Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hardcore California

i have been staring at this all week, remembering that this is how i found out about a lot of women-in-punk that i had missed out on in the 80's or had little knowledge of...not there is a ton of focus on this in the book, but that there are photographs, proof that women were a part of hardcore

what i hate about hardcore today, is how women's role in it hasn't seemed to change. you will still find very few female guitar players or singers in hardcore and a whole lot of bass players. there are not that many all female punk bands that are considered to be hardcore, but there continue to be a handful of groups who last for a short time and maybe make a demo tape. there are still a lot of women behind the scenes, putting on shows, taking pictures, putting together zines, cooking dinner for bands and all that.

hardcore reinvents itself over and over and over again, but the formula doesn't change and girls stay on the sidelines.


if girls started to take over hardcore, like they started to take over rock-n-roll in the early 90's, would everyone declare hardcore to be dead and move on to indy, pop, drum and bass, noise or electro-clash? if so, how long would we have to wait for hardcore to be legitimate again? 10 years, 20 years?


Anonymous said...

I noticed thasame thing I really like your blog. I am trying to get all the hardcore female groups i know and post them on my blog for people to download (but it will take me soem time)
I noticed there is nothing around for femalge hardcore bands to even download.. noting in those hardcore blogs which i would download music from so it aggravated me since i knew there were really good female hardcore bands. hopefully this works out for me :] I want to promote them

kerrry said...

this topic is of immense interest to me. i wrote my college thesis paper on the subject, focusing on my own local scene in boston. i interviewed guys and girls involved with the boston hardcore scene and was very underwhelmed with the answers i received. most ppl couldn't even name one female hardcore/punk musician - besides "blondie" - and many guys admitted to not wanting women in their bands - and sometimes not even at their shows. the outcome of the paper served to further distance me from a music community that i was already becming more and more alienated from. it upsets me that so many people both in and out of punk communities act like there are an equal # of men and women in bands today - it's just not true - out of hundreds of shows i went to in and around boston over a span of maybe 5 years, the # of women i saw in bands, i could count on my fingers. thanks for acknowledging this disparity!

marissa magic said...

whoa! crazy! I just posted my review of the gender and punk book and then scrolled down and saw this. It is frustrating and annoying. I was reading the first part of sex revolts and kind of hanging around this punk boy for a minute around the same time. The boy and I would sit around and talk about what we thought punk was and his ideas never included girls to the point of saying that riot grrl didn't matter, so basically a hardcore scene completely void of girls, and then I was reading this book at the same time and it talks about the absence of girls in punk, not just the physical absence but in theme too. Like all those songs about boys talking about themselves, or boys likening themselves to warriors or soldiers in a war, or being the lone rebel out on the road. It seems like in some ways women aren't just reduced to a sex object or a caretaker, but are just completely erased in punk.

whatwewantisfree said...

recent girl hardcore:
tobia (sang for Look Back and Laugh)
Carnal Knowledge (a couple of former Hey Girl! members, an all girl hxc band from Brooklyn)
Question (has a girl singer who is totally fierce and terrifying in this cool post apocalyptic crust way)
Lebenden Toten (japanese style noise hardcore, with a girl singer)
i have forgotten their name but i reviewed this 7" for MRR that was an english hardcore band with a girl singer who reminded me of fucked up musically....
the conversions, also had a tuff girl singer

that's all i can think of right now, but there are actually a bunch of brazillian and argentinian girl bands in the sxe scenes down there, and there's an all girl band from japan we just got their LP but i forgot their name (of course) my friend's band just toured south east asia and he said there were tons of girls in cool hardcore bands in sumatra and bali, i have been trying to get him to write a scene report for MRR to no avail... there's condenada from chicago, part of the south side chicago hardcore scene, really cool band and hilarious ladies, i think bruise violet from LA play hardcore, but not sure.
there are always girls that play in bands. because hardcore is such a dude scene it's easy to miss female contributions but these are just off the top off my head whilst at work, if i was at MRR i am sure i could think of many more.

Tobi Vail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tobi Vail said...

also, don't forget about sharon cheslow's women in punk archive:

Tobi Vail said...

thanks layla. would you agree that these exceptions are not the rule?? i'm talking about cultural reception to girls playing hardcore as much as anything--which is what i meant when i said 'there are not that many all female punk bands that are considered to be hardcore'--even when the bands might consider themselves to be playing hardcore, in general they are thought of as punk.
there have always been girls in the hardcore scene, yes, playing in bands as well, though the faces we know and names we remember are mostly of bass players and the occasional singer.

i should disclose that in olympia in the past few weeks, a woman who put on a show was recently sexually harassed while working the show, by a guy in a band. when she made this incident an issue, after much discussion, some dudes in bands met to talk about sexism and gender. several members of the more hardcore/punk side of the music 'scene' declined to attend, one singer of hardcore band who will remain nameless, announcing that he would instead be at the gym. i recognize this is his attempt at humor, but to me, it was a disheartening sign that things have not changed re: sexism and hardcore

whatwewantisfree said...
(from italy)
(from sweden)

this seems to be an annual all girl punk/hardcore festival in poland

the sxe band from brazil i was trying to think of are called infect, tho I think they broke up, and there's a band from argentina called trust that I think also broke up. i think there is a pretty big female presence in the latino punk/hardcore scene in east LA, this band tuberculosis are supposed to be amazing...