Tag Archives: emp

What Were the 90s Like for Girls Not Cool Enough to Listen to Riot Grrrl?

Neal, Kara, Marisa, and Ada in our matching Miley Cyrus plaid.

Ada, last night I got a google alert alerting me to this awesome flickr photo set from EMP, including this picture of our panel, “In the Girls Room.”  I posted it on my tumblr and it was reblogged by someone who had seen us speak. He added, “I went to this. Afterwards, Theon and I agreed that it was good. ‘But,’ Theon said, ‘They were all cool girls.’ What were the ’90s like for girls who weren’t cool enough to be listening to riot grrrl, he wanted to know.”

I kind of love this, because it made me think about just what it meant to be a cool girl in the 90s. As I mentioned on the panel, and in the spirit of 90swoman self-exposure will happily mention again: in the 90s, I totally did not listen to riot grrrl. I did, however, once brag that I “knew about Sarah McLachlan before anyone else.” So, you know, cool? (But whatever! Love you, Sarah! Can’t wait for Lilith Fair!) My 90s music vibe was about Tori Amos, Liz Phair, 10,000 Maniacs, Ani DiFranco, the Indigo Girls, Hole. I have already outed myself on this blog as secretly liking Alanis Morissette. (Though, after the eye roll I got as a response to the Sarah McLachlan incident, I knew better than to say so.)

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90swomen Caring About Body Image, Class Issues, and Other 90swomen Things

speaking of self-involved: one more picture of us

Ada, I had so many favorite EMP moments, many of which were somehow related to the post-panel after-party, at which I drank a number of Fat Tire beers out of a can in a roomful of music nerds whose idea of a good time is drinking and parsing Ke$ha’s weird cultural tourism–a topic I will take on once I watch this video. But in the meantime, during some of my self-involved self-googling (soooooo 90swoman), I found this blog post on our EMP panel. It says:

“This was the panel that fired up the most passionate questions from its audience: Women still angry about body size mattering so much for women in the public; the idea that the Internet has replaced homemade DIY music and print culture; and the digital divide itself, the fact that so many young women don’t have access to computers or the ability to network out of their class.” Continue reading

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In the Girls’ Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture

From left: Ada, Marisa, Kara. Photobomb guy in back: music fanatic who in conversation with Neal name-checked 85 bands in 7 minutes.

Back from EMP!

For our panel at the pop music and technology conference out in Seattle, Neal did a reenactment of the Alanis Morisette “Thank U” video. As he was naked for it, security guards carded everyone entering the auditorium and we were locked in the room for those three minutes. It was eerie, moving, funny and the perfect performance to open a panel about pre-internet teen bedroom culture. Continue reading

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A Glimpse at the 75-Song Playlist Neal Made for EMP

Now that we’re back I can post the whole thing… Continue reading


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90s Woman Is Off To EMP in Seattle!

ALL of 90s woman plus Marisa Meltzer and Neal Medlyn will be on a panel at the EMP Pop Music Conference in Seattle talking about “Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture.” We will be wearing plaid dresses and doing our nails while we talk. Also, glitter and nudity will be involved in our presentation. For more info see the EMP site.

Roundtable: In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture

Venue: JBL Theater

Dressed in 90s-appropriate plaid tunics from the Miley Cyrus / Max Azria Wal-Mart collection, Marisa Meltzer, Kara Jesella, and Ada Calhoun will present a panel on the pre-Internet age girl’s bedroom, and how it shaped Generation X. At the conclusion of the panel, Neal Medlyn will do a recreation of the controversial video for the 1998 hit “Thank U” by Alanis Morissette that will illustrate pre-internet pop culture in all its wonder and cringe-worthiness.


Marisa Meltzer, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

Kara Jesella, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

Ada Calhoun, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

Neal Medlyn, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

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More Naked 90s-Like Videos

I’m with you, Ada: Getting naked in a video is pretty 90s. And Erykah Badu is not the only 90swoman who has done it. The Daily Beast has a roundup of 10 nudity-filled videos. Including Alanis Morissette’s 1998 gem, “Thank U.” Which we get to see re-performed by our very own 90swoman Neal Medlyn at EMP in just over a week. I CAN’T WAIT.

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Lilith Fair, Menstruation Music, and how Riot Grrrl Inspires Gen Y

Ada, I wanted to post a few of my favorite links to stories and posts about Marisa’s book on the 90s, feminism, and music.

This is partly because Girl Power is about many of the issues we talk about here; partly because Marisa is my friend and co-author and one of the big messages of 90s feminism was that girls should support one another; and partly because I am trying to bury that mortifying fireman post I still can’t believe you talked me into. (But what’s more 90swoman than embracing public humiliation?)

Anyway, here are some of my favorite things Marisa said in some of her interviews that are not necessarily representative, although they may be representative of why I like her.

On the preponderance of female frontwomen with guy bands (ie. No Doubt) in Salon: “It’s like when friends change their names when they get married. I don’t think they are bad people, but there’s this little part of me that just wishes it were a little different.”

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