the first collection of criticism by a living female rock critic-jessica hopper

“Us girls deserve more than just one song. We deserve more than one pledge of solidarity. We deserve better songs than any boy will ever write about us.” (20)

“Riot-grrrl wasn’t the end result, it was the catalyst. That’s what it was supposed to be, that’s what it was meant as-not a static thing. It didn’t have to stick around forever to count as successful-movements come in waves-it did its job perfectly. So much is different post-RG, so much permission and power and inspiration was funneled down steadily-whether it’s to the league of young girl shredders, or rock camps, or queer show collectives whose tether to RG was simply catching the tail end of Sleater-Kinney.

Feminism has to move on, salute new icons, be excited by the variety of archetypes of women in music that are self-directed, self-produced, not operating under the shadow of a Svengali band. To not appreciate the difference in agency, or appreciate the different struggles of women now, turns it to a game of radical one-upsmanship. Our battles are not to be hung on the necks of the new waves of girls like an albatross.” (89)

“I began to pine for the attention of punk boys, of which I knew three. One of which was Andrew and we could barely stand one another but were bonded by conversations about Sonic Youth.” (57)

“I want it. I need it. Because all these records, they give me a language to decipher just how fucked I am. Because there is a void in my guts which can only be filled by songs.” (13)

once again we’re dealing with the relationships of women writing about music-relationships with the music itself, relationships with the music makers and finding community (and love and validation) within a shared audience, relationships with other women in the context of music, and relationships with the writing about the music. i mean-the title of this book is a very deliberate statement, and though we have paper trails in different genres, i can relate to a lot of the same sentiments.

it’s no accident that this was a bust magazine pick/feature. it seems like the more we learn, the more we’re inundated by the same struggles. in all of our communities. aarrrgh. but the truth remains that packing an inheritance of struggles is not the way to go to validate what we’ve been through-celebrating that some ones don’t have to go through it in the same way is what we need to do, because trust that they have found and made their very own that don’t even register on our radar, so we need to celebrate that. we can always hold space for each other-always.

i realize that the one constant in my life (ok, two with the NBA) has been music. it’s been the one thing that i’ve been sure about, and it seems to be the hindrance-i may know too much-and thus i’m a bro, but at the end of the day-that’s cool, the music will be there for me-it’s a good thing i didn’t get hiphop_spinster actually tattooed on my body-but shit do i feel like cassandra picking that moniker. whomp whomp.


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