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Why the Grinnell "all-girl rock show" leaves me cold - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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Why the Grinnell "all-girl rock show" leaves me cold [Apr. 26th, 2004|04:59 am]
Lindsey Kuper
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In the spring of my sophomore year at Grinnell, I had just started playing out, and I was pretty new to it, pretty bad at it, and in need of suggestions, support, role models (male, female, whatever) and advice on how to gain confidence and become a better musician. I went to an organizational meeting for the all-girl rock show, excited to be a part of such a thing and looking forward to meeting all kinds of awesome women who might be able to help me out. I've never told this to anyone, but to be completely honest, I was shocked by what I saw and heard when I got to the meeting. Instead of the strong role models I had imagined, there were a handful of cowering, giggling girls saying things like, "Well, I sort of play drums a little bit" and "I wrote this song, but it's pretty bad and I'm not sure if I can do it in front of people" and "The only thing I know how to do is a cover of such-and-such by such-and-such, but I can't sing and I need other people to play guitar and piano". It made me want to scream. Where were the songwriters? Where were the women with bands?

That fall, I met my guitarist, Tanny, and he and I started practicing and recording. I'd never really played my own songs with another musician before, and it was a learning experience in every way. We gradually got better and extended our repertoire. By the time we played our first show together in February 2003 at Bob's, we knew that we wanted a drummer, but we didn't have a practice space that would accommodate one. I didn't think it was feasible to practice at Music House or anywhere other than my dorm room, because my keyboard is hard to move around, and I didn't want to have to move it once or twice a week for band practice. Nobody had much advice for me because I was, as far as I could tell, the only person on campus who wanted to play rock shows but did not have the upper-body strength to move her instrument around. (With the stand, accessories and soft case, my keyboard weighs about 50 pounds; with the hard-sided case, 75. I'm more muscular than I was then, but it's still not easy.) We finished the year having played a couple shows together and having recorded some songs I was proud of. We experimented, playing a couple songs with a bassist, Ariel, and a violinist, Ellie, and I also gained my first experience with co-writing songs. It was the end of my third year in our college choir, the Grinnell Singers, and my voice was steadily getting stronger and more confident. More importantly, I had started listening to rock bands with women songwriters like Mates of State and Denali and especially the Reputation and I had a new vision of how I wanted to do this band thing long-term. I was still looking for those female, songwriter, band leader, musician role models in Grinnell, but at least I was starting to have them outside of Grinnell.

When Tanny returned from Grinnell-in-London this year, we decided that we wanted to rock and that it wasn't worth continuing if we couldn't practice with a drummer in a space that permitted drumming. I went to a meeting of Freesound, an organization for campus bands, and said, extremely selfishly, "I want to play rock shows, but I have this problem. What can you do to help me?" Since that moment, Freesound has done nothing but help me. The Freesound guys got me in touch with a woman who generously let me borrow her keyboard for all our practices, which saved me because it was already right in our practice space at Music House where I needed it to be. The Freesound guys walked me through the process of signing up and practicing at Music House, something I had never done and was kind of scared about. The Freesound guys found us a drummer, JP, who learned my songs really fast and who rocks and who's good at finding opportunities to play. When we'd been practicing for a few weeks, the Freesound guys helped us make a really good recording for the Freesound compilation. The Freesound guys had nothing but good things to say about "Chase" which I wrote and which Tanny and JP helped me bring to life. The Freesound guys are the reason we got to open for John Vanderslice a couple weeks ago. The Freesound guys go to our shows and help us sound check and help us move our gear around and stand in the front row and clap for us and feed us and give us beer.

And you know what I've decided? Screw finding female role models for campus musicians. I don't need them because I've grown into my own role as a musician. As far as I know, I'm the only woman on campus who leads a campus band. As far as I know, I'm also the only woman on campus who's in more than one band at the moment (although Industrial Theme Park probably won't do another show in its current incarnation -- but even if you don't count ITP, there's my regular band and then there's the quasi-departmental jazz ensemble that I also lead). I'm graduating in three weeks, working hard this summer, and starting a band this fall wherever I land. If you're a campus musician of any gender and you're looking for suggestions, support, role models, and advice, I can recommend two groups of people with whom I've found those things. One is the guys in my bands. The other is the Freesound guys.

