Revenge of the She-Punks

Revenge of the She-Punks : A Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot

3.72 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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As an industry insider and pioneering post-punk musician, Vivien Goldman's perspective on music journalism is unusually well-rounded. In Revenge of the She-Punks, she probes four themes-identity, money, love, and protest-to explore what makes punk such a liberating art form for women.

With her visceral style, Goldman blends interviews, history, and her personal experience as one of Britain's first female music writers in a book that reads like a vivid documentary of a genre defined by dismantling boundaries. A discussion of the Patti Smith song "Free Money," for example, opens with Goldman on a shopping spree with Smith. Tamar-Kali, whose name pays homage to a Hindu goddess, describes the influence of her Gullah ancestors on her music, while the late Poly Styrene's daughter reflects on why her Somali-Scots-Irish mother wrote the 1978 punk anthem "Identity," with the refrain "Identity is the crisis you can't see." Other strands feature artists from farther afield (including in Colombia and Indonesia) and genre-busting revolutionaries such as Grace Jones, who wasn't exclusively punk but clearly influenced the movement while absorbing its liberating audacity. From punk's Euro origins to its international reach, this is an exhilarating world tour.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 216 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 17.78mm | 312g
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • 147731654X
  • 9781477316542
  • 201,944

Table of contents

Womanifesto: The Opening Vamp
1. Girly Identity: Who Be Me?
2. Money: Are We Our Stuff?
3. Love/Unlove: Busting Up the Binary
4. Protest: Woman the Barricades
Outro: Our Coda
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Review quote

"Essential...With personal encounters running parallel with themes such as identity and protest, Goldman makes excellent points about punk's 'liberating aspect on the less-privileged sex,' framing it as the 'primal yowl of a rebellious underclass [that] has always specially belonged to girls.'" * Irish Times * "Captivating...Taking a lateral approach, Goldman weaves a fascinating tapestry that threads together themes of identity, money, love, and protest over five decades." * Huck Magazine * "Goldman offers a seamless mix of personal memoir, historical detail, direct interviews with the musicians, and her own academic analysis...[a] seriously excellent treatise. Revenge of the She-Punks is not to be missed." * PopMatters * "Alongside musician interviews with the likes of Kathleen Hanna and Patti smith, the engrossing read leans on the unmatchable source of Goldman herself, who participated in punk's genesis as editor of London weekly Sounds." * Austin Chronicle * "A distinctive look at [punk]...For fans of punk as well as a wider audience of music lovers, feminists, and social historians curious about the genre and its far-reaching influence." * Library Journal * "Riotously entertaining...a vibrant and inspiring introduction to feminist music history that invites more scholarship and music making." * Foreword Reviews * "Revenge of the She-Punks is an engaging and politically charged exploration of women in music looking to the past, present, and future." * Bust Magazine * "[Revenge of the She-Punks] doesn't just retell the story of punk with an added woman or two; it centers the relationships between gender and the genre, showing how, through the right lens, the story of punk is a story about women's ingenuity and power." * NPR * "While Goldman jumps around, hopping from band to band, she places the female musical foment within the critical context of feminist theory and the cultural context of society's upheaval...Known as the 'Punk Professor' as an adjunct at NYU, Goldman extends her authority here." * Kirkus * "Revelatory...[Revenge of the She-Punks] feels like an exhilirating conversation with the coolest aunt you never had, as she leaps from one passion to the next." * Rolling Stone * "This book should restore Goldman's place in the rock-crit firmament just as she sets out to give punk's women their long-denied dues." * The Guardian *
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About Vivien Goldman

Born in London, Vivien Goldman has been a music journalist for more than forty years and was the trusted chronicler of Bob Marley and Fela Kuti. She was a member of the new-wave bands Chantage and The Flying Lizards; Resolutionary, a retrospective compilation album of her work, was released in 2016. She is an adjunct professor teaching Punk, Afrobeat, and Reggae at New York University, where the Vivien Goldman Punk and Reggae Collection is archived in the Fales Library. A former documentarian, her five previous books include The Book of Exodus: The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers' Album of the Century. Goldman co-wrote the book for Cherchez La Femme, the Kid Creole musical that premiered at the La Mama Theatre in NYC in 2016.
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Rating details

11 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 18% (2)
4 36% (4)
3 45% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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