Raha, Maria – Cinderella’s Big Score: Women of the punk and Indie Underground, Emeryville, CA.: Seal Press, 2005

This book is a very useful resource for anyone wishing to gain an insight into the historical musical context of riot grrrl in the U.S.A. This is not entirely deliberate as the focus can be seen to be punk and its various musical offshoots relationships with gender and power, whilst highlighting a selection of female performers. By focusing largely on the U.S, Raha is able to explore the lineage of female punk performers from the late seventies through to the mid zeroes, illuminating not only the socio-cultural historical context that shaped them, and the scenes that they were a part of, but also the fact that there is a continuum from punk through post punk to indie to riot grrrl to Ladyfest and beyond. This is rarely done, and it is done very well here so should be recognised as an important book for this reason.

Another strength of this book is that it features details of and interviews with a number of women who rarely have a spotlight shone on them but who, nonetheless, continue to do, or once did, important work. These would include The Germs, Exene Cervenka, Penelope Houston, Poison Ivy, Crass, Wendy O. Williams, The Fastbacks, Mia Zapata, Jenny Toomey, Tribe 8, Lunachicks, Team Dresch, Erase Errata and many more.

The book isn’t written as an academic text, and in tone it’s very accessible, meaning it can be read for pleasure as well as research. There are also detailed discographies for those featured, which would suggest that the book would make a very good present for any angry guitar wielding girls out there.


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