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Bad Bad Hats on Sheryl Crow’s Soulful Pop Music

Sheryl Crow might appeal to the masses, but that doesn’t make her any less important. Here Kerry from Bad Bad Hats shares what drew her to Sheryl’s brand of soulful singer-songwriter pop. 

The first time I ever heard a Sheryl Crow song was on volume two of Now That’s What I Call Music. Now 2 is probably my favorite of all the Nows. It has Britney Spears, Semisonic’s “Closing Time”, Garbage, and that amazing Mya and Blackstreet collaboration from the Rugrats movie. But “My Favorite Mistake” is the pièce de résistance of Now 2 (sorry, Fatboy Slim). And it could not have come into my life at a better time.

In 1999, I was 9 years old. We had a lesson on poetry in my fourth grade class and I took to it instantly. I loved the challenge of rhyming and maneuvering a complete story into a strict form. In the late 90s, I was rolling in boy bands and pop divas, but when I heard “My Favorite Mistake”, everything clicked. It was as catchy as the pop songs I loved, but it had a soul. This was also the time when teen romantic comedies were at their peak (10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, Drive Me Crazy, Never Been Kissed, etc.) and I was addicted to that stomach flip when the characters who are meant to be together (they deserve each other!) finally see the light. I’ve always believed that a great love song should give you the same flutter and I felt that the first time I heard “My Favorite Mistake”. It’s an impeccable love song. From then on I knew lyrics would be my medium. And I wanted to write like Sheryl.

I think the magic of Sheryl Crow is her ability to tell you everything in a single line. “You’re my favorite mistake” says it all. “All I wanna do is have some fun” says it all. Then on top of that, there’s this beautiful tension between the joy of her music and the melancholy her lyrics and voice betray. The apathy with which she delivers the line “I promised you I’d never give up” in “If It Makes You Happy” is completely tragic and I’ll never get over it.

Some people don’t think Sheryl Crow is very cool. But I think it’s super cool that Sheryl just does Sheryl. To me, her music is unpretentious and her songwriting is a perfect example of the craft. She’s one of those songwriters who writes because she has to, because that’s the only way she can shake what she’s feeling. And it comes through. All the joy, all the fear, everything. Her success made me feel, as a young songwriter, that there was a place for my voice in the music world too. She’ll always be one of my favorites. And I will continue to listen to her greatest hits on every road trip I take. Thanks to Sheryl, I think we’re all a little bit closer to feeling fine.


We can’t wait to see Bad Bad Hats covering Sheryl Crow Saturday night at our next Girl Germs Tribute Night! Get your tickets here. 

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Bruise Violet’s Essential Lunachicks Playlist

Hey everybody, it’s your favorite local problematic Bruise Violet here. Today we’ll be talking about who we’re covering for Girl Germs: the absolutely crazy-fun Lunachicks!! When it came to choosing a band to cover, this was one of the first ones in mind that we had. Danielle’s mom actually was the one who introduced her to them by giving her an old pin of hers, saying “If you’ve never heard of this band, you need to check them out”.

The Lunachicks were extremely underrated for their time. They used to play around with L7 and Babes in Toyland a lot, but never really got the same attention as they did. Theo Kogan’s powerful low vocals dominated with their wailing guitars, thumping bass lines, and extremely tight harmonies. They were punk, they were metal, they were rock, they were EVERYTHING. Plus, these girls knew had to have a good time. Their look was “Barbie on acid”: with makeup smeared all over their faces and ridiculous outfits each night, and they had a huge sense of humor to match.

Here’s an introductory playlist we’ve made to them, with explanations of why we chose each song!


This is Serious:
Does YOUR favorite band have their own theme song? THE LUNACHICKS DO. This song is so freakin’ fun and in your face, telling you that “Lunachicks make lots of noise to prove rock n roll’s not just for boys”. They fuckin rule.

Drop Dead:
A killer anthem for “girls kickin’ some ass, honey”. Nothing like telling someone to not fuck with you because you’ll fart in their face.

Light as a Feather:
Killer riff, killer chorus hook, and the video sends us back to middle school with some sleepover vibes. We all don’t wanna relive that time, but the Lunachicks sure make it look fun.

Play this song next time someone pisses you off. Guarantee you’ll feel a million times better. Plus, the guitars in this song are NUTS. YOU ALWAYS WANT WHAT YOU CAN’T HAVE, AND BABY, YA CAN’T HAVE ME.

