Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Podcast Time! -- Reversal of the Muse with Laura Marling

If you're an aficionado of public radio, you have no doubt heard Laura Marling's latest song, "Wild Fire"  and its truly genre- and mind-bending guitar licks.


In addition to wrists and a serious set of pipes, Marling's got a true journalistic instinct. Marling's been performing since she was a teenager, which has led her to many experiences -- both positive and negative -- based on her gender. Reversal of the Muse is a series of interviews of women throughout the music industry discussing their experiences. While there are some amazing musicians featured in the first season -- including Dolly Parton and Emmylou in a single episode, Haim, and others. For me, though the most interesting interviews were with those who sit on the other side of the microphones -- the lone women sound engineers, producers, record execs, and even guitar shop owners.

It's this glimpse into the music industry that very few people get. Not only does it give us laypeople some insight into what the heck those credits on the album (assume we even read those) means, but also how, at every step of the way, the music industry is simply not designed for someone might want or need regular hours or pay -- in other words, someone who wants to raise kids and, for now, that group consists largely of women. All of the industry vets remark that more and more women are joining the ranks of production staff, though, so who knows how ways of doing business will change in the coming decades?

Marling's an excellent interviewer, allowing her subjects to shine as they discuss the art they're passionate about and to take pride in their skills. Even if you don't care about gender (but, like, why don't you?) listening to experts be experts will motivate you to pick up your guitar, your mic, your pop screens, and get cracking on the projects you've been putting off. Marling asks all of her subjects if they believe "female creativity" differs from "male creativity." The answers are as varied as the number of people responding to the question. But one thing remains clear from the first season of one of my favorite podcasts: we won't know the full potential women have -- musically or otherwise -- until their contributions are respected and uplifted.

Reversal of the Muse -- Official, iTunes, Facebook 

(NB: I can't seem to find it on Stitcher but you can listen to it on Soundcloud)

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