Guest Post: To the Women of Rock- thank you

Exciting times here at Just Another Blog from a Woman as I have my very first guest post on my blog today.  Let me introduce you all to Em Linthorpe. Her blog covers everything from music to parenting with a little bit of Cumbria mixed in. She also happens to be a very nice person to boot. She’s here to talk about her time in an indie girl band and about her favourite indie girl bands of the 90s. Enjoy!

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Hello you sweethearts!
I’m Em, captain of the fair blog Em Linthorpe and I have sailed over to this part of the internet to say hello and to have a natter about lasses in music. Thank you very much to Hayley for having me!
Many years ago, when the world lived in fear of the millenium bug and and it was still socially acceptable to like Tony Blair, I was quite cool. I have no idea how this came about. I had a part-time job in a record shop. A vinyl record shop, yes. I had bright pink hair and my boyfriend was a sound engineer, meaning I obtained free entry for almost every gig and nightclub in town.
A second hand guitar happened, some friends of friends happened too, and all of a sudden I was a rhythm guitarist in an all-girl Riot Grrrl-inspired punk band.
I want to make this quite clear, I am not a great guitarist. I could never quite hold down an F chord properly. But the freedom of the Riot Grrrl ethos meant that didn’t matter particularly. I just made sure that all the knobs on the guitar and the amplifier gave me epic distortion and it was all good.
This new and exciting adventure (coupled with the Sociology A Level I was studying) thrust upon me my first real experiences with feminism. Music was so important to me, and I evaluated how little of what I listened to was coming from a woman’s perspective. The artists and bands I grew up listening to that had my heart? Queen, Elton John, Dire Straits, Davids Bowie and Essex…
All blokes.
And the bands that I had discovered myself, through mixtapes or gigs or the NME or recommendations? Super Furry Animals, Lo Fidelity Allstars, Blur, Bob Dylan…et cetera…
…you can see where this is going, can’t you? Of course there were some ladies I listened to, but my balance was all off kilter. I began listening to more girl rock, more American soul, jazz and R&B…in fact, any genre was a goal, but my focus was much more on the women leading the show. I thought I would compile a list of some of the best female fronted and girlstrong bands from the 1990s, as a tribute to the time where my true musical awakening happened.Bring on the girls!
Kenickie – Punka
 It’s not particularly my story to tell, but this song pissed off a fair few folk who had helped Kenickie get to where they did. It still stands as a proper belting tune, I cannot deny them that.
 
 
Catatonia – Strange Glue
 I really held a torch high for Cerys Matthews and her band in the late 90s. Sad to say, I don’t think a lot of the tracks have aged that well. Sorry Cerys. This one however still sounds beautiful.
 
 
The Breeders – Divine Hammer
 
 From the album Last Splash which I played again and again and again. It’s utterly fantastic and I found it inspirational, although I knew I would never have as much talent as Kim and Kelley Deal et al.

 

Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl

Just empowering and perfect and AWESOME. Can’t really say much more than that. Just listen to it.

Republica – Drop Dead Gorgeous

Full of energy, style and strength, despite the admittance of a weakness for pretty boys.

Skunk Anansie – Charity

I was a great fan of this band, Skin’s vocals always blew me away and the band’s heavier-leaning rock sound was something that made me smile loads too.

Shampoo – Trouble

Bubblegum-rebel faux-punk PERFECTLY executed. Marvellous.

Want to read more about the fabulous contributions women have made to popular music? I stumbled across The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women a few days ago and it is a fantastic and inspiring list. A great resource for expanding your playlists.

Take care,

Em

You can find more of my writings on life, music and feels on my blog Em Linthorpe, or if you prefer fewer words at a time, I’m on Twitter too.

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Em in her 90s indie girl band heyday!


And here’s a Spotify playlist of Em’s selected songs.

