Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Pigtails Weekly Update

News Round Up

Fleetwood Mac have released new music after ten years. They have released a four track EP called 'Extended Play' on ITunes.
The songs are 'It Takes Time', 'Miss Fantasy', 'Sad Angel' and 'Without You.' The band will be touring the UK later in the year.
Dublin 02 (September 20)
London O2 Arena (24, 25, 27)
Birmingham LG Arena (29)
Manchester Arena (October 1)
Glasgow The Hydro (3)

Nineties girl band TLC have announced a live show and a new album. They will be playing The Mixtape Festival at Hersheypark Stadium, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, from July 26-27, alongside other old skool favourites New Kids On The Block, Hanson and Boyz II Men. This will be their first performance since 2009. They did speak in the past about using a hologram image for late band member Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopez, who died in a car crash in 2002, but it's not known whether they will be using this for the performance yet. A full tour is also expected to be announced for later in the year.
TLC will also be releasing a new album, their first since 2002's '3D'.

Little Boots has released a video to new song 'Broken Record'

Event guide Monday 6th May- Sunday 12th May
10 May - Third Annual Postgraduate Gender and Sexuality Conference, Birmingham University
Roles: A Gender and Sexuality Forum are pleased to announce our Third Annual Postgraduate Gender and Sexuality Conference (http://groles.wordpress.com/roles-gender-and-sexuality-conference/), at the University of Birmingham on the 10th of May 2013.
Our Key Note Speaker is Dr. Nadine Muller (twitter: @Nadine_Muller)
This one-day interdisciplinary conference offers postgraduates the opportunity to present their research in a friendly and supportive environment for people of all genders. Registration is free. (http://groles.wordpress.com/register-for-roles-colloquium/)
We invite applications for twenty-minute papers. Suggestions for presentations may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
  • social policy, government legislation, and matters of the law
  • cultural products: film / music / art / TV / literature
  • media, representation, and social images
  • sexuality, otherness, erotic practice
  • the body: subject, object, identity
  • theory, methodology, practice
  • feminism and postfeminism: representation and invisibility
  • queer and trans*: changing images of femininity and masculinity
Please send an abstract, including a short bio, of no more than 300 words to g.roles@hotmail.com by 10th March 2013.
Roles is an interdisciplinary research forum hosted by researchers at the University of Birmingham for the purpose of fostering discussion and debate

Artist of Month
It's now May so that means time for a brand new artist of the month! This month I've picked Brighton based Wolf Like Child who I've recently discovered and think others should hear too! They like Patti Smith and drinking rum, so they're welcome to my home anytime ;) In the following weeks I'll be chatting to them and sharing their music with you so keep reading!

Cover of the week
as I've been working with the element of Air this week, it's Ann Wilson's version of Goodbye Blue Sky

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Interview with Sue Denim

I recently had a little chat with Sue Denim, who was one half of electro punk noise makers Robots in Disguise who has now become a nature loving, offline- weekending, acoustic songstress (and mother to be)! with the recent release of her solo debut album 'And the Unicorn'. Check out what she had to say:

Hayley: You recently released your solo album 'And the Unicorn' on your own record label, it's quite a departure from the music you make with Robots in Disguise- what made you decide to change direction for your solo work? Is it something you've always wanted to do?
Sue: I didn't really have a big plan, maybe I should've! I just wrote some songs, bought myself a really nice guitar for the first time in my life (other than my gorgeous Fender Precision bass which I bought second hand right at the start of being in a band!) and decided to just record them very simply. I had met David Wrench and really liked his way of recording like this, plus wanted it to be easy to replicate live without either a band or backing track.
Hayley: What inspired the lyrics on the album?
Sue: I find everything inspires lyrics. Life, love, books, bikes...and yeah, North Wales, lately.
Hayley: What has the reception been like to the album?
Sue: Really lovely! I'm so pleased about it, and it's really gratifying that it's brought enjoyment to people other than just moi. Would be nice to reach some more folks but that's a challenge on a lo-budget self-release. 
Hayley: What's the newest single and why have you selected that particular song? 
Sue: 'Hollow'  I love the simplicity of this song, and I knew a simple video would work with it. Plus my publisher told me it sounded like a single!

