Guest Blogger: Girl Riot !!!

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Whether you sway towards soul,rock,pop or psychedelic tunes, Fernando does not judge. A true lover of music, better yet, of all that music triggers and makes us feel, Fernando has since an early age documented the most precedented and powerful moments in Music’s history. He can recite hundreds of albums, EP’s, singles and artists that have made an impact in his life; the following is just a tiny piece of his mind that honors Women’s Month. He presents an album, a book and a writer; all women we should know about that influenced the musical scene. I present to you, Fernando, follow him on twitter @Fivel33 

Aretha Franklin- “Lady Soul”

We do not have royalty in the United States, but we do have a queen. Aretha Franklin was blessed by the heavens and whether it was Gospel, Rock, Soul, or Pop, Ms.Franklin’s musical output is a catalog worth getting lost in. Her voice and elegance has no heirs . She can melt the tar off any roof. She can deliver heartbreaking thunder with whispering vocals. Lady Soul was released in 1968, the same year the Beatles delivered the White album. It is one of the greatest punk albums of all time. Yes I said punk; punk is not a genre, punk is a way of life. Rebelling by mixing Soul, Rock and Gospel Ms. Franklin delivers a masterful set of tunes; shame on those for trying to put Ms. Franklin in any genre. The album kicks off with a “Chain of Fools”, the melody and hook almost makes you forget she is letting you know who is in charge. The album features lyrics and songs by James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles; When the queen comes calling, they come. A soon to be known young song writer by the name of  Carol King contributes by co-writing “you make me feel (Like a Natural Woman).The album also features guitar work by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. Make no mistake Ms.Franklin is the star. Her complete confidence and elegant delivery transform the songs into her own. My favorite track is the last one. Written by the queen and her sister Carolyn Franklin. The song “Ain’t No Way” is a statement of devotion to a man if only she can be who she is. The song is important to call out due to the lyrical intent. The queen let the world know, women are not dolls, love means respect. Please keep in mind, here is an African American woman in 1968 telling not just her man but all men the truth. A fun fact about our queen: when Ms. Franklin sings live she requests for the air conditioning to be off. No one or nothing interferes with her voice. Lady Soul is meant to be heard in full. There is not a wasted track. Songs lose meaning when taking out of context. There is a huge difference listening to You Make Me Feel here than listening to it on a romantic comedy soundtrack, or off a greatest hits album. I politely recommend for a full listen. Do you have 28 minutes? The queen deserves that and more.

Kim Gordon- “Girl In a Band”

Kim Gordon is an artist, writer, and poet. Her bass and guitar work, along with her lyrics and aesthetic were a huge part of Sonic Youth’s sound. Sonic youth was a band in every sense of the word but this post is dedicated to Ms. Gordon. Her memoir “Girl In a Band” is out now. The book is an account of an amazing artist and musician. Sonic Youth was one of my favorite bands. They exposed me to so many different musical landscapes. Their legacy influenced Nirvana, Pavement, and My Bloody Valentine. You can hear them in newer artists like the band Mourn and St. Vincent. About a year ago I gave all of their records up, including singles and limited edition pressings. Why? Because little by little news of the band’s hiatus, which eventually became a full break up of the band was due to betrayal. As many fans know Kim Gordon was married to Thurston Moore. Their love by many including me was seen as a statement of true love. That is unfair to them or any couple, and things in life happen. Life is not a fairy tale. More than ever before, romanticizing certain aspects of the celebrity culture is unhealthy, nonetheless we all do it. it was a mistake on my part to part ways with their music ,as one should never act with a broken heart. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Kim Gordon did what a true artist does: arise from darkness and create. Her insightful, brilliant, funny, inspirational, gut-wrenching memoir is not about one incident in her life. There are many wonderful anecdotes in this book. Her memoir is a portrait of a girl in a band who did it her way.

Jessica Hopper- Music Journalist/Critic

Jessica Hopper is a senior editor for Pitchfork magazine. Ms. Hopper like all great music critics lets the art and artist be the main focus. That sounds simple, but just read a couple of reviews and blogs floating around the Internet and that rule tends to be lacking. We love to share about us. Hell, this post is one of them. Ms. Hopper removes the annoyingly wonderful notion of “my favorite artist, book or movies should be your favorites too”.  She writes to inform, guide, explain and establish what the artist is conveying. I compare her wit, structure and observation to a pre-jail Lil Wayne; here is an example: “Pale Green Ghosts is defined by Grant’s willingness to broadcast directly from his hell; he’s a bit of a serial confessor, and the confessions are marked by blitheness that belies just how much he did care, how far from love he has fallen. He sings the songs of a man with little else to lose.” That is a part of her take on John Grant’s album. Her review of Joni Mitchell’s box set is line after line of brilliant observation and wit. The review takes you back, establishing relevance and placing into context the remarkable goddess that is Joni Mitchell. “Her work helped birth a new idiom that was personal and poetic, creating a new space for songs that made artistic statements, unbound by cliché and tradition. Such was the strength of her music that Mitchell’s lyrics didn’t have to make sense. But they did, particularly to women.” Fuck that… every time I think my next line is going to be the one that will unlock my ticket to be a great writer, I read something like that and go back to the drawing board. Just like David Fricke, Rob Sheffield and Nelson George, Jessica hopper is a critic that has influenced and helped curate music I love. Aspiring music critics check her out. Ms. Hopper also has a book coming out; in honor of Pitchfork, I give her reviews a 9.0 like any true pathetic jaded hipster, I don’t give a ten out of spite. Follow her on Twitter @jesshopp .

Bonus: Cinthya Salinas- Blogger, Writer & Photographer

Cinthya as you know has a passion that leaps off whatever device you use to read her insightful posts. She is a woman proud of where she comes from and appreciates the beauty of her present. She bares and shares what others fear. She writes about love; the love of her country, the love of her family, the love of her favorite books. In a world that is full of cynics, she is a welcomed breath of fresh air. Her tales and adventures come from courage. She doesn’t settle. She has traveled the world and follows the rhythm in her heart. When words are not there, a photo taken by her delivers the same impact. So keep coming back and share her work with others. I tell her what I’m telling you, the evolution of women’s rights like any complex social issue is always ongoing, always improving and evolving. Hopefully this post provides insight to some great women out there. Follow her on Instagram: eloquentgalblog and Twitter: @cinthyassv .

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