“When I started my music career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office and my father was a trashman. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today, in my black and white, and I wear my uniform to honor them.
This is a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire. And today, I wear my uniform proudly as a Cover Girl. I want to be clear, young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.”
You did it. You went the long way around the sun and now you’re back for another Tumblr Year in Review. This year: 2016.
What is Tumblr’s Year In Review?
Why it’s all the top stuff on Tumblr. From all over Tumblr. Stacked and sorted by our very own Fandometrics, the pleasingly scientific system we use to rank your enthusiasm and love. Scan the categories below for the things you’re most enthusiastic about.
The best of 2016, right this way please 👉
TV: Live Action The stranger things in life: Zombies, teen wolves, big brothers, and Steven Moffat.
TV: Animated Gems, ladybugs, and transformers start our top 20 list.
Movies Superheroes and strong women. Not mutually exclusive.
Solo artists 60% of your favorite musicians were women this year. Some of the others came from the Australian internet.
Bands In this year: Numbered groups. Out this year: The Beatles.
Albums The oldest album on this list is from 2010. It’s old enough to go to Kindergarten.
All this new stuff they call rock ’n’ roll, why, I’ve been playing that for years now… Ninety percent of rock-and-roll artists came out of the church, their foundation is the church. SISTER ROSETTA THARPE (The pioneer)
Olivette Miller, celebrated “swing” harpist of the 1940s, was born 101 years ago today (February 2, 1914) in Illinois. Here parents were Bessie Oliver Miller, a 1900’s chorus girl and the venerable actor, comedian, writer and producer Flournoy Miller, who co-wrote and produced the groundbreaking Broadway musical “Shuffle Along.” Raised on Harlem’s famous Striver’s Row, Ms. Miller graduated from East Greenwich Academy, a private Methodist boarding school in Rhode Island in 1931, and went on to study music in Paris and at Juilliard. She originally planned to play concert halls but after being “bitten by the night club bug” she turned to more popular music. Ms. Miller’s stunning beauty and colorful love-life kept her in the newspapers almost as much as her performances around the country and the world. She performed with both Lena Horne and a young not-yet-a-superstar Dorothy Dandridge in the 1940s, top notch night clubs in Hollywood, Chicago and New York, and made a few appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the 1960s. I’m still trying to pin it down, but by my count, she was married at least six times. The Chicago Defender reported her impending divorce from her first husband, Channing Price in November 1934 and in October 1939, the New York Amsterdam News reported that Ms. Miller, who had married a musician named Oett Mallard two years earlier, gave birth to their son, Alvin Miller Mallard, on October 1, 1939 in Denver, Colorado. She was married to the dancer Freddie Gordon in the 1940s and in the 1950s to the comedian Bert Gibson and performed and toured with him across the country. In the 1970s, when she sued Flip Wilson for copyright infringement over a sketch he did on his show that Ms. Miller claimed was lifted from her father’s work in “Shuffle Along,” her name ws Olivette Miller Darby. By the early 1990s, she had a bit part as a maid in the film “A Rage in Harlem” and was billed as Olivette Miller Briggs, due to her marriage to the dancer Bunny Briggs. Ms. Miller died on April 27, 2003 at the age of 89. Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.
“Happy 103rd birthday to Viola Smith, one of the world’s first female professional drummers! Early in her music career, Smith became known as “America’s fastest girl drummer.” She spent decades challenging the barriers facing female musicians – and the centenarian she still plays regularly today!
In the late 1930s, Smith and her sister Mildred formed their own all-girl band, the Coquettes. Smith became known for the novelty of being a “girl drummer” and was featured on the cover of Billboard Magazine in 1940. But Smith became dissatisfied with how women musicians were treated. “Before World War II there was great prejudice,” she said. “The men felt like: ‘Girl musicians, what are they doing on the road? It’s a male job.’”
During the midst of WWII in 1942, she published an article in Down Beat Magazine titled “Give Girl Musicians A Break!” Smith says, “I was asked to write the article on behalf of the many capable girl musicians who were out of work.” In it, she wrote, “In these times of national emergency, many of the star instrumentalists of the big name bands are being drafted. Instead of replacing them with what may be mediocre talent, why not let some of the great girl musicians of the country take their place?” The article generated furious discussion about the prejudice against female musicians.
