Tobi Vail update

October 8, 2012

My ex-bandmate, Tobi (Vail) has been writing some great articles for emusic. Her writing has had such a huge impact on my life, and I’m glad to know that she is also answering the letters and emails she gets asking “How can I revive Riot Grrl?” with “Start a band! Do your own thing!” as it’s been frustrating for me to get these same emails. Of course I’m totally excited that people are still interested by punk rock feminism (or whatever anyone wants to call it) but I hate the idea of retelling the same old boring story as if it was a map for others to follow. It’s a new day, ready for new ways of thinking, new sounds, new blogs, new zines, new books, new activism. I like to study the past looking for the things that can propel me forward and the mistakes that hopefully, my generation, our generation, your generation can improve upon. Sure I fetishisize 70′s feminism. Sure I trace back addresses where the first NYC feminist meetings happened and walk there, maybe even with tears in my eyes, if I am gonna be brutally honest, but I am getting ahead of myself. I was talking about Tobi’s work!

Just today Tobi released a song called Free Pussy Riot in solidarity with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich who are currently serving two years in prison for their performance in a Moscow church. (see previous posts on this topic) Inspired by Free John Sinclair by John and Yoko, Free Pussy Riot was written for Tobi’s recent performance at Primera Persona at the Centre de Cultura ContemporĂ nia de Barcelona.
On October 10 Pussy Riot’s appeal will be heard by a Russian court. To quote from Tobi’s solidarity statement she reads at the end of her song “Pussy Riot are organizing in Moscow but the struggle for self-determination of women, LGBTQ rights, gender justice and political transparency is an international one. ‘Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest’ Free Pussy Riot!” Feel free to distribute her song anywhere you like!