KANAKO WYNKOOP WILL PERFORM AT TOM TOM'S ALL-AGES BENEFIT AT BACKSPACE JAN. 21. IMAGE: Jessica Orr
Legendary Velvet Underground drummer Mo Tucker was once asked in an interview, "When do you feel most like a woman?" She replied: "When I'm doing the dishes."
Think of it: Tucker's metronome-perfect, tick-tock timekeeping provided the backbone for one of the most important bands of the 20th century. But none of Tucker's power had much to do with being a woman—femininity was relegated to soaps and suds.
That was 20 years ago, but, sadly, the lot of female drummers remains the same. In our purportedly post-feminist world, women and drums still don't mix—at least, that's the perception.
The folks involved with Tom Tom Magazine hope to change all that. Originally an online publication, and now available in a few places as a free print mag as well, Tom Tom is a quarterly "about female drummers, because there is poor media representation of female drummers," says founder Mindy Abovitz, who is the drummer for the Brooklyn band Hot Box. "Its intention is to cover female percussionists of all ages and all races, and to bring that community into visibility," she says.
Although the magazine originated in New York, it has a big following in Portland, where many female drummers reside. Many of said timekeepers will be at Holocene on Wednesday night, Jan. 20, at a big benefit music and art show blowout for the magazine.
The show centers on collaborations between local female drummers—two drummers at a time, performing original compositions, solos and general bad-ass bashing of the skins. Local luminaries performing include Tara Jane Oneil, STLS (Lisa Schonberg of Explode Into Colors and Sts of the Haggard) and Rachel Blumberg (Norfolk & Western) with Julianna Bright (Golden Bears).
The night's about shaking loose the idea that women don't belong behind the kit. "People feel like there is no need for feminism anymore," Abovitz says, "but it's very obvious women need to be pushed to do things that aren't their traditional place. [Playing drums] you're in control. It's very powerful, there's a lot of gadgets, you need to be strong. These are not necessarily ideas tied in directly with women, even today.".
WEDNESDAY JAN. 13
French photographer Céline Clanet documents a tiny village in Norway above the Arctic Circle—a show about isolation, global warming and little girls and boys in cute fur earmuffs!
THURSDAY JAN. 14
Soul night at Rotture is usually packed with sweaty hipsters, but the music—DJ Beyonda spinning old Motown singles and rare B-sides—is on point. For its three-year anniversary, Soul Night features legendary D.C. punk madman Ian Svenonius.
FRIDAY JAN. 15
Jeff Bridges is a whiskey-glugging country singer. Sometimes he drinks the bottle, and sometimes the bottle drinks him.
Dolorean is simply one of the best (and most depressing) rock bands in Portland. The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., 222-2031. 7 pm. $10, or $5 with donation of a can of food/pair of socks. All ages.
SATURDAY JAN. 16
Is it too navel-gazey to ask a Portland audience to come out and see a 2005 concert film made up entirely of Portland bands playing in Portland? Nah.
[SPORTS] ROSE CITY ROLLERS
Portland's roller-derby queens open their season with a knock-down, drag-out four-team tourney. Portland Expo Center, 2060 N Marine Drive, 736-5200. 6 pm. $14-$20 advance, $16-$24 door. Info at rosecityrollers.com.
[CLASSICAL] KQAC BENEFIT
This benefit for KQAC all-classical radio at 89.9 FM lines up some of Portland's finest musicians to perform music influenced by opera and ballet. The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., 802-9405. 7:30 pm. $15-$20.
MONDAY JAN. 18
The funk god hits the Crystal for an evening of sweat and rainbow-colored hair.