In response to yogafriend's comment:
In response to MattyScornD's comment:
Shoegaze was never really critically popular, and it was kind of beside the point to compare every album of the genre to MBV's "Loveless"...just like it would be comparing every pop group to the beatles.
The other ugly truth is that female-fronted rock bands often don't get the respect they deserve. Period.
I mentioned Kristin Hersh earlier...why Throwing Muses isn't recognized as one of the craftiest, original bands of the 90s and 'grunge' era is an utter mystery and an insult. And it's not just critical acclaim, it's about avoiding the double standard of female songwriters being hailed not for the depth and intelligence of their work but only for the 'female perspective' or as only a counterpoint to traditionally male idioms.
RE: Female fronted bands / respect and their staying power, I agree. I think we've had a thread on this topic, but it wouldn't be a bad one to revisit.
RE: Kristen Hersh. I'm sorry to say this, b/c it's not music-related criticism, but she's written 2 books, and one is a memoir and reveals her struggles with depression. I'm not sure concisely why, but her reasoning for writing this book perplexed me, and reduced her stature for me. If she's a writer now, that's fine, but did the world need a full book about her life? $$$. Again, all I can say is that it turned me off, and if that's irrational on my part, so be it. =)
Fair enough. Having not read the books, I really couldn't say, much less speculate on her motivations.
However, it's a fact that she's struggled with bipolar disorder for a long time...which only underscores, to me, the quality and breadth of her production as a musician and songwriter.
(We've touched before on the mental health aspects of creativity and how they manifest themselves in the pressure cooker of fame. Hersh's story, I think, is both common and unique in that sense.)
Relatedly, I recently read the book written by Mark Sandman's mother (Four Minus Three; A Mother's Story) about her life and the deaths of three - all male - of her four children. Even in the remote interest of catharsis, it's a worth-while book about motherhood and loss.