Female punks step out From the Back of the Room in new doc
"I definitely think riot grrrl did some amazing things," says Oden, "But I think that often times the other side of that story gets left out, the women that were active contributors to the punk scene before riot grrrl, during riot grrrl, and since riot grrrl."
Clearly, women in punk did not die off in the '90s. This week, there's a show in San Francisco at Public Works with T.I.T.S, Grass Widow, and experimental punk act Erase Errata — the continuing torch bearers of the DIY punk movement, the Bay Area band formed in 1999 that toured with electro post-Bikini Kill act, Le Tigre.
From the Back of the Room explores longevity, but also contradictions — punk is not a cohesive scene, and it's not void of the usual trappings of mainstream society. It's a many-layered, impassioned, conflicting, world. Lyrics screamed about equality do not always match actions.
Springer of Blatz and later, Gr'ups, knows well the disconnect. Just last year, on a reunion tour with Gr'ups, she played with anachro-punks Subhumans and the old power struggle with the audience was alive and well. She tells me, "We were on a stage and there were all these people shouting the words to old Subhumans songs, all these amazing lyrics about freedom and equanimity." Then, some "no shirt-wearing pseudo skinhead looking guy" in the crowd yelled "shut up and show us your tits."
Says Thorpe from Submission Hold in the trailer for From the Back of the Room,"A lot of people come into the punk scene thinking it's an ideal world where they're not going to come across sexism, racism, homophobia — all the isms — but that's not true, it exists there as well, and it needs to be addressed there as well."
"FROM THE BACK OF THE ROOM"
Sat/19, 8-11 p.m., $5–$7 sliding scale.
Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission, SF
Unaffiliated yet tangentially related show this week:
T.I.T.S, GRASS WIDOW, ERASE ERRATA
Thurs/17, 9pm, $8
161 Eerie, SF