Fifty years on the Scene

Maggie Klaers | The Observer

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of women at Notre Dame, Scene has created the ultimate female-powered playlist filled with Notre Dame alumnae, your favorite artists, the future generation and artists who paved the way for women in music…

Killer tunes by cool women! 

“Collected” (2021)  by Ratboys

Formed in 2010 at Notre Dame’s freshman orientation, Julia Steiner (vocals/ guitar) and Dave Sagan (guitar) established Ratboys. While Julia and Dave are the glue that keeps the band together, Julia’s songwriting elegance and dynamic storytelling is like no other.

“Rosy” (2021)  by Payant

Payant is the creative project by Ashley Finster (class of 2021) and friends! Throughout Ashley’s time at Notre Dame, she was a powerful force in the student band the Basement Boxers. Payant is a beautifully composed album filled with songs that give us insight into Ashley’s soul. 

“Just a Girl” (1995)  by No Doubt

A that song needs no introduction, No Doubt’s first single to reach Billboard’s Hot 100 list can be considered one of the greatest feminist songs of the 90’s.

“Brand New Key” (1972) by Melanie

Melanie Safka (or simply Melanie) is an American singer-songwriter often compared to Bob Dylan. Her unique folk undertones and sense of 1930s nostalgia, made her stand out amongst her male-counterparts, reaching No. 9 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles in 1972. 

“Angelica” (2022)  by Wet Leg

Wet Leg is a force to be reckoned with. After releasing two debut singles in 2021, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers found themselves on charts all over the world almost instantly. The English duo have firmly established themselves on the scene, and we are not complaining.

“Tonite” (2022)  by The Linda Lindas

Ranging between 12 and 17 years old, The Linda Lindas are the future. Since 2018, Bela Salazar, Eloise Wong, Lucia and Mila de la Garza are preserving the spirit of riot grrrl punk. 

“You’re so Vain” (1972)  by Carly Simon 

Topping the global charts in the early 70’s, Carly Simon is known for writing one of the greatest songs of all time. Her impeccably vivid yet ruthless narratives have rightly earned her the title of the most prominent confessional songwriters of our time.

“Under the Table” (2020) by Fiona Apple

Recipient of a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Rock Performance in 1996, Fiona Apple walked so Mitski could run!

“Scream” (2019)  by Stef Chura

Stef Chura is a Detroit-based artist with lots of soul and angst. In collaboration with Will Toledo (Car Seat Headrest), she released her second album in 2019. After the passing of her friend, she asked herself: “What do I have to do before I die? I have to at least make one record.”

“People have the Power” (1988)  by Patti Smith

Patti Smith, the godmother of punk.

“You Oughta Know” (1995)  by Alanis Morrisette

In the same vein as Carly Simon, Alanis Morriestte is known for her heart-wrenching confessionals. As a songwriter, she pours out her heart for her listeners, providing comfort in the knowledge that they are not alone. Her album “Jagged Little Pill,” is her biggest confession to date.


Serena Williams finishes legendary tennis career

Serena Williams’ historic tennis career has come to an end, completing the evolution away from tennis she announced in an August op-ed for Vogue. Last Friday Williams played her last game of tennis in the Arthur Ashe Stadium against Ajla Tomljanović.

Any tennis fan or person familiar with the movie “King Richard” probably knows the humble career beginnings of Serena and Venus Williams. The two sisters learned to play tennis on the public courts of Compton, California under the careful instruction of their father, Richard Williams. Beginning her professional career at age 14, Williams won her first major singles title at the 1999 US Open as a 17-year-old. From there: she went on to win at every major tournament multiple times: another five times at the US Open, three times at the French Open, seven times at the Australian Open and seven times at Wimbledon. Altogether she has won a total of 23 major titles, more than any other tennis player in the Open Era – man or woman. 

William’s accolades go beyond those 23 major titles, though. According to ESPN, she has collected 858 tour victories, 73 singles titles, an Olympic gold medal and spent a total of 319 weeks at No. 1 in women’s tennis. With her sister, Williams has also won 14 major women’s double titles and three Olympic gold medals. 

The impact of Williams, along with her sister, goes beyond just their victories. After an injury took Serena out of the competition in 2010, the only Black female player in the US Open women’s single draw was Venus. In the 2020 US Open, the number of Black women playing for the United States increased to 12 out of 32. Many of today’s young Black players credit the Williams sisters for their interest in the predominantly white sport. Such players include Coco Gauff, Taylor Townsend and Frances Tiafoe.

What’s next for Williams? Her attention now turns to the work of her company Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm she started in 2014 that focuses on health, wellness and athletics. Serena Ventures is one of the few venture capital firms owned by a Black women. 

Williams wrote in Vogue that “seventy-eight percent of [Serena Venture’s] portfolio happens to be companies started by women and people of color, because that’s who we are.” She believes that representation matters on and off the court. “It’s important to have women like that who believe in you and push you to think bigger and do bigger,” she said. 

Her other plans include expanding her family with husband Alexis Ohanian. Williams noted that her daughter Olympia’s current wish is to have a baby sister. She “feel[s] that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family.”

In the end, Williams’ last run at this year’s US Open was a reminder of who she was as a player throughout her phenomenal career — a fighter. The directors of the US open had a magnificent celebration of Williams’ career after her first round, almost as if expecting her to lose. Instead, William fought through the first round and then the second. She fought valiantly — grunting, sweating, swinging — all the way until her final volley sent the ball into the net for the last time.