Lyn Jensen's Blog: Manga, Music, and Politics

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Location: Anaheim, California, United States

Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ROCK FOR CHOICE: Celebrating Roe V. Wade

Back around the twenty-second anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 1995, Rock for Choice (organized by Fund for a Feminist Majority) released a compilation album Spirit of '73 that was billed as "women of the nineties perform songs by women of the seventies." Unfortunately neither the material nor the artists were sufficiently vetted and the album was far from the cultural milestone it could've/should've been. 

Joan Jett was by far the biggest star Spirit of '73 managed to attract, and many of the song choices were "by women" only in the loosest sense. Many of them were composed and originally recorded by men--most obviously "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," which has absolutely nothing to do with women, even when sung by Joan Baez.

It's past time for the mainstream recording industry to embrace and focus on women's issues--the way it constantly supports the movements for peace and the environment. Some industry mogul (or major recording artist) with authority and imagination needs to revive Rock for Choice and get it in Walmarts in Texas.  

Someone--maybe Beyonce or Gwen Stefani or Taylor Swift, maybe Jimmy Iovine or Randy Jackson or L. A. Reid--needs to assemble today's biggest female vocalists and assign them seventies' songs composed by and expressing the viewpoints of women. 

Here's my dream Rock for Choice compilation CD, 2016 edition:

1.  "I am Woman" (composed by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton), Beyonce
2.  "Mercedes Benz" (Janis Joplin), Pink
3.  "The Pill" (composed by Lorene Allen, Don McHan, and T. D. Bayless), Casey Musgraves.
4.  "From Me To You" (Janis Ian), Crystal Bowersox
6.  "Poetry Man" (Phoebe Snow), Christina Aguilera
7.  "Because the Night" (Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen), Gwen Stefani
8.   "Total Control" (Martha Davis, Luke Solomon, Jeff Jourard), Lorde
9.  "Landslide" (Stevie Nicks), Selena Gomez
10. "You've Got a Friend" (Carole King), Taylor Swift   
11.  "Barracuda" (Ann and Nancy Wilson), Katy Perry
12. "Diamonds and Rust" (Joan Baez), Tessanne Chin
10.  "I Will Always Love You" (Dolly Parton), Lady Gaga

For next Jan. 22 (coming in 2017) I'll suggest a companion Spirit of '73 that'll consist entirely of songs from '73 where male superstars may show their support for choice, too. 

What are your suggestions for songs and artists on a new Rock for Choice compilation? Contact me on Facebook or Twitter about it!