Friday, March 24, 2017

Women Who Rock and/or Make History: Pixies and Janet Reno

March is Girl Women's History Month.

Fact: girls can do things too!

Fact: girls can't do rock and roll, or so one might conclude from the paucity of females inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (motto: "We've got Randy Newman!"). Real fact: girls can do rock and roll (some of them).

Since I am enjoying getting on my high horse (or getting high on horse), I'm going to double dip with a series of girl-on-girl posts. It's a combination of a female musical act (or a band with a female member [possibly more]) that merits* induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a female who did something like bake a cake or killed a guy (Laura Bush killed a guy).

I'm perfectly happy accepting a band with a lone female member in my tally of female acts in the Hall. Pixies (Kim Deal was in the original line-up) or Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon) work, and the bands are probably similarly influential on grunge and post-grunge music in the early and mid-90s (although maybe not in 1992 when everyone was a lesbian). 

Kim Deal answered an add looking for a female bass player who liked both Peter, Paul and Mary, and Hüsker Dü. Hmm, I didn't know Black Francis (nee Frank Black) specifically wanted a female bass player. That seems a little weird. Sexist? Like why not place an ad for a good bass player?

My appreciation for the band didn't exist until after the late 90s, after they stopped recording new music, and even then is isolated to specific songs (that I fucking love) and opposed to entire albums.



Janet Reno was Bill Clinton's third pick for US Attorney General. Both Zoë Baird and Kimba Wood had "nanny problems" (as in they both employed undocumented workers as nannies). It's weird that Clinton was so determined to appoint a woman as AG (wait, is it? maybe it's not [okay, listen to the second video clip, it explains why a woman]). Maybe what's weird is that Reno was the only one of the 3 that was a prosecutor. And as a single woman with no children, she had no nanny problem, thus proving the third time's the charm.

Reno is the first female Attorney General of the United States, and her tenure from confirmation through George W. Bush's inauguration makes her the second longest serving AG in US history. During her time in office she oversaw:

  • the 2 month long siege at the Branch Davidians compound in Waco
  • the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City
  • the Centennial Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta
  • the 1993 World Trade Center bombing
  • conviction of the Unabomber
  • sending Elian Gonzales back to Cuba to live with his father
  • charges against Microsoft for violating antitrust laws and establishing themselves as a monopoly

Will Ferrell's imitations of her wasn't the best thing he did, but she learned to embrace it and showed up for the final sketch of her tenure as AG.





* There is a wide spectrum of rock & roll gravitas for the artists included in the 31 I will include. I feel like a reasonable case can be made for each, and everyone one of these is at least as worthy as Randy Newman, 2103 inductee.

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