Be Bold, Part 9: Courtney Love

“Courtney, what advice would you give to a young girl moving to Hollywood?”
“If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons, don’t go.”
And with that comment in 2005, Courtney Love busted open the rotten heart of Tinseltown and exposed Weinstein for the monster he was.
I’m joking, of course. Everyone ignored her. “Crazy old Courtney, talking trash again. She must be high.”
And nothing changed.
For almost 15 years.
Weinstein was the King of Hollywood, Courtney was just the Queen of Not Giving A Fuck.  Everyone else played good little actors and actresses, not wanting to bite the grabby sausage-hand that fed them. The casting couch continued to be a corny joke, a throwback to the good old days, not a place of frozen horror, fear, confusion and shame. Golden Globe nominated actress Courtney Love has not had a leading role, or pretty much any role, in Hollywood since.
And no-one cared.
Everyone assumed crazy old Courtney had fucked up her chances at a serious acting career by being too drunk, too high, too trashy, too loud, too Courtney.
But Courtney knew. And Courtney used her voice, the voice she had been honing for years on the road as the front woman of Hole. She yelled, she screamed, she howled as if her very existence depended on it. She wanted “every girl in the world to pick up a guitar and start screaming.”
“Just you try to hold me down,
Come on try to shut me up.”
Hole – Gutless
I finally watched Nick Broomfield’s Kurt and Courtney documentary, 25 years after he tried to convince the world that Courtney’s heroin-addicted, chronically ill, depressed and fame-haunted husband didn’t commit suicide. It struck me as a parade of junkies, nobodies and wannabes, using any tenuous link to Cobain to score 15 minutes of fame and some drug money along the way, taking the naïve Broomfield along for the ride. No wonder Courtney did everything she could to shut the film down. Much like Meghan Markle, Love’s own father (Bio Dad, as she calls him) even cashed in on her name and accused her of everything under the sun, including having Kurt murdered. Just as Nancy Spungeon was described by her mother as a screaming baby who never stopped crying, could never be soothed, could never be pacified, could never be controlled or understood, Courtney was seen as a problem child, eventually sent away by her parents to a school for delinquent girls.

When I was a teenage whore
The rain came down like it never did before
I paid good money not to be ignored
Then why am I a teenage whore?

I’ve seen your repulsion and it looks real good on you
Denying what, what you put me through

Hole – Teenage Whore


She never felt welcome in her family home again, and after being bounced around various parents and step-parents, she finally left to  make her way in the world, experiencing everything on offer. She wanted to taste it all, whether she was table dancing in Guam or being a Liverpool goth.

I’ve got a blister from touching everything I see

Hole – Softer Softest

Courtney, always an obsessive journal keeper and poetry writer, began studying the craft of “being a rock star” with the level of detail and dedication of a medical school student, but Love was at the University of life, majoring in rock and roll. She wrote in one diary how she wanted to record an album and “become friends with Michael Stipe”. And she achieved everything she set out to do, which is more than can be said of many of the people she learned from along the way, some who now feel she used them, took what she wanted and moved on. Ex-boyfriends, ex-band members, ex-mentors, few have nice words to say about Courtney. She has even said of herself “I am just the classic person who wants to learn stuff. I want good tutors”. She saw what the world had to offer her, and she took it, and became a star, much to the chagrin of those she passed on the way up.
When her husband, the love of her life and the father of her child, took his own life, Courtney didn’t lay down and die, play the good widow, she carried on doing what she does best – being a rock star. Live Through This, not simply one of the greatest albums of the 90s but one of the greatest of all time, was released a week after Kurt’s death. While some could not believe Love had penned the album herself, without the aid of her husband, others blamed her for Kurt’s death and the end of Nirvana. Everything was her fault, yet she was not allowed to take the credit for her own success. Love had placed herself firmly in the lineage of “women who ruined everything”, from Anne Boleyn to Yoko Oko.
She spent twenty years in the Dakota
Every single day it was black in the Dakota
Riot grrrls think you can stop me
And you’re forever in her debt
Well I know you haven’t sent me
And you haven’t sent her yet
She spent twenty years like a virus
They want to burn the witches inside us
Well you, you don’t fuck with the fabulous four
Or you spend the rest of your life
Picking things up off the floor”

