Friday, February 19, 2010

girl power

reading the krs mail order freaks* blog i stumbled upon this book i really want to read, "girl power - the nineties revolution in music" by marisa meltzer [amazon here, adlibris here]. the aforementioned blog linked to a review of said book by a very young american fashion blogger (who, after doing a little digging i found out, seems to have made a little stir in the fashion world by, i guess, being young, which seemed fun. or maybe not. i mean, why do fashion people care so much? but that's a whole different story and doesn't really have anything to do with this book or it being reviewed. i digress.). this review made me so happy! how wonderful to be a 13-year-old girl and discover so much great music and so many awesome women at the same time! she writes

For me, personally? The book was seriously eye-opening. Despite my having not listened to a vast majority of the music mentioned in the book, I was frowny-sad-face upon reading about how Riot Grrrl faded.. /../ Never before had I felt that feminism was something I could be so much a part of. It sounds like I'm talking about being part of the Riot Grrrl movement itself, but really, just the history of it, and the fact that it even existed, makes me very excited, and proud, to be a girl, and to be who I am.
that last part makes me so happy, i cannot tell you. cos it's a fucking harsh reality now for girls growing up. despite progress and enlightenment in various arenas, such as equality, since i grew up, there's still so much ugliness and, i think, more ugliness than before because of the misuse of technology and the shallowness of all things. very few of my peers growing up even had the words plastic surgery in their vocabulary. so there you go. moving on.

i, of course, want to read this book purely out of nostalgic reasons. well, almost purely. i also want to read it and go "i knew that. i knew that. i had that t-shirt, i bought that cd in '95" and so on. to boost my ego a bit, but mostly to be nostalgic. i still do discover things here and there about my beloved decade of the past, this is true, but when it comes to women musicians in the indie rock scene of the 1990s, most of them are in my brain already. and, considering what tobi vail** herself said about this book in her review, i doubt there will be much to discover. i choose to stay somewhat shallow here - my and my geekiness - even though tobi makes great points in her review about the writing of history/herstory and how awkward it is to her because she was in the middle of it and also how it can become so focused on the consumer part and not on the activist part. just go read it yourself!

the krs blog also linked to flavorwire where author marisa meltzer, because of the release of her book, had been asked to list 10 essential female artists of the 90s, and i must say, i'm really pleased at what she listed. veruca salt, that dog., juliana hatfield [yeah!], elastica, breeders, hole, liz phair [hell yeah!], sleater-kinney, kim gordon and bikini kill. all excellent choices in my book. there was some nagging in the comments about why L7 wasn't on it, and why liz phair was, and where the hell is p.j. harvey and tori amos, OMG WHERE IS TORI AMOS, and so on. i'm sorry, but chill out! this is one person's opinion and clearly other people will think differently. there is no such thing as the truth.

that being said, i must defend her addition of veruca salt and liz phair. it's suggested that if liz phair is in it then jewel or tracy bonham might as well be in it. clearly this person hasn't paid much attention to liz's early work. actually i'm going to quote our friend the fashion blogger here, cos even she gets it;
At the same time, reading about Liz Phair's lyrics and behavior also surprised me, as the songs I hear now that are so blatantly and graphicly about sex are sung by men, and women have to keep quiet
liz's exile in guyville is essential listening if there ever was such a thing! [read this.] as for veruca salt, in hindsight they've proven not very influential and sort of strangely became viewed as a one- or two-hit-wonder depending on who you're asking ["seether" and/or "vulcano girls"]. for me, listening to them early on, they just struck me from the beginning as being really great, and i'm sure many others agree. i'd hate to sound important, but everybody that was into indie rock at the time knew the words to "seether". when hole hosted 120 minutes in '95 they played veruca salt's "number one blind" and i fell in love right there, recording it onto tape from the speakers on the tv (hey, that's how we did it in the 90s!) and then buying their debut and loving it. i still listen to veruca salt. besides, marisa herself defends her addition by saying
Is it okay to love a band just for one song? I think when you make a song as perfect for karaoke as “Seether,” it totally is.
so, i ordered the book and if you're lucky i'll tell you what i think after i've read it.

wow. this post got so much longer than i thought it would.


EDIT: oh, yeah, i forgot. i loved what marisa said about liz phair on the list;
She sang, “Every time I see your face/ I get all wet between my legs,” and all the girls were like, “FINALLY!”

that settles it.

* krs = kill rock stars, awesome record label that's been around since the early 90's that carries a lot of great indie and favors feminist and queer artists. has released a lot of riot grrl stuff.

** tobi vail is an awesome woman, musician, feminist and activist who's been in deep with the riot grrl movement and all that great stuff that happened in and around olympia in the late 80s that became so influential for the 90s indie rock. she was in the go team and in bikini kill. read more about her here and here.


Ondtomten said...


blogga mera! *hejarklack*

the female man said...

jag instämmer med föregående skrivare :)

och sen: jag vill LÅNA! jag vill LÄSA! när är du klar? :D

jenny said...

jag har ju inte ens FÅTT den än! puss :)