• 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,  Album Reviews

    7 Best Lines of Hole’s Live Through This

    There is a lot surrounding Hole‘s second album, Live Through This that came out in 1994. A lot of history, a lot of controversy and so many great lines. It came out a week after Kurt Cobain died and just a few months before bassist, Kristen Pfaff’s death in June. While still a strong rock album, it was less abrasive than Hole’s first album Pretty on the Inside released in 1991. It received more critical claim and really launched Hole into rockstar status. A long time ago I read Poppy Z. Brite’s book, Courtney Love: The Real Story which gave some insight into Love’s life from childhood up to the writing and…

  • 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…

  • A Little Slice of History,  Song of the Moment

    Two Peter Gabriel Songs Improved by Kate Bush

    If I had to use one word to describe Kate Bush it would be mystical. She’s mysterious, she rarely performs live anymore. And, her image is that of a fairy. Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush collaborated multiple times, Kate Bush appears as a guest vocalist on quite a few of Peter Gabriel’s songs and I would say her voice adds the mysticism that both “Games Without Frontiers (1980)” and “Don’t Give Up (1986)” needed. The first time I heard “Games Without Frontiers” I was absolutely struck by the lyrics and backing vocals. The song is telling stories about what I would imagine to be children playing games. It seems so innocent then…

  • A Little Slice of History

    The Women Behind Bob Dylan’s Desire

    Desire by Bob Dylan will always stand out in my mind as one of my favorite and most nostalgic albums. It’s one of my mom’s favorite albums so I have strong memories of listening to it in the car growing up. As a child I was captivated by Dylan’s lyrics and story telling abilities. Released in 1976, Desire starts off with  “Hurricane,” and is an album full of stories. “Isis” is probably my favorite song on the album and instead of celebrating Cinco de Mayo every year, I always refer to May 5th as Isis day from the lyrics, “I married Isis on the fifth day of May/but I could not hold…

  • A Little Slice of History

    A Few Reasons Why Dolly Parton Is a Total Badass

    The theme for our playlist this month is “Men Covering Songs Written by Women.” When I heard this I immediately thought of “Back In The Good Old Days (When Times Was Bad) as done by one of the toughest men in the country music cannon, Merle Haggard. Legend has it that Haggard was inspired to pursue a life in music when he was a prisoner at San Quentin and saw Johnny Cash perform. His album “Mama Tried” contains the title song which boasts “I turned twenty one in prison doin life without parole.” Probably the toughest song on the album though is “Back in the Good Old Days” with it’s…

  • A Little Slice of History,  Song of the Moment

    “The Staircase (Mystery)” by Siouxsie and the Banshees and Some History

    I’ve been listening to The Scream a lot lately but I ended up choosing a song that didn’t originally appear on the album for the Song of the Moment. A spooky number for you to kick off spring, “The Staircase (Mystery)” should be the theme song to a horror show. The song was released as a single in 1979 and later appeared on a re-issue of The Scream as a bonus track. Siouxsie and the Banshees formed in 1976 so this song really captures their early raw goth punk feel. The mix on this song is awesome, specifically the different levels on the guitar mix. It creates a jagged feel…

  • A Little Slice of History

    The Big Mamma That Gave Birth to Elvis and Janis

        “My singing comes from my experience…My own experience. I never had no one teach me nothin’. I never went to school for music or nothin’. I taught myself to sing and to blow harmonica and even to play drums by watchin’ other people! I can’t read music, but I know what I’m singing! I don’t sing like nobody but myself.” For March, Women In Rock is planning on putting together a playlist of men covering songs written by women. As I was brainstorming ideas, I thought of “Hound Dog.” I think most people know this song as done by Elvis. I think fewer know that it was originally…

  • A Little Slice of History

    10 Things I Learned About Poison Ivy (and The Cramps)

    It is no secret that I am a Cramps fanatic. In fact, when my band goes on tour I only wear Cramps t-shirts and I have a cat named Lux. There’s something about them that I just love. Manic and sultry, The Cramps exude rock n’ roll like no other. I read Journey to the Centre of the Cramps by Dick Porter and would like to share 10 interesting things I learned about my heroine Poison Ivy Rorschach and the Cramps. Poison Ivy has always been a bad girl. Born Kristy Wallace, her family moved a lot growing up so she never had time to make friends at her new schools. She said…

  • A Little Slice of History

    Delta 5: One of the Greatest Bands You Probably Never Heard

    The Little Slice of History below is provided courtesy of our special guest contributor, Francis Pospisil, a rocker himself with deep roots in the D.I.Y. scene and in promoting work by the women he admires.  -Roxie The other day some of the ladies from Women In Rock were having coffee and working on the blog in our kitchen. Izzi had on a Gang of Four T-shirt and I felt compelled to ask her if she’d heard of Delta 5. She hadn’t, but luckily I own a copy of their only LP. I threw it on the turntable and it was then that they asked me to write for them. Delta…