Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged riot grrrl

1,000 Years

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Corin Tucker has been actively involved in music since the early 1990s when, as a teenager, she launched the riot grrrl band Heavens to Betsy. Around the same time, Carrie Brownstein was heading up queercore outfit Excuse 17. Eventually the two joined forces to form Sleater-Kinney in 1994.

1,000 Years

It is kind of strange listening to Corin Tucker with a bass player, and without the backing of Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss in riot grrrl band Sleater-Kinney. Admittedly, at first I found myself missing Brownstein’s guitar chops, and the rhythmic awesomeness of Weiss. This isn’t to say that Tucker is a guitar slouch, by any means, just that Brownstein is one of the best living guitarists out there, and Weiss delivers an amazing syncopated punch that other drummers just can’t match.

Riot Grrrl: Traces of a Movement (11/06/2010)

Printed Matter’s annual New York Art Book Fair is one of my favorite events of the year. Featuring many vendors that utilize do-it-yourself modes of production and aesthetics, it is an event that appeals to my artistic practices, and often my political ones as well. A conference accompanies the book fair itself, and among this year’s sessions was the panel "Riot Grrrl: Traces of a Movement."

Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution

First, an admission: like several feminist friends in my age group, riot grrrl didn’t make a profound impact of me until college. I was ten in 1993, the year Sara Marcus claims as pivotal for the movement in her book Girls to the Front. I was moving away from Mariah Carey and getting into the Pet Shop Boys. Riot grrrl was first on my radar through mainstream distortion in the pages of Spin and in the Spice Girls’ defanged “girl power” message.

Radical Act

Tex Clark made the documentary Radical Act in 1995. It was originally intended as a snapshot of the rise of cisgender female involvement in indie rock following riot grrrl's and queercore's impact, particularly amongst lesbians and feminist women. After over a decade, Million Movies a Minute is officially releasing it this month.

Sells Like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture and Social Crisis

Punk, hardcore, and alternative rock music scenes have been for years the almost exclusive realm of teenagers and youth in their twenties. Not only have they been areas of creative expression, but such subcultures have given young people a place to challenge beauty standards, political boundaries, and cultural norms. In Sells Like Teen Spirit, author Ryan Moore documents the music scenes of the 1980s and early 1990s, as well as their evolutions today.

Le Tigre: On Tour

“What’s the status of Le Tigre?” an eager—albeit slightly angst-ridden—fan asks Kathleen Hanna during the Q&A session after the screening of Le Tigre: On Tour. I, too, had been wondering the same question—because this band, who has proven so formative to women young and old everywhere, seems to exist only in our collective lesbo-feminist consciousness at the moment.

Gurlesque: The New Grrly, Grotesque, Burlesque Poetics

The problem with books with two introductions is that one can inevitably doom the other and, at worst, the entire book. This just might be the case with the contra(dictory)dance of introductions to the anthology Gurlesque, edited by poets Lara Glenum and Arielle Greenberg.

Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

In Girl Zines, Alison Piepmeier elegantly chronicles the emergence in the early 1990s of zines: a complex, multifaceted phenomenon aligned with third wave feminism, and a powerful and unruly articulation of the same cultural moment that produced riot grrrls. It may also have been the last gasp of the manuscript culture—since, some would say, eclipsed by the blogosphere and electronic media—as a pervasive form of underground radical expression.

Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution In Music

Having been born in the late '80s, I always felt I missed out on everything cool in music. I wasn’t there to see the birth of punk. I wasn’t there for New Wave. I was too young for grunge, and I was too far away from Olympia, WA for riot grrrl. In the 1990s, I bought Sublime’s self -titled album along with Alice Cooper’s School's Out, and that was the extent of my musical awareness.

People People

I want Pariah Piranha's People People to work—and it almost does. Listening to their album is sort of like eating my mom’s homemade cooking instead of something gourmet. You can tell something is missing, but you don't know exactly what it is. Oregano? No, that’s not it. Pepper? Lemon juice?

Musicfest Northwest (9/19/2009)

If you ever hear anyone doubt that women can rock you should tell them to shut up and listen to Team Dresch. One of the most influential bands from the mid-90s riot grrrl and queercore movements, Team Dresch released their first album Personal Best in 1995, stopped playing in 1998, reunited in 2004, and have only played a handful of shows since. So I knew this show in their hometown of Portland, OR was going to be a good one!

Who’s Afraid of Kathy Acker?

Finally, a documentary on legendary writer Kathy Acker, whose influence on sex-positive, brazen, post-modern feminist literature and art is unsurpassed. Perhaps there would have been no Riot Grrrl movement if Acker had not spoken to a young Kathleen Hanna. Hanna recalls that “Acker asked me why writing was important to me, and I said, ‘Because I felt like I’d never been listened to and I had a lot to say,’ and she said, ‘Then why are you doing spoken word?? No one goes to spoken word shows!

In Advance of the Broken Arm

Who wouldn't be interested in listening to a female musician who is described as playing guitar better than “you, or me or probably ninety-nine percent of the people who have ever looked at a guitar?" From the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Marnie Stern was signed to Kill Rock Stars after sending in a demo tape.


_“I can’t believe that I have to go back to high school. I saw a whole bunch of ‘cool kids’ at the movie theatre today. They looked at me like I was a freak and then acted like jerks by yelling and throwing food all the way through the whole movie. This is what they think rebellion is. They also think it’s rebellious to take tons of drugs, have unsafe sex, and go to secret parties in farmer’s fields.