Problems in Press Land
I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of press opportunities come my way in the past year, mostly in the form of interviews and promotion for upcoming shows, for online, print, and radio. I'm always very grateful for it because it helps me connect with people I wouldn't have otherwise, and as the marketing gods say, no press is bad press.
Do you think TSwizzle put this up on Whisper herself?? So confused.
I do agree with that axiom, but every once in a awhile an article comes out with my name attached to it and I just need to set the record straight for integrity's sake. I could just let it be, knowing in my heart that I did my best in the interview and that my words were exaggerated or misrepresented myself, but I've decided it would be irresponsible of me not to say something.
A few weeks ago I was approached randomly by a student at UW for an interview. We set up a time, and we talked for about an hour, he asked if he could tape our conversation, I said of course, as I always do. I'm an open book, ask me anything. If I have a problem with anything that I say, it's my own damn fault.
When it gets tricky is when I leave the interview pleased with how I represented myself and my work, and the reporter decides to spin it up. For what purpose, I sometimes don't know. But it's usually to make the topic more interesting, or in too many cases, just to kiss my ass or make it seem like the subject (me) is way more important than it actually is. More like advertising than reporting. This gets me and I don't like it and I don't think it's very interesting or responsible. Moving on.
Who am I to judge journalism, really, but I got some bones to pick. And I don't think the mighty UW-Madison is a toilet store. This was just too funny to leave out. #brick4eva
In the case of this article specifically, there's just so much wrong with it that I'm going to attempt to unpack each misleading piece one at a time. My intention is not to rip the author's ass a new one, but it kind of needs to be done. I understand he is a well-meaning student, and earns a big dollop of forgiveness from me for naivete and trying despite being so wrong. I hope he learns and grows from this, if he ever reads it. Last thing - I plan to be ascerbic for entertainment value, not just to be cruel. If I am ever this wrong about something, I hope people can enjoy some schadenfreude at my expense too.
Here is the link to the article, which I have re-pasted below, with my commentary in red.
Local punk rocker Meghan Rose leads charge for Madison’s riot grrrl movement
I am not just a punk rocker, I have not been 'leading' any sort of charge in the punk scene, and the 'riot grrrl movement' happened in the 90s and is not 'back', the festival simply co-opts the 'grrrl' spelling to pay homage...brush up on your history. PLUS our interview was related to Grrrls Kick Ass Fest, which I *did not* organize and told you so, in fact one of the first things I said was "Dave Bonson is actually the event organizer, you should also talk to him, here is his email" - I am really uncomfortable with being given credit where it is not accurate.
Local musician Meghan Rose is punk rock. what? i *can* be i guess? but what does this even mean to call a person this? are you calling me a punk?! tyically not a compliment? what? She dons the messy hair, the badass tattoos and the iconic black eye liner. thanks for the stereotype treatment, i love it. She has the confidence and the charisma of a rock star. i like this part though *bats lashes* More importantly, she has the ability to shred the shit out of a guitar. you don't know what shred means, do you? my solos are actually kind of shitty, and i actually don't solo much at all in the band that you saw...
But Rose isn’t alone in her hearty reincarnation of punk rock in Madison. 'reincarnation'?! you are a naive young person who is not connected at all- punk rock hasn't ever gone away, it's one of the most vibrant scenes that madison's had consistently alive since punk started do you know who The Hussy are?
Alongside a handful of bands like the Skizzwhores and Sexy Ester, Rose has built an empowered punk rock scene in Madison — and it’s growing. Sexy Ester isn't punk at all. I haven't *built* anything, I'm lucky to be a participant in the punk scene but no one person could ever even earn that title because that's against punk ethos and even if that were a thing, it wouldn't be me, it would probably be Bobby Hussy. "and it's growing" makes my punk charismatic tattooed stomach churn, it sounds like buzz buzz buzz like I'm being advertised to *pukes*
These local groups are setting the stage for a new generation of Kathleen Hannas and Carrie Brownsteins to take Madison by the throat and show everyone that not only is punk rock alive, but it’s also dominated by kick-ass ladies. perhaps...you may have made your first interesting point. there are a lot of kick-ass ladies dominating music in Madison, this is true. Not punk though - you don't really understand what that word means.
The third annual GRRRLS Kick Ass Fest, organized annually by musician Dave Bonson, exemplified this female empowerment through music at the High Noon on September 4th. The event takes inspiration from the Riot GRRRL feminist movement of the 90s, and its spotlight on female expression through punk rock music.
The bands all have their own unique flare, but they clearly take cues from the likes of Sleater Kinney, Bikini Kill this happens all the time, Sleater-Kinney is apparently the first band anyone can think of that was all women...it's like always citing The Beatles whenever writing about any band of guys. I just wish there were more that came to the forefront but we're not there yet. Bikini Kill is a decent start. and the many other women who paved the way in rock music a few decades ago.
The festival felt like a walk through a time machine into a Nirvana music video. Under clouds of nicotine and marijuana, a sea of people — in all black, of course — thrashed violently to the hard guitar riffs and guttural vocals of the sirens on stage. poor kid just needs to get out more.
The festival felt authentic and well-executed, but still possessed the spontaneity and crazy antics of a basement rock show.
Rose and her band The Bones passionately emanated these vibes, while determined to keep pushing riot grrrl in Madison.
“If I’m doing my job right, the audience should feel empowered,” Rose said. “I want to bring intensity and make people cry or make them shiver.”
That intensity and power was in full swing during her performance of “Spare Time.” A 7-minute break up song could have easily bored the audience, but Rose made sure they were invested in every minute.
The crowd was captivated as she riffed on her guitar and poured her heart into the microphone. It was the embodiment of what punk rock should be: songs brimming with raw emotion surrounded by killer musical production. oh honey. not punk. killer music production is like the opposite of punk. "The embodiment of what punk rock should be" is more political than emotional and not giving a fuck how well you play.
But, concerts aren’t the only way Rose and company hope to instill punk rock fever. They help empower a new generation of girls in Madison through projects like the annual Girls Rock Camp.
The camp, which started around seven years, is three different weeks during summer.
“We teach kids ages eight to 18, even if they’ve never picked up an instrument before, how to play the guitar, how to play bass, how to play drums,” Rose said. “They write a song in a week and they perform it. It’s really, really empowering for young girls.”
The camp also hopes to give young girls a skill they can take outside of music: fearlessness.
“When I first started, I was afraid to look at people,” Rose said. “I would do most of my stuff with my eyes closed. Now, everything I do onstage is a choice. I’m not nervous on stage at all. I’m not scared of anything. ”
That’s what the GRRRLS Kick Ass Fest and Girls Rock Camp is about. Not being scared. Not being apologetic. It’s about fearless women taking the stage and claiming it as their own.
These events may seem different, but they are united in showing Madison that girls can, and will, rock. I do love how he incorporated girls rock camp, because I believe if anything, the community of women involved in GRC are leading something new in the Madison music scene, and it's not just punk, but it is certainly empowering.
Ok there you have it! Phew, I'm relieved. I kind of feel like Clementine in Eternal Sunshine in response to this article. I welcome any comments related to this with open arms, thanks for reading.