Answer: Bikini Kill song “Rebel Girl.”
When I created this blog it was mostly inspired by everything I’d learned about the 90s riot grrrl movement and the music that came out of it (and to a smaller extent queercore which broke about the same time. Tribe 8, anyone? Yes please.). Sometimes a single line can speak volumes. And “when she speaks I hear the revolution” was just one of those lines.
There’s a line from the book “Boys Like Her” (which I have yet to read, but there is a nice book preview on amazon) in a section by Ivan E. Coyote that goes like this:
“We are carrying contraband words with us, memorized, tucked away in tattered journals and stored magically on disks in Anna’s left pocket. Canadian words, queer words that we spoke on-stage for money in the land of the brave. ”
Between the line from the song and the “Boys Like Her” line, something quickly becomes very clear.
Words are powerful. Words carry meaning. Words used correctly are weapons. And words are essential to any creative revolution.
And all to often, the words we hear are the words of the majority. This is why stuff like feminist consciousness raising in the late ’60s matters. This is why the ’90s riot grrrl meetings in girl’s bedrooms mattered. It’s why open mics like NYC’s Women & Trans Poetry Jam matter. It’s why we need to have a space where girl musicians, poets, comedians and performers can have a space where we can come together and encourage each other in our efforts.
Going back to the riot grrrl manifesto:
BECAUSE we see fostering and supporting girl scenes and girl artists of all kinds as integral to this process.
BECAUSE we know that life is much more than physical survival and are patently aware that the punk rock “you can do anything” idea is crucial to the coming angry grrrl rock revolution which seeks to save the psychic and cultural lives of girls and women everywhere, according to their own terms, not ours.
BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-heirarchical ways of being AND making music, friends, and scenes based on communication + understanding, instead of competition + good/bad categorizations.
BECAUSE I believe with my wholeheartmindbody that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can, and will change the world for real.
And this is why Salt Lake City is ready for a women-centered open mic. The creative scene in Salt Lake is on fire and the time to encourage women performers is now. And thus When She Speaks I Hear the Revolution–an open mic for women and the trans community–will be hitting Sugarhouse Coffee in Salt Lake City. It’ll happen once a month every 4th Saturday, at 7pm. The first will happen MAY 22. Next Saturday. It will be hosted by yours truly…perhaps with a bit of help from friends who actually know what they’re doing. 🙂
Ideally, I’d like this open mic to turn into group where participants will be able support each other and encourage each other to perform outside of the open mic space. It’ll be one of the creative spaces where you can hear the revolution in words.
And let the creative revolution begin….(are you listening?)