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Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Rock, Pop, and Rap Paperback – August 24, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press (August 24, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815410182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815410188
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,414,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Rock She Wrote is a remarkably diverse collection of 62 articles, scholarly essays and personal journal excerpts by women about rock, pop, and rap, with contributions from columnists, academics, and the musicians themselves, including Marianne Faithful, Patti Smith, Kim Gordon, and Donna Dresch. Don't buy this--or, alternatively, dismiss it--thinking that it deals solely with the "women in rock" "issue." Do buy it because this is a great collection of music journalism that will be central in breaking down barriers that made any of us--men or women--think that it ever was an issue. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This intelligently compiled, wide-ranging volume provides exciting evidence of women writers' inroads made over the past three decades into the still male-dominated field of popular music criticism. Pioneers such as 1960s New Yorker columnist Ellen Willis and Jazz & Pop editor Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (better known, tellingly, for her marriage to rock icon Jim) are grouped with younger counterparts, from novelist Mary Gaitskill to cultural critic bell hooks in sections broken down loosely by topic. In "I Am the Band," female performers such as Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon, offer touring testimony; critic Jaan Uhelszki, meanwhile, finds herself onstage with Kiss, makeup and all, for a 1975 Creem magazine assignment. The latter instance points up one of the book's most fascinating aspects: in a rock-and-roll world where boys wear lipstick and girls increasingly get to make lots of noise, the effects of gender on both performer and listener are far from straightforward. Many of Rock She Wrote's strongest pieces?Joan Morgan's story on her love/hate relationship with Ice Cube's misogynist rap; Lori Twersky's musings on familiar images of the "female teenage audience" as screechy and sex-crazed?find their writers at the intersection of conflicting reactions to the subjects at hand. A remarkable collection, Rock She Wrote makes clear both the difference women writers have brought to music writing and the impossibility of any attempt to nail that difference down once and for all.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lina Bell on May 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic anthology of feminist music criticism. With plenty of variety, information and verbosity, this 500-page tome is a veritable feast of wit.
Spanning the last few decades and mainly American-based, Rock She Wrote reveals the polemic and visionary deliberations of a host of women, including New York journalist Ellen Willis, who was stimulated by New Journalism and Critical Theory in the late 60's. And just as you'll never get bored hearing how Patti Smith "f--ked with form", or how women are ghettoised within the industry, neither is it tiring to rediscover the roots of Riot Grrrl as defined by Sassy magazine.
From the radical rhetoric of San Francisco's Tribe-8 to Kim Gordon's Sonic Youth tour diary, to Courtney Love being interviewed by Pamela Des Barres, to Susan Brownmiller's Rolling Stone piece on the vilification of Yoko Ono, to bell hoks' attack on Madonna, it's an all-encompassing read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anita Weinberg on July 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This anthology represents more than 25 years of women demanding their props in the pop music arena. Collected here for the first time by Evelyn McDonald and Ann Powers, these essays demonstrate the talent, insight, and innovation that women have brought to a playing field already trampled to smithereens by legions of boys, boys, and more boys.
Contributions from performing artists like Patti Smith, Donna Dresch, Marianne Faithfull, and Cherie Currie provide snapshots of the very act of being female in the music industry. Sharp commentaries by journalists including Gina Arnold, the late Lori Twersky, Mim Udtovitch, Jaan Uhelszki, Deborah Frost, Lisa Jones, and bell hooks analyze the pop genre as it relates to both sexes, and in some cases skewer the men who have owned it waaaaaay too long.
I really enjoyed this book, and you will too. The only real issue I had was the editors insisting on identifying Patricia Kennealy-Morrison by referencing her 1970 Wiccan marriage to Jim Morrison. Can you say "Mrs. Mojo Risin'?" Oh well. I guess you can't have everything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Hopper on August 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have purchased this book 5 times and am about to buy a sixth, I loan it out and never get it back, and I am fine with that. It's not just a milestone book for chronicling the experiences of women musicians, but also pioneers and critics who might have been otherwise forgotten. It is not just for feminists, or wanna-be rock critics, orgirl-culture enthusiasts--it's filled with essays, wit, wisdom, cultural analysis and encouragement for anyone that truly loves music, whether they are a fan or a pro.Buy it for yourself or the girl in your life who is obsessed with music. Buy it for the dude in your life so he can better understand and appreciate the experiences of and opinions of women in music.
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More About the Author

Evelyn McDonnell is assistant professor of journalism and new media at Loyola Marymount University. She has been writing about popular culture and society for more than 20 years. She is the author of four books: Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways, Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids and Rock 'n' Roll, Army of She: Icelandic, Iconoclastic, Irrepressible Bjork and Rent by Jonathan Larson. She coedited the anthologies Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop and Rap and Stars Don't Stand Still in the Sky: Music and Myth.

She has been the editorial director of, pop culture writer at The Miami Herald, senior editor at The Village Voice, and associate editor at SF Weekly. Her writing on music, poetry, theater, and culture has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including the Los Angeles Times, Ms., Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Spin, Travel & Leisure, Us, Billboard, Vibe, Interview, Black Book, and Option. She codirected the conference Stars Don't Stand Still in the Sky: Music and Myth at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York in 1998.

She has won several fellowships and awards, including an Annenberg Fellowship at USC and a fellowship to the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater. Her 2004 Herald expose of hip-hop cops was awarded first place for enterprise reporting by the South Florida Black Journalists Association and second place in the Society of Professional Journalists' Sunshine State Awards. She earned her Master's in Specialized Journalism, the Arts, from USC, where she was chosen for the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She earned her Bachelor's in American studies, graduating magna cum laude from Brown University. She leaves in San Pedro with her husband, son, many animals, and a fantastic view of the ocean.

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