One Track: The Cranberries, Zombie (1994). Video directed by Samuel Bayer.
A Second Track: Bad Wolves, Zombie (2018). O’Riodan was in London to record this version of Zombie with the Bad Wolves, when she died.
One Quotation: “When I was about 14, I got a tacky keyboard for 250 pounds and put on a drum machine and found I could write a song.”
One Comment: On 1993-03-20, in Warrington, Cheshire, England, terrorists had planted bombs in cast iron dustbins/ garbage cans/ trash cans. They phoned the police with a coded warning that there was a bomb, but they didn’t say which town. When one bomb exploded 25 minutes later, panicked crowds ran directly into the path of the second explosion. Three year old Johnathan Ball died at the scene, while 12-year-old Tim Parry was seriously injured, and died five days later. Fifty-four other people suffered injuries. Zombie was a direct response from O’Riordan and the Cranberries to the horror of Warrington and all the other atrocities that had taken place. It pleads: “Another mother’s breaking / Heart is taking over / When the violence causes silence / We must be mistaken.”
Anonymous participants of the Pussy Riot group who avoided prosecution for their performance published an open letter…
We are all—female separatist collective—no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality.
We belong to leftist anti-capitalist ideology—we charge no fees for viewing our artwork, all our videos are distributed freely on the web, the spectators to our performances are always spontaneous passers by, and we never sell tickets to our “shows.”
Our performances are always ‘illegal,’ staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment. The distribution of our clips is always through free and unrestricted media channels.
We are anonymous, because we act against any personality cult, against hierarchies implied by appearance, age and other visible social attributes. We cover our heads, because we oppose the very idea of using female face as a trademark for promoting any sort of goods or services.
The mixing of the rebel feminist punk image with the image of institutionalized defenders of prisoners’ rights, is harmful for us as collective, as well as it is harmful for the new role that Nadia and Masha have taken on.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (aka Nadia or Nadya Tolokno, 1989 – ) and Maria Alyokhina (aka Masha, 1988 – ) who participated in a 2014-02-06 Amnesty International concert, responded …
When we were jailed, Pussy Riot immediately became very popular and widely known, and it turned from just a group to essentially an international movement. Anybody can be Pussy Riot, you just need to put on a mask and stage an active protest of something in your particular country, wherever that may be, that you consider unjust. And we’re not here as the leaders of Pussy Riot or determining what Pussy Riot is and what it does or what it says. We are just two individuals that spent two years in jail for taking part in a Pussy Riot protest action.
One Quotation: “I don’t think I was born to be an entertainer, I used to really be afraid of playing live on-stage. Obviously it’s terrifying! But now I look forward to it every time. I’ve learned not focus on myself, cause it’s not about me. Now I only think about giving everyone the best experience. A magic moment.”
One Comment: Aurora was chosen as a singer-songwriter in an attempt to focus on women musicians, composers and songwriters under age fifty. On the date of publication, she has finally reached twenty-five years old. Running with Wolves was released in 2015, when she was eighteen. Wikipedia describes Aurora as having an eclectic musical style that is a composite of eight genres: art pop, Nordic-folk, synth-pop, electropop, electro-folk, indie pop, dark pop and avant-garde pop. I appreciate the fact that she in-sources costumes and makeup to her sisters.
One Quotation: “The whole album is based off of actual insecurity. My mental health, self-love, me sabotaging everything in my life, am I good enough for this relationship? […] It was really just taking the real-life stuff that I’m going through, which is really important for me to write about. There’s still guitar, but there’s a lot of hip-hop in it, but it’s still pop. And there are some really pop records. It’s not really dance music, but you can bop to it. But when you listen to it, it’s really a body of work. And we worked really hard sonically to make sure that everything leads into one another, and it sounds like body of work instead of just having a playlist.”
This is not the regular, monthly tidbit about a woman composer/ songwriter/ musician, but an extra. The Bebe Rexha (1989- ) track/ video may not appeal to everyone, as musical tastes are highly individual. I have only known about Bebe since 2021-04-16 at 06:00, when I opened a link to the video track, sent to me by a young reader (under 40). He was probably too polite to say it, but I suspect that he was reacting to the fact, that the average age of the people in this series so far is over 70 years, giving an mean birth year of 1951.
The track was released as a single on 2021-03-05, with the video being released a day later. The album in the quotation refers to Better Mistakes, which will be released 2021-05-07, the date of publication for this weblog post. This is undoubtedly the first time in my life that I am ahead of the release curve. More recently, I have been up to twenty or more years behind.
Bebe is from Blete = Bletë (in Albanian) meaning bee. She was born in New York, but is of Albanian heritage.