You can watch Viola Smith lead the all-female band, the Coquettes, in an incredible performance in 1939 on YouTube at http://bit.ly/1hKeoXn.
Smith is one of many women featured in the fascinating book “Women Drummers: A History from Rock and Jazz to Blues and Country” at http://amzn.to/1zFfbwQ”
I’m so incredibly stoked to present the first installment of T.R.A.N.S.F.E.M., a periodical non-profit publication of music created by our DMAB transfeminine sisters across the internet, unbound by genre, age, race, presentation, etc.! So much incredible talent ended up in this 50 track assemblage of sounds and I could not be more proud!!<3
I hope this compilation will serve as a great jumping-off point for transfem artists to discover each other and network with one another, as well as generally boost all the incredible work these wildly talented folks have been pouring into my gmail inbox these past few weeks!!
SUBMISSIONS ARE STILL OPEN, AND WILL BE FOREVER!!
I’d like to keep T.R.A.N.S.F.E.M. up and running for as long as I possibly can, so if you’re a transfem musician, send an email to [[firstname.lastname@example.org]] with your song attached (in .WAV or .FLAC format, please).
The artist name/alias you wish to be credited as
The title of your submission
Any links to your soundcloud/bandcamp/wherever you post your work so that I may link your work in the credits (optional)
IF YOU ALREADY SUBMITTED TO VOL. 1, YOU MAY SUBMIT ANOTHER TRACK FOR VOL. 2 !! You are welcome to submit one track per volume!
In fact, if you’d like to submit multiple tracks simultaneously, I’ll go ahead and queue them up for future volumes! A new volume will release every time i receive 50 submissions from 50 different artists.
MC: You guys are super proactive about your feminism and gender equality in the industry—what progress and pitfalls have you observed since you guys got your start?
AJ: “I remember once—we’re both really tall, like 5’ 9"—and we were wearing super high heels and a guy we used to work with was like, "Uh, I don’t think you should wear heels because it can be pretty offensive for a man when you’re taller than them.” So, the day after we put on even higher heels. It was shocking. There were also other people we used to work who were like, “We’d love to style you, but think you’d look better in less clothes.” And it’s stuff like that makes you feel nauseous. We don’t do music because of how we look, we want people to love our music and feel it.“
"THERE WERE ALSO OTHER PEOPLE WE USED TO WORK WHO WERE LIKE, ‘WE’D LOVE TO STYLE YOU, BUT THINK YOU’D LOOK BETTER IN LESS CLOTHES.’ AND IT’S STUFF LIKE THAT MAKES YOU FEEL NAUSEOUS.”
Caroline Hjelt: “And if we want to be naked, we want to do it because we want to be naked. We think it’s beautiful to be naked sometimes, but we want to choose that moment and be the ones deciding why we’re doing it. One frustration in the industry is that people do things like it’s always been done. They say "Oh, this is terrible, but this is how we’ve always done it.” Or this is how we did it with so and so artist back in the day. When you play at festivals, it’s still very much male dominated if you look at the headliners. There still needs to be change for the better, but now there are so many amazing female producers, instrumentalists, and engineers, and that’s something that’s happening more and more because it’s becoming more accepted.“
AJ: "It also feels like when girls play live, it’s like "Are you singing for real?” or “Are you really playing that instrument?” They ask us questions that really make us angry. It’s like you have to be twice as good as the guys to get on the same level.“
Janis Joplin was an American singer-songwriter who sang blues-influenced rock. She is best known for her number one hit “Me and Bobby McGee” and was known as “The Queen of Psychedelic Soul” and the ”First Lady of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Joplin was born in 1943 in Port Arthur, Texas. Joplin had a tough time as a teenager, and was bullied at school for her appearance. She was able to find some solace in music. Through friends, she was introduced to blues artists Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Lead Belly, a discovery that inspired her to become a singer. Joplin began singing in the local choir while listening to blues singers like Odetta, Billie Holiday and Big Mama Thornton. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, Joplin attended Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont, Texas for a summer before moving on to the University of Texas in Austin. While at the University, a profile on her entitled “She Dares to be Different” ran in the campus newspaper. It began "She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levis to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her Autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song, it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin.”