Hole – 20 Years In The Dakota

After the tragic hounding of Caroline Flack by the British gutter press, after Meghan Markle was forced to leave the country for her own sanity, after the lonely death of Amy Winehouse finally gave her release from the cameras that followed her every move, after the death of Princess Diana in a Parisian tunnel after a paparazzi pursuit, after all the hollow #BeKind posts, Courtney Love’s appearance at the 50th Brit Awards this year still drew howls of derision, abuse and vitriol. One of the greatest living rock stars, she literally did live through it all, but she committed the crime of being a woman who wouldn’t play by the rules.
“Courtney Love made her way to the Brits after party looking a right state”
“Why haven’t we cancelled Courtney Love?”
“Congratulations on The Brits for finding the corpse of Courtney Love”
Despite everything, it appears bold women like Courtney will continue to be dissected, unpicked, cut open, reduced to no more than the sum of their parts.
And bold women like Courtney will continue to not give a fuck.

Be Bold, Part 8: Janelle

It never ceases to amaze me that Janelle Monae isn’t an all-conquering global mega-star by now. Since her 2010 breakout album The ArchAndroid, her profile has bubbled just outside the surface of wide-spread popular consciousness. When I recently told some friends how excited I was that I had booked tickets to her London show, they didn’t even know who I was talking about. Why isn’t she as ubiquitous as Bruno Mars? As Rihanna? I have to wonder if it would be different if she flashed more flesh, rather than wearing her trademark tuxedos.

Remember when they used to say I look too mannish

Black girl magic, y’all can’t stand it

Janelle Monae refuses to compromise. Women in the music industry are expected to look a certain way, sound a certain way, sing about certain things. Look at the change in Lady Gaga’s aesthetics as she has gained more autonomy as an artist. Think back to the lyrics of Pink’s Don’t Let Me Get Me: “LA told me, you’ll be a pop star, all you have to change is everything you are”. But maybe it is our concept of what a pop-star is, especially a female pop-star, that needs to change.

Monae is making the slickest, the realest (so good, so good, so fucking real, as she would say) pop music around, and on her own terms. Who else out there would create a seven suite afro-futurist opus complete with accompanying “emotion picture”? Sonically The ArchAndroid, and her 2018 album Dirty Computer, put me in mind of a more cerebral Midnite Vultures era Beck; a bricolage mish-mash of different genres and styles, an electro-hip-hop-soul-groove-funk-rock-dream-folk masterpiece. But Beck never built a whole dystopian world for his musical creations to inhabit. From the outset, Monae worked with laser-like focus on her vision for a post-modern Metropolis musical mythology. Neither has Beck been in two Oscar nominated films, for not only can Monae sing, dance, write, perform, play and compose, she can also act, as her turns in Moonlight and Hidden Figures show. Her choice of roles is not taken lightly. Both are films about black identities that do not conform to stereotypes.

Already got a Oscar for the casa

Runnin’ down Grammys with the family

Prolly give a Tony to the homies

Prolly get a Emmy dedicated to the

Highly melanated, ArchAndroid orchestrated

Monae has cited Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz as a musical influence. There are a lot of similarities between The ArchAndroid and St Vincent’s album Actor, which was directly inspired by Disney films and The Wizard of Oz. Both artists speak in a cinematic musical language. Both have been accused of being arch, aloof story tellers. Female artists are pigeon-holed as weird and non-mainstream if they refuse to sing (supposedly) auto-biographical songs about boys. While her earlier works may have featured a rather chaste human/android love story, between Monae’s robot alter-ego Cindi Mayweather and her flesh and blood lover Anthony Greendown, there is no doubt that Dirty Computer is a sexual album.

See, everything is sex

Except sex, which is power

You know power is just sex

You screw me and I’ll screw you too

Everything is sex

Except sex, which is power

You know power is just sex

Now ask yourself who’s screwing you

It drips with sexuality but a non-heteronormative sexuality; a sexuality that cannot be packaged and paraded for the male-gaze. It is autonomous, it is joyous, it is inclusive. Just watch Janelle and her dancers wearing those beautiful pink vulva-pants in the video for her song Pynk, and realise this is a celebration of all women, even women who do not have vaginas.

