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Here She Comes Now: Essays on Women in Music

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Whether it was Patti Smith's angry moan, Nina Simone's guttural growl, or Dolly Parton's towering hair and sweet voice, women have been a musical force to be reckoned with, inspired by, and paid attention to. In Small Flowers Crack Concrete, today's biggest and brightest writers tackle their favorite female musicians and the effect they've had on their own lives. From Rosi Whether it was Patti Smith's angry moan, Nina Simone's guttural growl, or Dolly Parton's towering hair and sweet voice, women have been a musical force to be reckoned with, inspired by, and paid attention to. In Small Flowers Crack Concrete, today's biggest and brightest writers tackle their favorite female musicians and the effect they've had on their own lives. From Rosie Schaap writing about Sandy Denny to Susan Choi writing about Stevie Nicks to Elissa Schappell writing about Kim Gordon, Small Flowers Crack Concrete thoughtfully and lovingly discusses the extreme badassery of the women who break through all the barriers to truly rock.


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Whether it was Patti Smith's angry moan, Nina Simone's guttural growl, or Dolly Parton's towering hair and sweet voice, women have been a musical force to be reckoned with, inspired by, and paid attention to. In Small Flowers Crack Concrete, today's biggest and brightest writers tackle their favorite female musicians and the effect they've had on their own lives. From Rosi Whether it was Patti Smith's angry moan, Nina Simone's guttural growl, or Dolly Parton's towering hair and sweet voice, women have been a musical force to be reckoned with, inspired by, and paid attention to. In Small Flowers Crack Concrete, today's biggest and brightest writers tackle their favorite female musicians and the effect they've had on their own lives. From Rosie Schaap writing about Sandy Denny to Susan Choi writing about Stevie Nicks to Elissa Schappell writing about Kim Gordon, Small Flowers Crack Concrete thoughtfully and lovingly discusses the extreme badassery of the women who break through all the barriers to truly rock.

30 review for Here She Comes Now: Essays on Women in Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    A birthday gift from my daughter… she knows me so well! I really enjoyed this collection of essays written by different artists on female musicians/singers influenced their lives. Some made me feel nostalgic and took me back to my teenage years, you know the days when you would just hang out in your room, listen to the radio or put on your Walkman and listen to those tapes over and over again. I also read about artists I missed along the way, mostly from the 90s (PJ Harvey, Kim Gordon). Needless A birthday gift from my daughter… she knows me so well! I really enjoyed this collection of essays written by different artists on female musicians/singers influenced their lives. Some made me feel nostalgic and took me back to my teenage years, you know the days when you would just hang out in your room, listen to the radio or put on your Walkman and listen to those tapes over and over again. I also read about artists I missed along the way, mostly from the 90s (PJ Harvey, Kim Gordon). Needless to say Spotify and Youtube were my companions while I read this as I re-listened to artists I love Patti Smith, Dolly Parton (Yes, I am a secret DP fan), Tina Turner. I also listened to the ones I hadn’t heard of before and became a fan of some of them.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leah Weyandt

    Gifted to me by my son, I was anticipating this book, which features close to two dozen authors' personal stories about the female musicians who transformed their lives. What could possibly be a better read for a bookworm and a melophile? The featured artists diversely range from the soulful Nina Simone to the low-fi powerhouse Kim Gordon to country's darling June Carter Cash. However, each story, one following the next, were consistently more about the authors' gloomy teenage lives than the art Gifted to me by my son, I was anticipating this book, which features close to two dozen authors' personal stories about the female musicians who transformed their lives. What could possibly be a better read for a bookworm and a melophile? The featured artists diversely range from the soulful Nina Simone to the low-fi powerhouse Kim Gordon to country's darling June Carter Cash. However, each story, one following the next, were consistently more about the authors' gloomy teenage lives than the artists themselves. A few shoutouts include Allison Glock's "Diamond in a Rhinestone World," begging a re-visit of Dolly's catalog and Dael Orlandersmith's "Not a Rock N Roll Nigger," that raises some provocative questions about one of my all-time favorites, Patti Smith.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debra Manskey

