Get local news delivered straight to your phone

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Spirit of ’73: Rock for Choice, a covers compilation that takes its name from the year of the Roe vs. Wade decision, features 14 interpretations of ’70s tunes by women artists and female-fronted bands. It also calls inadvertent attention to the fact that, 20 years ago, there were precious few female role models in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. The collection’s strongest tracks pay tribute to some of them: Johnette Napolitano does a palpably reverent rendition of Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot,” while both Sarah McLachlan and Rosanne Cash turn in lovely readings of songs from Joni Mitchell’s Blue (the title track and “River,” respectively). Rock for Choice founders L7 are joined by Joan Jett for a live performance of the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb.” The disc is peppered with between-track soundbites referencing ’70s junk culture (“Can I borrow your lip gloss?”), but its send-ups of period dreck are surprisingly straight-faced. Babes in Toyland, for example, tackle the Andrea True Connection’s disco ditty “More, More, More” with more success than one might expect. Melissa Ferrick assails Bad Company’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” a song so quintessentially and idiotically macho it seems to invite parody by female artists: It’s already been lambasted by both Lunachicks and Two Nice Girls. The disc’s earnest packaging urges listeners to become politically active: Its “seven steps you can take to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible” include “Read feminist books like Backlash by Susan Faludi” as well as the rather less time-consuming “Buy Rock for Choice merchandise.”