts and dye my hair platinum blonde. Instead I used to chop off all her hair, draw little pictures to put around her house and constantly change her outfits. I admit, her unrealistic body is definitely problematic, but Mattel has been making the necessary changes. Barbie's body has since been redesigned to look more realistic, as well as more inclusive to different races of young girls.

Cristy C. Road is CROADCORE: Questioning Gender Through Illustration and Writing

I first discovered Cristy C. Road way back in the summer of 2006 while leafing through a bunch of books, postcards and zines at The Trumbullplex in Detroit. I don't know if it was the super-relateable auto-bioesque prose or the detailed, thought-provoking artwork that caught my attention first, but after picking up GREENZINE 14, I was hooked and have been religiously following Cristy's ever since.

Cristy C. Road is a Cuban-American from Miami, Florida who has been drawing since she's been able to hold a pencil. She blends, "the inevitable existence of social principles, cultural identity, sexual identity, mental inadequacies, and dirty thoughts; thriving to testify the beauty of the imperfect." She attended Ringling School of Art and Design where she grew fervently upset with the commercial view and representation of the media's ideal women. In reaction to that she began writing, illustrating, and publishing GREENZINE at the age of 14 and kept it going for ten solid years. GREENZINE focused on "the politics of punk rock and honesty of adolescence," while also mixing in ideas of race, gender, and sexual liberation.

I just finished re-reading Cristy's coming-of-age illustrated memoir, INDESTRUCTIBLE, which I seem to be able to relate to more and more with every time I pick it up (this would have been my third time). Her flowing, descriptive prose alone can paint a vivid picture in the minds of any reader, but added with her killer, gritty artwork, the novel is an instant page turner. She gives a voice to every frustrated teenager, and a trip back down memory lane to any adult who has ever questioned their roles, or tried to defy the norms. The entire novel looks at gender bias and promotes all youth to question what is "acceptable." She reminds all women that they're still powerful and beautiful no matter how "different" they are.

Cristy's most recent work, BAD HABITS: A LOVE STORY, is another auto-biographical novel, but this time she's retelling how she overcame an abusive, manipulative relationship and her realization that self-love is the most important love you can find.

Her artwork alone would attract someone to pick up one of her books. DISTANCE MAKES THE HEART GROW SICK, a die-cut book of post cards features a whole slew of her best illustrations that you can rip out and share with your friends.

Though I don't know Cristy personally, I feel as if she's one of my closest, most inspirational friends. Her stories and artwork have not only inspired me, but also encouraged me to keep doing what I do, because no matter WHAT you do, or who you are, someone will always care, and someone will always feel exactly the same. Cristy reminds us we're never alone and that we should all continue to question our roles in society, otherwise nothing will change.
Ray Suburbia said it best, "So much of the world is bullshit. But yours doesn't have to be if you don't want it to. Cristy's writing reminds you of that."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beyoncé: Na-na-na Diva is a Female Version of a Hustla?

As you probably already know, I'm not much of a "top-40" kind of girl, but whatever, Beyoncé is fly as hell. Even Bitch Magazine called her the "female King Midas." She's constantly injecting everything she touches with a healthy dose of female empowerment...and shiny Gold accessories to match!

Think about it! From day one, Beyoncé has been pumping out chart-busting hits with strong messages to the ladies, such as "Survivor," "Independent Women," "Irreplaceable," "Upgrade You," etc.

B recently released her third solo album, I Am...Sasha Fierce on November 18th, 2008. The first two singles off the album, "If I Were a Boy," and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," play a bit with gender-politic, addressing female stereotypes and questioning what's heteronormative, but they're not nearly as "fierce" as her more recent single, "Diva."

The first time I saw this video, I was a bit confused. Okay, so... a diva is the same thing as a male prostitute? What?
After a bit of research (thanks wikipedia!) I discovered that "hustler" in hip hop terms means, "someone who gets by in life any way that they can."
As the video states, a diva is "a sucessful and glamorous female performer," but unfortunately the word has been adapted into a slang put-down for women who are too-self absorbed.
Beyoncé is reclaiming "diva" and making it a badge of honor for all women who are not afraid to pursuit the money, fame and power.

Before I go any further, envision a hip-hop video.
Got one in mind?
Twenty bucks says the video includes some pimped out car with a bunch of half naked women hanging out it in. Am I right? If you pay close attention to the very beginning of the video, B walks by a "pimp-mobile" with a bunch of cut up women mannequins just chillin' in the back. A powerful metaphor showing how women are treated as objects in rap videos. She destroys this common hip-hop image by blowing up the car at the end, and walking away from it without looking back once.
Ehren Gresehover points out that she even bends rigid gender roles in the warehouse dancing scenes. Her moves aren't exactly "sexy," adapting exactly to the way men dance in hip-hop videos.

This video is a new step for Beyoncé. Though all of her other videos do "up the ladies" in one way or another, they've never so overtly done so in the past. Hopefully B continues in this direction, because it's time the mainstream media has a strong, independent, female role model for all the little divas to look up to.