Blogtober 2018, Monday Musings

Music Monday – It’s a girl thing

In these hyper-political times, it seems like every move we make is a political choice. Even down to the food you eat–and I’m not just talking about you monsters who eat pineapple on pizza (I kid, I kid, you’re not monsters; I love you and your bad choices).

Music is no exception. Now, obviously, I’m not one of those people who run around saying, “I only listen to all-women radical feminist bands who sing about castrating men and creating a lesbian utopia,” although a lesbian utopia sounds kind of awesome. I mean, last week’s Music Monday was completely dedicated to the all-male band Imagine Dragons and I love them.

But, I have at times noticed that a lot of the bands I listen to are all-male bands or male-fronted and, while their music is catchy, it isn’t always easy for me to relate to. Of course, as an AFAB person, it’s easier for me to relate to bands at least fronted by women and AFAB people.

So, here are some of my favorite bands/artists featuring women and AFAB folks in the lead:

  • HorrorPops

I got into HorrorPops in high school, after diving from the punk rock pool into the ocean of goth. The psychobilly genre combined the fast, fun aspects of punk with the macabre themes of goth. I fell in love. I don’t listen to a lot of the punk bands that I liked in high school anymore, but I still love the psychobilly bands I listened to more than a decade ago. HorrorPops will always be tops in my heart.

  • The Birthday Massacre

The Birthday Massacre are another one of those bands I got into when I started getting into a more gothic/dark frame of mind. My best friend at the time, actually turned me onto them. I like the electronic instrumentals combined with the haunting voice of their lead singer, Chibi, and the creepy-dark subject matter of their lyrics. Whenever I listen to them, I feel sixteen again. Not entirely sure if that’s a good thing, but there it is.

  • Against Me!

I’ve loved Against Me! for years and are one of the few modern punk bands I still listen to now that I’m out of high school. One of the reasons I gravitated away from punk rock as I got older was because it’s a genre dominated by white straight men and it’s rare that I find myself relating to them, as a queer AFAB person. So, when Laura Jane Grace came out as trans it was incredible. Even though I don’t identify as trans, I am agender (which many people consider part of the “trans umbrella”) and it was incredible to see out, queer, gender-variance in a scene that had always been so staunchly masculine and straight.

  • King Princess

I cannot express enough my delight at having not just a genderqueer gay mainstream singer, but a genderqueer gay mainstream pop artist. I feel like a lot of people would look at a GQ gay AFAB person and immediately assume they would go into heavy rock music. But, we can be light and fun and soulful, too! King Princess (who appears to use “she” pronouns, for those curious), is the pop star of my dreams. She has an incredible voice and, judging by her Twitter account, a fearless and true-to-herself attitude.

  • Paramore

Paramore is my problematic fave of the music world. Their music is very heteronormative and kind of cliché. I absolutely loathe “Misery Business” and the way it tears into the male-love-interest’s ex-girlfriend for no real reason other than the singer doesn’t like her. But, I also love Hayley Williams’ voice and their music is fun and catchy. It’s because their songs cover such typical subject matter that I find them easy to relate to. They’re the band I turn to when I just want to get out of my head and not think too much about certain things.

So there you have it! Of course, these aren’t even close to all the female- or AFAB-fronted bands I listen to, but I would say they’re my top five. Maybe there are a few other honorable mentions that didn’t quite make this list, like Icona Pop and 45 Grave which might require a bit of shuffling. But really, I super-love these bands and hope you’ll give some of them a listen.

I love you all.

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9 thoughts on “Music Monday – It’s a girl thing”

  1. Every choice is awesome, fren! Though, if we’re ever sat in the same room together, we need to have a long discussion about ‘Misery Business’ because I’m so conflicted about it–I’m just glad that I got to see them perform live before they decided to remove it from their repertoire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a catchy song and it’s performed well, but I just don’t like the topic of it. The entire concept of women tearing each other down over a guy just rubs me the wrong way. And sorry, but I will always side-eye a lyric like “once a whore you’re nothing more I’m sorry that’ll never change.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See, I never took that from it. Maybe that’s why I’m conflicted. I always thought it was about some horrible chick who ruins people’s lives and is getting called out—and I was fine with that. Then again, that could’ve been the video that gave me that impression.

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        1. I’m sure that was supposed to be the meaning, I just don’t think it was lyrically executed well. There are plenty of solid ways to call someone out for being a shitty person without gloating about “he’s my boyfriend now and you’re just a whore,” as though being the “good girl” who gets the guy is the singular measure of a person’s decency.
          Also, I won’t fault women who use their sexuality to their advantage to get what they want. In a lot of ways, the social deck is stacked against women and AFAB people; we need to use whatever means we have.
          Besides, she couldn’t use her sexuality as an advantage if the guy wasn’t into that to begin with, but we don’t hear Hayley talking about how the guy was shallow or sexist to go along with the bad girl whore to begin with.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Truth, top to bottom. It probably all boils down to me being so blase about things. For example, people upset over the word “whore” and it’s usage in this context. I called myself a whore at least fifteen times yesterday (and gave myself a high-five after each time). So, when I hear someone call a person a whore, I’m like, “Oooooh, girl. Who hasn’t been there?!? Good times. Good times.” LOL I probably shouldn’t be like that…

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          2. I think there’s a middle ground to be reached between us. You may be blasé about these things and I’m hyper analytical about them. Honestly I really liked the song when it came out ten years ago. Then in my mid-20s I started really noticing “microaggressions” and the ways subtle sexism impacted larger aspects of day-to-day life and I started really dissecting all the media I consumed. I hate the term SJW as an insult, but I went way overboard on a lot of things in the effort to be ideologically pure. I’ve dialed it back a lot now that I’m older and more moderate in my views, but Misery Business is just one of those things that stuck with me as getting on my nerves.

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          3. I can definitely see why people find the song problematic. At the same time, my inner asshole is like, “It’s just a song.” Of course, then I have to remind myself how “it’s just a song” or “it’s just a stupid asshole on Twitter” on and on and on leads to viewpoints and beliefs changing for the worse. You get enough assholes saying problematic shit and then suddenly it’s a movement. Not everyone can encounter problematic statements and keep from being converted to backwards thinking and beliefs. Ultimately, if there weren’t so many assholes out there, we could use words like “whore” and we wouldn’t have to worry about how it affects a whole group of folks. But, we have all of these bigoted, misogynistic, douchey trolls out there just waiting for an “in”. Sigh. People are exhausting.

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