Thursday, August 20, 2009

My introduction to riot grrrl

In the 90's, like the rest of the world, I got into grunge. I was coming of age in a time when alternative music was pretty exciting, and with the rampant furor of a pre-teen, I ate it all up. In middle school I found punk, which I wholeheartedly embraced. I started going to tons of shows, writing zines, trading tapes, and eventually putting on shows. At this time I was a typical punk teenager sporting a mohawk, piercings, ripped fishnets and mini-skirts.

But I slowly became disillusioned with the punk scene. There was so much testosterone around and I didn't want to be a coat-rack at a show, I wanted to dance and jump around like the boys. I believed in the DIY ethic, and I wanted to make music too! There were other things in the scene that I felt conflicted with as well. For example, at the time in Boston there were tons of fashion punks, and I thought it was really superficial. I didn't necessarily want to conform to the standard punk uniform, and people looked at me weird because of that. It had become just like what I was trying to escape in my lame high school. I dreamed about the '77 days, when women seemed more of an integral part of the punk scenes (maybe I am romanticizing this?)

Anyway, when I was about 15 years old I remember being at the library to use their internet and printer. I was depressed and looked up "Sylvia Plath" online (hahah - so cliche.) The lyrics from Bikini Kill's "Bloody Ice Cream" came up on my screen:
The C.D. Image via Wikipedia

"The Sylvia Plath story is told to girls who write
They want us to think that to be a girl poet
Means you have to die
Who is it
That told me
All girls who write must suicide?
I've another good one for you
We are turning
Cursive letters into knives"

I remembered a boy at school who was obsessed with Hole, mentioning Bikini Kill to me, talking about some scandal at Lollapalooza. Next thing I know, I bought The C.D. Version of the First Two Records and couldn't stop listening to it. I remember something clicking for me. I remember thinking, okay, this is it. I felt like I finally belonged somewhere. That someone got me. That was my introduction to riot grrrl.

Now tell me... How did you get into grrrl music?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment