10 Feminist and Feminist-Friendly Bands You Should Know

10 Feminist and Feminist-Friendly Bands You Should Know

Screaming the pain of intersectionality to Spotify listeners everywhere
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As a long time punk and post-punk fan, one can grow worry some of the repetitive and dull hiatus these genres have seem to taken in recent years. They were born of politically driven anger and frustration that bleed from the wounds of social discrimination.

Echoing from the dark basements and damp hole in the wall venues of D.C. and the Lower East Side, punk and post-punk redefined the purpose of music and put angry, screaming, and sometimes mild-mannered melodic voices into the mouths of the oppressed.

Their lyrics and electric sounds were pitch forks to a mob of millions. Since then its commercialization has directed punk and post-punk into the whiny discontent of privileged disillusioned teens, with the rare exception of bands with substance.

There is hope again. As third and now fourth wave feminism blares from the megaphones of socially and sexually oppressed women punk and post-punk has found its fiery breath again. The riot grrrl movement of the 90's is back and bringing the pounding flesh and pierced metal of Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney.

As feminism is becoming more relevant and abundant through multimedia awareness, punk and post-punk has found its meaning gain through its revisionists. Here is a list of ten recent feminist and feminist-friendly punk and post-punk bands that are bringing reason back to rock:

10. G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside of Society's Sh*t)

"...now they tell us we are girls, our femininity doesn't fit. We're f**king future girls living outside of society's sh*t!"

As if they were born from the sticky dried booze and puke floors of CBGB's and DC9, this band brings the batsh*t crazy and deafening screams of the New York Hardcore and harDCore movement. Hailing from Olympia, Washington, one of the birthplaces of the riot grrrl movement, G.L.O.S.S. are direct descendants from the punk pantheon. They dropped their self titled debut demo earlier this month power packed with one to two minute bludgeoning sounds of built up aggression.

This gender and sexual orientation fluid band comprised of transgendered, femme and queer artists attack conventional American on all fronts. Every lyric reigns with great exclamation and each strum of the guitar and bang on the drum creates a headbanging pulse that calls out those who stand in their way.

Their gender and sexual diversity allows them to create anthems for the pariahs of society.

Best 3 songs: G.L.O.S.S. (We're From the Future), Lined Lips and Spiked Bats, Outcast Stomp

9. Tacocat

"Who do you think you are. Yelling at me from your car. Well come on back here then.I'm ready to jump in..."

Tacocat is a four piece punk-pop band from Seattle that formed in 2007. This band plays with satirical lyrics and catchy harmonies to express the American iconoclast, pop-girl perspective on modern patriarchy. Their colorful appearance and sound combines the riot grrrl attitude with Harajuku plasticity. Their album, NVM, that came out last year and shares the intimacy of young adult relationships, the party scene, and even the female anatomy. (Personal band info from Spotify)

Best 3 songs: Hey Girl, Crimson Wave, This is Anarchy. Bonus: Party Trap (Women's Day version)

8. Girlpool

"I don't really care about the clothes I wear, I don't really care to brush my hair. I go to school everyday, just to be made a housewife one day..."

Girlpool is a two piece lo-fi post-punk band from L.A.Their little girl "naa naa-na-naa naa you can't catch me" vocals give an engraving, teasing quality to their expression. Matched with trite but honest lyrics and they create a middle school nostaglia, both playful and brutal. One electric guitar and one bass guitar, that's it. It provides a unique stripped sound that never becomes a gimmick. It reflects their appearance and overall style, "the neighborhood girls who give knuckle sandwiches" aesthetic. Assertive, aggressive and independent. Their newest album, Before The World Was Big, provides a mix of tracks revealing the darkness of girlhood and feminine identity. (Personal band info from Spotify)

Best 3 songs: Slutmouth, Emily, Chinatown

7. Joanna Gruesome


"Move your body getting close to me. Close enough to tell you babe. I said, I said that you secretly died..."

A five piece post-punk, noise pop band from Wales. Their backstory says it all as they supposedly met at an anger management class and formed after completing an exercise where the class split into groups to compose songs as a way to reduce stress. A page out of punk folklore.

They combine soft powdery vocals and sharp steely instrumentals. Combining soft and hardcore, riot grrrl power and pop punk tempo. Their lyrics are fragmented, free associated emotions. Like angrily scratched in notes of a diary.