I'm on the mailing list for the all-girl rock show. It's just like it was two years ago. They're throwing groups together at the last minute to giggle and cower and play one or two cover songs or sing over a CD. It's stupid anyway to cut yourself off from a lot of good music by making it an "all-girl" rock show (which itself is inaccurate, since some men will be in the show, too), but what's really stupid is the fact that I've worked for three years and finally gotten it together enough to be able to write good songs and be able to perform them well, but despite several emails, I still can't get the organizers to please just email me and tell me and my band when to show up and how long to play. That's all I want, but they're happy with ignoring me and focusing on people who haven't gotten it together as well as we have, but whom I guess are a better fit for their artificial "all-girl" mold. Assuring them over and over that there's no pressure. Hey, no pressure! Just because you're performing in front of people doesn't mean you have to be, you know, good or anything! You are, after all, new at this, 'cause you're a girl!

We won't be playing at the all-girl rock show. However, the campus bands show on May 7th will feature, among other genres, rock. And at least one girl.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2004-04-26 04:45 pm (UTC)
Hey, good evening :)

You don't know me, but you did say that you think it's cool when people you don't know post comments. And you've got "k&r" listed as an interest, which is top of excellent.

But you look terribly interesting, so I friended you.

*shakes hand* Hi, I'm Alex :)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-26 05:36 pm (UTC)
*shakes*

Hi! Your geekfitness community looks interesting ...
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-26 09:31 pm (UTC)
For the sake of clarity and completeness, here's an update. Today the organizer of the show emailed me in response to the emails I sent her six and ten days ago, respectively. I had asked for the date, start/end times, whether it was possible for us to play a 20-minute set, and if so, when we would play. She asked if we still wanted to play and answered my first two questions, but not the last two. I thanked her and declined.

See, this is why I get queasy thinking about the show. The emails I've gotten on the mailing list are about how the show will be informal and non-intimidating and how one-song sets are fine and it's okay to play covers and that kind of thing. I understand that these people want to have a fun, spontaneous, relaxed, and informal concert, but, well, it takes a lot of careful advance planning to make a show work out that way! Have they thought about the logistics of having a bunch of one-song sets? How many people are going to volunteer at the very last minute, in the name of fun and spontaneity, to join some group who's playing a cover they know, thereby completely screwing up the PA setup? And the more of those one-song sets there are, the more nightmarish PA's going to be. Worse yet, the more of them there are, the more the show's going to be choppy and in fits and starts and very much like a high school talent show and not very much like a rock show at all. If they have self-respect as musicians and as women, then why don't they hold themselves to a higher standard?
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-04-27 12:09 am (UTC)
hey listen. if you're so adiment about dissing the hard work of other people, why don't you organize an event yourself? it takes a whole lot of effort and hard work to organize people like that, and another thing: what's the harp on it sounding like a talent show, anyways? you have to start somewhere. you're in college for christsakes, not the radio city music hall.

you don't know me and i don't care to know you but you should know that you are hurting some hardworking people's feelings by discussing your frustrations behind their backs and not trying to help them by suggesting ideas to their faces. so i hail you this from across the country: maybe you should think more next time before dissing the hard and respectable work of other people, especially kids that are as rad and kind and easy to talk to as emily is.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-27 10:48 am (UTC)
Hi.

hey listen. if you're so adiment about dissing the hard work of other people, why don't you organize an event yourself? it takes a whole lot of effort and hard work to organize people like that, and another thing: what's the harp on it sounding like a talent show, anyways? you have to start somewhere. you're in college for christsakes, not the radio city music hall.

