Women That Made Music For Me #1: Francesca Olsen

Hello, I am a woman and I also am the editorial director of this blog. This is the kickoff of a new, regular series that will feature non-male musicians talking about three non-male musicians that have been a source of long-term inspiration. It’s REALLY HARD to stop at three, but I thought a lot about this, so here are mine.

If you’re interested in doing this guest column, email me at digitalwheatpaste@gmail.com!

Buffy Sainte-Marie

An archetype for me for so long, Buffy Sainte-Marie is an incredible human being and remains a touring musician today, even though she is in her 70s. She has been a major activist for Native people, her songwriting is incredible, and she delivers her lyrics in a tough, don’t-need-to-prove-myself way that was probably outlandish when she was a young woman touring alone in her 20s. I go back to “It’s My Way” all the time to remind myself that I don’t need to apologize to anyone for making MY own way.

Brody Dalle, The Distillers

People used to always get mad about this one but I don’t care anymore. As a young, mohawked 16-year-old girl (dm me for pics), The Distillers were one of the first woman-fronted bands I LOVED. I wore my Distillers shirt about once every three days. I will never forget running up the stairs to the Loft in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and catching the last three songs of a Distillers set in like 2002. Something about this music answered some deep, burning, ugly question inside me. It made me feel powerful and valid as a young punk in a very male-dominated scene. When I listen to it now, it makes my heart race in the same way.

Maureen “Moe” Tucker, The Velvet Underground

I’ve played this song by myself, all alone, sadgirl-style, at least twice as many times as I’ve played it in front of people (AND YES I DO KNOW LOU REED WROTE IT). My love of VU has carried on for more than half my life, but “If you close the door/the night could last forever” is still, for me, at the heart of everything. Moe Tucker was about 21 when she started drumming for VU. A lot of people STILL THINK SHE IS A BOY. I do not agree with her political views (just Google it), but she remains to me a tough, awesome symbol of rock and roll.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s