#WhyIMarch

It’s nearly impossible for me to write this.  Why?  Because as I sit here at my computer, Donald Trump is being sworn into office.  How can I concentrate on writing a thoughtful piece on tomorrow’s Women’s March and how it ties into this blog — and the intentions behind this venture — when someone who wants to strip women of their equal rights is becoming President of the United States at this very moment?  It’s a challenge, but if I’m not up to the challenge of writing a simple blog post, then how will I continue to fight for the representation of women — in the arts, in music, in general — over the next four years?  So here I am.

Tomorrow, millions of women and allies will be marching in Washington DC, in NYC, in Los Angeles, and at more than 600 sister marches across the United States and abroad. The mission is this: We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.  And there’s good reasoning behind this stand of solidarity:

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

Now, before you say that this is an overreaction, it should be noted that as soon as Trump became President today, the White House website was stripped of its pages devoted to LGBT and civil rights protections.  This small act says so much about what the coming years will be like for women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and LGBT folks. The daily micro-aggressions were already happening before, but after the election, they increased. And they’ll continue to increase. If we’re going to survive it, we have to stand together.

And I guess that’s why I created this site/project a year ago.  Trust me, collecting records is the very LEAST of my concerns right now — and is such a tiny, tiny issue compared with the larger issues at hand — but when you’re a woman in a world that is dominated by men (the record-collecting world), you experience and witness sexism all the time.  You get pushed aside, you aren’t considered as knowledgeable about music or vinyl.  I started to realize that I wasn’t taken seriously, and that I didn’t have a lot of female allies to combat these misconceptions and dismissals.  I wanted to promote the visibility of women in this world, band together with them, change the conversation and the dynamic.  I can’t say I’ve really accomplished that yet, but I’m working on it.  It was a microscopic version of what this march tomorrow is all about.  Reaching out, standing together, changing the landscape.  Making our voices heard.

I’m hoping to strengthen my resolve tomorrow.  I’m hoping to come back revived and ready to fight — for all women, for all those who are marginalized or scared or wanting.  And with that resolve, I’ll be creating more content here, seeking out other women who want their voices heard.  Get ready to meet some awesome vinyl-collecting ladies.

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Vinyl Hysteria’s Top 25 Albums of 2016

2016 might have been a really horrible, wacky year in most respects, but damn, it was an amazing year for music.  I could have created a top 50 list, but I decided to narrow it down to 25.

Most lists I’ve seen for 2016 include a few of the obvious choices, like Rihanna and Beyonce and Kanye West.  And those artists always end up near or at the top.  But while those albums might have artistic merit, I always find myself drawn to music that isn’t top 40.  The only album with across-the-board acclaim that I also loved was Mitski’s Puberty 2.  That one almost made my #1 spot.

I made a video highlighting my top 25 (and showing off the vinyl for each, though I am missing the vinyl for a few on the list), so check it out.  Or, if you’re short on time, you can find my list of 2016’s best below the vid.

Best Albums of 2016:

25. Florist – The Birds Outside Sang

24. Yohuna – Patientness

23. Flock of Dimes – If You See Me, Say Yes

22. The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

21. Little Scream – Cult Following

20. Luther Wright & the Wrongs – Hearts & Lonely Hunters

19. Savages – Adore Life

18. Case / Lang / Veirs – self-titled

17. Stranger Things Soundtrack

16. Bellows – Fist & Palm

15. Veda Hille – Love Waves

14. July Talk – Touch

13. Fear of Men – Fall Forever

12. The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem

11. Hannah Georgas – For Evelyn

10. Tacocat – Lost Time

9. Gord Downie – Secret Path

8. DIANA – Familiar Touch

7. Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing

6. Venus and the Moon – Brother Son

5. Eskimeaux – Year of the Rabbit

4. Jennifer O’Connor – Surface Noise

3. Christine & The Queens – Chaleur Humaine

2. Mitski – Puberty 2

1. Told Slant – Going By