Music News

RIFF AND READ

Page 5 of 5

There are two problems with this book. The first is the glaring, utterly puzzling lack of even a mention of female grunge-alternative bands like L7 and Hole. By wading into the evil boys' club of white guitar noise, bands like those two have really knocked the door from its hinges. The fact that Gaar lives in Seattle and works in the "Seattle Scene" makes this all the more unbelievable.

The other problem is Gaar's questionable analytical skill. By defining k.d. lang's latest album, Ingnue, as "a series of ballads," Gaar is exposing either a lack of critical chops or the fact that she didn't listen to the album. In her discussion of lang, one of today's most important female artists and the culminating metaphor of Gaar's thesis, Gaar fails to credit lang's collaborator, Ben Mink. By lang's own admission, Mink has played a critical role in her recent career. It's clear that in her rush to validate women, Gaar has forgotten to mention some important men. The odd thing is that She's a Rebel generally goes out of its way not to be a male-bashing feminist indictment. It's a thoughtful treatment that acknowledges what men have and have not done for women in rock n' roll.

None of these things takes away from the fact that this is an excellent and much-needed book. As Yoko Ono says in her glowing introduction, it reclaims much lost history and proves that for someone like Lesley Gore, the "struggle was not in vain.

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Robert Baird
Dave McElfresh