Right now in music, there are a bunch of ass-kickers who buy tampons. Regularly. Both the ass-kicking and the tampon-buying. Why do I say that? Because these are a bunch of boss bitches who bleed real. Now, I don’t like to call things trends. That’s not my business. Who the hell am I? What do I know of music trends? But I do go out and see bands play as often as I can and doing that I’ve noticed recently that some of, if not most of, the best damn bands I’ve seen live have all been fronted by tough-ass broads, ones with that riot grrrl fire; only now it’s remixed with that boss bitch swag, and yet waving the same birds in the air, at heart, it’s the same defiant GTFO attitude that tends to be at the heart of the making of great music.
Then there’s, you, America. It’s been a long winter. That happens sometimes. For many of you, this winter was whiter than a Beach Boys cover band. From what I read on Twitter, it’s been a long bleak winter for SAAD citizens of the snow-covered latitudes. Well, winter is over. It’s time to kick down the doors. Let springtime rush into the room. If you need new beats to shake your ass to while you hit your spring cleaning, if you need a different drummer to march to as you kick this spring on the good foot … then this here is for you.
1. Perfect Pussy “I”
Perfect Pussy is my new favorite band. The lead singer, Meredith Graves, is a badass in boots. She has the eggs to speak up, and the backbone to stand tall. And she’s still girly as all get-out. Here’s a video of her talking about her favorite crazy dress, being a young feminist, and about learning to love her body the way she loves nature. She’s a poet-philosopher-riot grrrl-queen. She gives the crown a needed lift.
“No flower in a field that’s crooked is not perfect. No bird with a broken wing is not perfect. I don’t shit talk nature so I can no longer shit talk myself.”
2. Brooke Candy “Pussy Make The Rules”
You can keep Iggy Azalea and her pussy rhymes. She’s a buster. Brooke Candy is the real pussy prophetess. As in, she can spit rhymes about pussy and mean it. And she can profit from her pussy without no apologies.
“I got the pussy, I make the rules”
3. Priests “New”
Jangly, aggressive, guttural and catchy as influenza, when the indie rock/no-wave band, Priests put it on they tear the air. The lead singer, Katie Alice Greer has a charismatic almost surf punk delivery and you can’t take your eyes off her. She’s as raw as they come. She bleeds for her songs. This song will get you stomping your way into your day. Like, it’s great to listen to right before you walk into work/class/your internship.
4. Ana Tijoux “Vengo”
The first certified badass mama on our list. Ana Tijoux is an international asskicker anda new mother. The Chilean sensation broke on the scene with her hit 1977. And since then I’ve been lucky enough to see her live a handful of times and she’s one of the most passionate, warm-hearted, tough-minded, loyal campeons of the people. As an m.c. she spits rhymes with a percussive presence, her couplets hit like a kick drum. She has the sort of heart you sense outside her clothing and in this half-hour long live performance you can feel what I mean. Or in this song she did for KCRW:
5. K. Flay “Rawks”
I might as well just say it – I fucking love K. Flay. I bump my noggin to her flow. She’s solid hip-hop and I love her smoked-out, whiskey–dried delivery. She’s laid-back and tough like Lee Marvin. This track drops a sick double-bass hit underneath her to give her a stage to stomp across verse after verse. This track will push you into your day bounced by its big-bottom basslines and some of that IDGAF wrapped up in K. Flay’s attitude.
6. Speedy Ortiz “Tiger Tank”
“My mouth is a factory for every toxic part of speech I spew”
Now those are fucking lyrics. And this song is chock full of great lines. Speedy Ortiz will hit you right between the eyes with a hook. They make a noise that’s something akin to the guitar sounds of Modest Mouse, with the feedback and squelch-heavy indie rock, but the rhythms and lead singer conspire to keep this band fresh as spring flowers and feisty as fuck. Fronted by Sadie Dupuis the band will give you a kick in the ass in the most literate of ways.
7. Barbarella’s Bang Bang! “Gypsy Eyes”
A lot of these boss bitches have, thus far, been somewhat moody and dark, punk and passionate. This band is brave in a whole different way. They are defiant. The way all god gypsies are. If there’s one thing you can say for a gypsy band, they have a survival spirit, they struggle, they hustle. And a gypsy band has a bull-rider’s grip on that aching throb of life. They hang on and if you can hang with a gypsy band you can hang with anything. The lead singer Barbarella has the sort of voice that wraps around your imagination and pulls tight. She has the girlish toughness of Gwen Stefani and the ache of a Billie Holliday with the playful vocal acrobatics of a Cyndi Lauper or Karen O.
8. Shannon and the Clams “The Rat House”
“I don’t wanna,
I don’t wanna…
Die, die, die, die…”
I think these are lyrics we can all get behind. To send you off on your merry way, we’ve enlisted the help of Shannon and the Clams, as well as a trio of skateboarders in monkey suits, a drumming gorilla who keeps metronomic time and copious moments of gold glitter, because, really, why the fuck not? You deserve it. Always remember as relentless as life is… it’s also terribly silly.
I feel like in my twenties, a lot of people were like, “She’s so confident, she’s such a strong feminist!” But that wasn’t how I actually felt. I felt really freaked out and unsure of myself. And I’m sure that made for great shows, because it was like I was falling apart in front of peoples’ faces.
This playlist will practically lace up your boots for you. It’ll keep you stomping across the terra firma. No doubt. Hold your head high like a real boss bitch. And if you’re a dude, well, these songs, these women, they’ll put some iron your backbone and remind you to be a badass, too. There’s plenty of boss to go around.