Jerk of all Trades:
Literally the most badass anthem for girls. Danielle once missed her exit driving to work because she was jamming so hard to this song.

Babysitters on Acid:
This song is literally the best thing ever written. Ever. We are so angry we didn’t write it. There’s a whole storyline in this song, and you will laugh your ass off as the story progresses. BV’s favorite song EVER.

Luxury Problem:
In BV, we appreciate bands who can make a point AND execute it in a great way. This song is an ode to privilege, asking everyone “Isn’t it hard when you’re spoiled rotten?”, bringing up how “Even though I’m alright, I like to sit and pity myself because it hurts”. Yaaas girls, slay those entitled assholes.

Bad Ass Bitch:
ANOTHER great anthem for powerful women. Put this on a playlist while you’re getting ready in the morning so you start the day feeling ready to let everyone know how much of a BAD ASS BITCH YOU ARE.

Super duper fun song! We promise you’ll be unconsciously dancing while they sing about their 7 toed, shit smelling, feline friend.

Don’t Want You:
An awesome song about how you think you like someone, and then it just ends up that they suck. It’s happened to the best of us! Now you have a jam to accompany your feelings. You’re welcome.


Get tickets to see Bruise Violet covering Lunachicks on December 5 at the Turf Club here! 

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CORRECT! We Are A Feminist Concert Series And We Book Male Bands.

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  “Fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it’s that this. Has. To. Stop.”

– Emma Watson (Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, self-proclaimed ‘Harry Potter’ Girl)

 Let there be no mistake: pretty much every aspect of the creative process of producing and booking an event like Girl Germs is a freaking blast and a half! Really, if ever in some bizarro, Snowden-esque scenario the contents of Dana’s and my texts and 5 platforms of chats were leaked to the masses, what you would find seasoned amongst crude humor and shameless gossip are two women who are both extremely passionate and driven in the pursuit of their goals, as well as two women who are terribly grateful to have received even a shred of support from such a vibrant music community. It is a labor of love, but it’s important to note that it is in fact a labor: a TON of work and planning goes into coordinating a show of this nature and while, yes, it’s wholly fun and rewarding, it’s not without road bumps (or mild anxiety attacks). That said, the delivery from the artists who put time into learning these covers and—from the people who sponsor us to the people who pay their own money to bear witness to what happens on the stage the night of the show—we are continually humbled and invigorated by the magic that’s been instilled with each live event.

*****THANK YOU*****


YET—despite the overwhelmingly positive response—there’s a proverbial bee in our bonnet because, like clockwork, with each new show cycle the emails, messages and skepticism quietly roll in: How can you book MALE bands for your event that celebrates WOMEN in music? The first time we encountered this bristly question it seemed so legit erroneous that we just brushed it off in our own way, placating the larger issue at hand by talking shit amongst ourselves about such Philistine reasoning. But then it kept happening (always from both men and women) and, despite explaining to people individually, it kept being annoying. Well, it’s still happening and it’s still annoying so we decided it’s nigh time to take our complaining out of a gchat box and end this lunacy once and for all by explaining why it’s not hypocritical or wrong for us to include men in this, yes, feminist project.gloriaSteinemFeminism by definition is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” And “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” Naturally, the full meaning of a word wrought in such ideology far-expounds such a boiled down definition. And that’s because feminism is shaped by palpable experiences: the battles of our fore-sisters who toiled for the right to vote and own property, the battles they still fight for reproductive rights and autonomy of their own bodies, the barriers broken by thinkers in realms of science, art and politics, the ferocious indignation of a Bikini Kill set, a Nancy Wilson guitar solo, so on and so forth. You get the picture. But while the scope of its definition is far-reaching, the sentiments are all centered most intrinsically upon achieving gender equality.

 Equality—just so it’s on paper—is aptly defined as the quality or state of being equal.”


The Manifesto Dana and I penned upon the creation of this site and series reads as such:

“Girl Germs is a standing ovation for women in rock. And If you really have to ask the question “why,” it’s simply because they deserve it. We created this website and consequent live events mainly to obsess over the girls with guitars who have made a lasting impact. While this impact is only sort of archived in “rock history” we find it to be more accurately presented through conversations and experience. As a website we transmit through a lens of those interactions. As a live event, our aim is to honor the brilliance of these women through reinterpretations that are shaped by them. In this sense Girl Germs is ultimately an archive of our own, collective design, and we like that. So oblige us, and bow down to the Queens Of Noise.”

