The KRTU Skyline Sessions are here! Read about our first one!
The KRTU Skyline Sessions are here! Read about our first one!
Although the Riot Grrrl movement that so boldly graced the '90s claimed to be a wave of feminism that looked to empower and include women of all shapes, sizes, and colors, these sentiments fell short in being satisfied. Laina Dawes wrote a lengthy piece about why she was never a riot grrrl, citing how she felt "there was little to no concern as to how ethnicity made [her] experience as a [black] woman different" from the white women leading the movement.
The Riot Grrrl movement was born in the early '90s in Olympia, Washington. With mostly white women leading the movement, the overall message they wanted to communicate was one that encouraged women to create a voice of their own, one that allowed them to express the grievances that predominantly-male environments would not allow them to; however, considering the demographics of the individuals leading this movement, voices of minorities often fell through the cracks.
Examining this movement retrospectively, the influence that the riot grrrl movement left behind often shines brightly in the history of white feminism, but unfortunately lacks that intersectional glow. Although riot grrrls often did their best to encourage women to make their voices heard, it essentially became a movement that was coined for "young, white, suburban, middle class" women. Should one watch the documentary The Punk Singer, a movie that centers around the story of riot grrrl leader and Bikini Kill front-woman Kathleen Hanna, one will immediately notice the lack of representation and inclusion of women of color. Kathleen Hanna's participation in Michigan Womyn's Festival, a festival with a strict womyn-born-womyn policy that only allows women who were female assigned at birth to attend, led to the erasure of transgender women's identities as valid.
In failing to view feminism through an intersectional lens, riot grrrls and their supposed "empowering" sentiments are quickly discredited considering the gender and racial biases that prevented women of color and transgender women from experiencing the sense of empowerment that only white women were able to benefit from. Ideally, had riot grrrls worked harder toward a more progressive movement that looked to include and tackle the grievances of women of ALL gender, racial, religious, and class identities, then their goals would have triumphantly been met and all women would have been able to feel empowered and valid.
In light of the many sexual misconduct allegations that have surfaced in the past few months, one is left with the personal ethical battle concerning the artists they value and the controversies surrounding them. Is it morally acceptable to still listen to their music? Is appreciating their work an indirect form of providing support toward them and their problematic ideals? In a more general sense, it seems that we have a tendency to pick and choose who we will still accept and who we will turn away when we find out that some of our most beloved and famous artists are terrible people with equally terrible mindsets.
Recently, indie band Real Estate cited cutting ties with guitarist Matt Mondanile as a result of his "unacceptable treatment of women," something that he initially denied, but has now acknowledged and issued a weak apology stating how "there are two sides to these stories." Similarly, allegations against other indie artists like Melanie Martinez and The Gaslamp Killer have stirred up the community, leading many to discard the merchandise related to these artists and/or stop listening to their music altogether.
It can be difficult to avoid listening to some of your favorite artists after their true colors have shown considering the amount of time and love you have invested in their musical catalog, yet you can't help but feel this lingering sense of guilt while still listening to them considering that their image is now tainted for you. It's not entirely your fault for still wanting to listen to their music, it's comfortable, it's familiar; but once the music has become tainted, what's the point?
Essentially, in finding out the problematic actions and sentiments that these artists practice, it leads us as people and music lovers to make the decision as to whether or not we should support them. The best music should be a mirror image of who an artist really is, it should open a door into the beliefs and sentiments of the artist communicating them. Considering this, we are almost forced to think about the validity of the artist's intention: is their art a genuine representation of who they are? If their actions support the terrible, then what truth does their artistry hold? What message does their artistry actually communicate? Actions speak louder than any music can. Matt Mondanile can create all the "dreamy pop" music he wants, but he can never erase the scars left behind on the women he has assaulted, and no chord progression or guitar lick can ever cover that up. Should an artist's real life intentions be driven by the terrible, then perhaps one should reconsider consuming music from problematic individuals who hypocritically create music that does not mirror what their actions reveal.
This past Saturday, the KRTU family attended Band Merch Night at the Aztec Theatre. With doors opening at 5:30, individuals were able to buy CDs, t-shirts, stickers, and more from local bands that set up their respective tables throughout the theatre. All the while, live music from local artists like Amea, Lloronas, Collective Dream, Pinko, and others echoed throughout the venue from 6pm to midnight. Upstairs, Southtown Vinyl and Friends of Sound were available for your vinyl-browsing pleasure.
Black Market Club opened the night, showcasing to its audience its hard rocking sound. After that, sounds ranging from the psychedelia of True Indigo to the soulful power of Alyson Alonzo filled the theatre. Visuals provided by Liquid Sunshine Experience gave the audience the full psychedelic experience, using different colors and old projections to display behind the artists performing. With Wayne Holtz as emcee, the night was kept lively and fun, with surprise visits from his dogs who happened to leave a parting gift on the stage that had to be cleaned up by staff.
Coordinated by KRTU Live and Local's own Jeanette Muniz, Band Merch Night gave its attendees a unique opportunity to not only see their favorite bands live, but also support the San Antonio music scene by being able to meet and interact with the vendors there. Considering this was the third year of Band Merch Night, it is highly probable that those who attended and those who didn't will have the special opportunity to check it out next year.
From planets and stars to a tribute to the Fab Four, here are a few things that are available for you to do this weekend.
Happy New Year! Here are some shows to be on the look out for in the next few months.
Heading out to Mala Luna might not have been the greatest experience of my life, but it sure did teach me a thing or two about surviving the Dust Bowl pt. II
Last month, Morrissey announced his upcoming album/new working autobiography title, Low in High School. High off of a slew of concert cancellations in support of 2014's flop, World Peace is None of Your Business, Morrissey's new album will reportedly explore the "zeitgeist of an ever-changing world." Low in High School features tracks with distinctly Morrissey-esque titles such as "Home is a Question Mark" and "When You Open Your Legs," and earlier this week, we were treated to a look at its lead single, "Spent the Day in Bed." It's essentially an anti-capitalist defense of inaction and alienation, featuring some inexplicable DJ scratching and too many synths. Give it a listen below:
An undisclosed number of the yellow vinyl release of Beyonce's Lemonade were accidentally pressed with the A-side of Canadian punk band Zex's latest album, Uphill Battle. Unfortunately, the mistake was not noticed until many excited Bey fans had already received their orders and were treated to delightful tunes like "Burn the Flag" and "Child Soldier" where "Hold Up" should have been. Magic Bullet Records has confirmed the legitimacy of the mispressed albums, while Beyonce has yet to comment. If the incongruity of Ramones-esqe punk playing on lemon-yellow vinyl gets you going, we have footage of the happy accident below:
Today is a big day in the world of album releases, with new additions from the Foo Fighters, Cool Kids, and Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend hitting the airwaves all at once. Yet one album in particular merits a special kind of artistic attention that can only be garnered by synth-pop master Ariel Pink: Dedicated to Bobby Jameson.
The warm hi-fi familiarity of Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a refreshing departure from the wacky, weird, and unabashed theatricality of 2014's Pom Pom. Pink's compositions are intimate, sharp, simple, and as close to understated as haze pop dreams can get. The closest Pink comes to the manic cheer of “White Freckles” and “Dinosaur Carebears” is during the aptly-named “Bubblegum Dreams,” but even then it’s broken up by jarring metallic percussion straight out of the most recent Alien movie, followed by disquieting moments of silence.