When introducing Kesha at the 2018 Grammy Awards, Janelle gave a moving speech that focused on the Time’s Up movement. “We come in peace,” she said, “but we mean business.” Janelle and Beyonce and Solange and Gaga, with their emotion pictures and mind-blowing stage shows, are taking the helm from James Brown and Prince and David Bowie, because what male stars are worthy of stepping into their shoes? Drake? Kanye? Ed Sheeran? They are the hardest working women in showbiz, pushing creative boundaries, re-writing the definition of the female singer/songwriter. They mean business. At a time when black male icons are crumbling, as Janelle would say:

Hit the mute button

Let the vagina have a monologue

Be Bold, Part Six: Polly

Poet, sculptor, poly-instrumentalist, singer, producer, actress, composer. Dorset born Polly Jean Harvey MBE is a true renaissance woman. She is the only artist ever to have won two Mercury Prizes. In her career she has also garnered eight Brit Award nominations, seven Grammy Award nominations and two further Mercury Prize nominations.

Her early works are darkly sexual, presenting a female sexuality that is confrontational and gritty rather than titillating. The cover art for her 1992 debut album Dry shows Harvey’s mouth squished onto a photocopier, as if she is kissing you and you have opened your eyes, catching her in the act.

The cover of 1993’s Rid of Me featured a grimy, black and white photograph of a naked and wet Harvey, flicking her long hair and staring defiantly down the camera lens, her eyebrow arched, a slyly seductive curve on her lip. The eponymous single, a tale of obsessive lust, builds slowly from a quiet, tense, throbbing guitar strum with her breathy, threatening vocals to a cacophonous crescendo and closes with Harvey repeatedly howling the refrain:

Lick my legs I’m on fire

Lick my legs of desire

As well as internal, the physical and the sexual, her early lyrics reference things as diverse as The Bible, English Pagan folk art, Tennessee Williams and Stephen King.

Sheela-na-gig, sheela-na-gig

You exhibitionist

Put money in your idle hole

He said “wash your breasts, I don’t want to be unclean”

He said “please take those dirty pillows away from me”

However, it seems some critics couldn’t separate the poetry from the poet, unable to believe that the lyrics of a female singer/songwriter could possibly be anything other than autobiographical. Harvey said in 1998 “the tortured artist myth is rampant. People paint me as some kind of black witchcraft-practising devil from hell, that I have to be twisted and dark to do what I am doing. It’s a load of rubbish”

Harvey also denies there is a feminist agenda in her songwriting, stating “I don’t even think of myself as being female half the time. When I’m writing songs I never write with gender in mind. I write about people’s relationships to each other. I’m fascinated with things that might be considered repulsive or embarrassing. I like feeling unsettled, unsure.”

And so, from third album To Bring You My Love onwards, we see Harvey switching up her entire sound, look and subject matter for every album. Her back catalogue now transcends genre, it just is PJ Harvey.

She played with the imagery of faded Hollywood glamour and Southern Gothic on To Bring You My Love, recorded a Victorian piano ballad album (White Chalk) and on her sixth studio, Uh Huh Her, Harvey played every instrument apart from drums and was the sole producer. More recently, her inspiration has become more political. In 2013 she released a song in support of Shaker Aamer, the last British citizen to be held at Guantanamo Bay, and her 2011 Mercury Prize winning album Let England Shake is a multi-layered study of British identity and the horrors of war, both modern and historic. It is a stunning album and one I still can’t stop listening to, and every time I listen to it, I find a new reference, a new sample, a new refrain. The lyrics of this album become ever more relevant, as the world lurches towards an unnamed but surely inevitable crisis.

What if I take my problem to the United Nations?


Be Bold, Part Five: MIA

The daughter of a Tamil revolutionary father and a seamstress mother, MIA’s music documents the modern experience of diaspora and the global creative underground. Always a defiantly political artist she uses the imagery of violence, globalisation, war, poverty, human rights abuse, immigration and racial identity. Her neon, DIY guerrilla styling shows the direct influence of both parents, even though her father was absent for most if her life. Like The Clash before her, MIA understands how fashion, the visual representation of your identity, is a political manifestation equal to music, lyrics and videos.

