Tag Archives: The Village Voice
I first became aware of The Village Voice in high school, when my older brother, Brett, used to go the Beloit, Wisconsin, public library to peruse its political investigations and music coverage. We were both discovering punk rock, watching Patti Smith on Saturday Night Live, and we could read about the newest bands from CBGB’s in the Voice. Later, in college, I got assigned to write about it in my one and only journalism class. Within a few years, I was copy editing and writing there, ultimately becoming a senior editor in charge of music. It was a crazy, difficult, exciting place, and the work I did for them — “discovering” Paul Beatty and the rest of the ’90s NYC lit scene bubbling around the incredible Nuyorican Poets Cafe, traveling to New Zealand to write about music, covering Rent as it moved from Downtown to Broadway and beyond, interviewing John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, the creators of a new musical called Hedwig and the Angry Inch; writing about punk drag artists such as Justin Bond and Miss Guy — still defines me. And then there was my one and only cover story, the first major interview with Patti Smith after her husband Fred died and she returned to the stage — an incredible encounter with the woman who made me want to be a rock’n’roll critic, and move to New York, and dive into the sea of possibilities. RIP Voice. Say hi to Aretha.
In honor of Throwback Thursday and the upcoming Grrls on Film festival at LMU, here’s a story I wrote for The Village Voice in 1996 about a new wave of female filmmakers, including Miranda July, GB Jones, and Sadie Benning. Note the headline: “Grrrls on Film.” Certainly, this was my first use of the phrase, and, perhaps, anyone’s? I guess I’m still stuck on ideas I had 20 years ago. This also is probably the first interview with Miranda in a major newspaper. Interestingly, the story ran with a review of the grunge documentary Hype (and, typically, got bottom billing).
It’s been more than two decades since The Village Voice published my article “The Feminine Critique,” the not-so-secret history of women rock writers. It is still one of the most important things I have ever done. Writer Margit Ditweiler just penned a lovely piece about how the photos for it hung on her wall as inspiration for years, in the blog Tue/Night: