Shameless Magazine’s review of Jessica Hopper’s book “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic” is a conversation between Nyala Ali and Laura Friesen.
“Hopper’s section Females collects her reviews of female musicians who, in different ways, shake up listeners’ expectations of what women performers should represent.
“SWF, 45: Mecca Normal’s The Observer” is an album review that reflects on The Observer as a confessional narrative, and how it plays with and against expectations of what a 45-year-old single white female should sing about.
Hopper does seem really interested in ideas surrounding women’s songwriting – I’d say that all of the artists in the Females section are invested in rewriting not only the content but the purpose of confessional narratives. St. Vincent consciously refuses to give us the whole story, whereas Jean Smith of Mecca Normal turns these stories on their heads to expose the vulnerabilities of the people she’s singing about, these deficient men that she’s met through online dating. I really appreciated that she didn’t really internalize any of their shit, so to speak.”
Postcard from Kathleen Hanna to David Lester, 1991
Excerpt from a 2011 Spin Magazine article called Sisters Outsiders The Oral History of the Bikini Kill E.P. by Jessica Hopper