Underwhelmed And Overstimulated, Part The Sixth: Was 2011 The Best Year For Women In Music Ever?

Sound of the City's year-end roundtable, with contributions from Tom Ewing, Eric Harvey, Maura Johnston, Nick Murray, and Katherine St. Asaph, continues. Follow along here.

Hi again everyone,

Sure, there was lots of great music put out by women this year—my Pazz and Jop top tens will be stuffed with them. But does that make 2011 a Year of the Woman by any stretch? I'd argue no, and I suspect the guy who I overheard on the subway the other day, who was complaining that while he liked Lady Gaga going to a concert of hers would make him feel like less of a man, would agree with me; those people horrified by "Super Bass"'s showing on the Pitchfork singles list might as well. If anything what bothered me about the Year of the Bro (yes, I'm calling it this now) was the way that gender roles became more circumscribed, the way that people who called bullshit on misogyny and homophobia (OK, I'm mostly talking about Tyler here) were mocked in ways that Nick rightly pointed out were absolutely conservative, and the end result was little more than a lot of empty laughter and "objective" music-blog reports that implied an overtightened sphincter on one side.

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Live: Yelawolf Mixes It Up At Irving Plaza

Yelawolf w/Rittz
Irving Plaza
Tuesday, October 25

Better than: Fiddling with the radio.

Midway through Yelawolf's show at Irving Plaza on Tuesday night—his third time appearing on that stage, his first time headlining it—he invited the audience to get a little better acquainted with him. Many of the people in attendance probably figured that they knew him pretty well—they shouted along with his lyrics, trying to keep up with his nimble tongue the best way they could. But they had never sat down with Yela and gone over his record collection.

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Live: Yelawolf Carries On The Shady Records Legacy

Jennifer Yin
Brisk Bodega
Saturday, September 17

Better than: Your neighborhood bodega.

If the Smithsonian upped its cool factor and wrangled a sponsorship from a multinational corporation looking to promote its iced tea line, the result might be the Brisk Bodega, a made-over West Village storefront serving as a branded homage to Shady Records. Relics like Eminem's superhero costume from the "Without Me" video and 50 Cent's diamond-bedazzled bulletproof vest were on display, and shelves of PepsiCo product—Brisk Iced Tea, salty Frito-Lay snacks—were up for grabs to anyone suffering from the munchies. Saturday night, rap media cognoscenti, boys in snapbacks and variations of camouflage, and ladies who refused to relinquish their clingy summer garb despite the turning weather gathered there to catch sets by recent Shady signees Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse.

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Yelawolf Lords Over The VIP Section On "Hard White (Up In The Club)"

Categories: Lil Jon, Yelawolf


The fleet-tongued Alabama MC Yelawolf has been making the rounds on the Warped Tour in advance of his major-label debut Radioactive, which comes out next month, and last night that album's first single leaked. "Hard White (Up In The Club)" is a flip of the club-jam with Yela using the setting not as a means to its own black-hole end, but more as a podium from which he can brag about his recent ascent and drink non-well whiskey (in this case, the Lil Jon assist seems more like an attempt to set a scene than any sort of retro bandwagon-jumping). He also notes that, no, despite his skin color and tattoos he's not the next Fred Durst. (Which, I mean, if you ever heard him run a verse over with the lingual equivalent of a really fast car you'd know this, but I guess it's good that he's disabusing those who might judge the music before hearing it of this notion.) Clip below.

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Live: Warped Tour Flips The Sweaty Bird At Nassau Coliseum


Warped Tour
Nassau Coliseum
Saturday, July 23

Better than: Poring over the Fuck Yeah A Day To Remember archives in an un-air-conditioned room.

To get to Nassau Coliseum from the city you take the Long Island Rail Road, then a taxi. My cab driver asks what is going on at the Coliseum. "Warped Tour," I say, explaining that it is many, many punk bands at once. "Oh, wow," he says. "I saw all of the buses drive in this morning. It was crazy."