Their most popular album, Weird Sister, released in 2013, gained the attention of multiple music magazines and sites including Pitchfork and displayed an empowered dominance, from a female perspective, over lesser immature boys.

Along with odes to pain and anger. Their like that one cool band you saw on MTV or Vh1 after school back in the day, somewhere in between the replayed Simple Plan and Blink 182 videos. (Personal band info from Spotify)

Best 3 Songs: Last Year, Wussy Void, Do You Really Want Know Why Yr Still in Love with Me?

6. Perfect Pussy

"...stick you flesh inside my mouth, say you like when I bite, cross your fingers and be nice and man I-just-might..."

Perfect Pussy punk and noise punk sound formed in 2012 in Syracuse, New York. Their screamo terror and staticy instrumentals beg to be noticed like a megaphone, soapbox protester screaming against the world. Their lead singer, Meredith Graves, lyrics are intensely personal, revealing sexual encounters, emotional abuse, and attitude towards her counterparts. Each song a personal middle finger to those who ruined her life. They are a "perfect" blend of hardcore and riot grrrl. A Bikini Kill in-your-face feminism and a rapid, pissed off Rage Against the Machine swagger. Their most recent album, Say Yes to Love, was well received and unleashed them to a tear through the New York DIY scene, many of you may have scene them play in Brooklyn venues like Palisades and Aviv this past summer and fall. (Personal band info from Spotify)

Best 3 songs: Driver, Bells, Work

5. Ex Hex


"I've been the object; of your affection, and I've been the target of your cruel intention, and I know just how you got that girl..."

A light-hearted glam rock, post-punk band, Ex Hex, formed in 2013 in Washington D.C., the birthplace of hardcore. This all female three piece band brings a super retro 80's sound with riot grrrl ethos. Their music recalls the rich playful yet edgy vocals and wheeling guitar solos of late 70's Blondie. Their style is a rebirth of 80's glamour girl pop rock put with an attitude fed up with cheating boyfriends. Their lyrics undermines "the macho man"and all of his efforts while empowering the role of women in social interactions. Rips, their most recent album would probably be the soundtrack to your high school revenge scheme. (Personal band info from Spotify)

Best 3 songs: Waste Your Time, How You Got That Girl, War Paint

Bonus: Hot and Cold

4. Adult Mom

"I make boys cry 'cause they don't understand that I am a person. I get sad too but I don't take it out on you..."

Adult Mom formed in Purchase, New York and recently dropped their debut album, Momentary Lapse of Happily, earlier this year. This four piece post-punk, indie pop quartet bring a slowed cathartic melancholy of The Cranberries with their own minimalist indie flare. Their lyrics represent the mundane yet revealing idiosyncrasies of everyday life and express the pain, regret, and redemption of the everyday female life.

From the detailed struggles of eating an apple without getting lipstick on it to heart felt personal letters to heart-breakers. Adult Mom confesses the mistakes and soul sucking mundane attitude of modern female youth and brings them to their potential suicidal proportions. Like listening to the sweet voice of a brooding emo.

Best 3 songs: I Make Boys Cry, Survival, Sorry I Was Sorry

3. Mitski

"I'm holding my breath with a baseball bat and I don't know what I'm waiting for, I'm not gonna be what my Daddy wants me to be.."

Mitski, the commanding presence of feminism is as potent a her music. She has lead her noise rock punk band from the belly of the Brooklyn underground scene to MTV and Rolling Stone profile pieces. She howls her sweet and sometimes sharply nasty voice like a somber Japanese enchantress. Her music brings a fuse of minimalist Joruri and country folk to ear-bleeding, speaker-screeching screamo.

Her ballads are heartfelt personal confessions and outspoken manifestos condemning the shallow patriarchy that did her wrong. Her albums: Lush, Retired From Sad, New Career in Business, and her break out, Bury Me at Make Out Creek, display a tapestry of enduring and suffering lamentation with polarizing expressions of sadness and anger. She brings a revolutionized riot grrrl attitude to personal deep-winded pain. Like Evanescence meets Bratmobile. (Personal band info from MTV)

Best 3 songs: Townie, Drunk Walk Home, I Don't Smoke Bonus: Liquid Smooth (features Japanese lyrics!)

