Monday, March 10, 2008

LKN (oh now I get it)

Remember when I crying out in desperation for some substantial non-tit's-and-ass and infant voiced princesses with effect pedals women rockers? Remember that?

Well I think a year or so ago one of the bro's from AristeiA, Brandon Gordon, told me about Lauren K. Newman. I didn't listen. I didn't listen because I rarely if ever listen to Brandon Gordon. This time I wish I had.

After seeing Girls Rock! I was intrigued to find out who in the world was the woman who's rock and roll guitar playing and Metallica shaming hair tactics where simply the best I had ever seen in FOREVER AMEN.

Turns out is was LKN. (tip of the hat to Dragging An Ox Through Water for heads up on this rocker during my painful meltdown -- see i read your comments and listen to yoouse)

Photo credit: From LKN's myspace Bakersfield CA apr 2006. captured by Leslie Flores


aliagrace said...

i am so glad you looked her up. we should go to one of the shows coming up!

Ste. Goldie said...

alia! remember how LKN was playing during the girls lunch... that was such a great scene. LKN is thrashing around and there are these girls eating sandwiches and hanging out... oh claaaaasssssssssic....

stephanie said...

dear goldie.
I hit up this blog because I like seeing Ben's music picks.

However, I just came across this post of yours. And seriously felt the need to comment.

I agree that there is a great lack of women in media and music. It is a problem.
Making inroads in white male dominated fields (see: all things western) takes time and steps.

I'm mostly writing because I take great offense to this: "I've noticed that there isn't a band or a musician on there that represents bold, powerful, and intelligent women" and then in the later post you wrote "substantial tit's-and-ass and infant voiced princesses with effect pedals women rockers."

Nice! Maybe you just aren't listening hard enough? Or are for some reason resentful of women who are comfortable with their sexuality/looks?

The fact is, women are still generally looked at first and foremost as a physical object. That's just the reality.
We have to operate in that space and most of us are raised with that ideal most of our lives.
Such harsh words and judgements coming from a fellow gal seem extra brutal.
You shouldn't discount what myself and other women are contributing with our higher pitched vocals and effects pedals.
Perhaps women are more comfortable in a gentler arena. We are the fairer sex, after all.
Maybe you need to change what you consider female boldness, power and intelligence from the male ideal?

If you took the time to listen to my music, for example, you would find that most of it is about thinking for yourself and challenging the ideas and notions that are beaten into most people through their communities and religions and pop media. I may not express being "bold and powerful and intelligent" by screaming with deep vocals and thrashing around on stage, but instead my way is with words and ambiance (effects pedals!).
I mean, shit - I have a BFA from NYU. I had a career in tv/film editing for 10 years working with people from Bill Moyers to M. Night Shyamalan. I served on the Board of Directors of The Motion Picture Editors Guild for 3 years. I worked my ass off from the moment I got to nyc and through my 20s so much so that I could afford to buy a house in the Hollywood Hills when I was 27 years old. I lived in the two biggest cities in the United States for a total of 12 years and have spent time in almost every state in our nation. I taught myself to play guitar and use every other instrument/accessory I use on stage. I've self-released an EP and LP and put together 7 tours. (is that enough to count me as B., P. and I.?) All of that life experience is part of my music. I guess you can't hear it unless I'm rolling around yelling with a loud rock band backing me up?

I came to the NW to learn more about music and expand my horizons in the creative, innovative, community-supported music and art scene the NW offers. As creator of one of the only music blogs in Portland, it is very disappointing to read you being so judgemental against women like me.

And guess what? If you had much knowledge of music outside of the NW, you would know that there are barely any women out there doing anything effects-y. Women commanding pedals is still an extreme rarity. Even in places like, say, Baltimore or El Paso, people come up to me and say they've never seen a female fronting her own project like what I do and/or using pedals and it was exciting/inspiring to them. You should be happy that the NW is generating women doing that stuff. It will help expand everything that women do in music.


p.s. How about Scout Niblett? Or Kristin Hersh? Or OH? Or Mirah? huh? huh?

Ste. Goldie said...

Stephanie -- Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response to my post.

My first bad: The sentence should have just read "Remember when I crying out in desperation for some substantial princesses with effects pedals" (oh my god i love effect pedals and buttons and stuff like that...) the tit's and ass baby voice thing was my hateful composite of about 3 nationally advertised women musicians and their local to Portland counter parts. Plus I blog belligerent sometimes (real talk). I guess I have to knock that off if I am going to be able to truly communicate with people. sometimes I don't even want a response I just want my voice heard.

My second bad: The truth is I am glad you heard my voice (or anyone did for that matter... i've been
dying to talk about this for a couple months now).

And I apologize for hurting you with my words.

