At first I thought radio was misogynistic. Then I heard this.


When Lady Steed and I first moved to the Bay Area (moved back, in her case) and became [re]acquainted with her teenaged soundtrack, Live 105, we were both struck by the lack of female voices. At the time of our most irritated conversations on the topic, Metric was the only band getting regular play with maybe an occasional older number from Alanis. And that was pretty much it.

Lilith Fair, apparently, was a bust. Natalie and Tori and Sarah and Kim (to say nothing of Kimi) did not change the world. The voice of radio was maler than ever.

But something's been changing lately. I'm not sure where it started. Was it Lana Del Rey on a station that is married to Nirvana? Was it Lorde being the first female with #1 song on the alternate chart since a song I don't even remember because it came out when I was on my mission?

Anyway, to see if I'm not crazy, I'm looking at all the songs Live 105 played yesterday (as of this writing, not of this posting), March 28, and seeing who's singing.

This is a list of everyone who sang this day. Click to make it bigger.

Well! It's clear I was wrong wrong wrong. If this is an increase in ladypipes making it on the air, then holy crap was the past a miserable ladyless place.

But this might just be a matter of so freaking many Bastille and Red Hot Chili Peppers plays. Let's compare the total number of artists, regardless of how popular "Radioactive" and "Team" are right now. So let's strip out the redundancies and just compare number of bands.

Well, huh. We can't say this is simply a matter of them not playing CHVRCHES today. Live 105 simply does not play many women. I'm guessing it's just enough to keep the complaints off. (Which ain't much since even women think women talk too much---even when they talk less.)

But frankly, as a redblooded heterosexual male, when I get to program for myself (thank you Spotify), I listen to more women then men.

The thing is, I can think of no justifiable reason for this other than we are conditioned to expect male voices on the radio---especially perhaps on rock stations. It's certainly not a fact that fewer female-fronted bands make good music. Not music, not rock, not dubstep, not polka is a gendered trait.

Yet we're still stuck in our malecentric past at the ratios of 254:22, 80:5.

That is embarrassing and ridiculous. Get it together, music fans.


  1. Hey, I have that Moonpools and Caterpillars CD. Haven't thought about that in a while.

    I always liked female vocalists too. For me nobody will every touch Karen Carpenter:

  2. .

    Sorry that Blogger is not letting my links work as intended and keeping the images too small to read. They've apparently made some decision that prevents me from letting you see them big. Naturally, I'm irritated by this.

    And, I'm happy to say, Karen's on that playlist.

  3. We don't listen to the radio much, but I do consciously flip through the stations until there is a female artist singing. We've had good luck with Alice Radio (97.3). It's pop, but my kids like it. Having a radio station with a female name and their morning show featuring a woman and a man (and not 2 men), makes me think they are rather feminist. I've tried looking up their history to see if a more female-oriented station and music was their goal, but I can't find anything on their site.

  4. .

    I think the name Alice is inspired by the AC format, but that's just an assumption.