We Need to Talk about Racism in Punk


black punk

I recently wrote an article about my experiences in a white majority punk scene and culture and why we need to talk about racism in the punk scene.

The initial article was posted on Collapse Board and received a lot of coverage and comments.

I wrote a follow up article on my music blog, Don’t Dance Her Down Boys, responding to some of the comments I received from the first article.

It is an issue that I feel strongly about and aim to write more about in the near future.

Review | Skinny Girl Diet / The Ethical Debating Society Split Single


SGD  TEDS single

Originally published at The Girls Are

Skinny Girl Diet/Ethical Debating SocietySplit 7″ EP, HHBTM Records

When exactly did riot grrrl die again? Someone said it was in 1994, when it got too big and disillusioned. Some say it was when Bikini Kill broke up. Some say it was as soon as it began; a star too bright it obviously had to fade away. Why do things have to die? Can’t they rise and fall, hibernate for a few years and then re-emerge in a new form ready to fit into the time, culture and political landscape they find themselves in. In an age where Pussy Riot proudly declare themselves riot grrrls and the 90′s – and everything that came along with it including terrible comedy rap songs –  is cool again, it is safe to say that riot grrrl is alive, fierce and focused on the road ahead.

Click here to read more.

My Big Fat New Year’s Resolutions


God, I used to hate these things. Meaningless! Rubbish! A warped conspiracy to get us to go to the gym more I used cry at the dawn of every new year. In my life I have only gone along with this tradition once and I found that I had so much I wanted to change that I had to write a whole list. You can find it on here actually somewhere.

Despite my cynicism, having a plan for your life for the next 12 months, or possibly more, isn’t that bad. Sometimes you need a little direction in your life and more specifically something to spur you on to do something different.

My biggest fear is staying still. Never developing or changing or learning from my experiences. Since I am by nature lazy as fuck I have to force myself to do anything that doesn’t involve sitting around the house in my PJs.

So here are my New Year’s resolutions that I will complete…hopefully:

  1. Have more of a social life- Yeah I need to leave the house and not just to go to work. I think possibly a random dance group or knitting club may be the way to go. Obviously seeing actual friends and going out on Saturday nights will happen too.
  2. Start writing a lot more- Well I have plans for this that will link up with resolution number 4 (guess what I wanna do when I grow up). Regular blogging always gets in the way of laziness I find. Hopefully I’ll be able to post once a week in the new year whether people read it or not (Obviously this blog won’t get updated that often. Who reads it anyways).
  3. Exercise- I know everyone says “I’m gonna exercise and get well skinny and that” but I have a plan and I don’t want to get “well skinny”. I think well-defined and streamlined is more what I’m looking for. I don’t actually want to lose any weight. It’s taken 24 long years but I’ve finally realised that I’m very happy with my size, I just need to be healthier. That includes exercising more regularly and eating healthier (urgh healthy food, my ultimate nemesis).
  4. Focus more on my career- I spent two years trying to get a job and when I did there was a huge hole left in my life that was previously taken up by applying for jobs and going to interviews every fucking day for two fucking years. Oh you say I was the best candidate so why didn’t I get the job then, huh WHY?????…. Sorry. Sometimes I get flashbacks but on a serious note I have no idea what I want to do in a year’s time never mind five years so it seems like I need to take a good long look at what I can do and how to get there.
  5. Make more music- I’m kinda doing this at the moment but there can always be more music in your life. Recording, gigging, touring, that’s my plan. Creating your own culture is the best way to spend your days.

Reclaiming rubbish design: eco friendly interiors with 2012Architecten


Originally posted at Design Build Network.

As environmental issues become ever more important in our society, interior designers are increasingly looking to make their interior pieces more eco friendly. While many designers choose to incorporate sustainably sourced wallpaper, clay paints or organic fabrics into their designs, few have taken the route of the Netherlands-based company, 2012Architecten, who merge sustainability and innovative designs using reclaimed materials.

Led by directors Jan Jongert, Césare Peeren and Jeroen Bergsma, 2012Architecten was founded 15 years ago when eco design and sustainability was not as widely known as it is now. This focus on sustainability has led to some unique, mad-cap designs, including a dance floor made out of desks, windmill blades masquerading as a playground and an office decorated with old ceiling tiles and teddy bears.

Continue reading

Sounds of my Life | Riot Grrrl & Me



Originally posted at Serious as part of the ‘Sounds of my Life’ series.

Stephanie Phillips runs Don’t Dance Her Down Boys - a blog-shaped manifestation of her one woman mission to share a love of female musicians and female fronted bands with the world. She also contributes to various blogs we’ve previously featured here such as Black Feminists and The Girls Are, and below let’s us in on her life-defining discovery of Riot Grrrl.

I’ve always felt music hit me in a way that was different to other people. Certain songs can send chills along my spine and make me feel unsafe and uneasy. Others, from the first note, energise me and make me want to change the world before the song’s even ended. Even with my weird wiring for music, nothing has hit me as hard as when I first heard Bikini Kill way back when I was a chubby, unassuming teenager.

Continue reading

Introducing | Stealing Sheep


Originally published at The Girls Are.

Gloom pop darlings Stealing Sheep have been on the indie gig circuit for a few years, but after signing with Heavenly Recordings they are ready to release their debut album, Into the Diamond Sun. We first discovered the three-piece a few years ago when they organised an eco friendly bike tour across the north England – any band that wants to put the pedal to the metal and ride on two wheels is a band we want to know about.

Stealing Sheep’s songs are like the smoke from the camp fire we’re sure they gather around every night; they bend, twist change into new and wonderful shapes. Their songs evoke images of a lone marionette or a disused fairground ride; beautiful, mysterious and dark. Stealing Sheep chat to us about recording at the legendary Abbey Road studios, downloadable sheep and a potential boat tour.

Could you explain who’s in the band and what you do?
Becky plays synths, Emily plays electric guitar and Lucy plays drums. We all sing and write the songs together.

You’re getting ready to release new single ‘Shut Eye’ – what can you tell us about it?
We recorded this song in Liverpool as part of our debut album, it’s about people and getting people together to try and change things for the better. We gathered lots of friends to sing the chorus with us and try and capture that feeling of togetherness. The song has grown over time as we started playing it on our second UK tour with Emmy the Great last year. It’s evolved musically based on these shows and how the audience has reacted. We also played in live at Maida Vale for Rob Da Bank and also for Mark Riley in sessions and every time we’ve recorded it in different ways and discovered more about the song. We worked with an animator in New York over Skype to create the music video and get across its meaning to people in a visual way too.

Continue reading

John Derbyshire, The National Review and the Conservative Movement


Orginally posted at Black Feminists UK

Recently a columnist for the American conservative magazine The National Review decided to write a column titled ‘TheTalk: Nonblack Version’ about some advice that he gives to his kiddies.

John Derbyshire littered his 1,500 word piece with such gems as “Stay out of heavily black neighbourhoods”, “Before voting for a black politician, scrutinise his / her character much more carefully than you would a white” and “Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks”.

He also stated that some black people “go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm [white people] and that the “mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites”.

Continue reading