first of all, this feels more like reading a blog than an autobiography. the chapters are short and blunt, so reading it feels almost like meeting her and getting to know everything about her through their stories. violence girl is a fantastic narrative history of alice bag (of the bags, that many of us including myself know from decline of western civilization). but then again, it's a story that many could relate to even if they knew nothing about her musical exploits.
this is the story of what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk rock: the sex, the drugs, the clothes, the boys, the tours, and being part of a brilliant pioneering group of girls making musical history.
kristin hersh (of throwing muses and 50 foot wave) wrote about the most tempestuous year in her life--a year of pregnancy and dealing with bipolar disorder, a year she would revisit in countless songs in her career.
with a movement like riot grrrl it's pretty much impossible to separate the politics and the music, and this book gives an in depth look of the movement, in all its glory and its failings, including the individuals involved, the music, and the very particular brand of DIY feminism it embodied.
“Lying on my bed, staring at the tapestry on the wall. There are two scantily dressed white girls. One has a dagger in her hand. They’re looking at a black panther up in a tree hissing at them. What is the meaning of this picture? Is it about Patty Hearst and the SLA? What did she fantasize about in that closet? Did she become a member of the SLA because women, being outside of the male-structured world, do make more natural anarchists? The conclusion: girls invented punk rock. Not England. Not the US. Girls.”