“Can we get it a little louder?” asked These Are Powers’ Pat Noecker. “All the Park Slope-ians are fast asleep, I’m sure we won’t wake them.” Last Saturday, Jessica Hopper brought her new book, The Girls’ Guide to Rocking, to Brooklyn’s Littlefield. Unlike
most authors, who plan their readings as the center of attention,
Hopper, who played guitar in Challenger and has earned fame and in famy
as a zinester, rock critic and punk mascot, decided to bring girl bands
with her to create “a walking, talking example of the book.” This
particular date featured Ghost Bees, MNDR, Katie Stelmanis and Brooklyn’s own ghost punk/dub step outfit These Are Powers, fresh off a tour of China.
between sets, partygoers chatted with tablers at a feminist bazaar of
sorts, which featured such entities as Sadie Magazine, Tom Tom (a
magazine about female drummers!) and For the Birds, which was selling
zines and compilation albums.
Karen Soskin, whose
presence helped break up the sausage fest of Todd P Goes to Austin,
spun records and passed out flyers for her new girls-only booking
organization Strength in Numbers. “I wanted to create a space
for women in touring,” she explained, “to help bands with female
members get shows in Brooklyn. It’s definitely gotten more hostile to
bands with women in them…there can only be so many Jay Reatards, so many Blank Dogs. People react very strongly when you openly declare yourself a feminist group,” she sighed.
Just then, Julian Bennett-Holmes of Fiasco showed
up to take in the TAP set. How did he feel about Brooklyn’s level of
girl-friendliness? “I’m friendly to girls,” he replied, but then got
serious, adding, “maybe it’s not. Maybe that’s why Marnie Stern doesn’t play any shows.
“I’m jealous of my little sister,” he added. “She went to the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, and Kathleen Hanna spoke!” Maybe we’re making progress after all.