One Quotation: “These days adoption is a hot thing / You can get a child for nearly nothing / You take them home to a nanny / Buy off you’re guilt with toys and candy”
One Comment: Anouk Teeuwe was born 1975-04-08 in The Hague, Netherlands. Nobody’s Wife was written by Anouk, Satindra Kalpoe and Bart van Veen. The song was especially popular in the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, but was less successful elsewhere. It reached a peak position of #1 in Iceland, #2 in the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, #5 in Flanders, #6 in Denmark, #9 in Finland. With respect to the track as well as the quotation, Anouk has been married (2004) and divorced (2008) once, and given birth to six children, between 2002 and 2016.
One Quotation: Et menneske som må skjule sin opprinnelse er bare et halvt menneske. Jeg er i ferd med å bli hel. Nå mangler jeg bare vingene. Og det må et menneske ha. Vi må kunne fly. = A human being who has to hide his/ her origins is only half a human being. I’m about to be healed. Now I’m just missing the wings. And a human being must have that. We must be able to fly.
One Comment: “Mari Boine is one of Norway’s most important artists. With her background in Sami culture and tradition, she has developed new and cross-genre musical expressions. The prize winner’s great communication ability through music and language makes her an international artist of large format.” Justification of the Arts Council Norway when it awarded Mari Boine the 2009 Honorary Award.
One quotation: “Language and culture cannot be separated. Language is vital to understanding our unique cultural perspectives. Language is a tool that is used to explore and experience our cultures and the perspectives that are embedded in our cultures.”
One comment: Today, Buffy Sainte-Marie celebrates her 80th birthday. My appreciation of her is in large part based on one song, The Universal Soldier. It points a finger at each and every person for the perpetration of war. At one time, I also owned a version of this song by the 1960s Wesleyan College folk group, The Highwaymen, on their One More Time (1964) album. Covers of the song have been made in 1965 by both Glen Campbell (1936 – 2017) in as well as Donovan (1946).
One quotation: “I think music has the power to transform people, and in doing so, it has the power to transform situations – some large and some small.” Why the Sound Is Still Sweet: Q&A with Joan Baez. Interview with Marlene Kelly, 2009-11-04.
One comment: Baez continues to be relevant. Starting with Charles Albert Tindley’s (1851 – 1933) I’ll Overcome Some Day (1901) that was transformed by Pete Seeger (1919 – 2014) and Guy Carawan (1927 – 2015) into We Shall Overcome (1947), it was sung by Baez at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963-08-28). She appeared at Woodstock (1969-08-15 to 18). Her musical success and activism continuing through the 1970s, and 1980s ending with China (1989), which condemned the violence of the Chinese government in its attack on student protesters. After a 27 year hiatus, she released Nasty Man (2017), about “a man gone wrong”, Donald Trump.
Note: This is the first of twelve tidbits to be published in 2021 that comment on influential women musicians (mainly singer/ songwriters). While today’s tidbit is being published on Baez’ 80th birthday, others will be published once a month throughout the year. The reason for this is that women in general, and people with non-European backgrounds, are under-represented in my weblog posts. This series is an attempt to compensate for this shortcoming. In 2022 similar posts will feature multicultural women scientists, followed in 2023 with posts about multicultural women writers (mainly novelists), the posts in 2024 will focus on multicultural women artists (mainly painters and sculptors). The series will end in 2025 with 12 posts about women photographers.
As above, at the end of every tidbit, there will be a link to further information, usually from the English edition of Wikipedia. This allows people to link to similar Wikipedia articles in other languages.
This tidbit was inspired by an article in the Norwegian monthly magazine Vi over 60 = We over 60. My dear wife, Trish, gave me a subscription to this magazine when I was still in my 50s, admittedly 59 shortly before I turned 60. I asked her to discontinue it after a year. Instead, she transferred the subscription to her name, so we have been receiving it for the last 12.5 years. Sometimes, she points out an article she thinks I might be interested in. This happened with the 2021-01 edition, when she pointed out an article on Joan Baez titled, Fredens førstedame = The first lady of peace (p. 21).
Many LPs in my Canadian record collection were published by Vanguard. This company was started by Maynard (1930 – 2020, a music producer and later a biographer of classical composers) and Seymour Solomon (1922 – 2002, a music business executive). They specialized in classical music, but then expanded into folk music, then into rock (less successfully). In addition to Baez, my collection included Vanguard records by Linda Ronstadt, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ian & Sylvia (Tyson) and Country Joe and the Fish. None of these LPs moved to Norway, although some were repurchased as CDs. It is now over ten years since the last CD was purchased. Music is now stored on files, in folders, on a server, where it can be accessed by any computer in our house. This system even allows remote access. More importantly, the collection occupies no space. After having bought most of the music I listen to twice (once on LPs and once on CDs), I see no need to rent it in perpetuity from Spotify.