We wrote this thinking it would address our conscious choice to include and seek out male musicians to perform in this series. Just as the definition of feminism in the earlier paragraphs states “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” our manifesto mirrors that sentiment in saying that As a live event, our aim is to honor the brilliance of these women through reinterpretations that are shaped by them.” What’s important to note here is that neither definition uses language that presupposes only women organizing on behalf of women’s rights, or only women being shaped by other women in music. Why? Well, mainly because that would be absurd! To infer that only women can advocate for women’s rights or that only women can influence other women musically is as much gross inaccuracy as it is completely counterproductive to the definition of feminism. The plight of feminism needs every color, faith, gender identity and sexual orientation to perpetuate its cause and so, in our book, those variables will never affect our decision to book a band.


Equality isn’t achieved through exclusion, nor is it achieved by a partial effort. By suggesting we exclude men from Girl Germs it projects the same sort of inequity that feminism labors to overcome. And, that, friends, is not what we aimed to radiate into the universe and so…


 They shall stay because, ultimately, it’s our project, not yours, and if you truly can’t deal with men celebrating the influence of women then I would advise—in addition to taking an intro to logic Philosophy course— to start your own concert series (really, it’s super fun)!! I would also ask if you raise the same questions about why female bands are included on the Replacements Tribute lineup, (even though I already know the answer). But mostly the dudes shall stay because including men is integral to the progression of modern day feminism, because including everyone is integral to the progression of modern day feminism, which goes way beyond music and this small-scale covers show in Minnesota. The Godmother of second-wave feminism Gloria Steinem always advocated: A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” Isn’t this what we are trying to achieve? We’re far from there yet, and of course as a woman I’m painfully aware that not all men, governments or institutions are there yet either, I even understand the trepidation by women to let men into this delicate, personal arena. Yet it is progress when women’s issues become human issues, and the fastest path to that is by allowing men (and anyone) to fight (or, you know, play a guitar) for equality alongside us.

But to those who still remain in denial that Kurt Cobain was hugely inspired by The Raincoats and are convinced that Dana and I are closeted, hypocritical misogynists, I can only invoke the unflappable Roxane Gay in saying: “I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”




*I credit all of my quoted definitions to the Merriam Webster Online dictionary/thesaurus website. I generally prefer the Oxford New American Dictionary that I own but, alas, I am in my pajamas watching The Simpsons and walking across my bedroom to get it is out. of. the. question.



Come to the show and see for yourself.







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Girl Germs Show Announced For December 5th At Turf Club || Lineup Unveiled


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**Serene didn’t take the photo of Bad Bad Hats because they were taking the country by STORM on tour, but they did a great job of taking their own photo and we like it just as much :)



Saturday, December 5th / 8:00PM DOORS

Turf Club / 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 23 at noon – $10.00 advance/$12.00 at the door

RSVP on Facebook!

None other than ANDREA SWENSSON of 89.3 The Current will host. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get updates. Many thanks to our sponsor, 89.3 The Current. See you at the Turf!

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Video Premiere: Blackwood’s ‘Purity’


Single art by Norah Stone

Today Girl Germs is happy to debut a brand new music video from moody, electro-pop artist Blackwood for her song ‘Purity.’


Blackwood is the project of Minneapolis-based musician Max Smith. Formerly the bassist in Minneapolis garage-punk enfant-terribles France Camp, Smith took a runaway trip to California in 2013, resulting in a transformed outlook on music and a spookier, more electronic-leaning aesthetic. Inspired by “The Last Unicorn, Sailor Moon, blood, and boys” Blackwood’s eerie pop soundscapes ring reminiscent of artists like Grimes and Purity Ring.

The video for ‘Purity,’ directed and co-produced by Elise Pfau, sees Smith juxtaposed against brooding landscapes, lighting, and architectural lines, all blurred into the narrative driven by distorted vocals and dancing synth lines that confronts a breakup with a not-so-subtle drip of venom. “Basically its like if you wanna leave me just fucking go then,” says Smith. All we know is that with this pop gem in your ears, it’s going to be way easier to get over it.

Stay tuned to Blackwood’s Facebook for upcoming news on new music and shows!

