Women Who Wrock

I am so happy, listening to the songs coming from my computer speakers, that I have decided to write about the wonderful internet radio station ‘Women Who Wrock’. I first started listening after it was recommended on the Daemon Records website ( www.daemonrecords.com ) and am yet to encounter another station, internet or otherwise, I would rather listen to. ‘Women Who Wrock’ is an online radio station broadcasting music by female artists woman-fronted bands (who really do wrock). It is free to listen to, with no speaking DJ and some advertisements, but you do need a fast internet connection to listen. This month I got broadband internet access at home and listening to ‘Women Who Wrock’ while I’m having breakfast (and whenever else I’m home) is definitely the best thing about it.

Independent and major label female singer-songwriters, folk and rock artists – the aim is to share music that people don’t usually hear

The station plays independent and major label female singer-songwriters, folk and rock artists and was set up by Michal Yariv, 4 years ago, with the aim of sharing music that people don’t hear on other radio stations. One of her key objectives was to promote smaller, independent female artists. The tracks played include artists you may be familiar with, like Tracy Chapman and Ani DiFranco, and a selection of truly great independent artists. So far I have bought several good CDs by artists I would never had heard of without ‘Women Who Wrock’, so there is a financial risk involved with regular listening! The station website has a link to ‘the playlist’ ( www.michal.com/playlist.asp ), if you want to see what you think before tuning in.

You will hear some UK artists played but the majority are from the US. This is a downside because I would do almost anything (within financial reason) to see some of these artists perform live, which they do frequently but only in the US. I am presently completely enamoured with Melissa Ferrick, who I realise, unfortunately, is unlikely to play Birmingham UK any time soon. However thanks to the internet, we can get her albums. The online ‘Women Who Wrock’ radio player provides ‘Buy’ links next to some tracks and alternatively, music by most of the artists played can be bought through CD Baby ( www.cdbaby.com ), an excellent US based site, who sell music by independent artists. So listening to ‘Women Who Wrock’ may well expand your CD collection as well as helping you through a dull workday.

Though UK artists are not the main staple of the station there are UK listeners out there, like me. Follow the ‘the listeners’ link and you will see a table of the locations that listeners have e-mailed the DJ from ( www.michal.com/listeners.asp ). The UK list includes London, Manchester and Norwich. Well done to the people who got those cities up. Now we just need to get a few more of our fine hometowns on that map! Also on the website are writings on ‘the point’ of the station, articles on featured artists, a weblog written by the dj and an interview with her about the station. I urge you to tune in. ‘Women Who Wrock’ is full of good music that you may genuinely never encounter unless you do. Being able to hear great new, independent music from overseas with so little effort is an opportunity that I, for one, think is too good to miss. And, as if this wasn’t enough, it really would make the perfect musical accompaniment to reading ‘The F-Word’!

Anna Sandfield gives thanks that her last F-word wish was granted and her computer keyboard remains free of living inhabitants. She loves the new Selfridges building and the rapidly evolving centre of Birmingham but this time wishes for the accompanying disruption to disappear.