Friday, 22 July 2011
That women music writing debate....
It’s been a good summer so far for music and writing - first there was Stoke Newington Literary Festival at the beginning of June with ‘the lads’ (see earlier post). Then the Screaming Queens event at Bromley Literary Festival on July 3rd.
Bromley isn’t the most exciting place to be on a cloudy Sunday afternoon (no wonder Siouxsie Sioux felt the need to escape), but a few of us female music writers read to an audience at the Tom Foolery pub. I explored the concept of (rock)girlpower from She Bop (which will hopefully soon be going into a third edition), Zoe Street Howe read from her vivid biography of the Slits, and novelist Sarah Drinkwater regaled us with tales of Riot Grrrl. Jane Bradley from the wonderful For Book’s Sake hosted the event, giving us her flamboyant profile of punk queen Jayne County.
All this is part of breaking the male monopoly of writing about music. Women are included in the debate, but, it seems, more as marginal and occasional voices. As Ann Powers said recently on Facebook:” I was happy to see Rock She Wrote and the SPIN Record Guide on the list of Pitchfork's favorite music books a few things were left out. Like most of half the population.” She points to Daphne Carr’s timely Amazon list of pop music books by women as a more representative guide:
Amazon.com: Daphne G. Carr: pop music books by women
Daphne is diligently compiling a follow-up to Rock She Wrote with the forthcoming Pop She Wrote. I’m on the editorial board for this project, and already over 400 women from around the world are on Daphne’s list. All this vibrant writing will form part of an archive....showing women’s crucial role in the development of rock criticism.
While we’re at it - some important links to check out:
“an intelligent but irreverent website featuring books by and for independent women”
“UK based independent online music magazine, celebrating and supporting women in music.”
Contemporary UK feminism with some great writing about women & music
And of course:
*Please do send me further suggestions/recommendations - maybe some more from the US?!!