In her 25 years as a music journalist, Jessica Hopper has profiled the doyennes of modern rock and pop music: Björk, Kacey Musgraves, St. Vincent, Liz Phair, Robyn, and many more. Her reviews run the gamut from the latest Nicki Minaj album and the “mobile shopping mall that is the Vans Warped Tour” to the only album by D.C.’s first all-women punk band, released three decades after they broke up. The new second edition of The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic expands on the 2015 one. That the provocative (and mostly accurate) title still works six years later points out that rock criticism has even fewer women in it than rock music does. Hopper joins us on the podcast to discuss her writing, from her beginnings as a local Chicago critic to her expansive oral histories of Hole and the women who transformed Rolling Stone in the 1970s.
Go beyond the episode:
- Jessica Hopper’s The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic
- Read “Building a Mystery,” her oral history of Lilith Fair, and her reflections on Joni Mitchell’s Blue, 50 years on
- Listen to her eclectic playlist of music that came out of Chicago
- Hopper hosted Season 2 of KCRW’s Lost Notes podcast, looking at artistic legacies of the likes of The Freeze and Cat Power
Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.
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