I have no problem with talent shows, in and of themselves. The problem with it sounding like a talent show is that it's billed as a rock show. As I said in an email to Emily, it's false advertising and it leads to mistaken expectations, like my mistaken expectations when I went to the first "rock show" organizational meeting.

you don't know me and i don't care to know you but you should know that you are hurting some hardworking people's feelings by discussing your frustrations behind their backs and not trying to help them by suggesting ideas to their faces. so i hail you this from across the country: maybe you should think more next time before dissing the hard and respectable work of other people, especially kids that are as rad and kind and easy to talk to as emily is.

No, I don't know you, but as it's my right to choose to allow anonymous comments on this journal entry, so it's your right to choose not to say who you are.

Again paraphrasing from an email to Emily: I knew that my finally coming out and saying all this would probably hurt some people's feelings, and I considered not posting it for that reason. I finally ended up posting it, though, as a way of dealing with my own hurt feelings, which I'd been harboring since 2002. I understand that it's bad to bottle up one's feelings, and that it probably would have been wiser to discuss these matters with Emily before I got so angry about them, and I appreciate you reminding me of that. Understand that this post is a result of my built-up frustrations over three years, and it is intended neither as an attack on this year's show specifically nor as an attack on her personally. Actually, we've begun an email discussion which I hope will be productive -- a discussion that I would have been incapable of had I not vented these feelings first.
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[User Picture]From: lasweetreve
2004-04-27 10:57 am (UTC)
you bitch too much to ever be a rockstar...
or even a decent person.

as you just proved, girl rockers are now even harder to come by.
thanks to you.
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[User Picture]From: underwhelm
2004-04-27 12:34 pm (UTC)

-edited for privacy-

Do you sincerely think the non-serious "rockers" that would theoretically perform at this show intend to follow through and become girl rockers? Because I agree with lindseykuper that the organizers should call a spade a spade and bill it as Good Time Karaoke Hour and not misrepresent it as a stepping stone for serious musicians if that's what it is.

I'm sure when these musicians graduate from here and forget all about their 3.5 minutes on stage once they've become mid-level executives and non-profit organizers it will be all lindseykuper's fault.

In fact, if you ask me the best thing that will come out of this is a refined and informed insight into what truly benefits female musicians, instead of grrl rock shows that are "for women" in name only. What are you contributing to that discussion?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-27 12:36 pm (UTC)
A woman I know writes:

"CHECK YOURSELF.
your portrayal of the women musicians and aspiring musicians at the all girl rock show meeting was shamefully offensive:
a) to the women at the meeting
b) to aspiring female musicians
c) to female musicians
d) to the organizers of the all girl rock show
e) to helen
f) to women in general

i seem to recall a shy lindsay kuper using the all girl rock show as her first performance, a stepping stone to her own self proclaimed rocker status. Why would you now use your disdain of the all girl rock show as a pump to inflate your own musical ego?"

I appreciate your response. As I've explained to a couple people now, I knew that I knew that posting about this on my plan and my journal would hurt and offend some people, and I considered not posting it. I finally ended up posting it out of consideration for my own hurt and offended feelings, which I hadn't dealt with since 2002.

I mentioned Helen in particular because she is the only woman who helps run Freesound, the organization that's been so helpful and supportive of me. I said "the Freesound guys" over and over in my post because it was the guys in the group who I noticed helping me over and over, but it occurred to me that Helen might be doing behind-the-scenes work and that she should be recognized for that. The connection between Helen and Freesound in what I first wrote here was unclear, and I apologize for that. I tried to clarify it in a comment, above.

My characterization of women at the first meeting may have been unnecessarily mean. My impressions of them may be skewed by the time that's elapsed between then and now. Nevertheless, I tried to convey in my writing exactly how I felt at the meeting, and how appalled I was.

I don't see why my post was offensive to women in general. At the very end, where I wrote, "Hey, no pressure! Just because you're performing in front of people doesn't mean you have to be, you know, good or anything! You are, after all, new at this, 'cause you're a girl!", I was being satirical. I often deal with life's skewed situations by using my skewed sense of humor. For instance, when I was one of three women taking Software Design, I used to jokingly preface my suggestions to my otherwise all-male project group with, "Well, I'm a girl, but ...". Even the title of this journal, "rockstarling", is meant to be a jab at myself as a musician with a lot to learn and a long way to go. (I also have a fetish for bad puns.) I understand and appreciate that such things aren't funny to a lot of people, but my personality and sense of humor aren't likely to change.

