I’ve always considered myself some sort of feminist. When I was younger, I idolized strong creative women who spoke out for what they believed in, especially musicians. I used to attempt playing tag with my brother and his friends, who would run away from me or tell me to leave them alone, there were no girls allowed. I get along really well with males, maybe even better than with females and have always felt that I play the role of the “male” in most of my relationships with men. Don’t get me wrong, I love red lipstick and dresses more than most things, but I’m not afraid to get down and dirty. I get shit done no matter what it takes. If you ask any of the guys from my band, Wise Girl, they will most likely tell you that I am the most “boyish” one in the band.
These are the 5 albums that have helped me become the modern day Riot Grrrl.
1. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill I remember being in the 5th grade, thrashing around my room, screaming along with the lyrics to Alanis Morisette’s album Jagged Little Pill on cassette. I didn’t understand the sexual innuendos at the time, but she was angry and she had something to say and there was no stopping her. I loved it!
2. No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom The first CD that I ever bought with my allowance was No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom. I went out and bought the coolest collection of bindis at Claire’s to stick on my forehead in order to copy Gwen’s style. I specifically remember reading that when she wasn’t on the road she was a make up artist which was the coolest thing to me considering how obsessed with makeup I was (I am currently a freelance make up artist when not on the road). I was obsessed with the song “I’m Just a Girl” and felt like I really related to the lyrics. I still relate to this day.
“I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite, So don’t let me have any rights”.
If anyone knows me, they know that I absolutely HATE being told what to do. I have rebelled my whole life trying to figure out my way on my own. I’ve always been a stubborn brat and probably always will be thanks to Gwen Stefani!
3. Hole – Celebrity Skin Then There was Hole’s Celebrity Skin and Courtney Love….I have always loved Courtney Love with all of my heart. Yes, I know she was an insane drug addict at one point, was accused of killing the amazing Kurt Cobain, and is just a plain ole’ crazy ass bitch, but she never tried to hide it. She was not ashamed of the fact that she was bat shit out of her mind and instead, embraced it, which is what I’ve always respected about her besides Billy Corgan’s awesome songs and her red lipstick.
4. The Muffs – Blonder And Blonder
The Muffs saved my life. If I’d never randomly found the record Blonder and Blonder while in a record store in Boston, I would not be writing this right now. I had always hated my voice, it just sounded weird to me. I sang competitively when I was young but never really took it very seriously because I always always so uncomfortable with my voice. When I picked up this album and listened to it on the discman on display, my life was changed. Kim Shattuck’s voice was raw, so fucking raw, but beautiful and in key with the catchiest melodies. Hearing this voice made me think to myself, “I want to do this!” And that was when history began. I formed my first band at the age of 15. Thank you Kim!
5. Bikini Kill – “Pussy Whipped” !”REVOLUTION GIRL STYLE NOW!”
Bikini Kill’s Pussy Whipped was a staple in my high school years. It got me through the days when i didn’t want to wake up and face the world of evil teenagers. My all girl band would cover the song “Rebel Girl”, while drinking beers in my parent’s basement when they were out on Saturday nights. We would practice our favorite Bikini Kill songs relentlessly after long days of school spent yearning to rock out in my basement and I would try to wear my hair like Kathleen Hanna’s.
Bikini Kill made me feel empowered. I connected with this band fronted by this balls-out woman who had something to say on behalf of all women. My knowing of and understanding of their existence made me feel special and unique. I started to really embrace who I was and appreciate the fact that I wasn’t like everybody else. I was different and weird and I was okay with that, I was actually really happy about it, and the fact that I had an awesome crew of girlfriends who were equally as weird and shared my love for Kathleen Hanna, our unshaven armpitted, feminist hero.
I have always been drawn to female singers and performers. Maybe because that’s whats I’ve always wanted to be, a strong woman with a voice. And guess what? That is exactly what I’ve grown into. I am the modern day riot grrrl.
Wise Girl is a NYC based power-pop trio known for their signature brand of Rrriot girl rock. Check out their new track “I’m a Freak” below, and purchase a CD of You’ll Just Have To Wait! or buy concert tickets here.
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