2. Warpaint

"The color of my native skin, Colored into a color never seen,A sun so full arises..."

This abstract art rock L.A. all female quartet brings a phosphorescent blurriness to grrrl power. They bring subliminal metaphors and sometimes out right psychedelia to the plight of loss and love. Some of their songs will unearth your mind to the far reaches of the galaxy, Biggy, and some will bury you deep into the soil of deceptive love, Undertow. Their ghostly voices transform them into spiritual Sirens and their dense and sprawling instrumentals create transcendent existentialism. They bring feminism to a spacious intellectualism. (Personal band info from Spotify)

Best 3 songs: Undertow, Billie Holiday (a 3 layered ballad correlating men with Billie Holiday's drug addiction!), Biggy

1. Chastity Belt

"I have no hands, I have no feet, I have no memory, vacant thoughts, vacant thoughts, vacant love, vacant lot..."

The absolute quintessential feminist post-punk band of the 21st century. Chastity Belt, formally known as F**K Chastity Belt, is a fine tuned sharp minded quartet out of Washington. They bring the mellow low-key guitar riffs and melodies of their 90's Pacific-Northwest Sleater-Kinney riot grrrl ancestry and meld it with their own quirkiness. Lead singer Julia Shapiro utilizes her thick woeful voice to beautifully convey the bands cynical wittiness.

Their lyrics reach down to the abrasive vulgarity of gender inequality frustration, across to sharp pop culture satire, and high above to free formed poetic imagery while maintaining their hypnotic indie pop instrumentals. Their songs take you through the trying times of banal high school Seattle parties with falsely motivated boys and withered minds to the fantastical images of intersectionality. (Personal info from Spotify)

Best 3 songs: Full, Black Sail, Seattle Party

Bonus song: Cool Slut (challenges the idea of a slut and its connection to female sexuality!)

Cover Image Credit: http://www.popmatters.com/post/159860-female-punk-bands/

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Dear Shondaland, You Made A Mistake Because April Kepner Deserves Better

"April Kepner... you're not average"
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I'll admit from the first time we were introduced to April in Season 6, I didn't like her so much. I mean we hated the "Mercy Westers" in the first place, so how could we see the potential in the annoying, know-it-all resident that was trying to compete with our beloved Lexie Grey.

But then, we saw her come face-to-face with a killer and thought maybe she had potential.


We then saw her surprise everyone when she proved to be the next trauma surgeon in the making and we were intrigued.

Notice how none of these stories had anything to do with Jackson Avery. Not that we didn't love her with Jackson, but for whatever reason you've chosen to end their very popular relationship. Suddenly, you think that April is not worth further exploration but you've forgotten one simple thing. We fell in love with her before "Japril" was ever in the picture.

We love her because her story was unlike the others and she had one of the best character developments on the show. She wasn't damaged like Meredith Grey or Alex Karev who have been on their journey to become all whole and healed, but she still had to fight hard to be taken seriously. Her story has so much potential for future development, but you've decided to throw it all away for "creative reasons."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing creative about doing the exact same thing you've done to all the other characters who have left the show. We've endured the loss of many beloved characters when you chose to write off George, Henry, Mark, and Lexie. We even took it when you did the unthinkable and wrote McDreamy out of the show - killing off one half of the leading couple. (WHO DOES THAT???)

But April Kepner? Are you kidding me?

She may no longer be with Jackson, but she was so much more than half of Japril. While most of us hate that Jackson and April are over, we probably could have dealt with it if April was still on the show. Now they're done and you think there aren't any more stories to tell about her character. Why? Because she'll just get in the way of Jackson and Maggie?

How could you not see that she was way more than Jackson's love interest?

She's so much more than you imagined her to be. April is the headstrong, talented trauma surgeon no one saw coming. The farmer's daughter started off an ugly duckling who became a soldier because she needed to be one and turned into one big beautiful swan who constantly has to fight for her coworkers and family to see her as such.

She's proven to be a soldier and swan on many occasions. Just take giving birth to her daughter in a storm on a kitchen table during an emergency c-section without any numbing or pain medication as an example. If she wasn't a soldier or a swan before, how could she not be after that?

Yet, you - the ones who created her - still see her as the ugly duckling of a character because she always had to take the backseat to everyone else's story and was never allowed to really be seen.