At the gates, all the people deepened and distended by heat, a girl behind me says, "Maybe I'll lose, like, ten pounds." Everyone is advertising free hugs. Some dudes are trying to yield weed from a sign that reads, "Sell Us Weed."

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SXSW 2011 In Photos, Starring Odd Future, Trash Talk, Das Racist, and Other People Who Like To Break Things

You don't have to go home, Tyler, but you can't stay here. All photos by Rebecca Smeyne.
Another SXSW is in the books, granting great relief to those of us who were just subjected to five straight days of partying-related Twitter updates, and great sorrow to those who became accustomed to the 80 degree weather and not getting snowed on in freezing cold New York City. But all things must come to an end, even for Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator, who had to go home to his mom's house like all the rest of Austin's expatriate population come Monday morning. Our recap of the actual festival is to follow; in the meantime, intrepid photographer Rebecca Smeyne was there and brought back photos. Many involve people breaking things in convention centers (or maybe that's just Das Racist?). Either way, her selected photos are below (you can see the rest in full at our at our slideshow):

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Announcing the 2011 Village Voice and Frank 151 SXSW Party, Featuring the Wu-Tang Clan, Yelawolf, Wild Flag, Fishbone, and More

Rocky Business at the Mercury Lounge last week. Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith.
With three weeks to go and counting, we figured we might as well make it official: please join us in welcoming the 2011 Village Voice SXSW party, presented in concert with Frank 151, and starring the Wu-Tang Clan, Fishbone, Yelawolf, Trae Tha Truth, Marz Lovejoy, Rocky Business, Trouble Andrew, Wild Flag, Ume, and a DJ set from Erykah Badu. How about that? We're still pretty fond of last year's line-up (Superchunk, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Surfer Blood, and the xx), but this may well top it. People who have been sentient in the last two decades should need no introduction to Wu-Tang and Fishbone--or to Alabama rap hero Yelawolf or the all-lady post-Sleater-Kinney supergroup Wild Flag, for that matter. And Voice readers should recognize formidable Austin trio Ume too, if not from their lively CMJ stint a year and half back, then at least for their towering frontwoman:

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Q&A: Yelawolf Talks Dubstep, Harmony Korine, and Trunk Muzik 0-60

Hannibal Matthews
Yelawolf began the year with the mixtape Trunk Muzik and he's wrapping up his 2010 with a major label EP, Trunk Muzik 0-60, out today. Between the internet release of his mixtape and the EP's arrival in stores, Yelawolf signed to Interscope records, toured with Wiz Khalifa, showed up on "You Ain't No DJ" off Big Boi's Sir Lucious Left Foot, bored a bunch of Brooklyn Bowl attendees, humped some girls on-stage in celebration of his The Fader cover, and rapped over the Cars' "I'm Not The One" in a holiday sweater. This interview took place at a hot wings spot in Carrboro, North Carolina in the spring and a tour van a few months later in Greensboro, NC as the Gadsden, Alabama rapper prepped Trunk Muzik 0-60.

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Live: Yelawolf Celebrates His Fader Cover With A Motley Crew Of Friends In CBGB's Basement

yelawolf blonde.jpg
He makes friends everywhere he goes. Pics by Puja, more below.
Monday, October 11

Last night's brief hailstorm and miserable downpours wasn't enough to keep Yelawolf fans away from The Fader's issue-release party underneath the old CBGBs. The open bar helped, too.

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Fool's Gold Is Throwing A Labor Day Party With Pill, Yelawolf, Just Blaze, Donnis, And So Forth At City Winery

Ain't no shortage of sweet (and often free) parties around here this weekend, but if you're looking to attend the one with the most guys who've been on the cover of XXL, do consider the Fool's Gold Day Off, happening Monday afternoon in the City Winery backyard. So, uh, crack open a bottle of chianti and behold a torrent of Internet-approved mixtape rappers, including Yelawolf, who's in Big Boi's new video for "You Ain't No DJ," if you need to acquaint yourself. Full flier below:

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