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Ladies Last: 3 Years Later

422239_4399433988246_1518247820_nThree years ago, I was working as the editor-in-chief for Twin Cities METRO, a now-defunct arts/food/lifestyle magazine here in Minneapolis. While I loved that job, loved our readers and loved my staff, what I really loved was that I had a lot of freedom to push boundaries. I could do things that were absurd like write horoscopes (I’m totally unqualified, mind you); conduct dream interviews with underrated innovators like John Waters and Wanda Jackson; and, best of all, introduce readers to important people and issues in the Twin Cities: the food deserts that plague our neighborhoods, the refugees leading humanitarian efforts in Minnesota and in their home countries; the little-known musicians, salt-of-the-earth chefs, and artists of color whom you would never—at least not at that time—see in other local magazines. (They were busy putting The Real Housewives of the Twin Cities on their covers. Seriously.)

One of those important issues no one was touching was gender inequality. After reading a report called Status of Women & Girls released by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in the winter of 2012, I was taken aback. The status in question was not good—at least not for those who were non-white, non-affluent or non-suburban. It was 2012 and women in Minnesota were still earning, on average, 80 cents on the dollar compared with Minnesota men doing the same jobs. The FBI had ranked Minneapolis among the top 13 U.S. cities for child prostitution and sex trafficking. The unintended-pregnancy rate for low-income women had increased 50% over the last decade. My senior editor, David Doody, and I started kicking around the idea of a feature that would not only highlight these injustices, disparities and inequities, it would hopefully make those who were somewhat oblivious (like I had been, despite identifying as a feminist) uncomfortable enough to want to do something about it. We decided to run it on the cover of the August issue, and I drafted my friend Holly Hilgenberg to help me sift through piles of statistics, interview notes and articles (immortalized here), and to co-write it.

As I mentioned, we had a lot of creative autonomy, and most people at our company were all for the article. It wasn’t a battle to get the feature in the magazine; getting it on the cover, however, was a veritable Battle Royale of wills. Food deserts, elderly country singers and humanitarians don’t sell magazines, even if those who do buy them love it—and apparently neither did feminism back in 2012.

In the name of respect and professionalism, I’ll spare you all the gory details, but let’s just say it took a lot to get feminism on the cover of what was actually a pretty progressive magazine. Office gender dynamics were not the only issue at play (the future of the magazine was tentative at this time, and things were overall very tense), but there were power struggles I honestly don’t think would have existed had the magazine been led by two men instead of two (non-doormat) women: myself, and our art director, Liz Gardner. It took a lot of proverbial blood and sweat, and plenty of literal tears, yelling, throwing things, a little dishonesty, cigarettes, temper tantrums, whiskey and exhaustion to get the simple suggestion that women might not be equal after all—complete with hot-pink cover—on newsstands alongside Edina’s Best Pet Stylists and Gawdy Kenwood Mansions No One Would Ever Want Even if They Could Afford It.

But we did it, and I’m glad we did because that issue turned out to be our second-to-last one. By the time the article was halfway written, we were defeated and knew the end was near, but we kept going. And people got it! After the issue came out, my inbox and Twitter mentions were flooded with support. A little bird also told me the company sold out of reprints of that issue and had to reorder (that never happens).

Little did Holly​ and I know, in subsequent years riot grrrl would become cool again, hardworking female musicians would start getting some majorly overdue attention from local media, and celebs would be clamoring to be the poster child for feminism. Sally and I would launch the Girl Germs events to a captive, supportive audience and sell out venues with a scrappy brand of feminism that includes Kitten Forever deconstructing Beyonce, a sweaty mosh pit made up of mostly women, and indie-rock dudes paying heartfelt tributes to the women who helped shape their lives.

As we start planning the next GG tribute night (yep!), I can’t help but reflect on that struggle three years ago and where we are now. Culturally, things are pretty good. But I like to think that article serves as a reminder that being a feminist doesn’t just mean you love Bikini Kill, follow Lena Dunham on Twitter, and read Jezebel or BUST. It means you care about the day-to-day lives of women—yourself, the ones you live and work with, the ones you might never meet. It means you are disgusted at—and unsatisfied with—the fact that you STILL don’t make as much as a man in your exact same job does. That your art, efforts and opinions don’t carry the same weight or clout as a man’s do. That you get shamed for putting your kids in daycare (which, btw, who can even afford) but get shamed if you choose to stay home with them. That you get shamed for choosing not to have kids in the first place, or shamed for having them when society doesn’t feel you should. That you can’t take a walk or go to a party without being prepared to fight off a sexual predator (and it’s on you to prevent attacks, not on men to stop attacking, of course). That women and children are still bought and sold in our own backyards. That if you are a woman of color or who comes from poverty, you are often automatically at even more of a disadvantage.

You care about all that, and you are going to do something about it.

I’ve uploaded a PDF of the article here if you’d like to read it.

xo Dana