CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE STUMBLED INTO "THE SHALLOW ZONE." WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCKS. SOME OF THEM ARE SHARP.
If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.

About Me

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT
Not that there's any weight to it...
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
VIDEO OF THE MONTH

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FIVE BEST GIRL BANDS OF ALL TIME




The Bangles

I can't count the times some guy has said to me, whilst listening to The Bangles, something along the lines of, "They can't be playing their own instruments." Uh...why? 'Cause they're girls? Stupid assumptions aside, rest assured that Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson, her sister, Debbi, and Michael Steele were providing the licks on guitars, drums, and bass on all of those great 1980s tunes like "Going Down To Liverpool" and "Manic Monday." Starting out as "The Bangs", the original line-up of Hoffs, the Petersons, and Annette Zilinskas on bass released one single, "The Real World", before legal issues forced them to change their name to "The Bangles", at which point Zilinskas left the band and was replaced by Steele, who had previously replaced Jackie Fox, the original bassist for The Runaways. After the release of "All Over The Place", in 1984, the newly reconstituted line-up took off, garnering new fans, mainly young women (natch!) who had no doubt that the Bangles were really playing their own instruments. Unfortunately, friction started to develop among the band members when the press began to single out Hoffs as "the lead singer", harping on her movie star looks and MTV charisma, and ignoring the strong, Beatlesesque harmonies that had always been the band's strong suit. Following the release of their biggest hit, "Eternal Flame", which Hoffs recorded whilst naked (citing Olivia Newton John's contention that she always got her best out of a song when she sang it sans apparel), the band fell apart, with Hoffs focusing on her solo career and Vicki Peterson joining the Go-Go's (from whom Belinda Carlisle and Charlotte Caffey had just departed) on tour. The girls reunited in 1998 to record songs for the new Austin Powers movie soundtrack, but hopes of a lasting reunion were short-lived. Shortly afterward, Steele went on her way for good and was replaced by Abby Travis. The Bangles last went on tour in 2011, in support of their "Sweetheart of The Sun" album.


Lush

Okay, so there are two guys in the band. It was still all about Meriel Barham on vocals and Emma Anderson on guitar. Although the girls considered themselves "punk refugees", the media insisted on tagging them with the annoying "shoegazing" label, despite songs like "Ladykillers" and "Single Girl", and the fact that Perry Farrell, frontman for Jane's Addiction, personally requested Lush as the opening band for Jane's Addiction's Porno For Pyros tour. But even though the band enjoyed a cult status almost from its inception, it is probably best known for the song "Ladykillers", which Barham allegedly wrote about Anthony Kiekis, frontman for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, after he hit on her in an LA bar in front of his girlfriend. Although she never actually mentions Kiekis in the lyrics, the accompanying video features a male actor who can only be described as...well...a dead ringer for the singer, leaving no doubt who the "ladykiller" is supposed to be. On stage, in their mini-skirts and high-heels, their guitars slung low over their hips, Barham and Anderson look like throwbacks to the "new wave" era, but Barham's smoky alto and take-no-prisoners, Cockney-tinged delivery is pure post-punk. The band looked to have strong staying power on the music scene until drummer Chris Acland hung himself in his parents' house in 1996, after which the remaining line-up soldiered on with a substitute drummer for a couple of sad years until finally disbanding for good in 1998.


The Runaways

As good as it was, The Runaways movie that came out a couple of years ago starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherie Curry, respectively, didn't even come close to scratching the surface of what this all-girl band from the mid-70s was all about. With Lita Ford on lead guitar, Joan Jett on rhythm guitar, Jackie Fox on bass, Sandy West on drums, and a corset-wearing Cherie Currie on lead vocals, the Runaways forged an indelible place in the annals of rock and roll the moment they first took the stage and performed what was to become their best-known single, Cherry Bomb. The band lasted only a few years, of course, and while Jett and Ford would reap even greater success as solo artists, West would end up dying at a tragically early age, and Curie would become most famous for the nervous break-down which resulted from pressues brought on by the band's sudden fame and her own out-of-control drug use, the impact The Runaways had on popular music can't be denied. Girls weren't supposed to be rock and roll stars. They were supposed to be...well...groupies. But the girls in this band had other ideas. And for that we owe them a great big thank you. And how do we thank them? Listen to this...and pass it on to your daughters.


Fanny

David Bowie called them one of "the finest rock and roll bands of their time". Guitar Magazine declared lead guitar player June Millington the hottest female guitarist in the industry. Which makes it all the more tragic that June, her sister Jean (bass and vocals), Alice de Bruher (drums), and Nicky Barclay (keyboards and vocals), who were, without question, one of the best rock and roll bands of the 70s (male or female), have never received anything close to the recognition they deserve from either the music industry or th fans who support it. Sadly, that has a lot to do with the fact that the band recieved almost zero support from Warner Brothers Records when they were plugging away on tour back in the day, despite the fact that they were the first all-female band to sign with a major record label. But none of that diminishes their greatness or the staying power of their music, which they also wrote themselves, and which can still be heard and appreciated on tracks like this one...and this one as well.


The Donnas

They were all born in 1979. They started out playing under the name "The Electrocutes" in their hometown of Palo Alto, California. And like The Ramones, the band they claim first inspired them to pick up instruments and play, they all took the same name, although, in their case, the name they shared was the first name "Donna", which they tagged, respectively, with the first letter of their real last names, so that fans could tell them apart. Although The Donnas have always enjoyed a strong cult following, many of whom refer to themselves as "Donnaholics", and have been a staple on alternative radio since first signing with Lookout! Records in the mid-90s before shifting to Atlantic Records and then to their own label, Purple Feather Records in 2007, The Donnas are one of those bands that not everyone has necessarily heard. But it only takes a quick listen to a song like "Who Invited You" or "Fall Behind Me" to know what The Donnas are all about. And what's that? Kick-ass rock and roll...with no punches pulled...and no apologies for being girls who know how to play their own instruments.

GO-GOS DISCLAIMER


Geez'm crow! This post has been up for less than 24 hours, and I've already heard from people who want to know why I didn't include The Go-Gos in the list. Well, okay...for starters, it's a list of my personal picks for the five best girl bands of all time. I love the Go-Gos (especially that kooky Kathy Valentine), and God knows how many young women they inspired to grab guitars, learn a few basic chords, and start their own bands with the hope of becoming rich and famous and meeting cute guys in English pop bands (ala Jane Weidlin and Terry Hall, lead singer for Fun Boy Three and The Specials). But, crucify me if you will, I just don't consider them one of my five best girl bands. If it were a list of...say...my picks for the ten best girl bands of all time, they'd definitely be on it, probably right between L-7 and The Breeders. But such as it is, this is what I got. Thanks for asking.

That's it for now. Catch you on the downbeat. Skol! xoxxoxoxxooxoxoxo

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