Not sure when the word “girls” became pejorative, but thanks to Lena Dunham it’s back in vogue (not the magazine). Anyway, several years ago, when Etouffe and I were still broadcasting the radio philistine, we were j’accused of only playing male artists. I was also called to task for publishing a top 20 CDs list that year devoid of female artists. Sorry, but diversity is not in our mission statement. We choose artists simply on quality not DNA.

If all of this sounds defensive so be it. I have plenty of favorite female artists. Hell, I’ve seen Neko Case 6 times. 7 if you count stalking (and I do!). More on that later. Tracey Anne Campbell and Tammy Ealom are 2 of my all-time faves. And don’t get me started on Jenny Lewis and Chan Marshall.

So to that end, let me add a few more ladies into the philistine sphere. First there is Amber Papini of the fantastic band Hospitality. Here we are sharing a moment while she breaks down after a set. She seemed a little too concerned about getting off the stage before Here We Go Magic came out. Come on, lady, do you want the philistine push or not?

Here I am trying to abduct her. Amber seems to be pondering my request to “get in trunk!” No, actually I was explaining how much I love their CD, “Friends of Friends.” Let’s just say I am leaning to declaring it Record of the Year. And the single “Betty Wang” is the best blast of pure pop goodness in quite awhile.

Though, not strictly a female act, Amber does write the songs and sings them in a faux British accent. Robert Pollard much? The band also has a secret weapon, bass player Brian Betancourt. He plays like Sir Paul circa 1964. He’s even good for a few “yeah yeah yeahs.”

Competing with Hospitality for my favor is Best Coast, lead by singer/songwriter Bethany Consentino. Don’t think it’s lost on us that both singers have Italian last names. (Bonus points!) Best Coast followed up their awesome CD “Crazy for You” with an equally infectious 2012 release, “The Only Place.” Title track will give “Betty Wang” a strong run…in the 200M women’s relay!

And if I still need to sell you on female lead bands, then by all means, check out 2 bands that made our Top 20 list for 2011, Wye Oak and Times New Viking. Jenn Wasner, of Wye Oak, is less poppy than the italianos and Beth Murphy of TNV, but she makes up for it with dreamy atmospherics, sharp lyrics and a beautiful voice. Times New Viking are simply incredible lo-fi geniuses.

And, finally, here is Kelly Hogan performing recently to promote her covers record, “I Like to Keep Myself in Pain.” She opened for Neko Case, and, if possible, may have stole the show. When you close your set with a Cheap Trick cover you know you’re doing something right. Let’s just say, she had me at Hellogan!

There was bad ju ju at this show for some reason. Etouffe and his misses left half way through Neko’s set, and her Mims left before the encore because Hollywood had an early call time. Sister Roz, Maximum Tom and I were the last 3 standing. No set lists or photos, but Sister Roz (not a nun with a gun) did get a guitar pick. So there’s that!

And, finally, there’s tribute to all the women of the world, be they singers or not. Enjoy!