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Music geekery

Didn’t we link to this geek hierarchy? I just searched the GF blog and can’t find it. Anyway, SURPRISE! All forms of geek on the hierarchy are male! At least til you get to the very bottom of the list and the fanfic writer has a bag over zir head. There’s a whole nother article to be written about the presumed and actual gender of fanfic writers, but I wanted to talk about the top of the geek hierarchy: the music geek.

Undisputed King of the Geek World, the Music Geek is without a doubt the most socially acceptable. For some reason you can be totally obsessed with going to music store after music store looking for that rare Australian-only single release by your third favorite indie band, and nobody’s going to think you’re weird or “eccentric” for doing so. This geekdom is the “coolest” because it does not repel women, and many of these geeks actually go out in public regularly to see bands perform, so they tend not to be socially awkward hermits.

*pounds head gently on desk*

As some of you may know, I’m quitting my job in the tech industry and going into music. It’s given me some pause for thought wrt my geek identity, let me tell you. But fuck it, I can be a music geek, and a geek in music, and/or a geek who combines tech and music. Whatever.

Anyway, on that note, I just wanted to post a quick link to an article on one of my favourite music-geek blogs, Pam’s Newsprint Fray:

Earlier this week, Pitchfork published a list of their 60 favorite music books. It is pretty wide-ranging and there are many good books on the list. (And some I really hated.) But only one was written by a woman, and two had lady coauthors. Come the fuck on.

Pam then offers us:

TWENTY-FIVE (ISH) AWESOME BOOKS ABOUT MUSIC
that happen to have been written by ladies

or at least co-written in a few cases

I’m definitely adding a few of these to my to-read list. Meanwhile, talk to me about music geekery, being a female music geek and/or geek in music, etc?

8 thoughts on “Music geekery

  1. regis

    Wait, what? It’s a little smurfette-ish, but I believe at least one of the cosplaying otaku and at least one of the LARPers are female.

    1. Skud Post author

      Yeah, sorry, *handwavehandwave* there are women in the group pics but the text ignores their existence and is all guys-this-guys-that… I really should try and dig up that link/discussion I saw that talked more about the gender representation on that page. I thought it was here but I guess maybe it was on Dreamwidth.

    2. Skud Post author

      OK, I hunted down where I’d seen this, and it was in a locked post on DW so I can’t link to it. But I will invite the author to come over here and discuss if she’s so inclined.

  2. pam

    I could talk about this for two years straight and not run out of things to say, so I will instead tell a story.

    I was at this hardcore show a few weeks back, four bands on the bill. I was hanging on the center monitor, which is where I like to be. I was, by far, the oldest person there (maybe not at the show, but in the pit? hell, yes), and there were no women around me. They were at the show, sure, but they weren’t anywhere near the pit. They were sitting on the edges of the stage, or standing against the walls, or behind the pit, or up on the balcony. The stagediving started for real during the third band, an endless stream of bodies tumbling over my head, of people climbing me like a ladder to get on stage and then jump off. There was a girl, no more than 17, sitting on the corner of the stage, and she was getting more and more into it, increasingly worked up. Maybe halfway through the set, she’d had enough, and she stood up and went to the back of the stage and ran for the front. She stopped in her tracks about a foot from the stage, and you could see it on her face — oh my god, what now? What am I doing? Am I really going to do this? She wasn’t sure. She looked around nervously, and her eyes caught on me, and I grinned and put my arms up, and she grinned back at me and threw herself off the stage. I caught her, of course, and it was like the floodgates opened; all those other girls who’d been sitting at the edges of the stage and holding up the walls were suddenly flying through the air, too, lunatic grins on their faces. I don’t know if I had anything to do with it; maybe she would have worked up the nerve and then everyone else would have been encouraged. Maybe someone else would have gone first. But it was very clear to me that SOMEONE had to go first, and that these girls weren’t getting the encouragement they needed from the boys, and so I think my being there helped, if only for that one second. It was good, you know? It’s like my new mission in life: Making hardcore awesome for women, one show at a time.

    (Thanks for the link!)

  3. Lesley Hall

    I liked Charlotte Greig’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow: Girl Groups from the 50s on… (Virago, 1989) which makes a good attempt at reclaiming a genre that tends to get dismissed as girly bubblegum pop, though I’m not entirely sure she should have taken her story into more recent years.

  4. Stephanie

    Has there ever been an instance in all of history where a marching band did not sound like shit?

    Clearly, this person has never actually listened to a good marching band. I marched for 8 years and I’m very proud of it.

    This guy just sounds awfully bitter about…well, everything, despite his claim that he’s a geek. There is a lot of geek-on-geek, my-geekdom-is-more-geeky/cool-than-yours bashing out there and I guess this guy just hopped on the bandwagon.

  5. Mary

    It looks like Catherine Strong hasn’t published outside academia, but I was really interested to hear of her work on the history of women in rock, which she talked about on JJJ (Australian indie rock station) when their Hottest 100 Songs of All Time list was really male-dominated. (See Lauredhel’s transcript.) Her work is about how at the time, in alternative music, there tend to be women involved and women leading, but ten or twenty years later everyone remembers the men and talks about the men. And then every time there’s a music movement, it’s the first women in rock evah!

    Her specific period of reference is grunge. She has a forthcoming publication listed as: ” Grunge, Riot Grrrl and the forgetting of women in popular music’, Journal of Popular Culture, TBA.

  6. Lindsey Kuper

    Skud, thanks for linking to Pam’s blog! She is brilliant. We were roommates in a previous life.

    Talk to you about being a music geek? Where do I start? I’ve written recently about how pop music helped me figure out how to not be afraid to like things. I’ve written about being the only computer scientist in the choir (and about being told, when I went to choir auditions, “I didn’t know you could get a Ph.D. in computer science” by the (male) choral conducting doctoral student who processed my audition form). I’ve written about hating it when songwriting is treated like a parlor trick. In 2004, I angrily wrote about how the so-called “all-girl rock show” that some people at my school tried to put on was incredibly disappointing. Hell, maybe we should just have this conversation in person sometime.

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