Hayley: How did the tour go last year? What tour plans have you got for this year?
Sue: Great ..well except for me having gastro-enteritis...! Oh and the small matter of promoters threatening cancellation which was a bit stressful..but in the end, all good. By the final few gigs I was no longer vomiting backstage before the gigs! The audiences were really lovely.
Hayley: Do you plan to record another solo album?
Sue: Yep! Soon...ish!
Hayley: Any plans with Robots in Disguise this year?
Sue: No. I guess we're on indefinite hiatus or whatever it's called. 
Hayley: You recently moved to Wales, what's that been like?
Sue: Hard at first, I missed the big city. But I love it now, finally. Fresh air, nice tastin' tap water, a room of my own to write songs in, and love - what more could I possibly want?
Hayley: On Twitter, you often promote things like 'Offline weekends' and only spending time online between 9 and 9. What made you start doing this?
Sue: I was just spending WAY too much time looking at screens and I couldn't afford new glasses. I operate quite well with rules too, as long as it's me who makes em! (And therefore gets to break em when I feel like it!)
Hayley: Are you an active feminist? What sort of things do you do? (protests, groups etc?)
Sue: Yeah! Lately a bit less active though, I'm slowing down a bit just recently, but will rev up again after the summer. I don't wanna stress out my foetus with too much political rage!
But, yeah, I love a good protest! There's not very much feminist protesting in the streets that goes on in Bangor but I did organise a couple of protests to raise awareness about Pussy Riot. I'm also in a feminist group here in Bangor. 
Hayley: Which women inspire you and why?
Sue: Vocal feminists. Non-comformistes.
My mum. Peaches. Emily Jones. Ah... there's masses of inspiring women! Can't name em all!
Hayley: what advice would you give to other women who want to try self- releasing their music like you have done?
Sue: Go for it! But don't expect to get rich ! And do expect to have somewhat less time to spend on music! 
Thanks again to Sue for taking the time out to answer my questions. If you haven't already, go buy the album (click this link)!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Obsessive Compulsive: Seculo Seculorum album review

The last in the series for the April artist of the month.
Seculo Seculorum is the second full length album from Manchester based four piece independent band Obsessive Compulsive. This album was fan funded using the PledgeMusic platform, it’s not available to those who have been pledged but will be out on full official release on June 24th.
The title ‘Seculo Seculorum’ immediately grabbed my attention, for me I imagined it representing the album as a large mystical book filled with power and potency, but I have since learned it actually means ‘Forever’ as music does indeed live forever, no matter how long ago someone passes away, their music can be still enjoyed for eternity.
I felt that this album is about strength, independence and self- empowerment. For instance the song ‘Stamp Your Own Path’  with it’s lyrics “You don’t need anyone, you never did, you never will, so come on stamp your own path.”
My personal favourite is the shouty ‘No Logo’ about being against corporations and remaining true to who you are “I won’t sell my soul to the corporations” “We won’t tell you what to buy or how to live your life” sung with such conviction, you know this is something the band feel strongly about.
Musically I can’t put this album into one particular category, “No Logo” has elements of punk, there’s a definite metal influence across the album as well as hard rock and on the final song ‘Swallow the Sound” I feel like lead singer Kelli is channeling Alanis Morissette vocally and to some extent lyrically too.
The album has anger and passion in spades, but overall it personally makes me feel empowered and strong, this is a band that have worked hard and it shows. We need more bands like Obsessive Compulsive. So please support them and other independent bands by buying their music and going to their gigs. You can find all Obsessive Compulsive tour dates by clicking here 
The first single will be ‘Regurgitate’ released on May 13th.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Pigtails and Army Boots Weekly Update

news round up
One of my favourite new bands 'Deap Vally' have finally announced the release date for their debut album, which will be called 'Sistrionix' and it's released on the 24th June- a day before my birthday. This band are amazing.

As if Yoko Ono couldn't be any cooler, she's doing another cool project. The 'John Lennon Bus' which will be touring giving young people the chance to get involved with music, video, photography, game and broadcast projects.
It kicks off at The Museum of Liverpool on May 8th,  before touring around schools, colleges and festivals. For info visit www.lennonbus.org
Weekly Event Guide
Tues 23rd April- Sun 28th April
Wed 24th- What the Frock Quiz Night upstairs at The Big Chill, Bristol 7.30 for 8pm start £3 to enter, up to four people on a team.
Fri 26th- Peaches at Indig02, Greenwich
What the Frock! All female comedy night at The Square, Bristol get tickets here
ARTIST OF THE MONTH- Obsessive Compulsive- I interviewed their lead singer Kelli about their fan funded album check it out by clicking here

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Artist of the Month: Obsessive Compulsive

My band of the month for April are Manchester based Obsessive Compulsive. 
They recently had a PledgeMusic campaign for fans to fund their second album, which was a successful campaign and for those fortunate people like me that pledged, can now enjoy the fantastic album 'Seculo Seculorum'.  They are a very hard-working band with a strong DIY ethic, booking their own shows and releasing music on their own label.
There are four members in the band- Keli on vocals, Giz on guitars, Pete on bass and Dani on drums. It's hard to pinpoint an exact genre to put their music into, as they certainly have their own sound, but there are elements of metal, punk and grunge all mixed in.
here's a couple of their songs for you to check out:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCfdu5SAhiE&w=560&h=315]
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg7QpmwmXDw&w=560&h=315]

Monday, 1 April 2013

Pigtails and Army Boots weekly update

Latest News:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have released the disturbing video to go with epic new single 'Sacrilege' check it out:

Obsessive Compulsive's new fan pledged album 'Seculo Seculoram' was released to pledgers about half hour ago, I pledged, so am listening as I type and it's sounding AMAZING. Review to come soon!

