Jenn Pelly's book is not just an illuminating piece of criticism and history about a specific album that has always been mythic and enigmatic to me, but also, more generally, a vital feminist reclamation of what it means to be punk that manages to weave together everything from Helene Cixous to Chris Kraus to 10 Things I Hate About You.
Picked by Matt in Fort Greene
— From Staff Picks
In 1979, from the basement of a London squat, the Raincoats reinvented what punk could be. They had a violin player. They came from Portugal, Spain, and England. Their anarchy was poetic. Working with the iconic Rough Trade Records at its radical beginnings, they were the first group of punk women to actively call themselves feminists.
In this short book - the first on the Raincoats - author Jenn Pelly tells the story of the group's audacious debut album, which Kurt Cobain once called "wonderfully classic scripture." Pelly builds on rare archival materials and extensive interviews with members of the Raincoats, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Hole, Scritti Politti, Gang of Four, and more. She draws formal inspiration from the collage-like The Raincoats itself to explore this album's magic, vulnerability, and strength.
About the Author
Jenn Pelly is an editor at Pitchfork. Her work has appeared in SPIN, Nylon, and The Village Voice.