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Aesthetic Force By Omission Part I
Plus: RSVP for Nov 6th, Texchromosome interview/music, noteworthy news
In this issue:
Aesthetic Force By Omission: Part I
Audio: Texchromosome Radio talks #metoo plus music from 9 indie TX artists
RSVP - November 6th live event “If #MeToo Happened To You” (in-person and online reservations now open!)
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Aesthetic Force By Omission Part I
Author’s Note: This article was written in 2021, but “God stayed my hand” (as my agent / product developer Kim Childress always says), and I didn’t submit it for publication. Now, the subject seems a natural followup to my September 21st article “Did Jann Wenner EVER Interview Women?” Feel free to share recent examples of aesthetic force, by omission or not, in the comments.
What Is Aesthetic Force?
"Aesthetic Force" is a term I learned through Brené Brown's conversation with Dr. Sarah Lewis on the podcast Dare To Lead in 2021. By Dr. Lewis's definition, aesthetic force is the "power of the arts that shifts your critical awareness and perception of the world." Basically, art is the elixir that goes above and beyond reason and logic to inspire internal change.
Norman Rockwell and J. Howard Miller’s "Rosie The Riveter" promoted women in the workplace in the 1940s, escalating the women's rights movement. The 1993 movie "Philadelphia" destigmatized HIV/AIDS and spurred overdue public discussions of homophobia. Billie Holiday's 1939 song "Strange Fruit," based on Abel Meeropol’s poem about lynchings in the American South, fueled the Civil Rights Movement. The 1937 Nazi-backed "Degenerate Art Exhibit" (which attracted two million attendees) depicted modern Jewish artists as subversive with Adolf Hitler claiming, "Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilized."
Aesthetic Force By Omission
While aesthetic force can be an "in your face" game changer (for better or worse), what you don’t see can create an aesthetic force so subtle that it appears nonexistent. Take for instance the recent media attention surrounding the lack of representation and support for female artists in the country music scene.
In 2015, a radio consultant suggested removing female artists from airplay -- comparing them to tomatoes in a salad. Radio stations subsequently rotated more male artists into their daily programming to the point where some DJ's were told not to play two female acts back to back. This feminine omission became a force for empirical change.
Jada Watson, a professor at the University of Ottawa who studies country music and gender, found that between 2000 and 2018, there was a 66% decline in songs by female artists played on country radio. By December 2019, Billboard Charts reported zero female artists in the Country Music Top 20 for the first time since they began tracking airplay. USAToday cited a report in 2020 that women constituted only 10% of all country music airplay. 19thNews.org cited a 2022 study that said the industry improved by a disappointing 1% in the U.S. and Canada.
For reference, ChartMetrics.com evaluated 2018 Billboard, Spotify, and Apple Music charts by gender and found men dominated with an average of ~80% representation across genres. While abysmal imbalance overall, country music airplay is still well below the average ratio.
In Part II, we’ll continue the conversation with Bro Country, women crossing over, and media’s role going forward. Read now.
Texchromosome: #MeToo Interview & Music from Texas Artists
Music and conversation with the SIMS Foundation and Herizon Music leaders about the upcoming quarterly Women's Industry Meetup on Monday Nov 6th discussing “If #MeToo Happens To You.”
RESERVE YOUR SPOT for in-person or private live stream access from Girl Guitar HQ in Austin, TX. Be a part of the conversation!
This episode features music from Texas-based independent female singers, songwriters, and rock and rollers!
What’s a Girl To Do - Penny Jo Pullus
All Of The Women - Alison Russell
Holden Me Down - Lauren Anderson
Don't Move - Courtney Santana
From The Wreckage - The Wind And The Wave (Patty Lynn)
Never Gonna Break me - Jess Kline
About Enough - Karyn Oliver
Asked for it - Bonnie Whitmore
Heroes - Linda McRae
Do you have big news to share? Leave a link or info in the comments for consideration in the next issue.
Latin GRAMMY nominees are announced! See the full list. The awards ceremony is November 16th.
Karina Rykman appeared last week with the Late Night with Seth Meyers band (listen to her 2019 chat on Herizon Music: The Podcast)
Win an $8,000 home recording studio package from Sweetwater. Just submit your email address before October 31st.
VR Live Music: Maui is coming soon to Twitch. Support Maui-based musicians while Lahaina’s beloved music venues recover from wild fires.