The women's rockshow in 2002 was my fifth show, not my first. I concede that I was shy, and I don't make any claims that I sounded that great, either. However, my reticence was caused by my discomfort with the show's proceedings. People I respected were in the audience, and I was embarrassed of the show and highly doubtful that it represented the best that women musicians at Grinnell had to offer.
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[User Picture]From: sonetka
2004-04-27 01:32 pm (UTC)
Wow. No offense to you, Lindsay, but it's perversely reassuring to see that Grinnell is still stuck in hypersensitivity overdrive. I thought your entry made a lot of sense, and if anyone is deterred from pursuing music by something as mild and sensible as an entry in your own Livejournal, then I don't think they'd have a chance once they got out of college and began playing for much nastier critics. I've written book reviews which were far harsher than anything you said, and gotten nicer, more mature responses from the authors when they wanted to dispute a point with me. If you can't handle anything vaguely negative, you're not going to last long in any sort of artistic medium.
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[User Picture]From: anderbug
2004-04-27 01:44 pm (UTC)
I am in agreement with what sonetka says above. Criticism is what improves the way things work. If nobody ever critiqued my work (whether it be written, artistic, economic, mathematical, academic, or organizational) I would never have any hope of improving. What an out-sized reaction to a relatively innocuous critique!
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-27 02:07 pm (UTC)
Well, actually, sonetka, to be fair, most responses I've gotten from Grinnellians who disagree with me on this have been quite sane and thoughtful, and I appreciate that. Also, the comments above aren't necessarily from people at Grinnell.
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[User Picture]From: sonetka
2004-04-27 10:03 pm (UTC)
I understand that most people have been reasonable; it's just that the immature responses tend to leap out a bit more than the mature, unfair as that is. Odd how many of that latter category are coming here expressly to tell you how little they care what you say :).
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[User Picture]From: sonetka
2004-04-27 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oops, I meant FORMER category, as in immature. Gah. I need some serious brain cell replacement.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-04-27 11:09 pm (UTC)
it doesn't seem like you fully realize the nature of the dispute - yes, people are all being hypersensitive, but only in response to lindsey's original uberhypersensitivity. as for your comment about the post-college fate of the musicians involved, i think they are all completely aware of the nasty critics outside of grinnell, which is exactly why this is an appropriate venue for them - the less-serious musicians can purge their desires for a few minutes of amplified cover art, those with actual ambitions of forming a band can get their feet wet, and those who are in bands can get more performance experience. AND they can support each other in doing so. former rock shows completely succeeded in doing this. i pointedly remember me, a kid with mediocre guitar skills who just really liked independent music and had never performed or written anything before, doing a cover with some friends. the guitar wasn't in tune with the synth. i forgot the words to the second verse. but it all fell into place and afterward, two incredibly intimidating older guys in the campus band that was setting up to play next went out of their way to tell me good job. each of them. in person. it was cool and in a minor, pathetic sense, inspiring. additionally, she show did run choppily, it did take a while to set things up between acts, but it was obvious that nobody cared. i'll still be playing covers proudly in the future, but i have some original songs under my belt, a band on the horizon, and an increased understanding of what i want to become as an artist. maybe lindsey's experience was crappy, but maybe she shouldn't be so goddam sensitive and critical about the whole thing. i've yet to really understand where this alleged "hurt" is coming from. anyway. c'mon. it's grinnell. sometimes people are sloppy and last minute, but only because it is probably the last period of their lives in which they will be able to get away with it. eh. i gotta find a job.



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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2004-04-28 08:10 am (UTC)
it did take a while to set things up between acts, but it was obvious that nobody cared

Actually, to me it's obvious that somebody does care, and is even offering suggestions for improvement.

