I’ve been listening to The Kills a lot lately. Well, not just lately but for probably like a year. Their music makes me feel liberated. I have a lot of heroes, from many walks of music, and they all have their special place. Alison Mosshart is my hero for this time in my life. There’s something in her voice that relates to exactly how I feel right now. It’s hard to put into words. I like Alison because she’s not angry or sad, or a pretty-princess, or any kind of cheap female stereotype. She’s full of energy and emotion, and confidence. And what I really like is how, in her songs, she addresses her lover as a worthy opponent, a sparring partner. No ‘baby please come home’. Cause she’s a fucking modern woman who wants what she wants and isn’t shy about it. It makes me so happy that there’s more and more women in music today who are operating outside the traditional virgin/whore dichotomy. That mentality still dominates, unfortunately, but we’re beginning to realize how obsolete and stone-age it is. I was just thinking the other day about how I couldn’t think of very many literary heroines who were neither damsels in distress to be rescued or sinful seductresses to be punished. Or in movies or in music, either. But there’s a deep thirst for stand-up strong female role models. Hollywood is completely assbackwards as usual, and will probably write off the success of female-powered hits like The Hunger Games and GwtDT as weird random flukes, but music operates with more freedom and an ear to ground, Zeitgeist-wise. It’s big news if a movie with a female lead gets the greenlight, but in music, girls have been playing beside the boys for years now, and it’s become standard, as it should. Which is why I’ve come to believe that movies are an inferior art medium, at least as far as reflecting actual society. Because it takes the participation of hundreds of people working with millions of dollars to make a movie, it’s a risky investment, and the business is controlled by the same bunch old men as 50 years ago. Of course creativity and honest expression are going to get the backseat. On the other hand, anyone can make music and share it for nearly zero money. Music is where you find real personalities, real self-expression, and the real pulse of what’s going on in people’s minds, artists being themselves without focus groups telling them how to look and what to say. The awfulness of the Top 40 might make you feel depressed about the state of music, but it’s an illusion. Just outside those bought-and-paid-for airwaves is an ocean of independent artists who use the free technology of the internet to find audiences who appreciate them. I may not like all of them, but I’m glad they’re out there.