The Feminine Critique

Jessica Hopper shines a spotlight on the too-often-overlooked women of rock history

Björk at Big Day Out 2008, Melbourne (Deep Ghosh/Flickr)
Björk at Big Day Out 2008, Melbourne (Deep Ghosh/Flickr)

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.

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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