These pioneering women in music are releasing memoirs
The state of women in music is one that’s hotly debated. On the one hand — more women than ever are visible not just as solo pop divas but also as members of music ensembles, as producers, and marquee bandleaders. On the other hand — you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell that, judging from the gender inequality present on festival lineups (the most visible form of exposure for artists) all around the world, in every genre.
But part of the myth of missing women in music is the fact that many of the icons and influencers don’t get the kind of reverential, all-knowing historical treatment that their male counterparts do. At least, they didn’t, but more and more music historians are remedying that fact. And for some of music’s most iconic women, they’re taking matters into their own hands by writing their own memoirs. Three of those memoirs come out this fall; though we’re already saving shelf space for them, let’s give them a snap judgment based on their recently released covers.
First up: Carrie Brownstein, the Sleater-Kinney riot grrl turned Portlandia sketch comedian turned veteran rocker. Her memoir title Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl (lifted from the band’s song “Modern Girl”) is as stark and confrontational as their music often is. A lone image of Brownstein, in the throes of a performance, reaching out into the dark — the perfect rock artist’s cover for someone as enigmatic and intense as Brownstein.
Another rock icon takes a decidedly different route when it comes to how she presents her memoir.
Second up: Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. Hynde became a regular member of the rock scene during the ’70s, and as such has some of that old school rock star glamour glow. That translates to a whited out cover, some strategic gold placement, and a title that says it all: Reckless: My Life as a Pretender.
We’re not sure why she’s slinging her legs over a bathtub, but hey, her shoes are amazing?
Third up: None other than the indescribable Grace Jones. Honestly, we’re surprised that Jones’s cover is the most traditional memoir-y of the three, given her penchant for amazing costumes and makeup. Of course, her expression is far from boring — instead, she serves up charisma in spades, though the type choices for both her name and the name of her memoir (the very self-aware I’ll Never Write My Memoirs) seem pedestrian in comparison.
The real test, of course, is what these women write about. Will there be poignancy and depth like Patti Smith’s Just Kids, or will these be more like Miley Cyrus’s Miles To Go? We joke — but considering how much all three have seen, we can’t wait to read what they have to say.