La Roux revealed a new reggae tinged song at a gig recently

Weekly Event Guide
Monday 1st April- Sun 7th April
Tues 2nd April- La Roux at The Fleece, Bristol
Wed 4th April- 'What's the Most Important Issue Facing Feminists today?' at The Conway Hall, London. 6.30pm £5. Feminist bloggers from The New Statesman including the wonderful Laurie Penny discuss the issues.
Fri 5th April- Paramore at The Garage, London
Sat 6th April- Kate Nash at Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
With the new album released today, I'm making OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE my artist of the month for April- expect an album review, videos and more over the course of the month.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My new Home!

My new blog is now here

this blog will still be open for archive, and also cross posts of any relevant music/feminism posts but if you want to see ALL my various topics go over to the new one!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Cross Post: Pigtails and Army Boots update


News this week
* Paramore have announced a London gig at tiny venue The Garage on April 5th to support the release of their new album which comes out on the 8th.

*Blondie are touring the UK and Ireland this year! The dates are:
Nottingham Sherwood Pines Forest Park (June 14)
Thetford Forest (15)
Isle of Wight Festival (16)
Liverpool Academy (18)
Isle of Man Villa Marina (19)
Gloucestershire Westonbirt Arboretum (21)
Kent Bedgebury Pinetum (22)
Dublin Olympia (25)
Belfast Waterfront (26)
Yorkshire Dalby Forest (28)
Staffordshire Cannock Chase Forest (29)
Glasgow Clyde Auditorium (July 1)
Edinburgh Usher Hall (2)
Newcastle Academy (4)
Cheshire Delamere Forest (6)
London Roundhouse (7)
London Kew Gardens (9)

* Skunk Anansie have released a new single from their most recent album 'Black Traffic' called 'This is Not A Game' 

Weekly Event Guide Monday 25th- Sunday 31st
Wednesday 27th- Sinead o Connor at The Barbican Centre, London
Friday 29th- Swansea Feminist Network- 'Feminist Friday' meet at Costa Coffee at the City Centre bus station, Swansea at 3.30pm, materials will be provided
Sat 30th- Southend Feminist Group- March Meeting- 2pm upstairs at Utopia Coffee House, The Royals Shopping centre, Southend on Sea. Email southendfeministgroup@gmail.com
Sun 31st- Trash Monroe at Chinnerys, Southend on Sea
Next week, more news, the event guide, and amazing unsigned/independent bands to listen to! 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Not Goodbye

Pigtails and Army Boots has been going for several years now and been on a whole bunch of stations, it's been live, it's been pre-recorded, it's been 1 hour, it's been 2 hours and of course it's been a lot of fun to do. However, recently I haven't had the same passion for it, I'm still very passionate about music, especially female music and of course the amazing unsigned and independent bands I've discovered thanks to doing the show, but my passion isn't really where it should be in regards to expressing this through radio. My real passion is for writing and I want to put more energy into that- especially as I'm hoping to become a paid music journalist as my job!

So this is to tell you, I will not be 'on air' any more- instead the show will be much more blog/writing based, still telling you about female fronted music news, awesome independent bands and all the other things you love about the show. 'Artist of the Month' will still carry on, but with a much longer, detailed blog post about the band I've chosen. I'll still post a 'weekly event guide' as well as reviews etc.

That's not to say I won't be doing any radio ever again, the Mixcloud page is still up and I may occasionally put up podcasts for you to listen to, so stay following it if you are!
This wasn't an easy decision to make, but I really feel, at least for the time being this is the best thing for me. I promise you will still get quality content from me!

I'm keeping this blog open, but I may be starting a new blog so I can put all my interests on one blog, instead of having to start a new one for each different subject I want to write about! I currently have this one, and a writing one, but I'm finding there's more I want to write about that doesn't really fit into either! I will post a link if this happens, and this will remain open so I have an archive of what I have written.

If you want to email me, about this post, or if you're in a band, that I could write about in the near future (gigs, albums, singles for review, band of the month posts etc) you can contact me on pigtailsandarmyboots@gmail.com

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Review: Kate Nash- Girl Talk

Earlier this month, Kate Nash released her third album 'Girl Talk' which she released her on her own label 'Have 10p Records' with the help of fan funding using PledgeMusic.