In 1962, Joplin recorded her first song on tape “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do” and began performing at folksings, similar to open mic nights with the Waller Creek Boys. A year later, Joplin dropped out of school to move to San Francisco hoping to gain some success in the Bay Area music scene. Although she played at the 1963 Monterey Folk Festival, Joplin had few opportunities to develop her career and she moved to New York City. In New York, her drink and drug use caught up with her and in 1965 she returned to Texas to try and get herself together. She tried to ignore her urge to play music, and dressed conservatively to try and distance herself from that lifestyle.
In 1966, Joplin returned to performing and joined Big Brother and the Holiday Company, a psychedelic rock band. Joplin started out singing a few songs and playing the tambourine, but she soon ended up as lead vocalist. In 1967, Big Brother played at the Monterey Pop Festival and the group began to attract a growing fanbase. Joplin had returned to drink and drugs, and this, coupled with her sexual, raw and emotion style of performance created tension between her and the other band members. In 1968, the band released the album Cheap Thrills and this cemented Joplin as one of the leading musical stars of the late Sixties. That same year, Joplin left Big Brother and the Holding Company to play with a new backing group, the Kozmic Blues Band. In August 1969, Joplin and the band gave a historic performance at Woodstock. Joplin was drunk, but managed to give a performance that ended with demands for an encore. According to Pete Townshend from The Who, “even Janis on an off-night was incredible.” Later that year, the band released I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! The album reached number 5 on the Billboard 200 and was later certified gold, but critics were divided on whether or not it was a success.
In 1970, Joplin managed to briefly get clean again while in Brazil but quickly went back to heroin when she returned to the U.S. Joplin then formed a new band, the Full Tilt Boogie Band which she was able to have far more of an input with, and she claimed “It’s my band. Finally it’s my band!” In April, Joplin performed in a reunion with her former band, Big Brother at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. The recordings from the concert would be released posthumously. In
May, Joplin began touring with the Full Tilt Boogie Band and from June to July they joined the all-star Festival Express tour through Canada, performing with many others including Buddy Guy and Grateful Dead. Joplin’s performances from the tour are said to be some of her greatest. In August, she made her last public performance with the Full Tilt Boogie Band at the Harvard Stadium in Boston, with positive reviews. Joplin and the band then threw themselves into recording a new album in Los Angeles, but she died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 27 before the record was finished.
In 1971, Pearl was released posthumously. The record contained the songs from the recording session prior to Joplin’s death and became the biggest-selling album of her career. Her most successful single was a cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” Numerous collections of her songs have been released since her death, including In Concert (1971) and Box of Pearls (1999). Despite her addiction, Joplin was able to achieve success in a male-dominated industry where it was made difficult for female singers and opened up opportunities for future women to make a career in rock music. She was hugely influential, and has been an inspiration for many singers including Stevie Nicks and has been the subject of many songs including Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2”, Jerry Garcia’s “Birdsong”, The Mamas & the Papas “Pearl” and Jane Birkin’s “Ex fan des sixties” references her.
In 1995, Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2005 she was honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2009, the Hall of Fame and museum honoured her as part of its annual American Music Masters Series. In 2013, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of Musicians Institute and a year later she was honoured with a commemorative stamp by the U.S. Postal Service as part of its Music Icons Forever Stamp series.
I’m sorry to inform you of this, but the three Mexican sisters who make up The Warning are already way more metal than you, and they’re not even old enough to drive a car. 14-year-old guitarist/vocalist Daniela, 12-year-old bassist Paulina and 9-year-old drummer Alejandra all look like adorable young ladies, but from the way they shred through Metallica’s 'Enter Sandman,’ you just know that beneath those sweet exteriors, lie things dark and unknowable. And not just because they’re teens/tweens.
They’re about one-third of the way toward raising the $30K they need to attend the Berklee College of Music’s summer program, though I’m not sure they need the help. Here are some of their other songs.”