Everybody loves “the boss”. Of course. And he’s just released The Promise, a collection of songs recorded for but cut from Darkness on the Edge of Town. One of my favorite music journalists, Jessica Hopper, wrote this article that muses on why Bruce Springsteen edged these out of the seminal release in 1978.
If you’re itching for more, check out Jessica’s blog here. I have it bookmarked.
I first learned of Jessica when she was interviewed as a teenager in the early 90’s about being a riot grrrl. Indeed, that article (was it in Newsweek or Seventeen Magazine?) was one of the things that turned me onto the radical, young, feminist movement while I was isolated, and likewise a teenager, living in Wichita, Kansas. Speaking of: is it just me or is everyone (punk everyones) rediscovering riot grrrl? Perhaps it’s the sadly recent death of Ari Up of the Slits – an all girl punk band from the 70’s London scene that influenced much of what was to gel into the riot grrrl movement. Perhaps it coincides with the new riot grrrl collection at NYU built from Kathleen Hanna’s personal archive. She talks about it, and other things, here. Perhaps it has been sparked by the recent release of Girls to the Front: the true story of the riot grrrl revolution by Sara Marcus, which i’m reading right now.
Riot grrl was the thing that sealed my fate as a punk. After hearing Bikini Kill for the first time, it was a given that 1) I would survive high school with my fists up if i had to and 2) that I wasn’t ashamed to be, and was determined to be, a spit-fire, loud-mouthed, me-vs.-the-world, kind of girl. I never changed my mind.
All this ruminating on rebels has me thinking a lot about my own rebellions, musical and political. At 31 they look different, but they are there. I think they are less on the surface, less vulnerable. A riot is worth having nonetheless, actually necessary. I’ll let you know what it looks like when I finish reading the book.
For further reflection: I’m halfway through the new documentary on John Lennon that PBS is showing, called LennoNYC, streaming on pbs.org, another veritable rebel, truly.