The first Sri-Lankan ever to be nominated for a Grammy, the first person of Asian descent to be nominated for an Oscar and Grammy award in the same year and the only artist in history to receive nominations for an Academy Award, a Grammy, the Brits and the Mercury Prize. MIA’s commercial breakout single Paper Planes went platinum three times over in the US, and at one point it was the seventh best-selling song by a British artist in the digital era. One of the earliest MySpace stars, MIA studied film and design at St Martins College of Art and created the colourful, clashing visuals to match her dancehall/electro/hip-hop sound. Her diverse influences are a product of her life lived in London, Civil War ridden Sri-Lanka and India. MIA is as comfortable sampling bands such as Pixies and The Clash as she is referencing Bollywood or world folk music.

I put people on the map that never seen a map.

Watching MIA performing at the 2009 Grammys on the day her baby was due, a vision in pregnant polka-dots, made me think back to Neneh Cherry busting serious moves on Top Of The Pops in 1988, gold dollar sign necklace swinging proudly over her beautiful baby bump. When MIA sang ‘no-one on the corner has swagger like us’ and the curtain dropped to reveal a back-line of the biggest male starts in modern hip-hop – Jay-Z, Kanye, Lil Wayne, T.I. – it was an electric moment. A British Asian woman up there, killing it with the big-boys.


She has collaborated with Aboriginal teens The Wilcannia Mob and the Nigerian rapper Afrikan Boy. On the flip-side, she co-wrote the song Give Me All Your Luvin’ with Madonna and Nicki Minaj and performed it at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Instead of singing the lyric “shit” in the song, MIA gave the finger to the camera. The N.F.L. responded by filing a lawsuit suing her for millions in damages and demanding a public apology.

They’re basically saying it’s OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female, than to display empowerment, female empowerment, through being punk rock. That’s what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.

Some have said her politics are naïve and purposely provocative and that she can’t be the champion of the downtrodden and displaced from her current position of privilege. But if you can’t use your privilege to raise uncomfortable issues with those around you who are equally privileged, then it is a waste of platform. As a child whose school was bombed and whose mother was beaten by Government forces, MIA has grown into a woman who will speak her mind about everything, and isn’t afraid of the backlash.


Be Bold, Part Four: Bjork

I have very few regrets in my life. One of them is missing out on seeing Bjork headlining the Phoenix festival in 1996 because I was tripping off my tits and couldn’t find my way out of a two-man tent. To say I am a huge Bjork fan is an understatement. Trying to pick one track for this post is impossible. So I’ve chosen three.

No-one makes music like Bjork. No-one sounds like her, looks like her, performs like her, and no-one ever will. She is a rare gift. Her evolution since she broke onto the scene as part of The Sugarcubes in the 80s has been singularly spectacular and never obvious. Iceland’s biggest superstar, singer, Oscar winning actress, performance artist, instrument creator, producer, DJ. Bjork seems to have a never-ending creative drive, always pushing, always looking for a fresh sound and new aesthetic. She is hands on in the studio, obsessed with the minutiae of the mixing desk. Yes, she has worked with some of the most innovative male producers, directors and designers (Nellee Hooper, Timbaland, Howie B, Guy Sigsworth, Matmos, Michael Gondry, Alexander McQueen) but Bjork remains the creative driving force behind everything. And yet, some people find this hard to believe.

If a guy had done all the strings, all the choir arrangements, and a lot of the production on his album, he would have credit for his work. It’s always like I’m this esoteric creature; that I just turn up and sing and go home. People still don’t seem to take me seriously as a songwriter and arranger and producer.

In the electro-age, music is no longer as straight forward as X played that instrument, Y played this. Especially with music as complex and layered as Bjork’s. There is nothing about her that fits into a safe box, which is why she is often labelled ‘bonkers Bjork’. She is a grown woman, yet is regularly called a ‘pixie’ or ‘elfin’, as if she is stuck in some perpetual mystic childhood. In the early days, her supposed ‘weirdness’ was easy to parody; her iconic hair, her videos, her clothes (such as the famous swan dress she wore to the Oscars). This kept her safe, accessible, chart worthy.

Women in music are allowed to be singer songwriters singing about their boyfriends. If they change the subject matter to atoms, galaxies, activism, nerdy math beat editing or anything else than being performers singing about their loved ones they get criticized. It wasn’t until I shared a heartbreak I got full acceptance from the media.

