Friday, October 9

The CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #6 Wrap Party (Part 5).

Today's Mix-Tape Review: Emily Mills.

The Skinny: Another adorable, edgy, intelligent and ass-kicking Mix from the perfect embodiment of all those adjectives, Emily Mills.

The Presentation: Abe Lincoln rocking a Ghetto Blaster. I laughed my ass off.

The Breakdown: This Mix flows wonderfully. The blazing, busting energy of the first four tracks makes way for a beautiful stretch featuring The Delgados and Sarah McLachlan, before easing us back into the attitude and booty shaking of her Guilty Pleasures and Parental Advisories. Finally, the wonderful Regina Spektor and Ani DiFranco close out an eclectic, warming and overall super-fun album.

What's Mine Is Yours - Sleater-Kinney
March Of The Pigs - Nine Inch Nails
S&M (A Love Song) - Kidneythieves
Flaming Red - Patty Griffin
The Light Before We Land - The Delgados
Pluto - Claire & The Reasons
Possession (Live) - Sarah McLachlan
Oh My God (Live) - Kurt Elling
F*** And Run - Liz Phair
Ass-N-Ti**ies - DJ Assault
My Neck, My Back - Khia
SexyBack - Justin Timberlake
Beautiful, Dirty, Rich - Lady Gaga
Call It Off - Tegan & Sara
Summer In The City - Regina Spektor
Pulse - Ani DiFranco

On a personal note, this Mix once again reminds me of how few female artists I listen to. Sure, I listen to plenty, but I've often wondered why I've always ignored the Tori's and Bjork's and Ani's of the musical landscape. Is this due to the sheer amount of excess male artists out there? The fact that I'm a man, and would therefore gravitate to the ideas and issues of male lyricists? The (somewhat mysogynistic) idea that mediocre male singers are more tolerable to me than mediocre female singers? Hmmm.

In 2005, I saw Communique open for Tegan & Sara in Madison, and actually left before the headliners took the stage. Looking back, my reason at the time was that I was only there for Communique and didn't jive with the atmosphere of T&S in the least. Was I being ignorant? Sexist, even?

None of these theories are convincing me at all. Sound off in the comments section and tell me why you tend to gravitate to either male or female artists, and the reasons...the real reasons...why. Have a great weekend; more Mix reviews on Monday.

My mix to Emily had a lot of testosterone. This has a lot of estrogen. It's ALL good!
Oh, and as to your male / female singer thing. It took many, many years for females to be accepted in the 'rock' world (as opposed to folk, or being R&B and soul singers). You had a very few female rock musicians, much less groups. I think the first female rock group was Fanny (of "Charity Ball" fame, a double entendre if there ever was one, to think about it). Give Kathleen Hanna and the whole riot grrrrl 'phenomena' credit for spotlighting some female musicians. I'm not saying it's that much better now, but at least there are 'some' instead of 'none' or 'one'.
I've often wondered the same thing re: male and female vocals. I'm in the same boat as you, in that my musical collection is a veritable sausage fest. For me, it's got to be due to my musical grounding in the punk realm, where there is a distinct paucity of female-fronted groups. There are several punk bands in this category that I have really enjoyed over the years, but taken as a whole the number is certainly a single-digit percentage of the total. As I've grown into the alt-country and indie music genres there is definitely a much higher representation to choose from, but all evidence points to the fact that I still listen to overwhelmingly male vocalists.

However, I don't know if it is necessarily a misogynistic or sexist fault. I'd say my predilection for male singers isn't because I feel females are less talented or capable then their male counterparts, I think it is because my personal tastes favor the lower timbre and overall sound of a male singing voice. Are there underlying issues that manifest themselves in this preference? Maybe, but I'm not introspective enough to know. But it's worth noting that the majority of the female-fronted acts that I like tend to sing with a lower register (i.e. Erika Wennerstrom from the Heartless Bastards).
Smed and Wallrock, I think you're both right. The percentage of male to female artists I listen to is probably very comparable to the actual percentage of males vs. females within the genre. Maybe I have nothing to worry about, after all.

For the record, Emily has a singing voice that can best be described as 'sultry.' Total compliment, by the way.
Taken as a compliment! Thanks. :)

You know, I don't really fault anyone if the plain fact is that they just prefer the male voice. Because me? I've always just preferred the female voice. Personal taste is what it is. I'm sure you could write a graduate thesis on the societal reasons for those preferences, but whatever.

Thing is, I came up with a lot of punk and industrial as the founding genres of my musical tastes, and those are defintely sausage heavy. But I had an awakening of sorts when I started discovering a lot of really great female fronted bands in the mid-90s. Turns out it was something I loved, and I think being a female musician certainly made me more inclined to like and relate to them. And the trend has just continued.

But I'm glad to do what I can to introduce people to more lady musicians. Ryan! You missed out with the Tegan and Sara show. They're really fun live, and have some of the best, most hilarious stage banter I've ever seen. They're about to release a new album and, presumably, launch a tour, so you should rectify this situation. ;)

Anyway, glad you dug the mix and thanks for the nice review.
Emily, I think it's generational. You came to a musical turning point when female musicians were out there. I came of age when if a female was anything but just a singer (say Christine McVie), it was unusual and noteworthy. In your time frame, a Kim Deal, Kim Gordon, L7 or Laura Ballance wasn't so odd.

Punk did change it, slowly (see Patti Smith, Tina Weymouth, Debbie Harry, Gaye Advert, Poly Styrene, etc.) but it took a while. The Slits needed 3 years before they got a record deal, and no one really took Siouxsie Sioux or Chrissie Hynde seriously. The great Au Pairs never got much traction (of course being led by a outspoken militant lesbian and having a male be the more submissive and junior singer / songwriter didn't help). However, I must say, I have a huge retro crush on the bassist for the Au Pairs. Fly me back to 1980 and I'd, um, whisper sweet nothings in her ears! (Jane Munro is now an alternative therapist in Birmingham, UK).
Actually I believe we left before T&S played because I had viral meningitis at the time.
A fine reason if I ever heard one!
SMED - Come on, man; you should write a book. This knowledge needs to be preserved for future generations.

And hey, I got your Mix! Can't freaking wait!

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