She Bop

It Didn't Start with Babes in Toyland: A Short and Eccentric History of Women in Local Music, 1931-Present

CP:You joined the Lollapalooza tour the next year. Did you have a favorite stop?

Barbero: A really super cool one was the first show in Vancouver. I remember meeting Timothy Leary and he really loved us. He said, "Can I go onstage and announce you guys?" And we said, "Of course!" He was on the whole West Coast tour, speaking in one of the tents. So every day he would get onstage [before our set] and he would just rant and rave. That was really amazing.

1993: Janitor Joe tour in support of their debut album Big Metal Birds. At a show in California, bassist Kristen Pfaff meets Courtney Love and Eric Erlanson, who ask her to join Hole. Pfaff moves to Seattle and records Live Through This with the new band, but soon becomes an early entry on the list of people who don't get along with Love, and decides to quit. She plans on moving back to Minnesota, but dies of a heroin overdose the night before she is supposed to return.

1995: Former Breeders guitarist Kelley Deal checks into Hazelden. Once out, she moves to St. Paul, forms the Kelley Deal 6000 (which spawns rumors that Deal is swiping musicians from local bands Adjustable Boy and Deformo), and records Go to the Sugar Altar.

1996: All the Pretty Horses play their first show at Boomers in downtown Minneapolis. Initially, Venus DeMars is the band's only transgendered member, which doesn't seem to bother the audience. "It was mostly friends, and they of course were supportive," says DeMars. "There were about 15 regulars there and they were cool with it, though it wasn't as flamboyant as the current ATPH. I wore full makeup, long hair, and very gender-neutral clothes, so I definitely caused confusion."

1998: Mary Lucia begins hosting Popular Creeps on Zone 105. The interviewer becomes known for asking local musicians questions like, "If you lost both your arms in an accident and had to choose between having Chihuahua paws surgically attached or having no arms at all, which would you prefer?"

2000: Having proven her chops as guitarist and lead singer in Lefty Lucy and the Selby Tigers, Arzu Gokcen creates Staraoke, giving wannabe rockstars a spotlight and a catalog of pop, glam, and punk songs at the Turf Club Clown Lounge each week.

2002: The Soviettes revive female punk in the Twin Cities (albeit with a dude on drums). Club owners, radio DJs, and music writers vote them the best new band in City Pages' Picked to Click poll. That year, they also sign to Adeline Records, a label started by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong.

2003: Sabor Tropical singer Maya Lopez-Santamaria, who has been booking Salsa nights at the Quest and First Avenue, decides that the Twin Cities need a club by Latinos and for Latinos. She and her husband Nicholas open El Nuevo Rodeo. A historian of Latin music in Minnesota, Lopez-Santamaria had written and directed Los Rumbaleros, a musical based on the lives of the Rangel sisters that was performed at the Great American History Theater in 2001.

2005: Intermedia Arts hosts the B-Girl Be Summit, the first local conference for ladies in hip hop. The event brings together DJs, MCs, breakdancers, graffiti artists, and academics from all over the country, while artists like Desdamona, Sarah White, Dessa, and Maria Isa represent the Twin Cities' burgeoning scene.

2005: The Maria Schneider Orchestra, led by the modern classical composer, takes home a Grammy in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category for Concert in the Garden. The album, which was pressed in a limited run of 10,000 copies sold solely online, was the first to receive the award without conventional retail distribution.

2005: Jordis Unga appears on Rock Star: INXS. The 22-year-old St. Paul bartender makes it to the top five finalists before being sent home. Following the show, Jordis jams with Camp Freddy, an L.A. group featuring Dave Navarro, and is invited to perform at the opening of the Muhammad Ali Center. She has an album coming out on Epic Records this spring.

1980: Lisa Coleman joins the Revolution on keyboards for the Dirty Mind tour. Three years later, when guitarist Dez Dickerson becomes a born-again Christian and quits owing to issues with Prince's sexually explicit songwriting, Coleman suggests her childhood friend Wendy Melvoin as a replacement.

1982: Prince tries to convince his girlfriend Denise Matthews to take on the stage name "Vagina" and start an all-girl group called the Hookers. Matthews refuses, but a compromise finds her rechristened "Vanity" and leading Vanity 6, a group featuring Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie. The following year, the trio has a hit with "Nasty Girl," and Matthews prepares to play Prince's love interest in Purple Rain. (Prince's stage-humping claims another convert a decade later, when Matthews also goes born-again.)

1984: When Vanity leaves the group to start a solo career, Apollonia (a.k.a. Patricia Kotero) joins Bennett and Moonsie to form Apollonia 6. Not only does Kotero replace Matthews in Purple Rain, but the new group's "Sex Shooter" becomes a hit on the film's soundtrack. Kotero leaves the group a year later for a role on Falcon Crest.

1990: Ingrid Chavez costars in Graffiti Bridge. Two years later, she sues Lenny Kravitz, who'd taken credit for writing Madonna's "Justify My Love," despite Chavez's having written all but one line of the song's lyrics. The case is settled out of court in exchange for a songwriting credit and an undisclosed amount of money. Kravitz faces further ridicule after it's discovered that the song's drums were lifted from Public Enemy's "Security of the First World." 

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