How many female rock drummers can you think of? I could probably come up with five or so off the top of my head. But the girl in I am Drums by Mike Grosso doesn’t know of any other girl drummers, and other kids make fun of her for being the only girl in the percussion section of her school band. Not that she lets that stop her. She’s singularly focused and determined to play the drums no matter what. Even if her parents just think it’s an expensive hobby that they can’t afford or if her classmates say girls look stupid playing drums and have no rhythm. None of that matters to her.
Still, it’s always nice to know you’re not alone. after an assignment from her drum teacher to listen to amazing rock drummers, she discovers that other girl drummers actually do exist, including Karen Carpenter who sang while playing the drums, which is a bit of a surprise to Sam. She makes a whole list of women rock drummers to listen to for the assignment. I loved Sam’s dedication to her instrument. She didn’t always make good choices, and yet I couldn’t help but root or her in this cute story. Recommended for similarly music obsessed kids.
Today’s music choice adds to Sam’s list of amazing girl drummers: Katherine Seggerman of Lunch Duchess. Like Karen Carpenter, she is a singer/drummer. The quirky grunge-pop might not be everyone’s taste, but it’s well worth a listen.
This past Saturday morning, I woke up with a bit of a cold, and my plans for the day looked much less enticing than they had the day before when I promised to take my daughter to see her favorite local band play an all ages show in the middle of the day. I tried to convince her that a movie marathon of her choice was just as good for the chilly Saturday, but her disappointed eyes ate at my mom-guilt enough that I took some cold medicine and off we went to Indeed Brewing for the Hullabaloo.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned Catbath on this blog before. My husband recommended the band to me after he caught their set at Cause Spirits & Soundbar, which has been closed for a while now. “Trust me,” he said, “This is going to be your new favorite band.” He was right, of course. Though now he probably laments introducing me to them given my habit of listening to my favorite records over and over again. If it were possible to wear out a CD, we would have worn out our copy of It’s Bathtime a long time ago.
Somewhere along the way, our eight-year-old daughter started singing along with the Catbath songs I played in the car or at home while we went about our business. Then she started requesting Catbath when I let her pick the music. Recently she talked about how Catbath is her favorite band at Sharing Time in her third grade classroom. She was genuinely surprised that none of her classmates had heard of them. I never set out to raise a hipster child, but somehow it seems to have happened. ;)
In any case, she loved the show. It beat a movie marathon any day.
I didn’t drive for years, and I loved it. I loved not having to deal with other drivers or finding parking or any of the other hassles that come with driving. But in the time that I have resumed my status as a driver, I realized what I missed. Yes, there is the convenience of driving your own vehicle versus planning around a bus ride, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I missed listening to music while driving. I had forgotten that the car was the place I ended up connecting to music most often, and it feels so good to have that space again. My latest driving soundtrack has been Matt Latterell. He has a new record out now, and the release show at the Cedear Cultural Center was fantastic. But I’ve been stuck on his 2011 release Life on Land.
As I said in this post, his songs tell stories. They are full of sincerity and the truth as he sees it. Both records are well worth the listen.
Lookbook’s Wild at Heart was the soundtrack of 2010 in the Twin Cities music scene. It was in the background of a lot of memories from that time for me, but I must admit that I feel like I didn’t really connected with it until recently.
One morning when I left for work several weeks ago, Wild at Heart was in the car’s CD player, presumably left there by my partner the day before. It was when I was driving that it clicked for me. It went from a band I knew and kind of liked to my summer music obsession. It makes sense, I suppose. After all, it seems driving is a part of all the songs on this record. Singer Maggie Morrison said,
“I can only write my parts of the songs when I’m driving around in a car,” she confided. “That way, I don’t have to worry about anyone hearing me. I can be as experimental as I want or as loud as I want, and I’m a lot less self-conscious.”
For many of the tracks on “Wild at Heart,” Morrison would take off from her mom’s house near Madison, Wis., for long, fast drives around the farmland valleys.
Lookbook turned my summer commutes into dance parties in the best way possible.
There was a time when most Mondays meant music on this blog, but as my posts have slowed down, music has all but disappeared here. I’m still listening to old favorites and discovering new music. Just not writing about it very often.
A few weeks ago I came upon, Sunday Mornings with Reina, a YouTube series by local singer-songwriter Reina del Cid, and I was charmed. Perhaps it is the warm, folksy vibe of the videos or maybe it is the wall of books and literary references in the background that drew me in. Whatever the reason, I am hooked. If I may say so, this series of videos makes a great soundtrack to a quiet Sunday morning. Start here:
Enjoy. And stay tuned for more music posts from me. :)
The Local Current blog has covered some of the most notable women in Minnesota music history here and here for Women’s History Month. I’m sure they’ll also highlight the fantastic all-women bands that are playing out locally right now, but I wanted to share a couple of that I think deserve some attention.
- Kitten Forever is a riot grrrl inspired punk band. Rift Magazine reviewed their 2013 release Pressure: “The band’s anthemic axiom ‘Do you wanna get loud? Yeah you know you wanna.’ aptly initiates the album of 13 poignantly short songs. Listeners needn’t be well-versed in riot grrrl ideology in order to enjoy the listen, since this release strips the genre down to its essential pieces: unabashed femininity, honesty, partying, and punk rock.”
- L’Assassins are surf rock with a bit of rockabilly thrown in. The Current said, “These ladies aren’t following anyone’s rules. That attitude is what makes L’Assassins one of the most refreshing bands in local music right now.”
- Puff Puff is the newest of the three all-women bands I’m featuring today–and I should note that their current line up includes a non-female after bass player Tanja Sturges relocated out of state–but they are my personal favorite. Their surf/garage/twee sound is the sort of thing that has me spinning Puff Puff’s music frequently. They promise a new 2015 EP recorded with the original line up, and the one song released from it is well worth the listen. This is a band to watch, and I’m not just saying that because they are friends of mine. ;)
If you have any interest in women in music, check out Record Collecting for Girls by Courtney E. Smith for a fun and opinionated look at women in music that takes on everything from not being taken seriously as a female music geek to questions about the universality of the female voice. Fascinating reading. I’ve recommended it before, and I’ll probably do it again.
Also check out some of my previous music posts featuring female musicians: Speaking Music, Caroline Smith, Lucy Michelle, and Zoo Animal.
Or, if you’re like me, you’ll want to read some music-related teen fiction. I’d recommend Supergirl Mixtapes, The Disenchantments to start with. More great titles are on my Book Lists wiki.
What women have you been listening to?
Zoo Animal may have taken the last year and a half away from the spotlight, but Holly Hansen’s minimalist, poetic style has remained among my most-played music choices as it has for the last several years. I was thrilled to hear that Zoo Animal was playing shows again, and even more excited to learn that it was going to be an early show with another local favorite, Fort Wilson Riot, opening.
We were there with our seven-year-old in tow. She was the one in the pirate costume. I love it when we have opportunities to share our love of music with our daughter, even if it did mean that my view of Zoo Animal’s set left something to be desired. Even from a distance, it was a powerful performance.
Later this month, you can hear Zoo Animal get Loud at the Library in St. Paul. I love it when my favorite musicians play at my favorite places. :)
- Read more about Zoo Animal on this blog here and here or see my photos of the show here.
- Listen to their latest releases here.
- Watch a documentary about Holly Hansen and her songwriting here.