Music

Noisy Women: America's First "All-Girl" Bands

When Sherrie Tucker set out to write her book, "Swift Shift: 'All-Girl' Bands of the 1940s," it took some herculean digging to unearth the stories of [insert band name] and others who played during the World War II era and thus rectify the revisionist history that formerly assumed that the talent women were somehow subpar substitute for their male musical counterparts who were off fighting. "When all-girl bands appear, they are frequently buried under unspoken definitions that take all-man bands to be normal and all-woman bands to be novelties," Tucker writes. Over at Amoeba Music's blog, Eric Brightwell explains how until the 20th century, professional female musicians were a rarity. Until then, women's musical roles were largely limited to vocals, piano and harp. But starting as early as the 1910s, some female musicians began striking out on their own, forming and joining up with early all-women groups like these in the decades leading up to the reign of rock 'n' roll.

The Ballad of Dolly Parton

To celebrate her January 19 birthday, Cristen and Caroline look at the incredible life of country music legend Dolly Parton and why many consider the over-the-top entertainer a feminist icon.

Where are the women in hip-hop?

Since hip-hop was born in 1973, women have played important roles as emcees, b-girls and graffiti artists, but prominent female rappers have dwindled in recent years. Hip-hop journalist Christina Lee talks to Cristen and Caroline about where the women rappers are, the importance of Nicki Minaj, and hip-hop feminism.

The Maestras of Classical Music

In fall 2013, a Russian orchestra conductor sparked international controversy when he said that women cut out for conducting. Cristen and Caroline look at the male-dominated world of classical music and the women like Marin Alsop who are challenging the maestro stereotype.

What's the nature of gender, masculinity and sexuality in boy band lyrics? What about race and ethnicity in (mostly white) boy bands? Join Cristen and Caroline for a brief history of boy bands, from The Beatles to 1 Direction.

Who is Pussy Riot?

Why is everyone talking about this Russian feminist punk band? Does symbolic solidarity with Pussy Riot make any difference? Does Pussy Riot enjoy more support from the West than its native Russia? Listen in to learn more.

Why do breakup songs hurt so good?

Almost everyone has a breakup song -- but why? In this episode, Cristen and Caroline explain how we process emotional rejection as physical pain and why music has an analgesic effect. Tune in to learn more (including which breakup songs may be the best).

Molly and Cristen examine the gendering of musical instruments, from the lack of male harpists to the gender politics of lutes, in this episode.