This past weekend, I got to do something that surprisingly I had never done before: I attended Lilith Fair. I say surprisingly because for [almost] the past two decades, I've been a fan of girlie alterna-rock.

I was lucky to have the option to go, seeing as how about a third of the scheduled dates have been canceled due to lackluster sales, and the is the first Lilith Fair tour in 11 years. And many have been asking "Is Lilith Fair relevant?"

Lilith Fair 2010 - Chicago
Heart performs at Lilith Fair

I would argue that Lilith Fair is more relevant that ever. In the 1990s when Lilith Fair was first launched, alterna rockers like Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Courtney Love and Fiona Apple were popular, as well as acts like the Spice Girls (for the record, I enjoyed the Spice Girls) and Britney Spears. However, today, artists like Regina Spektor, Lily Allen and Lady GaGa are popular alongside the likes of Ke$ha, Katy Perry ... and Britney Spears (will she ever go away?). And like back then, guess who sells more records?

I would argue that Lilith Fair is even more relevant today that it was 10 years ago. Whereas I had solid female rock role models in Tori Amos and Fiona Apple, what do today's girls have? Ke$ha who [jokingly] talks about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack? Katy Perry whose "I Kissed a Girl" is much more satire and much less self-aware than Jill Sobule's "I Kissed a Girl"? And who sings about "daisy dukes / bikinis on top."

I'm sure there are plenty of young impressionable girls who are aware that manufactured pop stars are, well, manufactured, and that genuine musicians are out there and worthy of celebrity crushes.

However, and maybe I'm just more aware of it, but it seems that today's manufactured pop stars are more heavily manufactured, promoted and shoved down our throats than they were in the past. How can genuine, organic talent compete with millions of dollars thrown behind bubble gum beauties? Thank god for Lady GaGa.

To that end, Lilith Fair needs to continue, to promote genuine female musicians, bring new talent (that is actually talented) to the fans, and foster these powerful, independent(ly minded) female performers. So that the teenage angsty gals of today, much like me 15 years ago, have someone to look up to, solid music to play over and over again, memorizing the lyrics (that actually mean something other than "I'm cute").

Instead of the alternative ... being bombarded, over and over again with messages about getting crunk and gyrating through [fake] pole dances and singing about boys and being cute.

If you haven't check it out, click over to The Seventeen Magazine Project and Teenagerie, both by Jamie Keiles, 18, who is more self-aware than many adults I know. She gives me hope that today's youth can see through the way over-manufactured hype.

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