Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ladyfest Chicago 2007 (With A New Track From Unicorn Basement)

Download: Hey There Cowboy - "Beholden Foresaken"
Download: Hey There Cowboy - "XOXOXO" (Minneapolis pop-punk. Read the Star-Trib story about band member Kate McNulty here)
Download: Kitten Forever - "KITTEN FOREVER"
Download: Kitten Forever - "Fat Crush" (Minneapolis Riot-Grrl act with loads of charm and sass gearing up to record a new record at Pachyderm Studio)
Download: Unicorn Basement - "Oh God!" (MFR Exclusive, MPLS electro-punk duo)
Download: Aleks And The Drummer - "SZCZ" (Chicago Duo with Electronic Textures and utterly unique sound_
Download: Anni Rossi - "Wheelpusher" (Chicago Pop/Classical Violist Who Recently Signed To Too Pure)
Download: Condenada - "This Fight Is Ours" (Hardcore)
Download: Glass Candy - "Digital Versicolor" (Not an MPLS or Chicago band, but they are opening for Architecture in Helsinki at the 400 bar tonight. Show at 8, doors at 7)
Download: Sly Fox - "Worry Song" (Happy Salmon is ann offshoot of this band)
Download: Parsley Flakes - "Remember Forget" (Electro-punk trio from Chicago)
Download: The Pussy Pirates - "Stickboy Lullabye" (Chicago Post-punk/Free jazz)
Download: Slutbarf - "Get To Know Her" (Chicago Noise-Rock)
Download: The Wild Leopardz - "Heartbeat" (Chicago teenagers playing melodic punk well beyond their years)

Over the weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending LadyFest Chicago. For those of you who do not know what Ladyfest is "arts festival celebrating the achievements of women in music, film, visual arts, and spoken word." The very first Ladyfest was held in Olympia, Washington, back in 2000 and since then has been spread to over 50 cities. In addition, all of the proceeds of Ladyfest go to very worthwhile organizations. In this case, the proceeds went to the Chicago Women's Health Center and Rape Victim Advocates.

The festivities consist of events like showings at art galleries, short films and, relevant to this blog, music, music, music. In fact, Saturday, the 21st, was an all-day music extravaganza, with bands starting at 2 and then ending well into the night. Men and women were all united under the cause of helpin' a sista out, and it was pretty excellent.

And so, in honor of the occasion, I've decided to do a playlist of all the bands from Chicago and Minneapolis who participated in Ladyfest this year. The best part was that all of the bands involved were up-and-comers and seasoned veterans, with riot-grrls such as Hey There Cowboy and Kitten Forever and electro-punk duo/dear college friends of mine Unicorn Basement (who were kind enough to send me an exclusive, unreleased track titled "Oh God!") representing Minneapolis and post-punk electronic trio Parsley Flakes, bilingual hardcore feminist punk group Condenada and Electric Ukulele/Snare drum duo Happy Salmon (who don't officially have a website yet, so I posted a track from their other band, Sly Fox) doing Chicago proud.

I've written basic descriptions beside each MP3, so you know what you're getting into before you listen.

So what do you think, Minneapolis? Should Ladyfest 2008 be in your future? Based on this article from City Pages, I'd say yes.

(Jonathan Graef)

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