Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Independence

Originally published www.thegirlsare.com

NGAIRE RUTH'S MIXTAPE | INDEPENDENCE

Independence is a favourite word, though entirely ambiguous. Independent from what, whom, why?
Is it the major labels and all that can go with it? At its worst: insipid pop produced with patronising precision; robbing bands blind, paying large advances and then sending them the bill for things like promotional costs and PR?
This would mean eliminating, theoretically, Sonic Youth and ‘Kool Thing’ from the playlist: “Are you going to liberate us girls from male white corporate oppression/Don’t be shy/I just want you to know that we can still be friends.Goo, the album from which the hit single came was their debut release on a major record label (Geffen).
So – is it society and the way all businesses are run that is to blame, and a very male (banker) attitude which does not consider sustainability or longevity? Or, is it “the little things” from which the need to feel independent and unaffected is a weekly requirement and therefore needs a soundtrack; people and their assumptions; attitudes which often seem unfair and not personal, in fact totally political in a feminist context but aimed personally at you and affecting everything from your freedom to dance like no one’s watching on the dance floor, to walking down the street or your work prospects, even in this girls are case – the right of good child care. Is it the soundtrack to triumph over adversity, co-dependency, unhealthy relationships?
Actually, when it comes to women and musicality, all these strands together make some rather stunning music – thus our playlist – and even like womanhood itself, or indeed, feminism, the phases of independence and how they are represented by women musicians comes in stages.
— — —
THE “DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN” STAGE:
1. Ut – ‘Canker’
2. Sonic Youth
– ‘Kool Thing’
3. L7
  – ‘Fuel My Fire’
THE “I’M ANGRY AND THAT’S OK” STAGE:
4. Throwing Muses – ‘Ellen West
5. Babes in Toyland
– ‘Bruise Violet’
6. Bikini Kill
– ‘Liar’
7. Silverfish
- ‘Damn Fine Woman’
8. Huggy Bear
- ‘Her Jazz’
THE “FIGHT TO JUST BE YOURSELF” STAGE:
9. Sleater Kinney – ‘Words and Guitar’
10. Kenickie –
‘I Would Fix You’
11. Bjork
– ‘Isobel’ (My name Isobel/Married to myself/My love Isobel/Living by herself)
12. Jessie J
– ‘Who You Are’
THE “YAY! GIRLS MAKING EXPERIMENTAL” STAGE:
13. Slow Club – ‘Never Look Back’
14. Grimes –
‘Rosa’
— — — —
What tracks would make it onto your ‘Independence’ playlist?

Ngaire Ruth

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