But we see her.

She's the youngest of her sisters who still think of her as the embarrassing little Ducky no matter how much she's grown.

This swan of a resident got fired for one mistake but came back fighting to prove she belongs. Not only did April Kepner belong there, but it was her talent, her kindness, her strength that made her Chief Resident. This simply wasn't enough for Dr. Bailey or her other residents so she fought harder.

She endured the pressure but always ended up being a joke to the others. When she was fired yet again, your girl came back a little shaken. She doubted herself, but how could she not when everyone was against her.

Despite everyone telling her she couldn't, she did rise and no one saw her coming because she remained in the background. She went off to Jordan broken and came back a pretty risky trauma surgeon.

We've watched for years as she was handed promising stories that we never got to see fully develop because she was in the background. We never got to see her rise. We get the beginning and the end, but hardly ever the middle.

I thought we were finally going to have an amazing story arc in season 11 when she loses Samuel, but what did we really get? Two or three episodes of her coming to terms with the loss of her baby and then April's disappearance from the show while she's grieving off screen so that Dr. Amelia Shepherd can shine her first season on the show. Where is April's life-changing surgeries? What does April get? She's background music.

Now what?

It's season 14 and we finally get the story we've been waiting 9 years for! We get Dark April and her crisis of faith. A story arc all Christians can appreciate. Here's the chance for real character development in the foreground, but wait...

Before her story is even wrapped up, you announce that this season will be her last. So we're forced to realize that the only reason we're getting this story now is that you're writing her off.

No matter how you end it, it's not going to do her story justice. If you kill her off to end her crisis of faith story, you're not reaching the many Christians who watch the show. If you have her leaving Seattle and taking Harriet with her, you didn't know April. If you have her leaving Seattle and abandoning Harriet, you really didn't know April. So anyway you choose to end her story, you lost out on one great character.

You messed up.

Both April Kepner and Sarah Drew deserved better.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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91 Days

A Tale of Family and Revenge
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91 Days has 13 episodes including a post flashback episode that gives a little more life to the characters. Each about 25 minutes long, this show is for mature audiences as it contains scenes of violence and death of children. If those things bother you in any way then I recommend not watching this anime. If that doesn’t bother you then read on.

There’s an old saying about “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” It is to imply that should a person seek revenge, they should dig a grave for their target and for themselves. As feeding into vengeance is killing yourself. In the anime 91 Days, he digs more than just two graves but the original point is all the same and heavily implemented.

91 Days takes place in southern Illinois in the fictional town of Lawless, during the time of Prohibition, a.k.a the rise of organized crime in America. One night, young Angelo witnesses his entire family being murdered including his younger brother at the hands of three men on the night of his birthday. He alone escaped that night, only to the hesitancy of one of the shooters. He lived as an empty shell for seven years until he receives a letter from an anonymous sender, detailing the names of the men who killed his family and where to find them. And for the first time in a while, he has a spark of life burning in him. He sets out on his quest for revenge in a time where the law was more broken than any.

What’s most interesting about this show is that it’s performed by Japanese voice actors, but the things they say are Italian-American expressions. Everything in the show is very Americana, referring to the aesthetic styles and cultures associated with the history of America, the scenes and the culture that is portrayed in the show are very authentic. But with the characters being voiced in Japanese it provides an intriguing juxtaposition albeit in just an audio sense.

It’s almost eerie how well the creators captured this little slice of Americana and made a more interesting series about Prohibition and Italian mafia than some American studios, certainly more interesting than the Godfather movies (yeah, I said it. Fight me over it.) It just goes to show how much better a piece of media can be by doing the proper research on whatever culture, time period and incorporating it into your work. Of course, there’s a certain threshold where that becomes unnecessary and the whole thing becomes convoluted but that’s for another time. The point being that Shuka (the studio that created 91 Days) did their research and made an original show with a genuine feel to it.

If you have a thing for drama and action then this show oughta fill your quota on both. The lengths Angelo goes to in his thirst for revenge is unlike anything I’ve seen in a TV show or movie. I don’t want to give anything away if you’ve decided to watch it, but I’ll say that at one point it becomes almost counter productve. If you have the time I highly recommend watchng this series, I hope you enjoy it!

Cover Image Credit: https://www.funimation.com

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