Madonna & Child

In case you haven’t checked any of your social media accounts recently, this happened:

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Don’t worry, Drake feels the same way you probably do- highly uncomfortable. The unwarranted kiss happened during a performance of her new song at Coachella this past weekend. Of course, we’re used to Madonna being overly sensational…

…with her getting vocal on Instagram…

…her “British accent”…

…and her no-holds-barred attitude…

…so we really shouldn’t be all surprised that she did something like making out with Drake on stage at Coachella without his permission. And yet, while I’m not necessarily surprised, this is certainly unsettling. Not that some of her previous antics weren’t- but even glancing back at the Instagram post, it not only contradicts much of what she’s stood for in the past, it also totally demolishes any path for women’s rights she’s begun to pave.

Yeah, I said that. Putting out songs in support of teen pregnancy and confidently strutting around in her iconic cone-cupped lingerie sets onstage, there shouldn’t be a doubt in your mind that Madonna is proud to be a woman, and embraces it any way she can- even if that means her own…Madonna-y way. But this smooch with Mr. Degrassi turns the tables. In an age where consent means everything, Madonna completely demolished any progress that’s been made.

And shame on her for that! Whether or not Drake ended up being okay with it in the end has nothing to do with the fact that she shouldn’t have done it in the first place. His reaction makes it clear that he had neither an idea nor intention to engage in a kiss with her- and yet she seized her moment, on stage in front of thousands of Californian music lovers, and did something “so Madonna!”

Her antics in the past may have been entertaining, in their own way. Perhaps even admirable, for the courage it must have taken her to do something so publicly. But this matter comes down to consent.

And, in a world where it’s usually the other way around- men violating the consent of women- this action is also perplexing. Though I’m wording that a bit extremely, and the meat of that topic is for another blog, another time, violating consent can be something as little as hugging someone who never asked for it and doesn’t want it. Which just so happens to be all too common of an occurrence in the star-studded world: Men grabbing female companions for a glamour shot, sneaking kisses on their cheeks at award shows, anything they can. So why would Madonna turn around and do something she’s been seemingly fighting against with everything else she’s been doing?

Perhaps in her eyes, she sees this as a power move. Perhaps she sees it as absolutely nothing. We can’t know for sure until someone asks her. Just don’t tell Britney. She might get jealous.

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Shoutout to Andrew for contributing the idea for this post.

 

 

 

Music Festivals’ Leading Ladies

Happy Coachella! As the exemplary summer music festival and kickstarting the flower-crowned season, today marks the first of the dual-weekend fest. But there’s a problem- the number of female musicians playing.

Image courtesy of Karen Cox @ SheKnows.

Image courtesy of Karen Cox @ SheKnows.

A women’s lifestyle blog, SheKnows, took cue from a picture that had been floating around the internet featuring the Reading/Leeds lineup with all the male-only acts removed, and put together a whole post analyzing the more popular festivals in the same manner and allotting percentages of female acts present at each. The results were highly disturbing. See the full article here.

Coachella scored a whopping 13.5% composition of female acts. Yikes. The other fests didn’t fare much better- Lollapalooza scored 25%, Bonnaroo 23%, and Governer’s Ball coming out on top with 30%.

The problem is, this isn’t news. This has become commonplace in many music festivals throughout the nation, even the world. That’s not to say the acts who are chosen, be they predominantly male or not, aren’t deserving of a slot. No, the issue lies in ensuring these festivals are fostering the kind of inclusion and diversity the music community is so apt to promote.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Back in 1997 (hello two-year-old me), Sarah McLachlan- yes, the sad puppy commercial woman- along with the help of Dan Fraser and Terry McBridge, put together Lillith Fair, a musical festival just for solo female acts or predominantly female bands. And it went on from ’97 through 1999, with a hiatus before its revival in 2010. Unfortunately, the fest is now defunct, but it gained quite a following in its time, even earning a documentary.

And Lillith Fair stands as proof that not only is a music festival with heavier female presence possible, it’s also just as attractive as a typical festival. While an entirely female festival would be a stellar thing to bring back, I believe it would be enough to start with simply being more inclusive in pre-existing festivals. With more women earning bigger names in the music industry, from pop to indie rock, it wouldn’t be hard to scout out some more acts with two X chromosomes.

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And it doesn’t stop with the musicians. I joke, you joke, we all joke about the stereotypical music festival goer, particularly the crop-topped and sunkissed girls. But we’re narrowly missing the point- it’s a form of self-expression, an embracing of it at that. Sure, you’ll find your fair share of scantily clad women at almost any summer music festival- but you’ll find your fair share of guys running around shirtless, as well. It’s in the very definition of a summer music festival: outdoors, massive crowds, summer heat on top of all that. So while us ladies can’t necessarily rock with our tops off, a good, airy crop top or even bikini top is as close as we can get. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

There is something wrong with shaming them for that, which is something that happens sadly all too often. But seeing more feminine faces in the crowd gives those girls a sense of support, whether they need it or not.

The crowds at Lillith Fair were predominantly female. You do the math. More female acts = more female attendees = more security in the fact that it’s okay to be a girl and like music, and moreover, to celebrate that as much as male musicians and festival goers do. Party on, girls.

Coachella Highlights: Part II

Here’s the 2nd round up of a few clips of some great performances during the last weekend of Coachella! Enjoy!

Pharrell & Co.

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Pharrell allowed festival attendees to take a trip down memory lane while bringing out a variety of special guests (inc. Usher, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Busta Rhymes and T.I.) Check out the vids below!!

Nas

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(Nas and Lauryn Hill at Coachella 2014)

Nas celebrated the 20th anniversary of “Illmatic” this weekend.  It was twenty years to the day of its release.  He performed each track from his critically acclaimed debut album.  One of the most epic moments during his set was when he brought Lauryn Hill onstage and the duo performed “If I Ruled The World.” Lauryn also performed “Ready or Not” from The Fugees repertoire.  Damian “Jr. Gong”appeared as a special guest and the two wowed the crowd with a performance of “Jamrock” and “Road to Zion.”

(**Images and videos are courtesy of the Instagram community**)

Coachella Highlights: Part I

It’s that time of year for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival!  The festival features two consecutive weekends of music held in Indio, California.  One of the great things about Coachella is the opportunity to see some of your favorite vets perform as well as new and up-and-coming acts from diverse musical backgrounds! Catch a few of my fave Coachella highlights below:

Solange and Beyoncé

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Solange Knowles, affectionately known as Solo by her fans, covered Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” during her set at Coachella.  She then performed some of her own tunes, including Sandcastle Disco (one of my faves from her) and her latest single “Losing You.”  The biggest surprise of the night was when her big sis Bey took the stage alongside her!  Looking like a scene straight from one of Solo’s music vids, Bey popped up and the twosome danced in sync to “Losing You.”

Peep the vid below:

OutKast

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Outkast_Coachella_2(Weekend 2 at the Coachella Festival)

Andre 3000 and Big Boi of the critically acclaimed Southern Hip-Hop group, OutKast reunited on stage for the first time in seven years at Coachella! They were the headliners during the first weekend and the duo performed again this past Friday.  During the first show, they performed 27 songs and was joined onstage by Janelle Monáe and Future. After mixed reviews from the initial comeback performance at the festival, they revamped their production and performance issues for their set on Friday and received more praise from festival attendees this time around.

Vid below from the first performance: