I flipped my Rolling Stone calendar to October, and the picture is of their magazine cover from October of 2003. It was the special issue of Women Who Rock. Posing for the cover photo was Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys and Eve. Missy and Alicia are talented ladies, but they do not rock. I don't even know who Eve is. Listed down the side, under "Special Issue" are the names: Dolly Parton, Sleater-Kinney, Christina Aguilera, Lucinda Williams, Karen O, and Bonnie Raitt. One of these things just doesn't belong, as the old song goes. It is the band Sleater-Kinney. It is the only one with Women Who Rock. Again, Dolly, Bonnie, Lucinda and Christina are talented ladies, but they do not rock. And I don't know who Karen O is. Women In Music would have been a more appropriate title for the issue.
Can we discuss the word "rock" for a moment? It has become way overused and misused. Rock and Roll is a style of music and an attitude. It means sex. And these days, rock is used to describe musical acts that lack that attitude and musical style. There has to be a driving beat and some chugging guitar to be rock. This current crop of mid-tempo, synthesized copycats does not fit the bill. Country, Blues and Pop acts certainly should not be described as rock. And I must say that when people tell me, "You Rock", it makes me cringe. Because while I aspire to rock, it just smacks of the old fake lines, "You're beautiful. Let's do lunch."
Sleater-Kinney does rock. L7, Bikini Kill, 7 Year Bitch, Hole, Babes in Toyland, Blondie, Bratmobile, The Dollyrots, Garbage, The Gits, X, Team Dresch, The Breeders, The Donnas, The Pretenders and Joan Jett all rock. And they're all on KJRW.