However, although lindseykuper makes a good argument, and normally I'd side with her on this one, I have to say I've been the object of her disdain before, and she can be a real fucking diva.

lindseykuper is my twin sister. We're very close, but I have always had the inkling that I appreciate her a good deal more than she appreciates me. My impression was solidified last fall, when I got this idea: I wanted to plan a joint concert with Lindsey as a special thing for our friends and family who will be gathering in Chicago this spring for graduation. A joint effort was key because although I've always toyed with the idea of giving a solo recital, I felt too selfish organizing something that was so "it's all about me." Further, we have a lot of family who would love to have the chance to see Lindsey perform, and I've always wanted to collaborate with her musically, just once. I also wanted my friends to be able to see my sister (who I talk about constantly) perform. Since we didn't know where we were going to be after graduation, the chances of doing anything together, musical or otherwise, might be pretty damn small. So I figured that June would be a perfect time to, just once, do a concert together with my sister. I also figured that asking her to perform was a compliment. But I figured wrong.

It soon became evident that Lindz was not interested in sharing her talents with the family. It made her "uncomfortable" to think of playing her songs for people she had known since childhood, people that have been supportive of her musical career. "My songs aren't for those people." She flat out didn't want to do it. The image of the concert as closer to a "recital" than a "rock show" also put her off (I had used the term "recital" because I perform in 3 or 4 of them a year, and they always include a wide variety of genres.) She expressed concern that my music was "too cutesy" and that it wouldn't work because I would want to "do covers and stuff," a jab dripping with hypocrisy, considering that Lindsey's musical career was essentially launched by playing Smashing Pumpkins covers. But as far as playing covers in a show with me--she didn't want to be seen like that. She said, "I have to work on my image." Finally, after saying "We play different styles of music" and "I don't really like your stuff," she had the audacity to say, "I just don't want to do a show with you because people would unnecessarily compare us." You mean compare us the way you just did, Lindz?

Her reaction to my invitation turned out to be a consummate slap in the face.

I think that we have a lot in common, but Lindsey insists that our musical interests are entirely incompatible. I don't know why she seems to think that it's impossible that she and I could ever be excited about the same thing. I mean, we're both big Lindsey Kuper fans.

I went out of my way to support her through the whole Act IV thing. I stood on street corners and passed out flyers. There were the radio documentaries I spent a quarter making. I still tell people about Act IV all the time. I'm way more involved with organizing the next show than I ever wanted me to be--Steven and David IM me almost EVERY DAY asking me to do this or call that person and tell them I'm the booking manager for Act IV. My dearest friends and most valuable music contacts in Chicago have been pressed into service for the cause. Am I just that passionate of Pumpkins fan? Hardly. I do it for Lindz.

I have learned not to talk to her about the music I like, because she usually responds with either total disinterest or disdain. Lindsey doesn't have to give a shit about Van Halen, but it hurts me that she also doesn't give a shit that I'm excited that my favorite band is reuniting after a 6-year hiatus.

I could go on, but the chances of her understanding aren't going to improve. Lindsey, I don't think you'll ever know how much I was hurt by you refusing to perform with me. It made me feel like a pathetic, worthless hack.

So now you know.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-28 09:40 am (UTC)
It soon became evident that Lindz was not interested in sharing her talents with the family. It made her "uncomfortable" to think of playing her songs for people she had known since childhood, people that have been supportive of her musical career. "My songs aren't for those people." She flat out didn't want to do it.

It makes me very uncomfortable to think about singing the lyrics of songs like "I Remember Everything" ("with my drink in my hand [...] you bear enough resemblance to this boy who's holding me"), or "Chase" ("Breathing heavy every time he walked by/Feeling ready when his eyes met mine") or most of my other songs in front of people like our grandparents, yeah. It makes me even more uncomfortable to think about playing songs like that alongside songs you've written like "The Places You'll Go" and "The Page Unwritten", because I think my songs would appear even more inappropriate alongside your G-rated songs. That's not an insult to the songs you wrote; I'm just sayin'. That's what I meant when I said that I didn't want to do a show with you because people would unnecessarily compare us. You say that that's hypocritical because I am comparing us, but I'm doing it because I'm trying to put myself in the audience's shoes and make the comparisons they might make.

