Thursday, 26 April 2012

W is for Women Who Rock

Decent music - we're talking punk, rock n roll and metal here - has always lacked women. While our sisters of the '70s were busy DIY-ing it for themselves, attempting to redress the balance and showing the boys that, actually, chicks could well give them a run for their money, today's scenes seem to lack that ballsy attitude and sheer bloody determination.

Somehow, 30 years on, there's still a huge discrepancy between the number of women who rock and the number of dudes hogging the stage, but here's three who should feature somewhere in every good record collection...

Kim Gordon - Sonic Youth

Effortlessly cool Kim has been wielding a bass for the Youth for over 30 years and at 58-years-old is still leading in the awesomeness, style and quirky stakes. I particularly love how haunting her voice in this track about Karen Carpenter...

Exene Cervenka - X

I worship this Queen of LA punk. From out eyelinering early day Manic Street Preachers and crafting her own throw-anything-on-and-still-look-fucking-cooler-than-you sense of style, Exene shunned the punk by numbers look so favoured of Brit punk chicks, instead crafting a punk meets rockabilly after being beaten up by a goth look. It also pisses all over today's cartoon 'punk' chicks like that Paramore bird. Love, there's nothing alternative about you.

It's rare to find X ranked in the must-buy punk lists or most influential sounds of the late '70s, especially here in the UK, but true is that this band were trailblazers. In terms of sound, X paved the way for punk in LA by weaving rockabilly bass riffs into urgent vocals and that all-important fuck you attitude the genre is well'known for, but while the rest of the punk world was busy being angry, these guys and girl were storytelling. Crafting tales of the city's darkside into their songs - drugs and rape anyone? - X will having you singing along while quietly thanking fuck that you didn't live in LA in the '70s.

Oh yeah, in case you hadn't guessed, I have a massive girl crush on Exene.

Lisa Kekaula - The Bellrays

"Blues is the teacher, punk is the preacher..."

Pop's got nothing on this chick. Like Aretha Franklin singing for The Ramones, Kekaula's soulful voice adds a truly magical touch to the rough edges of The Bellrays' garage sound. A recipe of rock 'n' roll and punk, bound together with soul vocals, it's hard not to fall for the charms of The Bellrays' perfect meddly. Kekaula has soul running through her veins and a voice that packs a punch so fierce it could loosen your jaw.


  1. Rocking out is good. Love to do it in the car even if I'm not alone.

    Happy A to Z-ing!

  2. Agreed. A day or so ago I saw something to the effect of "Do women need to be naked to make it into the Met?" It was a protest of sorts regarding the fact that the huge majority of artists represented in the Met are male, while the huge majority of the paintings are of naked women. Seems, for some reason, that a feminine majority is absent from the halls of fame--visual arts and music, at least. A shame.