Music fan gift guide

Does your sister go to all the concerts at the local hipster joint? Is your Mom hard to buy for but loves her classical music station? Has your sweetie mentioned his favorite bands at least twice a day? Well, HINT, get them something a music lover would adore and because I know every damn thing, I’m going to help you out.  Continue reading

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I Love Rock N Roll – Ottawa Girls Rock Camp 2015

Campers and volunteers.

Campers and volunteers.

I don’t even own an electric guitar. Why did I volunteer to teach guitar at a girls’ rock camp? I make my living teaching music and some of my students are rockers. Over the years I’ve learned to mash through power chords and scales. Plus, I’m a feminist and that’s what we do – support girls and women. This is a music camp, sure, but it’s also a vehicle for empowering girls and I’m all about that.

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Preserving women’s culture of the eighties and nineties through Jo-Ed videos

womens musicI first met Pat Jones and Donna Eddins in 1990 at the Gulf Coast Women’s Music Festival in Mississippi. They were videotaping the event and would I give them permission to record my set? This was before everyone and their sister had phones with video or even home camcorders, so of course I said yes. Over that long weekend I got to know them better and when they offered me a place to stay my next time through their hometown of Memphis, I didn’t hesitate. I loved their warm and direct manner. Neither suffered fools gladly and they worked tirelessly as LGBT activists — my kind of people. They taped festivals and other events with professional grade equipment, produced concerts, and did an LGBT radio show, all in the deep south. Here’s Pat talking about bringing comic Robin Tyler to Memphis in 1980. She also mentions Meristem, the women’s bookstore that existed there in the nineties.

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By the Time I Got to Wombstock

Bonnie MorrisThis week’s post is by guest blogger Bonnie Morris. She’s the author of several books including the groundbreaking Eden Built by Eves, a women’s studies professor at George Washington, and an in-demand speaker at conferences.   This is an excerpt from her upcoming book The Disappearing L: erasure of lesbian spaces and culture, due out in 2016 from SUNY Press.


I rushed off, journal in hand, to camp out at my first women’s music festival just after I turned twenty. I’d read about Michigan in the copy of off our backs passed around at my young lesbian support group: since 1976, the rural Wombstock had been hosting thousands of women annually during its August week of concerts on private woodland. Rumor and stereotype abounded: supposedly, one would encounter naked Amazon separatists, political correctness at breakfast, sex in the ferns, holistic mystery food served out of barrels, mandatory recycling workshifts, Perseid meteor showers, voyeuristic raccoons, and meeting a new girlfriend named Lynx or Oak—as well as the best sound stages and production values in Lesbian Nation. I entered this community in its sixth year, August 1981, the last time the festival met on the “old land” near Hesperia. Getting there involved eighteen hours of road trip on a privately chartered Greyhound bus with sixty other defiant lesbian activists. If the journal entry I wrote after my first lesbian concert radiated euphoria, a blearier vibe characterized my writing as I headed to the Midwest that week.  Continue reading

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I’ve written a great song, how do I sell it?

Karen Reynolds 2Guest blogger Karen E. Reynolds is an award-winning songwriter, longtime radio DJ, and respected music industry consultant. She’s taught songwriting and music business at the University of Tennessee and Kent State.


You’ve written your song. You’ve done a rewrite and have polished it to a luster. Now what do you do? Hit the road, perform it before millions? There’s more to it than that. Is the song pitchable and what does that even mean? Is it right for film? TV? Is it a radio ready anthem and relevant for today’s market? Here’s a list of actions that can help you zero in on the best opportunity for you and your song. Continue reading

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I’m a gun-totin’ beer-swillin’ country music fan

love country music 2

Only the last part of that is true – I’ve never owned more than a squirt gun and I hate beer – but you totally bought it, right? Country music fans are supposed to be right wing nut cases yelling “hell yeah” at a Toby Keith concert but some of us are more likely to pump our fists in the air for Kacey Musgraves. Continue reading

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Putting on my writer’s fedora – projects update


I’m probably too femme to pull off a fedora. At any rate, here’s an update on my writing projects.

womens musicThe women’s music book

I’m writing about women’s music artists of the seventies and eighties, with a generous look at the rest of our culture. It’s on the back burner now but I plan to get back to it soon. I need big chunks of uninterrupted time; between students and gigs, I haven’t had that recently. In the next few months I hope to have a proposal ready for publishers. I’m approaching academic presses first. If you have a connection to one that you think might be interested, give me a shout and in return, you’ll get my eternal gratitude and good karma.

drive all night bookMy memoir Drive All Night

It’s been out a little over a year. The Advocate called it a must-read and noted lesbian playwright Carolyn Gage called me a bad ass. You can buy it from Bella Books. More about the book here.

singoutCD and book reviews

I am continuing to write CD and book reviews for SingOut! and Minor7th. I really enjoy discovering new music and books. Please don’t contact me directly about reviewing your work. I can only review what my editors send me.

With Tory Trujillo. Photo by Janice Rickert.

With Tory Trujillo. Photo by Janice Rickert.

This blog

Many recent posts are travelogues, from women’s music festivals to Dollywood with my mom. I get a few hundred hits a day, for a total of over 400,000. I must be entertaining and informative. Either that, or my mom has a lot of free time on her hands.

What would you like me to write about next?


Sadly, I’ve not written much. The muse has tapped me on the shoulder a few times. She needs to be less subtle. Maybe a hammer. Since I got a beautiful new ukulele in June, I might pick it up to see what she whispers to me. I’ve also been playing my banjo a lot. Frightening, I know.


Meanwhile, I’ll continue to scribble on napkins to entertain and inform you. Thanks for the support! Doffing my hat to all of you.

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