Regarding Act IV: Dude, if you don't want to work on it, don't work on it. Tell Steven and David no. I'd been thinking all this time that you were involved because you wanted to be involved, but I guess I was wrong. If you're involved for my sake, I appreciate it, but it's the wrong reason since Act IV isn't about me and I'll likely not be in it again. If you want to be involved, be involved because you like the Pumpkins.

I have learned not to talk to her about the music I like, because she usually responds with either total disinterest or disdain. Lindsey doesn't have to give a shit about Van Halen, but it hurts me that she also doesn't give a shit that I'm excited that my favorite band is reuniting after a 6-year hiatus.

Sorry, I just don't like Van Halen, or most of the other bands you like, very much. This is not the same as not liking you, okay? I love you more than life itself. You != the music you like. I don't particularly like the music you like.

Love you, call you tonight.
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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2004-05-01 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: comparing: While part of me thinks you should have the right to say who gets to hear your music, another part of me thinks it's selfish not to give a potential audience the chance to draw their own conclusions. It seems to me that being under public scrutiny is part of being an artist. Incidentally, I didn't write the lyrics to "Places" or "Page." Some of my songs are G-rated, sure, but there's plenty of sex and violence there. "You come walking in the room and light a fuse inside of me." "When you think of me, be a little sorry, be a little scared and a little guilty." "You took something that felt so good/And you crushed it because you could." "Reaping the benefits and keeping my mouth shut/It's getting so difficult to pretend that we're in love." "How did you get so good at this?/Don't answer that, please/The only way I can describe/Is in analogies." "You wrote my will with you in mind/And even the heart I thought was mine/Now belongs to you/Yours to kill if you want to."

Re: Act IV: I just regret that I've gotten caught up in it. I wanted to make another doc about the final show, maybe even direct a video, but now after talking so much to Steven and David, I feel like I've become emotionally involved and lost a very precious detachment that allowed me to have some semblance of journalistic objectivity. Can't go back now.

Re: VH: You miss the point. You don't have to like anything just because I like it. But you also don't have to say things like "they suck" when you know I value your opinion greatly. You could try being happy for me.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-04-28 02:56 pm (UTC)
yes, but she's offering suggestions in a very negative way at the very last minute.
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[User Picture]From: theguiterrorist
2004-04-27 01:37 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've been entirely fair to certain people in commenting on this subject, and misrepresentation is the last thing I want. That's why my comments are mostly gone now.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-27 08:32 pm (UTC)
Okay. I deleted my response to you, since it quoted you at length.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-04-27 02:51 pm (UTC)
though i don't personally know, or have anything against you, lindsey, women musicians deal with enough discrimination and self-confidence issues, and don't need their fellow female musicians discouraging them from ever giving it a shot. though some of us try really really hard, we can't all be tori, some of us aspire to be kim deal instead, and she could beat the shit out of tori for making her friends feel bad about trying their best, even if they spend the whole time giggling/crying--playing a stupid cover on the Fender they borrowed from an older brother...

real women don't make other women feel bad for not being rockstars, they help them become rockstars, too

as for the organization/informality comment, you are of course entitled to your own opinion, but the all girl rock show was designed to be a showcase for anyone who wants to get up and perform whatever. i applaud you if you and the band you lead can get up there and perform a tight 30 minute set, but that's what YOUR bob's show is for, not the rock show. it's for people to have fun and showcase some of their talent, and the only way to ruin it is not by too many act changes, or a little disorganization, but by nay-sayers trying to ruin what the fabulous organizers are trying to accomplish.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-27 07:54 pm (UTC)
Hi. Forgive me, but I don't really understand your analogy about Tori Amos and Kim Deal, probably because I'm not really much of a Tori fan. However, I do have and like a couple of Breeders records -- although I like them because I think the music is good -- not because of Kim Deal's ability to beat anyone up.

real women don't make other women feel bad for not being rockstars, they help them become rockstars, too

as for the organization/informality comment, you are of course entitled to your own opinion, but the all girl rock show was designed to be a showcase for anyone who wants to get up and perform whatever. i applaud you if you and the band you lead can get up there and perform a tight 30 minute set, but that's what YOUR bob's show is for, not the rock show. it's for people to have fun and showcase some of their talent, and the only way to ruin it is not by too many act changes, or a little disorganization, but by nay-sayers trying to ruin what the fabulous organizers are trying to accomplish.


