Wednesday, June 15, 2016

the playlist

My darling and brilliant friend Erin used to write a weekly music review in the Guardian online. It generally focused on music from the Caribbean (reggae, dancehall and soca) with insights into society and culture. She intelligently assessed pop culture to both entertained and informed. This is not that. 

I've had two weeks of chrysalis bursting, resulting in the need for a really fantastic "I am woman hear me kick my own ass and bust some serious moves" playlist. I put out a call for song suggestions to one of my favourite groups of powerful women, and the variety of responses was interesting. A bit Lilith Fair singer-songwriter angsty and/or hipster way too cool for me, but also some great "oh ya I love that song" moments.

Since crowd-sourcing was a bit of a miss, I decided to do some digging on my own. A week later, I think I've got a starting point. HA! Two insights I've had falling down my youtube rabbit hole of female power pop: 
  1. It is a naïve surprise to me that almost all songs that purport to be female empowerment songs are really about getting a man, keeping a man, getting over a man, showing a man what he lost, etc. Perhaps it's time to come up with a Bechdel test for music - it can't be about the boxes his stuff is in, or what you're going to do to his truck, or, really, about him at all. The songs that pass the SCWink pop music test are just about how awesome it is to be a woman. How powerful we can be. How resourceful, and creative, and loving (as mothers, daughters, friends, and THEN lovers). A part of what I love about being a woman is the alchemy that happens with some men, but that is not the totality of who I am, and until now it has not been the part that designs and creates an awesome life full of adventure. In short, the SCWink pop music test looks for songs that speak to the 93% of a woman that isn't her vagina.
  2. In the end, I had to embrace the fact that I am not one of the music elite. I love pop music. If I could only listen to one genre of music the rest of my life it would be R&B. I have a secret corner of my heart that only certain country songs speak to. There's little room for bitter irony on my list. We're wearing hot pink sundresses for this one, not slouchy hats and worn out flannel. 
This is not a list about cheating lovers or lowered expectations. This is not a playlist about him, or them, or I'll show you. It might be my running list as I train for the first race I've competed in since high school. It might be what plays as I apply the defibrillator pads to my writing intentions. Heck, it might just be what pours out my car windows as I roll out on a random adventure. It is, as I am, a work in progress. It's 100% ALRIGHTY - HERE WE GO! It makes me tap my fingers, throw my hands in the air, sing and dance. 

Wanna know what 20 songs currently make the "SCWink Unlimited" cut?

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