53 comments

  1. Steve · August 14

    Ooooh you learn something new everyday. I need to hear some recordings! Also, I’m disappointed that Echobelly, Elastica and The Cranberries are. It on your list 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebeasley · August 14

      Love all three of those. ZO-OMBIE! ZO-OMBIE! ZO-OMBIE-E-E-E

      Liked by 3 people

    • Em Linthorpe · August 14

      Hi! When I was compiling, I actually listened again to Echobelly and in my opinion, it hasn’t aged well 😦 Elastica…I also relistened and almost put Connection on the list, but I didn’t for some reason. And I’m sorry…but I never really liked the Cranberries. Not my bag 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · August 14

        Weirdly, I listened to Echobelly again recently & agree their music hasn’t aged well. Loved them at the time though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Em Linthorpe · August 14

        It’s such a shame innit? It was a disappointing realisation that not all the music I loved was actually that good, haha! I almost cried when I listened to I Am The Mob by Catatonia. I LOVED that track…and it’s rubbish 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steve · August 14

        Fair point well made Jimbo 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Em Linthorpe · August 14

        Cheers chief! X

        Liked by 2 people

  2. stereocrush · August 15

    This has been very much on my mind lately. Always an issue for any woman in any role in music, from fan to musician to critic.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. masgautsen · August 19

    A lot of blasts from the past here. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MindOverMeta · August 19

    Love this! I too was brought up on the likes of Dire Straits, ELO, Queen etc. Love them! In my youth I was fascinated with Skunk Anansie. I liked the music but more than that I was drawn to this powerful, didn’t-give-a-sh*t-what-you-think woman who fronted them. I wish I could be more like that! I was also in a band for a short time in my 20s. Wasn’t great at the electric guitar but I blended in so I don’t think it mattered. I’m not one for the Cranberries either, but we’re all different 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ritu · August 19

    It’s always great to dip Into the past and refresh old classics… that don’t quite sound the same on relistening!!
    Great post Em and Hayley!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shelleywilson72 · August 19

    What a great post ladies! Enjoyed this x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. noellekelly · August 19

    This was such a fun guest post! I want to see pictures of the bright pink hair and the band?!

    Like

    • thebeasley · August 19

      I know I did too, but sadly Em says there aren’t any photos of her pink hair! X

      Like

      • noellekelly · August 19

        Ah, darn it!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. globalhousesitterX2 · August 19

    O.M.G. I do not know any of that music 🙂 Enjoyed reading it and introducing myself to something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gloria · August 19

    Em looking very cool in her 90’s pic!! Love Catatonia and thrilled to be reminded of Strange Glue. Most of the others I don’t relate to I’m afraid. My other kids were very young during the 90’s and I hadn’t much time for music! Which is funny now because my 6 year old ain’t happy unless there’s music playing in the house. She sings, she dances and has her own list of songs on my Spotify! It’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · August 19

      YES! My 7yr old has her own Spotify playlist too. It’s so eclectic. She has Taylor Swift & Katy Perry on it as well as David Bowie & Nick Cave! X

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Phil Taylor · August 19

    Awesome! Love it and love all the referenced music. I loved the 90’s punk music by both men and women. I definitely think we need to hear a clip of Em’s band!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebeasley · August 19

      You’re right, Phil. I wonder if we can find an extract from anywhere…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Em Linthorpe · 30 Days Ago

        There are some recordings of my band on YouTube and there’s one on Spotify. Alas, it’s not the tracks I recorded with them! They did some stuff before I joined too. I recorded 6 tracks with them, a 4 track EP and a 2 track split single with another band and they haven’t made their way to the internet 😦 if I knew how to get them across from vinyl, I would give it a go.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Loved this look at women that rock, I’ll be off to listen to some more later. I can recommend Deborah Bonham, (sister of John) she’s bluesy/rock & has an amazing voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. thank you ladies for a musical education. I realized recently the 1990 wasn’t a time I was listening to music as someone at work mentioned 1990s bands and I was “don’t remember that or that”. These bands were not familiar to me either but enjoyed listening to a piece of history. Hmm….so what was I doing in the 1990s???

