Song Of The Day 5/28/2015: The Shivvers – “Please Stand By”

Overpop – The '80s: The Shivvers were from Milwaukee, a defiant and proud hub of the great American Midwest, and a place that by all rights should have sprouted quite a few more bands than it did. The Shivvers’ webpage names a couple: The Haskels, Lubricants, Oil Tasters, The Orbits. I know none. Of course the Violent Femmes were also from there for us stunted high school boys who scratched a lot. The Shivvers (Auto-Correct is biting my fingers over that extra “v”) were fronted by Jill Kossoris, who had equal respect for attitude and songcraft. She mentions loving Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds in the bio, which is always going to make me happily dive into a pile of rocks. They never really put out an album, but I think you can piece one together at that website.

This was also fortuitously scheduled for today, since it’s The Stranger put up its mega-gorgeous Men Who Rock II issue, lampooning Rolling Stone’s “Hey guess what: Girls can play music too!!” editorial prerogative with some beefcake photos of local male musicians, being asked questions that major rock mags only ask women, most of them about their hair. This echoes the even more flinging sexism that occurred in the Shivvers’ time: “Unfortunately, in their unfamiliarity with handling a band with a female as the main songwriter and singer, the music industry tended to ‘focus more on what I wore than what I wrote’ says Jill.”

(If you’re wondering, black T-shirt and black jeans, as is my ever-present wont.)

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