Learning how to talk about women without attacking them is hard. I hate it. I hate that I can not accurately describe my perceptions of women. I feel trapped between having a deep desire to be brutally honest (honesty should not ever be confused with "truth") and wanting to protect my fellow gal. It's also a lot easier to attack someone if they've wronged me in someway. Give me some credit I didn't name any names...

I am defiantly in the music research mode and this blog and it's readers are the ones who clue me in.

In response to:
"The fact is, women are still generally looked at first and foremost as a physical object. That's just the reality.
We have to operate in that space and most of us are raised with that ideal most of our lives.
Such harsh words and judgements coming from a fellow al seem extra brutal."

I don't want to live with that ideal nor do I think t interesting or fun to figure out a way to operate within 'that ideal'. It stresses me out.

I REALLY SHOULD NOT equate intelligence with how someone looks. I guess what I meant was I can appreciate when women aren't selling themselves on stage. I can appreciate that decision. But I do not believe women who are hotsie totsy are stupid. Thank you for reminding me of that. I have a fever for grrls power right now.

Quite frankly I am sick of women selling me their sexuality. I look at the indie boys and their sexuality is the furthest thing from my mind. God most of them, if you took sexuality into consideration, I think a lot of them look like they are repressed, selfish lovers with an addiction to internet porn.

Music and the culture that surrounds it has the POWER to change the world. I don't want to alienate you. I want you to know how I feel. And I want to be a part of something bold and empowering.

The internet is a place for me to cry and try to get attention surrounding things I care about. Or things that I'm confused about. Or things I am excited about.

This blog is specifically a blog about Portland/Vancouver music stuffs (that's why you won't hear me talking about musicians outside of the area on this blog but I appreciate your accusation that i
have only heard music made in my own backyard).

Would you be interested in posting blogs here about your experiences with marketing and/or bands you like in the Portland/Vancouver area? I would like to invite you to blog with us. One of us, one of us.

I would also like to encourage you to post a link to your band.

Gabriel Darling said...

Definitely, there are a variety of manners and ways to be a strong, bold, female front person in a music project on this planet - especially in the difficult climates of male dominated industries, such as music/radio/television/film.

I would sincerely recommend Tara Jane O'Neil to everyone and anyone in this city.

She is both sincere, daring, refreshing, and a very very very talented woman.

Additionally, Teri Untalan is an exceptional singer/songerwriter:

Let's support and nurture female empowered talen on and off the stage.

Regardless of a very rich and successful background, and different geographic experiences, female artists all deal with the same type of gender preconceptions and biases...

I'm about supporting creative and talented people regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, and/or creed - honest, sincere, hard-working and brilliant women especially!

Ste. Goldie said...

Gabriel - Sigh... I want to empower women NOT make them feel bad.

Thank you for your words of wisdom, on and off stage :-)

aliagrace said...

My how the internet turns? I see this blog going one of two ways: REALLY UGLY or REALLY PRODUCTIVE. I must agree that I love me some solid, raw emotion when it comes to the music I listen to, but I can still appreciate the time and place for background ambient music. I think the point that is trying to be made here, and I do not want to put words into the mouth of Ms Ste. Goldie, is that it is exciting and refreshing to see women in this position of power!

The second wave of feminism has not been too distant in the past - our voices are still not equal. Not to go off on a feminist rant, but we have to fight for even an inch we have/take in our society.

I think that when women shake what their momma gave them (and not necessarily literally) to get ahead it can come off as "selling out". I agree that to fight the system it is good to be in the system, but we cannot loose sight that by playing into our societal role as being:

"...more comfortable in a gentler arena. We are the fairer sex, after all."

We are selling ourself short because history has placed the "norm" on us. I am not saying that women cannot be feminine. That we cannot embrace our bodies and minds, but to hide behind that as the reason you are working the system is when it becomes trouble. I wonder how easy it is for women to embrace their sexuality/looks when they are overweight or under-weight? I find that people who "are comfortable" with their sexuality do not have problems in that area. To say that women are viewed as sex objects is so true, but I do not feel the point is dually matched. Are you saying that since we are viewed as sex objects we might as well go along with it?

What this blog boils down to is the relationship that women have between each other. This has nothing to do with the fact that the "blogger" does not care for the type of music that the "commenter" obviously makes, but that the "c" feels that she is not a "bold and powerful and intelligent" musician because she chooses to play the "girl" in her music. The "substantial tit's-and-ass and infant voiced princesses with effect pedals women rocker." Does it matter that "c" fits this category or make music in this style? No. Does it mean that other people do not enjoy this type of music? No. Does it mean that "b" has to like this kind of music? No. Does it mean that "b" cannot blog about how she feels because she is excited to find women musicians who are "screaming with deep vocals and thrashing around on stage"? No.