The heartbreak Bjork is referring to lead to the album Vulnicura. It is a study of the breakdown of her marriage. Lush, cinematic, bleak, intimate and always experimental, what sets this album apart is the creation of whole new ways of experiencing sound and vision. The video for Black Lake was commissioned as an installation in the New York Museum of Modern Arts, the song Mouth Mantra has a video filmed entirely inside Bjork’s mouth as she sings, Stonemilker is a 360 virtual video, and her latest project is a full virtual-reality immersive experience. She has commissioned a series of masks for her performances, each more elaborate and alien than the last, pulsating with light like deep-sea jellyfish or gossamer moth wings quivering with spikes.

 Bjork’s music is geography, it is science, maths, politics, sex, nature, it is animalistic. She creates intimate, dripping sonic jungles and vast, orchestral landscapes. She is a natural feminist, the matriarchal society of Iceland giving her pride, autonomy and respect as a woman, and as a single mother. Her album titles alone speak to a new musical  language she has created: Debut, Post, Homegenic, Vespertine, Medulla, Volta, Biophilia, Vulnicura.

She is always bold, ever changing. She is, to put it simply, a genius.


Be Bold, Part Three: Lauryn

Mention Lauryn Hill and many (white) people will say one of two things. ‘Oh didn’t she say some terribly racist thing about white people not buying her music?’ or ‘She was great, but didn’t she go a bit mental and not pay her taxes?’

And herein lies the problem with the way that female artists, and especially Lauryn as a black female artist, are portrayed. It is not the music, the talent, the genius or the creativity that is the focus but the scandal, the shame, the salacious and the downright untrue. Of course Lauryn Hill never said she would rather her children starve than white people buy her music. But this lie serves certain mind sets well, allows them to negate the phenomenal success of a young black woman by calling her a racist.

My emancipation don’t fit your equation.

Yes, it is true that she went to prison for three months for an unpaid tax bill of $1.8 million dollars. All of which she was able to pay back, and had been paid by the time she served her sentence. In an open letter at the time, Hill stated she purposely refused to pay her taxes to a Government that she felt did not represent her or other black people fairly.

While I’m not saying that withholding your taxes as a political decision is right, if it was a political decision, she had a point.

To understand how truly ground breaking Lauryn was, her award winning Miseducation Of…album, released in 1998, held sales records that were not beaten until the pop colossus that is Adele came along and smashed the shit out of everything.

In the hyper-masculine world of hip-hop, Hill didn’t use her sexuality to compete with the boys. She was authentic and never seemed like she was trying to be something she wasn’t. The album itself is both delicate and tough. Heartbreaking and raw, self-assured and forthright, yet never cocky. On the track To Zion, Hill sings of how she was encouraged to abort her first child so it didn’t interfere with the music machine.

Think of your career they said,

Lauryn, baby, use your head.            

In the video for Doo-Wop (That Thing), Hill is quite clearly pregnant with her second child. Can you think of any other stars who have done this? Can you think of any record labels happy for their stars to do this? The music industry has no problem with the heavy sexualisation of music videos, but when it comes to the reality of female reproduction, it gets a bit icky for them.

Hill has been labelled a recluse, much the same way that Kate Bush, for ‘turning her back on the music industry’. Lauryn Hill has six children. Maybe she just thinks it is more important to be a good mother than be on promotional tours and making pop videos. She herself has said she found fame hard to deal with. Most young mums can run to the shops to buy their kid some medicine after being up all night without worrying about having a camera put in their face or being criticised for how their hair or skin looked.

I don’t know the kind of things Lauryn Hill experienced growing up under the scrutiny of the public eye (she was just 21 when The Fugees multi-platinum album The Score was released). Her first love, heartbreak and loss played out through the lens of world touring. Having a baby just as her first solo album dropped. It probably wasn’t the life she had planned for herself. Lauryn Hill is still making music, just on her own terms, outside the corporate oppression of the industry.    

Without Lauryn Hill, there would be no Adele. There would have been no Amy Winehouse. There would be no Beyonce. To this day she is still being sampled by artists like Cardi B and Drake. She was a true innovator and inspiration to all who have come after.




Be Bold, Part Two: Roisin

Sing It Back by Moloko is one of the iconic Ibiza choons, but to dismiss their vocalist as a rent-a-voice 90s superclub singer would be to miss the point entirely. Before there was Gaga, before there was Sia, there was Roisin Murphy, the Irish queen of avant-garde art-pop.

