PUNK

  • FuckYouCassette 34088Will pro-choice songs make a splash in the music industry given the current political climate? This year, we’ve seen a significant rise in demonstrations linked to abortion in the U.S, with an increase of 51% since 2021, as presented by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. This research shows that pro-choice protests far outnumber pro-life demonstrations, with a ratio of 3 to 1. How do we keep the momentum going and get pumped for a revolution? With music, of course. Here is a compilation of feminist songs –old, new, and of various genres curated to please Hip-Hop lovers, Pop fans, punks, Country folks, and those who’d enjoy a bit of edgy Latin Hip-Hop. 

    La Femme Fétal – Digable Planets

    Originally released in 1993, La Femme Fétal by Digable Planets is told from the perspective of a friend who recounts the trials of someone who accidentally gets pregnant and must face the wrath of a fascist society. Sound familiar? The alternative Jazz/Hip-Hop group poetically explains how unprogressive the U.S was nearly 30 years ago, as they tell the story of a friend who was confronted by pro-life protesters on her way to get an abortion. Their lyrics echo just as powerfully in 2022. 

    “If Roe v. Wade was overturned, would not the desire remain intact / Leaving young girls to risk their healths / And doctors to botch, and watch as they kill themselves”

    I Am Jane Roe - Coco Peila

    Who will you find at the intersection of alternative Hip-Hop and artistic activism? Bay Area MC, Coco Peila. The anthem I Am Jane Roe was released in 2022, and is a collaborative project that includes Aima The Dreamer and Ryan Nicole. It’s a song that uplifts women of color and criticizes those in office. With rhythmic beats and pounding lyrics, the underground gem is the reproductive rights tune you need to listen to while you prepare to mobilize. 

    “Lifting up every voice / I am Jane Roe/Our bodies our choice / I am Jane Roe” 

    Radio Silence - Zella Day

    Indie pop artist, Zella Day shares her personal experience terminating a complicated unplanned pregnancy in her song Radio Silence, released in June 2022. It has all of the ingredients of a catchy pop song, but with lyrics that reveal a tender vulnerability and the ache of guilt and anxiety (as shown below). As the story unfolds, listeners get a glimpse of the unpalatable behavior of an apathetic lover. “You have anxiety over pregnancy, so you bought this fucking pill for me,” Day sings to the guy who impregnated her. Privilege affords them an “easy fix,” but listening to the tune makes one wonder about the lack of sex education in this country, as well as those who can’t afford to buy “this fucking pill.” 

    “How could this happen to me? / I happen to be holdin' on /How could this happen to me? / I happen to be strong / But I couldn't see it was happenin' to me all along”

    The Pill - Loretta Lynn

    It was only two years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jane Roe in the case of Roe v. Wade when country sensation Loretta Lynn released a controversial song called The Pill. In 1975, she was banned from radio stations for expressing her desire for reproductive freedom. This petite country woman shamelessly sang about her desire to get loose from the marital chains that kept her from having fun. Lynn completely shook up the nation’s perception of the “well-behaved American housewife.” 

    “This old maternity dress I've got / Is goin' in the garbage / The clothes I'm wearin' from now on / Won't take up so much yardage / Miniskirts, hot pants and a few little fancy frills / Yeah I'm makin' up for all those years / Since I've got the pill”

    Abortion Song - The New Haven Women's Liberation Rock Band

    Even before Roe v. Wade, female-led rock groups like the Chicago and New Haven Women's Liberation Rock Bands were building a foundation for future rioters who would adopt and commemorate the unrefined nature of DIY feminist rock music. Their pro-choice anthem, Abortion Song came out in 1972, and is a quirky tune that is reminiscent of the 70s music era. The playful instrumental sounds contrast well with lyrics that convey the dark reality of reproductive oppression. At a time when abortion is criminalized (again), this song hits with resounding familiarity. 

    "Free our sisters, abortion is our right / 

Free our sisters, abortion is our right / We're talkin' about abortion it's as old as time
 / Hidden in fear and pain
 / The witches began it, they were burned at the stake
 / For helping sisters break their chains"

    Baby, I Had an Abortion - Petrol Girls

    For the headbangers out there, here is a song doused in indignation. This English punk band’s name is derived from the rambunctious group of working-class women who were allegedly arsonists and members of the revolutionary group in Paris in the late 1800s, Les Pétroleuses. Petrol Girls released Baby, I Had An Abortion in 2022. 

    “I'm a god-damn should-be-mother / Got a womb so that's my purpose / I'm a god-damn incubator / But baby I'll see you later / Whose life are you pro? / Whose do you want to control?”

    Fallopian Rhapsody - Lunachicks

    Resurfacing from the 90s underground rock scene is this gritty treasure by the Lunachicks. Punk and metal fans, this is a must-have for any pro-choice music playlist. You can also check out their book about how a group of punk teen outcasts in New York formed a sisterhood during a time when the feminist rock music scene was bourgeoning. Fallopian Rhapsody came out in 1995 and is more relevant than ever. 