I personally find Kate Nash inspiring. I liked the sweetness of her first record, it was almost like she was the less brash version of Lily Allen- a similar singing style and both capable of writing interesting lyrics, whilst Lily   sang about weed smoking brothers and enjoying seeing her ex boyfriend squirm, Kate was behind a piano, singing about the demise of a relationship, and about falling in lust with someone- but she wasn't the typical singer songwriter behind the piano, she was more cheerful, the songs were bouncy, catchy pop ditties like 'Foundations'

I have to admit despite enjoying 'Made of Bricks' I never got round to buying her second album 'My Best Friend is You' but in the interim I found out more about Kate Nash, the person behind the music. I found out that she proudly calls herself a feminist, started an after school club to help get more girls into song-writing when she found out the measly amount of females who received song writing loyalties as well as volunteering at a women's shelter, working with all girl band and female sound engineers.

Then last year, she released a new free to download song which sounded completely different to what she had previously recently, that caused quite a stir on the internet-

for me though, I loved it! I really felt it captured the riot grrrl spirit, and knowing she had also been playing in a punk band, I found the progression seemed to be a natural one for her, and when I heard she was releasing a new album, I was really looking forward to hearing how her music would develop.

Girl Talk didn't disappoint! I find it an intriguing mix of the more sweet, candy pop side of her with songs like '3am'

but then she goes much grungier and heavier on songs like 'Death Proof'

The album really shows the flexibililty of Kate's voice as well, one minute she's singing in harmony, then she's 'rock chick', on 'Cherry Pickin' she seems to be channelling Kathleen Hanna on an almost surf beat, and she even attempts rap on 'Rap For Rejection' which is surprisingly good.

I also love how she really shows her feminist colours on this album, in 'Rap for Rejection' she sings about sexism in all it's form and shapes, from men calling her a lesbian for refusing to give her phone number, to only finding the music magazines in the men's section of the news-stands. Then there's my personal favourite 'All Talk' where she sings 'You have a problem with me 'cause I'm a girl, I'm a feminist and if that offends you, then fuck you'.  But she also has songs about friendship, breaking up, and feeling like a freak. 

'Girl Talk' is a punk album with a feminist, female empowerment soul behind it, and lyrics that I'm sure most girls will relate to in some way. Highly recommended! 

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Inspiring Women and Girls Interviews Part 1 and 2

Part 1- with Lili- creater of The Twitter Youth Feminist Army

Part 2- with Diana- an Assistant Guider- about Girl Guiding and it's positive influence on young girls

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Spirituality and Music

As well as being passionate about music, I'm a very deeply connected a spiritual person too, I follow a pagan path and have interests in most mind, body and spirit type activities such as crystals, meditation etc etc but how do I make the connection between my spirituality and music? One thing that I do, is I have a pre programmed playlist on my mp3 player that I listen to every morning while having my breakfast, full of music that makes me happy or has a positive message. This isn't meditation music or even necessarily calm music, but music I listen to in general like rock, indie and so forth- here are some of the songs I've got on there:

Bonafide- Fill Your Head with Rock
really great rock n roll song but with great positive lyrics
" when you feel like you're sinking like a stone, fill your head with rock, when you feel like you're sinking to the ground, fill your head with your rock, the only medication I ever need is fill your head with rock"
makes me smile every time I hear it!

The Amorettes- Bed Rock
this song not so much for the lyrics but for the great riff and it's so incredibly catchy and happy sounding!

Alanis Morissette- You Learn
a reminder that life isn't always perfect, but you always learn from it- "You bleed, you learn, you breathe, you learn"

patti Smith- Spell
a basic stripped down song reminding that everything is holy-" The world is holy...The soul is holy..The skin is holy..
The nose is holy..The tongue and cock and hand 
and asshole holy
Everything is holy...everybody's holy..everywhere is 
holy..everyday is in eternity..Everyman's an 

I've got more on there but that's just some examples. Music creates feelings, maybe memories. It doesn't matter if it's marketed as spiritual music or not, music is a spiritual experience in itself- the feeling I have being at a gig makes me feel connected just as much as sitting quietly in a park does. I try to connect my passion for music and my faith a lot. What music has this effect on you and what connections do you have with your spirituality/religion and the music you listen to?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Inspiring Women and Girls Interview Series

Long time, no update!
Got some news for you. In the lead up to International Women's Day (8th March) I'll be doing a series of interviews on the show with various people who are inspiring women and girls in some form or shape. The first will be with the founder of the 'Twitter Youth Feminist Army' to be broadcast on my show on the 11th Feb. I'll also be doing an interview about girl guiding. I'm looking for more people to interview for the series, it can be either in person (Southend, Essex, UK based) or over Skype. If you think you fit the bill, or know someone who does, please email me pigtailsandarmyboots@gmail.com
The show goes out every Monday evening 8pm UK time on Firebrand Rock Radio