    Liked by 1 person

  13. angelanoelauthor · August 19

    Oh my, I have some catching up to do. I listened to Tori Amos, Sarah Mclachlin, Ani diFranco, and Sinéad Lohan on repeat from the ages of eighteen to twenty-eight. Right out of college I worked for a feminist-leaning magazine out of San Francisco, California. We featured Blondie, and other girl-fronted bands. But, your list offers several I’ve never heard of (shame on me!). I’m looking forward to listening and re-invigorating my inner grrrl. Also- LOVE the pic from your Indie days, Em. Gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · August 19

      *waves* HUGE Tori Amos fan here too! Listened to her on repeat from about 15yrs to er 41yrs ha! That’s so cool about the magazine you worked for. Blondie were absolutely brilliant too.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Gary · August 19

    Well, dear Em was a rock chick too! Most excellent.. or did I steal that from Bill and Ted? All About Eve; saw them a few times back in the day and still follow Julianne Reagan on various social platforms after she did a cool reply to Philpott a year or so back. So many blasts from the past… Mind you was that one from Guardians of the Galaxy here…

    “Hello, daddy. Hello, mom.
    I’m your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb! ”

    That was even covered later by Joan Jet and the Blackhearts; which word associates to Heart too, and that bassist in Sisters Of Mercy; well that was a big hair link really.

    Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Suzi Quatro, Blondie, Patti Smith, Tina Turner….more than I first thought come to think of it. Although Rock Bitch rarely get a mention for some reason!

    Cracking post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · August 19

      Yes, yes, yes and yes to Chrissie Hynde, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith & Tina Turner. Ah and I used to love All About Rve too.

      Like

      • Gary · August 19

        That’s a lot of Yes…although I’m certain that wasn’t a girl band lol. There’s quite a few female artistes when you sit down and think about it. It might be one of those radio bias things if all folk ever did was listen to “chart” music, but then again Madonna and Kylie did OK, Whitney Houston too come to think of it…oh, and Shirley Bassey, Janet Jackson….ode to nostalgia coming on! Love posts that get that grey matter ticking!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Pam Avoledo · August 19

    Cannonball by the Breeders is a classic! Even though Courtney Love is a mess, Hole has a great blend of pop and grunge.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. hotmessmemoir · 30 Days Ago

    Em, Never knew you were in a band! OMG! You go girl! As a teen in the 90’s, I always felt the 90’s had the best music!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · 30 Days Ago

      The 90s was a very good era for music 👍🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      • hotmessmemoir · 29 Days Ago

        Yes and as I was about to settle into watching a CNN special last night at 9, my children declare, “this is boring and let’s watch something else”. Whatever!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. weejars · 30 Days Ago

    Great selection 👍🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  18. blondieaka · 30 Days Ago

    Ahhhh not my era,we were Suzi Q, Bett Midler and Debbie Harry and some great tracks which still sound
    good today…Love the post though 🙂 You rock ladies 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Holly · 30 Days Ago

    Wow, Kenickie. I thought I was the only person who liked them haha! “PVC, it’s my favourite plastic! ‘Cuz it’s nice and shiny, and completely waterproof!” Solid lyrics from Lauren Lavern there ;p

    I was a huge Skunk Anansie fan. I was a singer in a band, briefly, and we used to cover Weak ❤

    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · 30 Days Ago

      Weak is such a great track. Very tricky song to sing!

      Like

  20. Gay Stepdad · 30 Days Ago

    Brilliant! I had forgotten about Shampoo!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Traci York · 30 Days Ago

    OMG, that picture of Em is EVERYTHING!

    I have to admit, I barely recognize most of the music on this list. *hangs head in shame*

    However, I’ve now listened to it all on Spotify, and I really enjoyed it! You got me thinking about what girl bands I listened to back then, so (with a bit of Googling to spark the brain juice) here they are –

    ~ En Vogue
    ~ Melissa Etheridge
    ~ TLC
    ~ Meredith Brooks
    ~ B*Witched (okay, yeah – just that one song, but can you blame me? *grin*)
    ~ Natalie Imbruglia
    ~ Jewel
    ~ Spice Girls
    ~ Lisa Loeb
    ~ Alanis Morissette
    ~ Fiona Apple

    Awesome post, ladies! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · 29 Days Ago

      Fiona Apple is awesome! Also, TLC, En Vogue, Jewel, Alanis and of course the Spice Girls. We need to talk about B*Witched though, Traci. Haha. So glad you enjoyed the playlist xx

      Liked by 1 person

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