Both are entitled to their stance, but the claws are out!

A friend told me that what you look like shouldn't have anything to do with what you sound like. It's music. The issue here is not the music - it is the stereotypes women live everyday of their life by.

Anonymous said...

stephanie is being humble. she didn't even mention that she could have been in GIRLICIOUS but turned it down.

Ste. Goldie said...

Alia -- I have to get some sleep. My comments are getting way off the hook confusing (i posted one that i thought made perfect sense and then after some prebedtime puttering I realized i needed to delete it right away and then low and behold another comment, and it's from anonymous, whew... anyway -- THANK YOU for your thoughtful AND WISE response to the matter at hand.

Amber Dawn said...

Whoa. I didn't have any idea of the intensity. I was just going to post that the LKN link didn't work. :(
Stephanie - I'd like to hear your music. link?
also - if you read a little farther back in the blog, Goldie was talking specifically about her nostalgia for raw, out there riot grrrrl rock and perhaps the comment she made was meant to carry on from that discussion. When you look right at it though, women can come off as powerful in any genre. The really important thing is to express what you've got inside, whatever that is.

aliagrace said...

Good point made by Amber Dawn!

stephanie said...

wow ladies!
I just came back to read this since I wrote my response.
I'm glad to see such discussion on the topic.
Thank you, Goldie, for your words in response.
I appreciate it.

And here's my music :

I guess after working for the last 14 years in the entertainment industry behind the scenes, seeing the way the "business" goes down at command central for mass media (aka Hollywood), then managing, booking, promoting, writing, recording, and touring on my own in the opposite arena - the indie world- I have a very particular view of how it all works for ladies.

In regards to the sexuality-influence, I spent the first half of my entertainment time fighting the "using your looks/femininity" standard. Then half way through, realized everyone else uses what they've got to give them an edge to "get ahead" - aka the men (and a lot of the women!) around me might use family/friend connections, money, boys club, intimidation, cheating, etc to their advantage. So, while still being honest, hard-working and constantly on the learning path - I added in that old feminine charm which so many women use to their advantage to literally survive in this world. I think it's even playing ground in this man's world. And I don't know if it's because the fellows are more comfortable with women being that way or what - but most of them will treat you better (in the entertainment workplace, at least) if you present yourself that way. unfortunately.
But then, once you are in and they see - oh! you do have the chops for whatever, then the other stuff doesn't matter as much. In my experience.

And re: using sexuality to get ahead in music - i can't tell you how many times on tour people have said to me - I figured you were just gonna sing love songs on an acoustic guitar. Did they just book me from my photos?!?! And if so, well - I got booked and have now changed their perception of me and hopefully other female performers they will encounter in the future.

I had a young hispanic guy at a show in El Paso tell me that hearing me (a woman) address the issues I confront in music and that I was talking about with him blasted up everything he had been taught his whole life about the role of women and what they care about and his big picture view of society and progression in general.

And that makes it all worth it.

Whether or not he came to the show in the first place cause he thought I was cute in a picture.


(oh! and P.S. in response to aliagrace's comment about women being comfortable using their looks if they are over or underweight - I think that the Gossip singer or Queen Latifa or Missy Elliot or um I can't think of anyone underweight - are hopefully evidence - that, yes! they are!)
it won't let me post html in here, but here is a link to Beth Ditto naked on the cover of NME:

aliagrace said...

i can't say much for the lead singer from the gossip, but tell me if i am wrong that both queen latifa (spokes person for jenni craig) and missy elliot BOTH lost a huge amount of weight since 1st entering the scene.

i cannot help feeling like stephanie wants to put words into my mouth and doesn't get what i was trying to originally say.

Ste. Goldie said...

Alia -- I'm still a little bummed that no one picked up on my "indie boys look like perv's" comment...

Fat chicks who pose naked on covers of magazines aren't my idea of feminism... i hope i never have to take my cloths off to get attention! (yes i know some women get off on that that is cool... but I just don't want to HAVE TO SEXUALIZE MYSELF ALL THE DAMN TIME)

Steph "And re: using sexuality to get ahead in music - i can't tell you how many times on tour people have said to me - I figured you were just gonna sing love songs on an acoustic guitar. Did they just book me from my photos?!?! And if so, well - I got booked and have now changed their perception of me and hopefully other female performers they will encounter in the future." Clearly this is a complicated and loaded issue. I'm sure your photo's had something to do with it. But it's nice to hear they were impressed with your talent! If you were fat and ugly maybe they would book and take you seriously from the start!

aliagrace said...

i would also like to expand on my last comment. i do not think i was clear about the queen and missy part. if they were happy and proud of their full figure, why would they loose the weight?

ste goldie: your point is fair. i need to formulate my response to that because i would like to add to it, but am at work and cannot focus right now.