Honestly, I’m far from a music geek and I’m not the slightest bit musical, but somehow I always seemed to be connected to music–from my Sunny Day Real Estate soaked teen years to the twee of my early twenties. I met my husband at a local music festival I produced with a friend, and he’s a guitar geek/musician who keeps me connected to the best new music.
So when a review copy of Record Collecting for Girls by Courtney Smith was floating around the office, I grabbed it immediately. I might not be the music nerd the author is, but some of my favorite people are. I loved that this book was unabashedly geeky, opinionated, and funny. It is part-memoir, part-music commentary by a self-identified music nerd and MTV programmer. She writes about the role of music in her life, women in the music industry, and the future of record collecting in a digital world, among other topics. Smith has a lot of strong opinions that she shares freely in the book that will either resonate with you or make you laugh–even if you’re not a girl. I rather enjoyed it, and I found myself thinking back to the ways that music guided me through my teen years, soundtracked my relationships, and grew to be so much more than background in my life.
In particular, Smith has a lot to say about women in the music business. In the chapter “Where Have All the Girl Bands Gone?,” she laments that “girl bands have gone subterranean for the time being. . .” and she goes so far as to ask “Do women feel they have to remain on the outside because the female voice is not considered universal?”
The female movers and shakers in the music business here in Minneapolis have their say on these questions and more this Wednesday (12/7) at the Celebrate Women in Music event at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall. It will be hosted by The Current‘s Barb Abney and feature several great performances from local artists. Read more about it in this Pioneer Press article or check out this video: