Saturday, December 12, 2009

Odd Girl Out

At this time of year, with the wet and cold persisting, it's a good time to nestle in the welcoming bosom of radio (so to speak), but for me this daily ritual has added piquancy, as for the last two months I've been producing and presenting my own show. Odd Girl Out airs weekly on the web station Optical Radio, and it's been a welcome return for me to the airwaves after a long gap.

The idea came to me some time in the early '90s when I still lived in San Francisco and was writing a bi-weekly column on women and the arts for a local queer paper. Once I moved to London and began researching what should have been my book on women and underground music (long story), I began to think it would be great if there were a way to bring the music alive, so to speak.

The first version of Odd Girl Out aired way back in 1996, but it's been a long time finding an outlet for uncensored, un-formatted radio that mixes music and speech and allows me to delve into my archive and record collection.

Slowly, I have been digitising old cassette-recorded interviews and extracting short clips to air on the show. So, far the wisdom of Beth Ditto, Elizabeth Fraser, Gudrun Gut, Cornelia Schleime, Verena Kyselka and Melanie and Dolly of Mad Chicks has seen the light of day. And I've had my first live in-studio interview, with photographer Jaine Laine.

It's still a work in progress and I am adding features as I think of them, but it's great to be back on air and get the work of these amazing women out there. My playlists are posted on my journalistic site. Any suggestions, links or MP3s can be sent to valphnx (at)

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