The COVID Diaries: Only a Few Girls Allowed

Hello Darling Ones,

I’ve worked myself into a barely coherent paroxysm of rage over 89.3 The Current’s Essential Debut Albums poll. I love/hate when they do these kinds of lists.

Love: I am a musicgeek/pop culture nerd and talking about music is one of my very favorite things on earth to do. You’d probably be appalled to learn how much time I spend every day thinking about or listening to music. I think the only thing I do more of each day is sleep.

Hate: These kinds of polls bring out the worst in not just The Current, a radio station I have professed love for repeatedly and written about a lot, but also their listeners. These listeners love the shit out of music made by white dudes.

I can already tell you who is gonna be on the Top 10 of these essential album: Bowie, Prince, U2, Springsteen, Dylan, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, and probably The Rolling Stones. I’ll let you know in May how close I am to being 100% correct.

Today’s paroxysm or rage comes because I decided to investigate what “essential” debut albums The Current was auto-populating on this poll. That was a mistake. Of the 220 acts on the list approximately 51 of them include women. That’s less than a quarter. To say I am incandescent with anger is an understatement.

The list the radio station included has Haircut 100’s debut album, but not Phoebe Bridgers’. And of course the debuts by everyone from The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and The Stones, but no oh. . . Carole King, Joni Mitchell, or Janis Joplin. I’ll admit these ladies debuts are not their finest records, but neither is fucking Surfin’ Safari.

What makes me the angriest is that lists like this and so much music journalism keep perpetuating the greatness of this music by white men. I love it too. I really do. But it’s not hard to be the greatest of anything when you’re only ever competing against white men. If all things were ever equal where would The Beatles be? We’ll never know.

Might I also add that the Twin Cities music scene is dealing with another round of sexual assault allegations by a dude in a popular band? Two weeks ago it was Har Mar Superstar. This time it’s Gabriel Douglas of the band Four on the Floor. They are not the the first two dirtbags in the Twin Cities music scene and they will not be the last.

What kills me, what absolutely slays me, is that so many men have either said “I knew that guy sucked” or “I had no idea that guy sucked” and AT THE VERY SAME TIME will fill out a poll like The Current’s 893 Essentials list and only include records by men, and somehow are incapable of seeing that these are all parts of the same complex problem. And that problem? Men do not respect women. Not their autonomy. Not their bodies. And most definitely not their art.

Fuck ’em all,
Jodi

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