Wednesday, 28 August 2013

July music challenge: week 4, or, In Conclusion

I'd like to say that it's taken me this long to get to wrapping up last month's music challenge because I wanted to take some time to reflect, but the truth of the matter is, I just didn't get to it til now.

While I have found myself more likely to put on a female-based playlist this month as an echo of the habit of July, I have enjoyed a whole lot of new music that I was waiting until August to enjoy. And interestingly, what I've found is there's a lot of hiphop in that list. See, besides supporting women artists I'd like to support local artists, so there's a bunch of Aussie MCs I have grown quite fond of over the years; I suspect the love affair started when I was snowboarding, and it's never really gone away.

My ultimate dream-scenario would of course be an Australian female MC. Anyone know anybody? Please do let me know and make me the happiest girl in the world.

Statistically if we look at triple j (see way back to the first post for a link to such things), women are just not getting as much airtime. See also: this article. If women aren't getting as much airtime (let's for fairness sake assume these artists are just as talented as male-fronted bands... because they are) then we're just plain old less likely to get their songs stuck in our heads. Our favourites are partly our favourites from repeat listening, don't you think? If women musicians are statistically less like to be our favourites, we're less likely to buy their records, which means there's less of a market, which means less women are successful musicians, which means there's less of a pool of female-made music to put on the airwaves... and it all goes south at about this point. Understand me here though; I'm not saying you're not allowed to like male musicians anymore, or that you've been tricked into your favourites and you only think you like them. We definitely like what we like, but it's not such a stretch to think about why we like them, in terms of such a simple thing as what we've been exposed to. And I am not giving up Matt Corby for all the First Aid Kits in the sea.

This is the point where I admit it: fucked if I know how to sort this one out. Sometimes it's just awareness, but there is also the fact of your dollar: after a month of listening and admittedly barely scratching the surface of the female talent out in the world, I have to say, the thought of giving preferential spending treatment to female acts appeals. It's investing and being just slightly political with my pennies. For now, that's the best I can do, besides making you all mix cds that I'll be insisting you listen to (this probably won't happen, unless you ask me nicely and tell all your friends about my blog). Let's start a revolution: it would make an impact if we all started giving preference to purchasing music by female artists, or even making a point to request a song by a female artist once a week on triple j. ripple effect, and all that. no action is too small to make a ripple.

In a broader scheme, I have liked putting myself through a 'feminist challenge' - hopefully those of you reading for whom feminism is a squirmy word will realise that small and simple acts can hold a personal political significance. This is where these things start, and I have found it to be quite an easy task. So on top of various other writing-related challenges I'm committing to with my writing, I'm going to start a segment as regularly as I can manage to talk about how I've actively practised my feminist identity. Watch this space, and if it so pleases you, play along.

I'd like to leave you with a few favourites, old and new:

this one, because she's amazing and lovely, and I remember seeing her live at Woodford years and years ago, before she was even a solo act. 



this one, because Flume = awesome, and Asta is a newbie from my July Challenge. I like it; apparently not everyone on youtube does, but meh.



and this one because of 500 days of summer, and because I have a wicked girl crush on Regina Spektor; she is just bloody spectacular.


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