Lady Gaga will be ringing and singing (her heart out!) in the New Year in Las Vegas with Tony Bennett. Sleater-Kinney and Babes In Toyland have reunited. Courtney Love will be touring with Lana Del Rey. Liz Phair and PJ Harvey should be making the talk show rounds. New music from The Breeders! All in all, 2015 is looking like it will be a great year for women in Rock and their fans.
Not that 2014 was bad for the ladies, on the contrary, there have been wonderful albums and shows by female Rockers of all types. Music by Beyonce, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, and FKAtwigs all made big waves in the commercial and critical arenas. Veruca Salt and Throwing Muses played well received shows across the United States. Perfect P*ssy, White Lung, and Savages have all made some noise and gained some fans. St. Vincent was practically everywhere. Who could forget Nirvana’s reunion featuring Joan Jett, Kim Gordon and a couple of names already mentioned?
However 2015, will stand apart as a great year. Sleater-Kinney set the mood this fall, with a boxed set retrospective (“Start Together”) that featured a new song and a date which revealed the release date of their reunion album as January 20. An announced for the album tour is doing brisk business and will coincide with a new season of SK member Carrie Brownstein’s sketch comedy show Portlandia (That’s called synergy!). Just like when the band was active in the early 2000’s they will be heralded as true independent women of rock and they will prove as influential in this second stage as they were in the first.
Also catching the reunion spirit in 2015 is Minneapolis band Babes In Toyland. However theirs is certainly distinct amongst the many “Gen X” band reunions of late, not in small part to how acrimoniously things ended the first time. Twelve years ago, Babes In Toyland fan sites were abuzz that Kat BJelland the lead singer and songwriter of the group was on the verge of being sued by the other members for mounting a Babes In Toyland European tour without them. However, the hatches have been buried and axes have been exhumed (to borrow from Veruca Salt’s reunion announcement which eluded to the repair of its own legendary rift which may or may not have been over a man who may or may not have been Dave Grohl) but even more interesting is the mechanics of this reunion. It seems Maureen Herman, bassist for Babes In Toyland, has made real contacts in the tech industry. Having written extensively for boingboing, she has proven adept at networking and actually got a group of former Google execs to fund this reunion and forthcoming tour. The mind reels with the possibilities of similar artistic and musical endeavors if this one should prove successful. Their fans and the whole of Silicon Valley are rooting for them.
Courtney Love, Kat Bjelland’s former band mate and ultimate “nemesister” also has exciting news of her own for 2015. She is hitting the road with young ingénue Lana Del Rey for the “Endless Summer” tour. At first this seems as unlikely a pairing as the aforementioned Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett tour, but lets look at the details. Both women are emotionally charge singer songwriters that are known for being very fond of collaboration in the studio, while also being fiercely independent and confrontational in lyrics and communication (Hello Twitter!). They both got big in the United Kingdom first (which has a well-documented history with being better for women rockers than the United States can be) and they both have bicoastal tendencies. This should be a tour to watch, and if Courtney Love can keep up the good manners and general joviality she is showing towards former lyrical combatants Dave Grohl and Billy Corgan this will go a long way with endearing herself to a whole new generation of rock fans.
Also on the horizon is new work from Kim and Kelley Deal’s Breeders and Liz Phair who have both hinted at new music via their social media sites. Polly Jean Harvey fresh from being named a war journalist and chronicler by the UK has a book of poetry coming out this year. All in all, 2015 is already looking like a great year for women in rock and roll and their fans could not be happier.
Blog By Austin Silver
Image courtesy of Anna Fischer – Flickr License