Listen Up #1

By Chloe Turner (originally published in Beat Magazine)

Originally published in Beat Magazine

I’m Chloe and I’m going to be writing this monthly column on feminist chats, interviews and upcoming events and opportunities.

I do lots of things: I volunteer for LISTEN, run LISTEN Records, work at Music Victoria and I also work for Paradise Music festival.

LISTEN is a collective that exists to initiate and foster change, using a feminist perspective to promote the visibility and experiences of marginalised people in Australian music. However, this isn’t a LISTEN column, this is just me writing on topics that you should coincidentally listen to.

A few weeks ago I went and spoke at SQUAD Camp, an initiative run by The Push. SQUAD is a new mentoring program for women and gender diverse folk who play music. Being invited to participate in such an event was really empowering. Speaking to everyone and hearing their stories was an inspirational experience. We had discussions surrounding self care, domestic abuse and how to make your own space in a music industry that has been a boys club for too long. There were also practical industry chats from legal expert Jen Tutty (Studio Legal), and musicians Jo Syme (Big Scary) and Jelena Goluza (Outright).

Through my work with Music Victoria, LISTEN and personal experiences, confidence seems to be a huge barrier for women and gender diverse folk who want to get involved in the music industry. Personally, it wasn’t until I found LISTEN, and surrounded myself with a supportive community that I felt the confidence to do things as simple as using a guitar amp for fear of doing it wrong and getting embarrassed in front of the boys club.

That’s why this SQUAD initiative is so important to actually create change within the music industry. Not only are these young people being mentored by some amazing women throughout the year, but this group is creating their own spaces, and absolutely killing it in the process.

Ultimately, when I see lineups and festivals using gendered excuses for not booking enough diverse talent, I get so frustrated, because in the Melbourne music scene alone there is so much talent. On that note, here are a handful of awesome femme and LGBTIQA+ gigs coming up in May. See you there.

Sui Zhen w/ Superstar + Sanpo Disco
Thursday 5 May @ Hugs&Kisses
Cable Ties 7” Launch w/ The Pink Tiles, Synthetics, Karli White + ASPS Friday 6 May @ The Old Bar
Tek Tek Ensemble
Saturday 7 May @ Open Studio
Camp Cope Album Launch w/ Wet Lips, Moon Rituals + Two Steps On The Water
Friday 13 May @ The Curtin
Cool Room w/ Laila Sakini, DJ Camov + Jennifer Loveless
Friday 13 May @ Cool Room
New Lease #52 - Totally Mild (solo), Hi-Tec Emotions + Avoid
Saturday 14 May @ The Curtin
Chelsea Bleach Single Launch w/ Two Steps on the Water, Wet Lips + Habits DJs
Friday 20 May @ The Old Bar
Pikelet Tape Launch w/ Ninetynine + Suss Cun^s
Saturday 21 May @ Hugs&Kisses
Huntly EP Launch w/ Two Steps on the Water, Jessica Says + The Curse
Friday 27 May @ Shadow Electric
Shrimpwitch w/ Plaster of Paris + Shag Planet
Monday 30 May @ The Old Bar

By Chloe Turner