    “Walking along with my sisters / Walking along getting blisters / Singing our song, me and my sisters / Screaming along with brothers too / And we say I got something to say to you, honey / Keep your hands off my body! / Never go back never go back never go back, no!”

    Pussy Kills - Rocky Rivera 

    Journalist and artist Rocky Rivera brings dark witchy hip-hop vibes to the political music genre with sultry, slow, and deep vibrations that will remind you of the West Coast hip-hop scene. It’s a perfect mélange of art and activism. From her 2015 album Nom de Guerre, the song Pussy Kills will leave you with the urge to form a clan of brujas (witches) eager to take down the patriarchy. 

    “Rappers always wanna put my pussy in a rhyme / Politicians pass law with my pussy on they mind / They can never handle what it takes to give birth / Say my pussy’s weak, try to claim it as they turf”

    Antifa Dance - Ana Tijoux

    French-born Chilean artist Ana Tijoux puts all of the badass, outlandish energy in a song that is dedicated to bringing down fascist societies. Antifa Dance equates to anti-fascist dance, and is a hyper-energetic anthem that highlights global issues like systemic oppression. Brimming with eccentricity, the video is a display of rebellion. After its release in 2020, Rolling Stone shared her press release about Antifa Dance, which states that “A few years ago, it was unthinkable to reassess the word ‘fascism.’ Facing authoritarianism, unrelenting hatred for the other, we again return to ‘Art,’ with all its force. Art that is charged with music and color. Art that responds in dance, an organized movement of beautiful rebellion. This is why we decided to make a danceable album. It is our profound belief that from pain, the purest act of love and resistance is born. Antifa Dance.”

    If you want to learn at least one phrase in Spanish, remember this lyric: “Este sistema se cae cae” (This system will fall down). 

    Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill 

    The quintessential feminist anthem first boomed in the 90s and stands firm today as a representation of angst. Bikini Kill is back on tour at a time when we need punk energy to propel the abortion rights movement. 

    “When she talks, I hear the revolution / In her hips, there's revolution / When she walks, the revolution's coming / In her kiss, I taste the revolution”

    This selection of songs is perfect to listen to on your way to a protest or while you’re winding down at home post-demonstration. These songs weave together our struggles of the past and present day. In poetic raps, with eccentric drumming, even in Country and Pop songs, artists show that political music transcends genres. It makes you wonder what contemporary artists are going to cook up in this post Roe v. Wade era. 

    Top illustration Courtesy of: Erika Lamar Buentello 

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    FEELS
    Post Earth
    (Wichita Recordings)

    Post Earth is an album created in, and for, our modern age. The first single, “Car,” channels the frustration and anger many of us are feeling in the current political climate. We’re disillusioned, while realizing the land of the free is “one nation under fraud.” Producer Tim Green (who previously worked with Sleater-Kinney and Melvins) channels his punk background with Post Earth. Songs like “Sour” and “Deconstructed” play with this dissonance, both sonically and lyrically. The album wasn’t intentionally politically charged, according to FEELS bassist Amy Allen, but frustration and defiance is palpable in the collection’s strongest moments. 3/5

    Post Earth is out February 22, 2019

    By Mary Kinney

    This piece originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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  • Gymshorts Press Spring 2018 4 preview 7a063

    We are stoked to share Rhode Island punk band GYMSHORTS's new video for “Breathin’ on Me," the first single off their forthcoming album KNOCK KNOCK. The album is set to release in August on Wallflower Records/Burger Records in US and Bachelor Records in EU. If you’ve ever seen this band, led by frontwoman Sarah Greenwell, then you know you're guaranteed a powerful, heavy set. BUST talked with Greenwell about her creative process and the story behind the single.

    Animation by Jamie Loftus

    So tell me about this first single, is there a story behind it?

    There’s not so much of a story, but basically, it’s just about close-talkers and how it’s kinda brutal when they breathe on you! I quit smoking so I think now I’m pretty sensitive at a show when someone's just super up in your face and then you back up a little bit and then they just move right back in there. It’s like dude, you’re breathin' on me! I think sometimes I have this insane sense of smell where no one else notices it, but to me it’s deathly. Take good care of your teeth, people!!!!! Also though, I just wanna say I was so stoked on this video because [animator] Jamie Loftus is pretty much a genius and it feels like she knew exactly what my mind was thinking when I wrote this song.

    33342190 1509451985831460 5586036732920332288 n ed50cphoto by @drews___cruise

    What was the process like for writing and creating KNOCK KNOCK?What was your favorite part?

