Monday, 29 August 2011

Read: Got a Girl Crush Zine

While a number of people shrug off feminism as an outdated concept, or seem to think the word needs rebranding (personally, I'd rather be tied to the proverbial kitchen sink for eternity than refer to feminism as 'Bootylicious'), there is still a lot of girl love missing in popular culture (and the wider world, but that's a post for another day...).

The crappy supermarket magazines are still bursting at the staples with giant 'ring of truth' paparazzi photos, pointing out a slight peek of fleshy stomach or a Sunday morning shot of some poor, half-awake woman making a dash for the newsagents without any make-up on. These 'Women's Mags' want to be our most trusted friends and witty gal pals; all more than happy to dish out advice about what not to eat, what to nip and tuck, how to give the perfect blowjob and how to avoid the ultimate failure of (whisper it now), being single. Yet it makes for a very strange friendship - the kind that, if the papery pages were to go all Weird Science on us and become a real women, we'd probably meet up with once, nod along politely to her deluded rambling for five minutes and then make up some excuse about ironing pants and run for the hills.

Thank fuck for zines. The lone voices of intelligent girls sat in quiet little bedrooms can become a chorus of insights into weird and wonderful worlds, with tiny fragments of thoughts and musings cascading from photocopied pages and out into the great beyond. Although the printed word will always be my preferred format, the Internet can be a wonderful tool, and Andrea and Meg, the duo behind Got a Girl Crush, have got it spot on with their new zine - condensing their wonderful website into a beautifully designed keepsake.

Starting life as a much-visited Tumblr, GAGC's short and fascinating postings about unique and talented women became a haven for girl-wide positivity. Musicians, actresses, poets, photographers, artists, comediennes, pilots, writers and many more grace the virtual pages, sometimes selected for huge, groundbreaking achievements or simply for silencing the room by launching into a crazy rap on a talk show - anything and everything goes.

And you can now catch up with their many girl crushes at length in physical format! The new Got a Girl Crush zine catches up with ten women who are all inspirational in their fields, to chat about their lives, work and aspirations. Put together with a keen eye for design and an intrepid spirit, Issue #1 was a pleasure to flick through and totally worth the wait.

The issue is available to read virtually here and can be ordered here if, like me, you prefer the old-fashioned bedtime reading experience.

Listen: Wild Flag - Wild Flag

I write this sat in bed, recovering from the carnage that was Reading Festival at the weekend. I swore I'd never go back, but seven years is a long time away & a free ticket was way too tempting to pass up. I feel like I've been smacked in the head with a welly boot for three days straight.

My saviour in this horrible little hungover rut I've got myself into today is WILD FLAG. After months of waiting for a full album, it has arrived, and we are not worthy. I know they don't want to be called a super group, but this record is proof that the tag is well deserved. Very different from anything Sleater-Kinney produced, but bold, showing off both their technical talent and creative energy and resulting in a fiery garage rock record that channels some Patti Smith (I know they cover 'Ask The Angels', but the are definate parallels in Carrie's commanding, jumpy vocals). It's the debut I think everyone had been hoping for; this is what the new era of guitar music should sound like.

Click HERE to stream at NPR

Wild Flag - Romance by MergeRecords

Friday, 5 August 2011

Watch: Grass Widow at the Zoo

Grass Widow "Milo Minute" from what rabbit on Vimeo.

I'll avoid some pun about monkey business... Grass Widow play for the gorilla's at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Band: Cool Moms

Not to sound like too much of a suck up, but after doing some more digging around Gunilla Mixtapes links yet AGAIN I came across Cool Moms. With nothing but an empty Soundcloud page to go on and also an unGoogleable name, I went in knowing nothing about them except for the music they were making was a fuzzy joy of basement recordings and riot grrrl-borrowed vocals. Simple but super catchy and fun.

Then I head to Facebook and everything makes sense - the band is comprised of Allison Wolfe (vox), Grace Hall (guitar, drums, vox), Mary Jane (bass, vox) and Shelina Louise (drums, guitar, vox). Allison Wolfe is of course best known for founding Bratmobile and playing in Cold Cold Hearts and Partyline, so it's little wonder her new project is stickered with lo-fi touches and the usual sassy pop that fizzes through all of her songs.

Have a listen to 'Crazy' for a quick pick me up:

Crazy by Cool Moms

Listen to more here & like it up here.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Download: Gunilla Mixtapes

I've snuck a little link in the new Music + Mixtapes section (waaay down on the righthand side) but felt this needed to be shouted out LOUD! Gunilla Mixtapes is my new favourite blog; a regularly updated mixtape site, sharing the knowns and unknowns of the 80s grrrl (post-)punk wasteland.

The posts pop-up monthly, showcasing hand-picked tracks from the backcatalogues of little known names and forgotten gems. It's freaking awesome and even if your iTunes is already at bursting point, the links section alone is worth a visit.

I've had trouble finding most of the tracks on youtube, but here are a few examples of what's instore...

Visit Gunilla Mixtapes here.