My friend, neighbor and one-time guestblogger M. LeBlanc has written one of the only essays you’ll ever have to read about women and male indie rock hegemony. If you believe in anything beyond troll-guy reality this essay is for you for you for you.

I want to highlight one point she makes.

[J]ust because music is made by men doesn’t mean it’s dude music. And just because music is made by women doesn’t mean it’s not dude music. No, dude music is music that prioritizes the status quo, that prioritize men’s voices, men’s experiences, and the experiences of people in power and who benefit from the current power structures in our society. Dude music is music that can ever be described as “noodling.” Dude music is post-rock, and prog-rock, and rock that exists not to say anything, but to showcase how awesome the men in the band are at playing guitar.

This is why Sleater-Kinney’s final album, The Woods, is so important. I remember being unnerved at first — where was my faithful angular, sleek S-K, buried under all this analog fuzz and in-the-red riffage? (Your author is someone who has mawkish lyrics from S-K’s second record tattooed across his forearms, so this was a major issue for him.)

To simplify matters, among the many, many artistic and political achievements of The Woods is the fact that it’s a better Dude record than most-if-not-all contemporary Dude records. The guitar sound is the most subversive Tony Iommi reference ever recorded. Janet Weiss, one of the greatest rock drummers in history — drummers, I dare you to make me write a post explaining what should be obvious — finally gets the ton-of-room-mic-and-cymbal-wash recording sound her style deserves. These are three musicians playing on Dude rules, while remaining true to themselves, and outperforming the Dudes. “Entertain” is the manifesto that ties together the album’s artistic approach and political message. Find me a High On Fire song that rocks harder. (I would honestly like to hear it!)

I suppose we have something of a definitional problem here, since you can’t call The Woods “post-rock, [or] prog-rock, [or] rock that exists not to say anything.” But I’m going to stand by my assessment and we’ll see if M. LeBlanc wants to raise an objection.

*Just as I imported the blockquote, I got a spam Skype from Russian human-traffickers that began, “European and American women are too arrogant for you?”