[TypicalGirls] Riot Grrrl: genre vs. musical-political ethos

Kelli Miller kelli at goodgrrrldesign.com
Thu Sep 13 22:38:03 EDT 2007

Good point about about the delivery of the music changing. Of course  
it will never be the same exactly but that's what keeps it  
interesting. And maybe this new crop isn't always challenging the  
music formally but they are definitely re-defining how we find it and  
listen to it. I always thought that the distribution and community  
surrounding early punk was one of the most inspiring aspects of it  
all. This is just a new way of exploring that.

Also, lots of DIY venues and shows ARE still happening, probably much  
in the same fashion as previous decades. I mean in Brooklyn, it's  
rampant. And I've felt, being at these shows lately, a REAL sadness  
and sense of lose of that riot grrrl, post-riot grrrl world. I  
remember going to shows and just feeling an overwhelming sense of  
belonging and equality that was so special. Now it seems the bands  
here are mostly dudes and the girls are usually hanging out in the  
back again. Obviously, not every  show but several I've been to have  
reverted back to those standards. The crowds may be less violent but  
the segregation seems apparent. So, that said I am so extremely  
excited and happy to see that riot grrrl has entered the cultural  
cycle of resurgence that seems to happen every 10-15 years. I think  
that alone says a lot about it's significance in music and culture.

Good conversation! Thanks for the new bands to check out too!


On Sep 13, 2007, at 9:59 PM, Mike Appelstein wrote:

> Not to change subjects too dramatically, but one thing Tobi said  
> really
> relates to this very list:
> <<it is no coincidence that bands that are associated with typical  
> girls
> were not taken seriously as part of the punk/post punk canon until  
> after
> riot grrl happened. we used to right down a list of these bands for  
> every
> girl we met who was wanting more.  we'd go here: go find records by  
> these
> bands: 1. raincoats. 2. slits 3. delta 5 etc.>>
> I've probably said this before, but I was a college DJ in the mid  
> to late
> 1980s.  This was not a golden age of gender equality in music, nor  
> were
> indie listeners' ears quite as tuned to enthusiastic amateurism or,  
> heck, a
> female band member who wasn't just a vocalist or keyboard player.   
> I'd play
> the Raincoats, Delta 5, Scrawl*, Talulah Gosh and early K  
> (including Tobi's
> various bands), and people would call up, actually angry!  I got a  
> rep as
> "the DJ who plays all the girl bands," which wasn't really true.
> Riot grrrl changed the game completely.  It was often ridiculed and
> misunderstood when it first appeared in 1991 - even I said some really
> thoughtless things, which I've never stopped regretting even 15  
> years later.
> But within a few years, it was suddenly no longer a big deal to  
> have men and
> women the same band sharing songwriting/performing duties equally,  
> or to
> literally be learning how to play onstage.  And all of a sudden  
> progenitors
> like the Slits and the Raincoats were being taken a lot more  
> seriously.
> Personally, I think riot grrrl got *really* good a couple of years  
> into it,
> when Huggy Bear and Skinned Teen began creating amazing, cacophonous
> recordings that still kept a sense of ragged melody - I heard lots of
> LiLiPut and Kleenex in both of them, whether intentionally or not.   
> Now
> there are 19-year-old kids who know way more about post-punk than I  
> ever
> did, a la "Losing My Edge."  That's fine.  It's great to discover  
> things I
> didn't or couldn't find the first time.
> And it all happened without the Internet.  I wonder if there will  
> ever be
> another DIY musical movement like riot grrrl or early punk.   
> Perhaps the
> Internet, and especially Etsy, YouTube and Flickr, have  
> mainstreamed DIY to
> the point where a "revolution" couldn't happen the same way.  A  
> refinement,
> maybe?
> -Mike
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