Rock

Let's Hear It for the Ladies of Houston Punk

Though often under-recognized by society at large, with its overweening narrative of punk rock being a bastion of disenchanted white males, women of all stripes have been intimate and ingrained members of Houston's local scene scene since its very genesis. Yet, few books have extolled the efforts of any punk women; hence, much of the legacy has been left to scattershot digital archives on the Web that fail to cohere and document their full sense of presence.

That's why I chose to create the blog Visual History of Punk, Hardcore, and Indie Women, not to speak on their behalf, but simply to amass the truth beyond the din of musical desperadoes. The entries, spanning more than 1,000 pieces of photography, ephemera, record art, and fanzine clippings, map in a matter-of-fact form the sheer breadth of females in punk over a 40-year period.

This is one way to give thanks to my sister, who spun LPs by the Motels, B-52's, Patti Smith, and Rachel Sweet every day at dawn as high school beckoned nearby. In our ranch home sitting squat in a flat Midwestern former farm patch, the piano refrains and thudding drums of "Pissing In the River" shook the walls as neighbors spat wearily into CB radios and let anxious dogs stumble across knee-deep snow.

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David Ensminger