[TypicalGirls] Riot Grrrl book

Kelli Miller kelli at goodgrrrldesign.com
Sat Sep 15 12:04:37 EDT 2007

These are really great counter points. I definitely understand and  
respect the idea of public vs. private and cultural context. I guess  
my point was definitely not to re-release every single scrap of paper  
or 4-track recording ever made within a certain era. Rather, continue  
the legacy of writing, releasing etc. reference points to those eras.  
Things like Our Band Could be Your Life or We Owe You Nothing or even  
Fucked Up and Photocopied as collections of stories and images of  
really very interesting and subversive times had an enormous impact  
on me and my art/music. And I don't really think that they could be  
considered completely "mainstream" either. It's there for those  
seeking it out, as with most independent music, art, etc. etc.

And, speaking totally personally, I have to admit that at times I did  
get caught up romanticizing those by gone times and found myself  
disappointed that things had changed. But eventually, it becomes a  
back story and informs how to create currently. So, while we might  
disagree on the details in this conversation I see the other side of  
the fence and appreciate the dialogue. It's great!

On Sep 14, 2007, at 5:43 PM, Layla Gibbon wrote:

> I think Tobi explained much more succinctly what I was
> trying to explain but somehow was unable to do: things
> that were made for a community, in a certain context
> don't have to be regurgitated forever as the canon of
> how things should be for all future generations. punk
> is an idea and a possibility not a reverent movement
> that worships past achievements uncritically!i wish
> girls would make their own feminist punk movement now
> and not just reference riot grrrl.
> i am a shitworker/write a column at the punk zine
> maximum rocknroll which has been around for over 25
> years at this point, and one of the things that
> irritates me about it is that it's become such a
> museum. Most of the other columnists just write about
> music that happened thirty years ago at this point! I
> mean i love old music and am a total librarian record
> freak, and I am not into year zero wipe the slate
> clean ideas, BUT i feel one of the downsides of having
> so much information (music old zines fliers etc etc)
> available now is that it makes people replicate things
> rather than want to make their own thing. or like i
> said makes people worshipful/reverent of the past.
> also i wasn't saying beth ditto doesn't count at all!
> i don;t really know anything about this book, just by
> looking at the website it looked like yet another
> academic/rock critic approach and i am just bored of
> endless talking head versions of culture. it's like
> something didn't happen unless it's been talked about
> on TV or had a thesis written about it.
> also if you read any of the old riot grrrl zines (well
> I guess I am thinking of the huggy bear ones and some
> of the BK ones) it wasn;t meant to be a mass culture.
> it was an elitist culture. underground music is not
> made for mass consumption. I don't get people who
> think that it is. It's such a post woodstock idea, and
> makes me think of that stupid MTV slogan for woodstock
> the second "change the world just by changing the
> channel!" or how people now think they are going to
> change the world just by buying expensive organic
> clothing when it's the human consumption that's the
> problem. buying things isn't the answer!
> Tobi explained it so much more eloquently than I am
> clearly able to, but I guess my main point is why do
> people think something didnt happen or isnt real
> somehow unless it's written about by academics and
> journalists and/or crosses over to the mainstream?
> I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree or
> something.
> I just don't and didn't ever get any artistic
> validation from being 'discovered' by mainstream
> culture. It doesn't interest me and is pretty much why
> I got into punk and riot grrl (in 1991-16 years ago
> now!) in the first place.
> Layla
> --- Kelli Miller <kelli at goodgrrrldesign.com> wrote:
>> I get what your saying, but I totally disagree.
>> Because someone
>> crosses over into the world of mainstream approval
>> does not void them
>> of their roots, so to say Beth Ditto doesn't count
>> is a real slap in
>> the face to her/Gossips history before, say 2006.
>> It is important to document these movements. All
>> history is told
>> through some slanted lens and why is it such an
>> awful idea to tell it
>> through this one? I think hoping for traces of
>> indie/DIY culture to
>> disappear is equally nostalgic and extremely
>> elitist. It's holding on
>> to a secret memory that "shouldn't" be shared. Be
>> sure this still
>> happens, obviously not every bit of ephemera will be
>> catalogued and
>> replicated 10 years after its prime. What's wrong
>> with building a
>> history of subcultural movements and allowing that
>> to inspire future
>> generations/misfits/girls/boys/whatever??? And
