Feminist Music Geek Presents … SPECTRUM

Image: Leo Villareal, Big Bang (2008)

Image: Leo Villareal, Big Bang (2008)

In May 2014, I began hosting a weekly radio program on 91.7 WSUM called “Feminist Music Geek Presents…” The show is, in many respects, an extension of this blog. It prioritizes women and girls’ historical and contemporary contributions in popular music across a range of genres. Each episode is organized by theme. As a result, it became clear as I started programming FMGP that playlists allow music fans the opportunity to recontextualize recordings as expressions of critique or dissent. So I think of my sets as arguments and conversations between artists who may not have intended to be in dialogue with each other, but whose individual recordings can be reassembled thematically or intertextually.

FMGP is on hiatus until next fall. Over the course of the summer, I will be archiving episodes for streaming here. I’ll try to post at least once a week, though I hope I can upload all 41 of FMGP’s playlists so that listeners can enjoy them before the show returns to the airwaves in September.

I’m starting with the show’s inaugural episode. I chose “spectrum” as its theme for a few reasons. First, my idea of happiness is a box of crayons. On the first day of Kindergarten I told my classmates that my favorite colors were magenta and chartreuse–my parents ran a print shop–and that is still very much the case. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I was a big Rainbow Brite fan as a kid. I particularly identified with Shy Violet and wanted to be BFFs with Lala Orange and Indigo. Second, Madison had come out of a long, monochromatic winter of whites, greys, and browns and the city was in bloom. Third, I wanted to acknowledge what a spectrum of color means conceptually to my fellow queer brothers and sisters. Finally, the term was a useful metaphor for the show’s interest in placing women’s voices in a continuum rather than confine them to reductive binary distinctions of similarity and difference. ROYGBIV, y’all.

1. Stereolab – International Colouring Contest (Mars Audiac Quintet; Elektra/Duophonic, 1994)
2. Angel Olsen – White Fire (Burn Your Fire For No Witness; Jagjaguwar, 2014)
3. Throwing Muses – Red Shoes (The Real Ramona; 4AD, 1991)
4. Xenia Rubinos – Cherry Tree (Magic Trix; Ba Da Bing!, 2013)
5. Cocteau Twins – Orange Appled (Love’s Easy Tears EP; 4AD, 1986)
6. EMA – So Blonde (The Future’s Void; Matador, 2014)
7. Micachu and the Shapes – Golden Phone (Jewellery; Rough Trade, 2009)
8. Laura Mvula – Green Garden (Sing to the Moon; RCA Victor, 2013)
9. Gang Gang Dance – Blue Nile (Saint Dymphna; The Social Registry, 2008)
10. Games (ft. Laurel Halo) – Strawberry Skies (That We Can Play EP; Hippos in Tanks, 2010)
11. Dorothy Ashby – Joyful Grass and Grape (The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby; Cadet, 1970)
12. Taken By Trees – Greyest Love of All (East of Eden; Rough Trade, 2009)
13. Georgia Anne Muldrow – Chocolate Reign (King’s Ballad; Ubiquity, 2010)
14. Broadcast – Black Cat (Tender Buttons; Warp, 2005)
15. Finally Punk! – Primary Colors (Primary Colors EP; ABL Records, 2007)

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