Category Archives: Music

Monday morning mood lifter: The best defense

It’s a gray, drizzly Monday morning in Birmingham, Alabama, and I’m grumpy because I stayed up last night reading a book because I was hoping it would get better, and it never did, and I’m perfectly happy to accept a degree of sleep deprivation if it’s for a book that’s actually good, but this is just out of line, but you know what? This weekend, a kid in St. Andrews, Scotland, took down a bigoted street preacher in “the most Scottish way possible.” Continue reading

Posted in Music, Religion | Tagged | 2 Comments

Today in the No Shit, Sherlock Files

Shorter Pogo: I said some awful things, and now my Twitter is full of people are telling me they were awful, and I may have just alienated my core fanbase. So NOT FAIR, because it was all just an experiment anyway, you bratty feminist hyenas! Continue reading

Posted in Art, Feminism, Music | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Apropos of nothing: Shake It Off

Feeling the need to shake it off at the end of a long week? Sure you are. Want to do it without watching Taylor Swift? You might. Like people with huge hair in shiny Spandex? Yeah you do. Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | 3 Comments

“Fame-inism” for the rest of us

So. “Beyonce feminism.” Roxane Gay is against it. (Annie Lennox, too.) Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Entertainment, Feminism, Media & Media Literacy, Movies, Music | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Using so many words to say so little…

What is the famous song “Strange Fruit,” by Abel Meeropol, a New York Jewish communist schoolteacher, and most famously performed by Billie Holiday, the immensely influential and important black singer, about? Lynching.  It’s about lynching.  It’s about whites lynching black … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, General, Music, Racism | 35 Comments

Let’s talk about that bass

Chances are, you’ve heard the much-lauded pop song of late summer, Meghan Trainor’s body-acceptance anthem “All About That Bass.” (Chances are, just reading that title has driven the season’s most pernicious earworm directly into your brain, and for that, I apologize.) You may or may not like it. You may or may not be disappointed that it wasn’t better, like I was, which seems unfair because nothing’s perfect, but there’s so much promise that the problematic stuff is extra frustrating. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Music | Tagged | 10 Comments

“High velocity bitterness” shuts down Ani DiFranco’s racist plantation party

Ani DiFranco’s “Righteous Retreat” songwriting camp was originally scheduled for next June at Nottaway Plantation in White Castle, Louisiana. It’s a charming, verdant resort with luxurious rooms, fine dining, and expansive event facilities, all built on the back of a “wiling workforce” (per the resort’s website) of hundreds of slaves used as physical labor and, on occasion, currency. Continue reading

Posted in Music, Popular Culture, Race & Ethnicity, Racism | Tagged , | 185 Comments

Beyoncé’s Break from the Shell of Respectability

As one blogger asked, where were you when Beyoncé’s self-titled album was dropped on December 13, 2013? The world was shell-shocked when the Beytomic bomb exploded on the musical landscape. After this initial shock and awe, fans of her music have been able to digest her masterpiece in all its glory. We can surely talk for days about her more explicit sensuality. Or her refined ratchetness. Or how this coincides with her shift in musical expression. I’d like to explore the latter of these two. And what it means for her as black woman who grew up middle class in the south. They are these intersections of race and class—not to mention gender, which has already been talked about a good bit in feminist spaces—that make Beyoncé so fascinating and, as one of my homegirls and Melissa Harris Perry (my homegirl in my head) put it, will doubtless be the album that launches a thousand woman’s studies papers. Continue reading

Posted in Class, Feminism, Guest Blogging, Music, Popular Culture, Race & Ethnicity | Tagged | 49 Comments

Roundup: Miley Cyrus needs to stop.

Sunday night’s MTV VMAs: Miley Cyrus gets to wear and/or remove revealing clothes. She gets to put her hands and/or pelvis in assorted places. She gets to wear latex granny panties and grind up on a fully-dressed Robin Thicke. She gets to stick her tongue out — constantly — no matter how gross it is — like a cartoon dog seeing a sexy cartoon lady dog. Miley Cyrus is a grown woman and gets to use her body as she wants.

Using other people’s bodies is a different story, and a number of bloggers have commented on that crucial fact. Continue reading

Posted in Music, Popular Culture, Racism, Sex | 168 Comments

Okay, lay off Beyonce, already.

So we know that Beyonce’s numerous sins include dressing sexy, being married, and saying that girls run the world when that isn’t technically true. But did you also know she’s singlehandedly responsible for luring young girls into sexual exploitation? Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Celebrity, Crime, Marriage, Music, Pregnancy, Rape Culture, Work | 133 Comments

The 22

The House is voting tomorrow on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The anti-VAWA Republicans are introducing their own version of the bill, which removes protections for people in same-sex relationships and weakens provisions to allow courts on Native lands to prosecute non-Native Americans who commit violence on tribal lands. If the Republican version fails — and I hope it will — then the House will take up the more comprehensive version of the bill already passed in the Senate. The fact that VAWA remains controversial, and particularly that Republicans would want to make prosecutions more difficult on tribal lands and strip protections from people who suffer intimate partner violence from a member of the same sex, is stunning, though not surprising. There are 22 senators opposing VAWA, including Republican It Boy and Poland Springs spokesman Marco Rubio. The Ms Foundation for Women has brought a little levity (along with some eduction) to the issue with this parody video, which I am helping them disseminate, featuring the queen of the revenge tune, Ms. [fake] Taylor Swift: Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Crime, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Gender, GLBTQ, Health, Law, Music, Politics, Popular Culture | Tagged , | 5 Comments

The Original Rudeboys want nothing to do with Chris Brown

The Original Rudeboys could have opened for Chris Brown in front of 14,000 screaming fans in Dublin’s O2 Arena. But they didn’t, because, well, Chris Brown. Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Violence, Music, Popular Culture | Tagged | 23 Comments