>> honestly, if there is
>> a qualified academic willing to write about this
>> stuff, from my
>> perspective, that adds a certain amount of
>> legitimacy to the hard
>> work that was done during those times. Of course
>> it's not easy to
>> find alternate ways to be creative, to get your work
>> out there,
>> etc.... it's F'ING hard, damn near impossible
>> sometimes. If
>> documentation like this stuff ceased to exists the
>> blueprint gets
>> lost with your 1985 mixtapes.
>> On Sep 14, 2007, at 12:32 PM, Layla Gibbon wrote:
>>> Funny that they have the music editor of ID
>> magazine
>>> (well she was at the time.. Susan Corrigan) but no
>>> members of any bands or zine writers involved in
>> the
>>> movement as contributors. So lame. (Beth Ditto,
>> though
>>> I am happy she is a pop star now, doesn;t count!)
>>> Everything written about Riot Grrl except for the
>>> zines themselves is either written from an
>> academic
>>> perspective or a rock critic perspective.
>> Outsiders
>>> writing about a subculture they were absent from
>> but
>>> is useful to them career wise.
>>> One of the things I like about punk culture is
>> that it
>>> is transient. It kind of annoys me that suddenly
>> now
>>> everyone is so reverent towards the ephemera,
>> people
>>> bidding on ebay for fanzines and demos that would
>> have
>>> disappeared in previous generations. Not that girl
>>> culture disappearing is a good thing necessarily,
>> but
>>> I feel like people need to make their own culture
>>> rather than worshipping one that they missed out
>> on,
>>> then trying to replicate it. I played in an
>> English
>>> riot grrrl band (skinned teen) and remember
>> finding
>>> the English scene kind of lacking, I loved Huggy
>> Bear
>>> and the Slampt Underground people, but generally
>> felt
>>> kind of exploited by the music press (we were all
>>> teenage girls in the band) and found most of the
>> other
>>> people involved just there for the ride rather
>> than
>>> trying to actually make their own scene.
>>> I know England has a weird underground culture, I
>> am
>>> sure it's different now, I haven't lived there for
>>> years, but when I was younger everything was
>> instantly
>>> written about by the NME or the melody maker, and
>> it
>>> was impossible to exist outside of their watch.
>> Our
>>> first ever show was written up in the NME and the
>>> melody maker, which is so ridiculous! I can't
>> imagine
>>> a punk band here getting their first show written
>>> about in like Spin, we played with a Huggy Bear
>> side
>>> project called the Furbelows so it wasn't even a
>> 'big
>>> name' event. Just endless vampire attacks. We put
>> on
>>> an exhibition at the ICA which I can't even
>> remember
>>> the name of now, but one of the papers sent one of
>>> their women writers armed with fake zines about
>> how
>>> empowered she felt because she had her period at
>> the
>>> same time as so many other women, just stupid mock
>> 70s
>>> wimmin's meeting stuff... Everything we did was
>> met
>>> with laughter or disdain, people came to shows to
>> fuck
>>> with girls, it was just another thing for the
>> Oxbridge
>>> educated soho media crowd to mock... I didn't
>> meean to
>>> write this much!
>>> I just get so irritated when everyone has to write
>> a
>>> book about something they weren't even there for
>> and
>>> probably know nothing about, because they probably
>> are
>>> either rock journos or academics who were not
>> involved
>>> in any kind of DIY or underground punk culture. I
>> like
>>> that each generation's zines and tapes  disappear
>> and
>>> are randomly rediscovered and repositioned, but I
>> wish
>>> people weren't so starry eyed and nostalgic about
>>> something they missed out on, it was hard work and
>>> really confrontational/violent, well from my
>>> perspective at least, but I guess we weren't
>> playing
>>> 'punk' shows with 'enlightened' audiences because
>> that
>>> doesn't really exist in England, . It wasn't like
>> a
>>> constant group hug in a safe space with everyone
>>> talking about how great ESG are!
>>>  girls should make their own riot grrrl but call
>> it
>>> something else
>>> Also: I know this is really epic already, but I
>> wanted
>>> to point out that Mika Miko and FInally Punk are
>> not
>>> super into being considered post riot grrrl and
>> think
>>> that it's a lazy reference. Neither of them really
>>> write political songs... I have more to say about
>> this
>>> but I have to go to a dr's appointment plus I am
>> bored
>>> of trying to explain it somehow as I am not sure I
>>> have exactly said what I meant to here....
>>> Layla
>>> --- Marc Masters <marc at crankautomotive.com> wrote:
>>>> Apologies if this has been mentioned here before,
>>>> but there's a book on
>>>> Riot Grrrl coming out via UK publisher Black Dog
>> in
>>>> October.  For more
>>>> info...:
> http://www.blackdogonline.com/all-books/riot-grrrl.html
>>>> http://www.myspace.com/revolutiongirlstylenow
>>>> Marc M.
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