Don’t let it be their death knell

Yes, she's a man-a-man-a-maneater.

Yes, she's a man-a-man-a-maneater.

Lazy blogging ahead! Just to warn you, I’ll be dipping into not one but two pre-existing sources to bring you this entry today. In my defense, with American icons shuffling of this mortal coil left and right, there’s a lot to think about. But before I take a dip into the reflection pool, I want to let you know about a benefit concert where attendants can jamboree in the name of feminism. I hate to belittle the significance of the cause by mixing it in with the news of two celebrity deaths. On the other hand, just like a tightly designed Tinkertoy structure, it will all connect in the end.

Bitch magazine, like many media outlets, has been operating with a graceful but noticeable limp in the last few years, given consumers’ recession spending habits and the slow demise of print media in general. So the gals who write and run the publication are throwing a multi-band hoe-down to raise funds and keep themselves afloat. If you have no idea what Bitch is all about, let me direct you to the Yelp review I wrote about them last September:

Just over two years ago, I headed into Powell’s and picked up a coffee and a copy of Bitch. I had spent the last few months packing my belongings, carting them every which way, and then setting them in a garage before getting lost in the Mediterranean for about a month. I had no clue what the world outside of my own life was up to. Dubya and cronies still around? Damn it!

I was delighted to learn that the magazine’s headquarters had moved from the Bay Area to my new hometown of PDX. Maybe that had everything to do with self-identification, in that I also made the move from Northern CA to Portland with the objective of decreasing my overhead while continuing (starting, really) to crank out creative projects. But mostly, it was like walking down the block from your apartment, running into an old friend, and discovering she lives just around the corner. And your friend is that super-clever gal you met in your Feminist Theory class who always asked the most provocative questions but still managed to make appearances at the hip shows downtown. Your friend helps keep you informed and in touch with the third-wave leanings that drove you to register for that class where you met in the first place. And your friend is tireless in the promotion of gender equality in the most mundane of places, from the trashy reality shows you love to the people you put into public office.

Some have accused Bitch of striking too self-righteous a tone. Some might call the writers humorless (untrue, as it takes a remarkably strong sense of humor to comment on the state of our world). Some consider it a shot in the foot that the magazine strives to remain free of corporate influence through its limited range of sponsors. I fully disclose that as a writer and a feminist, I’ll defend this publication to the devastating end. But I’d rather not use the played-out dogma of “Support it! It’s edgy! Keep Portland weird! Waaah!” Instead, I encourage a trip to the bookstore or library of your choice to check it out for yourself. Gain that extra perspective so you can either further inflate or adjust your ideas, or let it preach to your Le Tigre-listening, Ehrenreich-reading inner Grrl. All I know is that should the McCain-Palin machine invade my womb and plant a None Yo Business No Mo’ stamp on my uterus, I want well-made implements to fight the incursion. And they say bitches can’t handle tools.

Fortunately for bitchy-minded people of all genders, the show includes Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. Ms. Ford sings with a childlike warble similar to Joanna Newsom’s, and in the spirit of empowered women, vigorously sings and strums her guitar as the bandleader. If their music doesn’t make you bounce, then it’s quite probable that your knees need a check-up. Hopefully, it’s just the added dollop of whipped cream you need to encourage your support of a publication dedicated to outspoken critical thinking. Bitch has certainly influenced my ideas, not to mention presented countless examples of nerdy women and men who make a living in the creative sphere and keep my writerly barometer constantly percolating. I’m more than certain that the Bitch writers will have some astute commentary on the cultural legacies of both Farrah and Michael, and any opportunity to help those bitches maintain their outlet is worth at least some attention. Have a gander at this footage from Sallie Ford’s opening set at the Avett Brothers concert last in May below.

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside will play at the Mississippi Studios on Thursday, July 9. Boy Eats Drum Machine, Katie Sawicki, and Sugar Shortwave will also play.

  • Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside ~ Not an Animal EP ~ unsigned

“Not an Animal”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside at …“, posted with vodpod
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