Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Music: PJ Harvey

When I was a teen living in rural Ohio, there were at best two FM rock stations that I could regularly pick up. The strongest signal belonged to WMMS, out of Cleveland. Their playlist was mostly white, blue-collar and loud: Bob Seeger, The J. Geils Band, Eddie Money and, of course, The Boss. Very few female artists appeared in rotation. I mostly remember them playing Heart and the atrocious bodystocking-wearing Pat Benatar. I was a loyal reader of The Rolling Stone, it and Creem being the only music press available in the grocery store magazine rack. Rock was a boy's club in the RS, too. I'll never forget a male reviewer sneering about the quality of Chrissie Hynde's voice. Women were supposed to sound pretty, even when they were rocking.

In the 1970's I couldn't have imagined a Polly Jean Harvey. The first time I listened to her 1992 debut album Dry, I fantasized about running away to New York and playing in a band. It still makes me feel that way, which is what rock is supposed to do.

PJ Harvey (Wikipedia) [Link]

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