Riley spins at the roller disco and BFD. Not in Silverlake.
Mahssa is a curator at Finder’s Keepers, which isn’t in Silverlake.
Tokimonsta is a Brainfeeder DJ. Not in Silverlake.
Kelsey’s regular gig is in Eagle Rock. Not in Silverlake.
Marion Hodges is a KCRW DJ. Which also isn’t in Silverlake.
Marion Hodges is a Dublab and KCRW DJ, Mahssa has been interviewed on KCRW and graced the pages of LA RECORD, and Tokimonsta is on Flying Lotus’ record label. Not sure how they are arcane?
But even if they are—I’m not sure why that’s bad. Wouldn’t you want to find out about cool new stuff or just want to have the stuff you already know covered so that you can confirm that you are In the Know?
And finally, yes. The “hottest female DJs” is admittedly an unsatisfying framework in which to celebrate the accomplishments of LA musicians, producers, and DJs, female or otherwise. Unfortunately, the people that pay “bloggers” are focused on page views and only page views. so they encourage, if not mandate, a format that is “provocative” or caters to the average 19 year old white male, or both.
And this is how the internet replicates existing hierarchies and reinforces them instead of ushering in a new era of democracy.
That said: I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a bad idea, at least for now, to do a “best DJs/artists/musicians” along gender lines, assuming of course that one has to designate the “best” in the first place.
The reason: while we can all accept that separate it inherently unequal, I think it’s worth recognizing that music is an overwhelmingly male-dominated field, particularly in such genres as beat, electronic, hip-hop, punk, and rock. And lots others but you get the idea. Evaluation of skill in music, at least in my observation, thus proceeds on male standards, wherein it is assumed that music palatable and accessible to cis-gendered men is the best music. Well, you might say, music is universal and blah blah, how can it be judged on a male standard or female standard? And then I might say back that I think every (white) woman my age identifies strongly with such albums as “Little Earthquake” and “Exile and Guyville”; I highly doubt that men my age feel the same way.
In separating lists by gender (again assuming that the list is the preferred blog format for better or for worse), one avoids the possibility of subjecting all musicians/artists/etc to judgment on (white) male standards. The “best DJs” list would have, in my mind, been taken up primarily with beat, hip hop, and electronic DJs that are also producers; this means that Tokimonsta and maybe a couple other women would have survived such a criterion.
Women are starting to get more involved in production and engineering, thanks in part to Ableton workshops by Thavius Beck and others. But still, with the exception of a few outliers, beat/hip hop/electronica DJs are men. If you don’t believe me, check out the roster from Sketchbook back in the day. And from collectives and labels like Low End Theory, Brainfeeder, Dublab, Ninja Tunes, My Hollow Drum, and many many others.
So yeah. “Hottest women” is admittedly sexist. I claim no responsibility for that title. But readers don’t have to read too carefully to notice my criticisms of such a title.
And that’s (some of my) thoughts on gender, music, and the commercial blog format.
No disrespect to the lady DJs on this particular top five, but the listicle shitting hipster who concocted this arcane nonsense needs to get the fuck out of Silverlake every once in a while.
I suppose to some degree it’s a matter of taste, but I can think of five bitches off the top of my head who own the room better.
Because I always have my girls’ backs: that “listicle shitting hipster” actually happens to be one of my best and dearest friends, one of the few good people I met while living in Orange County who’s currently getting her Ph.D. at UCLA. She’s funny as fuck, brainy as all get out, super good to her parents, and gets more work done in a day than I get done in a week. Trust me on this. I cannot vouch for how much she goes to Silverlake.
But anyway yes, matter of taste.