    Like all books of this type, Here She Comes Now is a mixed bag. Overall I found the majority of the essays well written but by no means deep. There's a lot of reminiscences of teen awakening (Exile in Godville by Bart Blasengame is hilarious) but nothing really enlightening. As a professional singer/musician however, I did find it incredibly entertaining and it was a great reminder of how the human (and here, exclusively female) voice can be transformative. And it was a great bit of light readin Like all books of this type, Here She Comes Now is a mixed bag. Overall I found the majority of the essays well written but by no means deep. There's a lot of reminiscences of teen awakening (Exile in Godville by Bart Blasengame is hilarious) but nothing really enlightening. As a professional singer/musician however, I did find it incredibly entertaining and it was a great reminder of how the human (and here, exclusively female) voice can be transformative. And it was a great bit of light reading away from academic texts :-)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    as I’ve found with most collections of essays by multiple people around half of these are great (Dael Orlandersmith on Patti smith stands out as particularly brilliant) the other half however, are not so great. I don’t know? Maybe if there were some female editors there’d be less essays about men wanking possibly!!?? Would have loved to see this book but done by all women.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Wishnow-Ritchey

    This exceptional collection of essays is a palm slap to the face frenzied collection of music celebrating women artists who have shaped our cultural sound from country to grunge bands. A fun ride for culture lovers and music fans alike.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elliot Chalom

    The best thing I can say about an essay in book like this one - a collection of writers writing essays about musicians - is that it got me interested in the work of the musician even if before I had no interest whatsoever. For the most part, that is true of the essays in "Here She Comes Now", which is why I feel that this is a very strong book among its kind. While not necessarily a must-read, I think any fan of music, regardless of genre, would be very happy to read this. After all, this fan of The best thing I can say about an essay in book like this one - a collection of writers writing essays about musicians - is that it got me interested in the work of the musician even if before I had no interest whatsoever. For the most part, that is true of the essays in "Here She Comes Now", which is why I feel that this is a very strong book among its kind. While not necessarily a must-read, I think any fan of music, regardless of genre, would be very happy to read this. After all, this fan of punk/alt/indie who knows more than my share about a few of the subjects of the book (Kim Gordon, Liz Phair) got the most out of essays on such diverse subjects as Dolly Parton, Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, and Sinead O'Connor. That's saying something. I can't imagine a world where I read an entire book about Dolly Parton, but a 10 minute essay extolling her virtues on the musical landscape, showing what a smart and shrewd woman she was, and demonstrating the lasting cultural effect that she had (and why she had it) - that is well worth my time and has altered the way I think about Dolly. Which ultimately is the purpose of the book. For someone else, it probably did the same regarding Kim Gordon. Not every essay hits, with the ones that miss straying too far into the autobiographical. Most of the essays tie the writers' life to the subjects, but a few go a little too far. It's only a few though. By and large "Here She Comes Now" is an enjoyable and educational read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Snoakes

    I shamelessly blagged an ARC of this as I thought it would be right up my (Tin Pan) Alley. I must confess that I hadn't heard of any of the writers in this collection, although I am familiar with a couple by their work. In contrast though I've heard of all the musicians featured. Obviously I know some better than others and indeed like some considerably more than others, but no matter - the pieces in this book aren't about my taste. Each writer has taken a female musician and written a piece abo I shamelessly blagged an ARC of this as I thought it would be right up my (Tin Pan) Alley. I must confess that I hadn't heard of any of the writers in this collection, although I am familiar with a couple by their work. In contrast though I've heard of all the musicians featured. Obviously I know some better than others and indeed like some considerably more than others, but no matter - the pieces in this book aren't about my taste. Each writer has taken a female musician and written a piece about why this person's music matters so much to them. The result is fascinating - some of the writing is deeply personal and most of it transports you back to those teenage years when the music you liked defined you and your gang in an almost tribal fashion. Excellent stuff - highly recommended for any book-reading music lover.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a Goodreads win review. I really loved this book about the women in music who have changed our lives. I have always loved music and have to many concerts in my life. I read only certain ladies I was interested in though because I have never heard of some of them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Strong, varied, essay collection that will make you love music and the women who make it all the more. Pay particular attention to Elissa Schappal on Kim Gordon, Kate Christenson on Tina Turner and Taffy Akner on Taylor Swift and passive aggressiveness.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Meh. I really don't need to know how Dolly Parton or Taylor Swift "changed someone's life", so I ignored all but a few essays. The Patti Smith one was rather eye opening, though. And Nina Simone's tribute was beautiful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    KarnagesMistress

    I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Wappler

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Stapleton

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  15. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liam Bryan

  18. 5 out of 5

    sarah

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bob Cat

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  21. 5 out of 5

    KFT Service

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tamsin

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nova Dudley-gough

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alana

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Landen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Penny

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