Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

Articles by Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

6 Protest Songs From the 1960s We Should Listen to Today

protest music to listen to now

I grew up in Santa Cruz, a then-sleepy beach town in Northern California that had a severe hippie hangover well into the 1970s and ’80s. The soundtrack of the 1960s was omnipresent, as were reminders of Vietnam. I clearly recall the father of my best friend in third grade; he had lost a leg fighting […]

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The Essential Guide to Jarvis Cocker, from Pulp to JARV IS

jarvis cocker jarv is pulp albums

Since I was about 18 years old, I can honestly say that I have compared every man I dated to Jarvis Cocker. I have every one of the LPs by Pulp, the band he started as a precocious 15 years old. I have his solo albums. I remember going to see him on the first […]

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Why Missy Elliott Will Always Be the Queen of Hip-Hop

missy elliott

I have been a hip-hop head as long as I can remember. OK, that is a lie. It goes back to when I was about 10 years old. My cousin had brought a piece of cardboard and a pair of fingerless gloves to Thanksgiving. After we ate our meal, we went out to my grandmother’s […]

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Pride-Filled Playlist: 5 LGBTQ+ Artists to Get Your Party Started

pride lgbtq playlist

I lived in San Francisco for over 15 years. June was, of course, the big kick-off of summer for those lucky days we got sun; I lived in Glen Park for most of my time in the city by the bay, the fog so thick at times that we nicknamed our apartment Skull Mountain for […]

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Sleater-Kinney’s Debut Album Is the Perfect Time Capsule at 25 Years Old

sleater kinney debut album 25th anniversary

In the early 1990s, the Pacific Northwest in the United States was a hotbed for new ways of approaching traditional frameworks of culture. A generation before, punk had created and perpetuated the idea that you did not need to be a virtuoso or even vaguely proficient to start a band; one just needed the chutzpah […]

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Mariah Carey’s Debut Album Gave Us a Vision of the Future 30 Years Later

mariah carey debut 30th anniversary

In 1985, 17-year-old Ben Margulies found himself living in New York City and playing in a band called King Holiday. Things seemed to be going great; the group’s first show at the infamous CBGB got them signed to a development deal with Elektra Records. However, nothing ever came from the arrangement. Though King Holiday seemed […]

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He’s So Unusual: Tom Jones At 80

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There is no other Tom Jones. As he approaches his 80th birthday, the icon still is as interesting, sexy, and irreverent as always. In a culture where youth is prized pretty much above all else, Sir Jones is an education in canny business sense, bravery, and reinvention- often against all odds. The inability to predict […]

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Diana Ross Comes Out: Diana Turns 40

Diana Ross was already on her tenth solo studio album when 1980 rolled around. The icon had successfully navigated three different musical shifts having been in the game for over two decades. Early success as part of The Supremes had seen her score 12 number one singles on the Billboard charts, the group being hailed […]

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The Glittery Melancholy Of Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

With so many incredible hits already under his belt, it now seems surprising that it was not until his ninth studio album- Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy– that Elton John entered the Billboard top 200 in the US at the number 1 spot on the first week of release. The LP was rumored […]

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A Maverick, A Visionary, A Badass: Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation

In 1979, Joan Jett was at cross-roads. The all-girl band she had founded, The Runaways, had broken up. Jett wanted to pursue a solo-career but knew this would take her away from her home in Southern California. The Runaways had experienced success, spurred on by being the opening act for bands like Ramones and Cheap […]

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