My goal was never to make anyone else feel bad, and I am very interested in helping other women musicians. I don't claim that the people organizing a show are doing a bad job given the scope of their project and the amount of time they have to do it. However, I feel that the rock show as it's set up now is a countereffective way of helping women play music. A list of women musicians gets sent out a couple of weeks before the show, with the expectation that in a couple of weeks, people are going to be able to get organized enough to go up and do their thing and "rock". It's no wonder that the show ends up, in my opinion, not showcasing what Grinnell women are able to accomplish musically.

If the show is going to be everything that it claims and deserves to be, planning needs to start long before that. People need time to form bands and find out what they're about as musicians. It took me three years, because I'm slow and shy and disorganized and for a long time was too scared and proud to ask for help, but there's no doubt in my mind that, with the assistance of an organization committed to helping them, some Grinnell women could do it in much less time than it took me. I bet that they could do it in a year, and then at the end of the year they'd be able to put on a show that lives up to its name. But expecting anyone to do anything in a couple of weeks is ridiculous, and the end product isn't going to be that good. That's my opinion, anyway. You're entitled to yours, as well.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-04-27 05:35 pm (UTC)

doing the best i can

this entry made me furious. a lot of us don't have time to be in a "real band" but still jump at the chance of doing SOMETHING to rock out. yes, that can mean playing covers of other songs, since everyone is pressed for time. i know i'm not a star, and am actually quite awful, but i don't care. i love music and if you think me deciding that i don't care if i make an ass of myself embarasses girl rock in general, than poop on you.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-27 10:46 pm (UTC)

Re: doing the best i can

Well, who goes to Grinnell and has time to be in a "real band"? Certainly not I. My band only practices for an hour once a week, with maybe one extra practice before a show. We don't have a lot of songs, and we definitely don't have time to do anything approximating touring. And we're not going to be a band anymore in a few weeks, because the school year's ending and we're all going to be in different places. So we're not a "real band", we're just a campus band -- those groups might overlap for some bands, but I'm pretty sure they don't for us.

I'm not sure how to respond to the rest of your comment. I think it's very cool that you love music. I think it's very cool that you want to do something in the little time you have, and I think it's very cool that you're not self-conscious about it. However, forgive me if I got it wrong, but your comment seems contradictory to me: if you don't care about being awful, then why do you care about doing the best you can?
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-04-27 09:10 pm (UTC)
what about all the female musicians who sing, or are really talented on an instrument, or are even moderately good on an instrument, who LOVE music? being in a band isn't the mark of dedication to music or rockstardom you seem to think it is.
that said, i consider myself to be in two campus bands, something you claim you are the only woman to be. They are called Vox and Con Brio. So, the instrumentalists are other voices---we still rock pretty damn hard.

just watch yourself--you are starting to sound a bit like Pete Townshend...but without the celebrity to back it up.

even the Beatles played covers. and the smashing pumpkins.

--Leighton
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2004-04-27 11:07 pm (UTC)
Hey Leighton. You're right, of course -- solo acts are just as worthy as bands. I made sure to mention that in the email I sent to the rock show mailing list tonight. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Covers can be awesome. I have no problem with covers. But I don't really feel that a rock show that's mostly covers and single-song acts really showcases the best of what Grinnell women musicians can do.

I wrote that as far as I knew, I was the only woman in two campus bands 'cause off the top of my head, I couldn't think of any other woman who was in more than one. If you define campus bands as student-run music groups, then all the a capella groups are campus bands, and you (and a lot of other people) are in two a capella groups -- so I was wrong. But the point was not to say "I'm in more bands than you!" or something like that -- just to demonstrate that I was active in campus bands.
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