• A Little Slice of History,  Album Reviews

    A Look at Roberta Flack’s “First Take”

    Summer is finally here. It’s been unbearably hot and muggy for days. What everyone needs is a record to chill out with. One that is light and airy. One that blows through your mind like a cool breeze. Women in Rock readers, I offer you First Take by Roberta Cleopatra Flack. Now, I know a lot of you are thinking Roberta Flack equals schmaltz. After all, she is known for a string of sentimental pop singles during the mid seventies like “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly.” Famous rock critic, Robert Christgau, (also known as the guy wearing a Wussy shirt in The Replacements…

  • Album Reviews

    A Review of Tracey Thorn’s Record

    Sometimes in the life of an audiophile, serendipity slaps you in the face giving you exactly what you want and really need. Such was the case when I first heard Tracey Thorn. Roxie and I were driving in the car and flipping from station to station. The oldies station had played one to many clichés so I switched to FM. This beautiful synth pop song bubbled out of the speakers. I recently had been thinking that I listen to too much guitar driven rock and needed more synthesizers in my audio diet. Ironically, the song was “Guitar” by Tracey Thorn. She was being interviewed by Fresh Air to promote her…

  • A Little Slice of History,  Album Reviews

    Blondie’s Parallel Lines

    How we attach ourselves to music is based on how we come across it, and who or where we are when we first hear it. For a long time I didn’t get Blondie. Awhile back I picked up a copy of Parallel Lines. For a few days it was the only record I wanted to hear. It was the right time and the right context. I’d like to take some time to share with Women In Rock why Blondie and this record are so important in the history of punk, women and my life as an audiophile. I started buying records around 3rd grade. I listened to the radio and…

  • A Little Slice of History,  Album Reviews

    Simple Machines: The Wheel featuring The Juliana Experience and The Holy Rollers

    Looking back on my life I feel I was really lucky to be who and where I was in the early nineties. I was in my early twenties and tapped into the D.I.Y. punk scene. I was part of a volunteer run record store called Network in Dayton, Ohio. My life was records, bands and zines. It felt like my friends and I were creating our own culture. It was the time of Riot Grrrl and Queer Core and the doors were wide open for everyone. There’s certain artifacts in my seven inch collection that I go back to over and over again and they still hold up. I like…

  • Artist Spotlight

    Breaking Glass: An Unsolicited and Biased Review

    Breaking Glass could be considered a new band. After a fairly long hiatus they have reformed under a new moniker. They are a three piece made up of Izzi on drums, Makenzie on bass and Roxie on guitar and vocals. All female bands are rare in the male dominated rock world and bands of any gender that rock this hard are even rarer. Full disclosure–this review was unsolicited because Izzi is a humble person and would not ask me to review one of her bands for her magazine. Second this review is very biased. Breaking Glass is my partner Roxie’s band. They practice at our house. I go to almost…

  • A Little Slice of History,  Artist Spotlight

    Penelope Spheeris–Rock and Roll Anthroplogist

    Back in the 80’s there was no internet which means no YouTube. Back then a large part of learning about punk rock was swapping homemade cassettes and VHS tapes. Two very important movies in my circle of friends were The Decline of Western Civilization and Suburbia. These movies heavily influenced what bands we listened to, but more importantly they portrayed the tribal culture of punk dress, dance and worldviews. When Izzi suggested that we make a movie list for this issue of Women in Rock, I immediately thought of these two films. Not because they focused on female bands, but because they were made by a female. I decided to…

  • Album Reviews

    Girls With Guitars LP Review

    Record stores have a display wall for geeks like me. That’s where they put the super rare, used records and the limited edition 180 gram reissues. The last time I was at Shake It! Records scrounging for The Pretenders’ first album I looked up and saw the Girls with Guitars comp. The price was steep and I was on a mission and a budget. I went home with a used Nick Lowe album and despite what The Bible says I coveted. So when I got a twenty five dollar gift card from my boss for my birthday, I knew where I was headed and what I wanted. I told myself…

  • A Little Slice of History,  Album Reviews

    Getting to Know The Pretenders

    One of the great things about being in a band is sitting around listening to records together. That’s what got me on this Pretenders kick in the first place. I walked out of the basement and grabbed a beer from the fridge. Jenny and Sara were already on the futon, Roxie was stationed in one of the day-glow 70’s kitchen chairs by the end table and Todd was digging into his current listening bin of vinyl. He pulled out a record and proudly proclaimed, “Here’s where I’ve been stealing those guitar hooks from.” He held up a copy of Pretenders II. Growing up in the Midwest during the eighties, I…

  • A Little Slice of History

    They’ve Got A Fuzzbox and They Use It

    Four young women met at Art School in Birmingham, England. One Saturday in 1985 their friend’s band needed an opening act. That afternoon they came up with three songs, rehearsed them and performed that night. They named their band  We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It! Because, “Every song’s got a fuzzbox on it.” In 1986 David Geffen acquired the rights to their first album and took them for a ride on the Rock-N-Roll Rollercoaster.   This slice of history was requested by my bandmate Todd Utley. He pulled this off his shelf and said, “Here, write about this.” I hadn’t thought about Fuzzbox in years. I have…

  • Song of the Moment

    Spring- “Everybody”

    Last week we set the clocks forward and almost like magic spring happened. Suddenly it’s still sunny when I get off the bus from work. There’s daylight enough to take a walk before dinner. The hillside behind our house is filled with green shoots that will soon transform into color. Gaia bought a new green dress and the world is a better place. To celebrate, I walk over to the record shelf and grab Spring’s one and only album. A few years ago, my favourite old hippie friend decided that I was worthy of inheriting the boxes of records that his old roommate had left behind back in the early…