Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music
By Marisa Meltzer
(Faber & Faber)
Before Miley Cyrus or Britney Spears, there was an army of frustrated women ready to launch revolutionary girl style now. This was the 90’s, an era when ladies picked up their guitars to battle it out on stage and musicians like L7‘s Donita Sparks threw her used tampon at audiences instead of flashing her assets during the Super Bowl. The Riot Grrrl movement came and was then seemingly forgotten until feminist rocker Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill made headlines recently for submitting her papers to NYU. Fortunately, there’s another less expensive option for those wanting a refresher course. Author Marisa Meltzer is telling her tale in Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music. Her book, an important testament of women’s contributions in music, is a no-nonsense history lesson educating readers quicker than a college seminar, but with the sentiments of a fan. From kinderwhore Courtney Love to Canadian chanteuse Sarah McLachlan, Meltzer explores the heroines and villains on one of the most iconic eras of music from a woman’s point of view. Why did Liz Phair, who was willing to “fuck and run,” become a Maxim cover girl and can the Spice Girls’ hit “Wannabe” really be a “classic girl-power anthem?” Straightforward, but moved by passion and nostalgia, Meltzer examines how the role of women during this time period has forever changed the look and sound of music. While Hanna now collaborates with Christina Aguilera over demanding crowds to suck her left one, Meltzer’s Girl Power gives readers hope that they too could start an uprising that lasts longer than a decade.