    Man! I had had some of these songs for so long that it’s kinda hard to remember. I was definitely going through a gnarly relationship situation that I think is definitely present in a lot of the songs on this album, but I think usually I’m just trying to write lyrics that say something in a way that makes myself laugh. Even if it’s about something that doesn’t make me laugh. One of the songs on this album though, Chris Crass wrote. So you’ll have to ask him about that one.

    As far as creating, I think my favorite part was recording, which I normally do not like. But this time, we just went to a house in the Berkshires and stayed there for a few days and recorded them pretty much live with our friend Ben Semeta. There were trees everywhere. I told everyone there was no wifi so we could just hang out with each other and play games and make VHS tapes. I think sometimes I have a hard time staying focused while recording, but this time was so cool because there were fewer things to distract me. No convenience stores close by or anything, and everyone wasn’t going home to their separate houses, so it felt really nice to just wake up and have everything there and really be in it.

    Gymshorts Press Spring 2018 19 preview d68d4Photo by Casey Joseph

    So you guys have been playing some really dope shows and are currently playing with La Luz. What's next? Any cool collabs or tours in the works?

    We're hoping to be touring a lot when the album comes out for sure. We’re stoked to be on this tour. La Luz is so awesome and such talented musicians, so it’s really cool to be able to watch every night.

    How do you think artists should be using their platforms to contribute to the progression of society?

    I think there’s a lot of wild stuff going on ALWAYS, and I think the most important an artist can do is address it. You don’t even have to add your opinion necessarily if you don’t feel comfortable, but I do think the most productive thing is to confront what’s happening in the world, or even in your own world, and open up conversations about whatever it is. I think not everything is so black and white, and conversations are where the truths get talked out and the learning can actually take place.

    Top photo by Casey Joseph

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  • NUP 193599 0022 89cda

    “We Are Lady Parts,” written and directed by Nida Manzoor, is a hilarious British TV show about an all-girl, Muslim punk band. It’s fronted and supported by a cast of sexy as hell people of color of various genders, skin tones, and ways of presenting themselves, and if you don’t fall in love with every character in this show you’re insane (or incredibly picky which is fine too). And while this is technically a review of the show, it’s also me fangirling all over it to convince you that  YOU MUST WATCH THIS. 

    “We Are Lady Parts” introduces us to Saira, the commitment-phobe lead singer/guitarist whose one true love is her band; Ayesha, the angry, deliciously punk, over-the-top-eyeliner-wearing drummer girl of my dreams; Bisma, the hilariously opinionated bassist, wife, mother, and fantastically gorey feminist comic artist; and Momtaz, the niqab-rocking, no-shits-giving band manager who is perpetually haloed in a cloud of vape and badassery. 

    The women are trying to succeed with their band, Lady Parts, and are looking for a guitarist to take them over the edge. Enter Amina, a microbiology Ph.D. student who is held captive by her stage fright which makes her prone to throwing up and shitting herself… but who is also actually a really amazing guitarist (pinky swear). Using Ayesha’s borderline illegally gorgeous brother, Asan, as a romantic bargaining chip, the ladies of Lady Parts attempt to get Amina to join the band. Now I can’t tell you how the date went or what happened after that (you’ll have to watch for yourself) but I can tell you that you will become obsessed, binge it all the way through, and join me in waiting miserably for the next season. I must warn you that there is a random bit in episode one where our main character is singing and puppets get involved. DO NOT ABANDON SHIP. It never comes up again and the rest of the show is decidedly less cringe-y, trust me.

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    Just six episodes long, “We Are Lady Parts” is packed with enough heartwarming sisterhood, shockingly good girl punk music, and witty, riot-grrrl-esque modern Muslim women to keep you hooked. It’s seriously good and only available on Peacock with a premium subscription. No offense meant to PeacockTV, but if this was on Netflix you would have already seen it by now and be just as uncontainably obsessed with it as I am. This is not a sponsored review so I’ll just say this: Get that 7-day free trial on Peacock if only for this. Hell, maybe you’ll find some other good stuff to watch and decide to stick it out for an actual paid membership. But if the subscription is the only thing holding you back, don’t let it. I desperately need this show to get renewed. 

    Photos courtesy of NBC Universal 

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  • crickets 1 008c9


    CRICKETS is a politically charged dance-punk project led by Le Tigre’s JD Samson along with Faith No More’s Roddy Bottum and MEN’s Michael O’Neill. Consisting of only vocals, a guitar, a synthesizer, and a drum machine, the album is an exercise in minimalism that is heavily influenced by post-punk and electropop. At its best, CRICKETS is high-energy and danceable rock ‘n’ roll—see album standouts like the emotional banger “Never” and “Bike lane,” an ode to queer music. Though some of the slower tracks could use embellishment to keep the momentum going, there are several songs worth adding to your at-home quarantine dance-party playlist. –SARAH C. JONES

    CRICKETS
    Self-Titled (Mudguts)

    You can buy the digital album on Bandcamp.

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