Her work with Mark Brydon under the banner of electro outsiders Moloko is how I first encountered her stunning vocal range and curious jazz phrasing. I was drawn to lyrics that were about more than just love and lust. Their album Things to Make and Do, released in 2000, features songs about Murphy’s parents divorce, her fraught relationship with her mother and the collective post acid-house cultural come-down of ‘Absent Minded Friends’, showing a self-awareness not seen in dance music up to that point.

Shall we drink a toast to

Absent minded friends

To all who turn the corner and

To those who went round the bend

Everybody raise your glasses

Drink and drown

Melancholy for the masses

Love come down.

While never conforming to the stereotypes of how women in the music industry should look or behave (she milked a cow wearing a full suit of armour on the cover of Moloko’s second album) it is through her solo work that Murphy emerges as a unique force in fashion, music and performance. She is equally at home being interviewed by Vogue as MixMag. When her 2007 album Overpowered was a released, a male journalist asked her if she saw herself as the new Kylie. It is hard to imagine Kylie wearing the baggy hi-vis jacket and hardhat Murphy sports in the videos from her Take Her Up To Monto album, or sitting on the loo brushing her teeth, as seen in the Overpowered video.

She lets it slide at first but is obviously stewing on it, coming back to the idea half an hour later with obvious irritation. “How was I trying to be Kylie Minogue? If I was a man no one would say I was trying to be Kylie Minogue.”

And there’s the rub. No matter how hard female artists try, no matter how innovative and creative they are, they will always be lumped together because of their defining feature i.e. they are women. I have never read an interview with Frank Ocean asking him if he’s the new Justin Timberlake (an equally banal comparison).

As Tammy Wynette sang, and Roisin Murphy quotes in the liner notes to Overpowered, sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.


Be Bold, Part One: Courtney

Music is my dilithium crystal core, my flux capacitor, allowing me to fly and travel in time. I cannot function without it. It makes me, in the words of a dear friend, soul satisfied. In this series, I will be writing about female musicians I admire and adore.

This is not intended to be exploration of all the outstanding or underrated female musicians around the world, this is simply introduction to some female artists who are important to me. While I can appreciate the flow of Middle Eastern female rappers such as Paradise, the hypnotic beauty of Malian singer Rokia Traore or the sheer brutal grindcore assault of Japanese female metal bands like Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation, I am first and foremost a lyrics person. I am a writer, a wordsmith, a letter wrangler and I need the lyrics to speak to me.

So first of my bold female artists is Courtney Barnett.


Australian singer, songwriter and guitar hero Courtney Barnett is everything teenage me loved about 90s bands like L7 and The Breeders. She looks like a real person, not an unattainable, ethereal acoustic strumming goddess or body-jacking, booty-shaking pop tart. And she rocks out. I mean she truly shreds. Her songs are at once deeply existential and comically mundane.

Erroneous, harmonious, I’m hardly sanctimonious

Dirty clothes, I suppose we all outgrow ourselves

I’m a fake, I’m a phony, I’m awake, I’m alone

I’m homely, I’m a Scorpio

Barnett’s particularly perceptive Australian brand of bluntness comes out in her dead-pan delivery and poetic lyrics, which touch on the typical female singer/songwriter subjects one second (love, relationships, self-exploration) and then flip onto the perils of house buying, destruction of the oceans and food industry ethics the next. I am sick of female singers chirping away on songs someone else has written for them, rhyming ‘you, true, through and do’ or ‘me, be, free and see’, imploring their ‘baby’ to love them. I want to listen to Courtney Barnett’s tales of trying to impress someone she fancies at the local swimming baths.                 

Held my breath longer than I normally do
I was getting dizzy
My hair was wet and frizzy
Felt my muscles burn, I took a tumble turn
For the worse, it’s a curse
My lack of athleticism, sunk like a stone
Like a first owner’s home loan
When I came to, you and your towel were gone

Sitting within the current wave of lo-fi female bands and artists that also includes Cate Le Bon, Warpaint and Childbirth, as well as being co-owner of the Milk! Records label, Barnett shows how indie is shaping the future of the industry, rather than the other way round. The DIY indie ideals of the late 80s and early 90s grunge and riot-grrl scenes, which seemed quite gauche at the time, have now simply become the way things are done. Making and sharing music is now easier than ever for women, and I for one am thankful for that.