Tattooed, Pierced, and Fucked UpThis could sound a little strange, but over the past few days, I’ve been reading stuff written by a 16- or 17-year-old girl, and getting what she’s saying.
Let me clarify. Through a comment left here, I found a book titled “Tattooed, Pierced, and Fucked Up,” written by Lauren Napier, who I believe is now 20-or-so years old. Lauren has been writing about and participating in rock music since she was about 16 years old. She gathered some of her early interviews and some other writings and, earlier this year, self-published her book through Lulu.com.
When I say that I get what Lauren is writing about, here’s what I mean: A recurring theme in her writing is how homogenous most music is and how bands have to fit a “norm” to get radio airplay and achieve any type of commercial success. (See also the first couple of paragraphs from yesterday’s post.) “The cheesy lines about broken hearts and the resulting slit wrists have flooded the music scene,” she writes in a band profile. “The Confession dashes these stereotypes and proves that music can have meaning and that the rock/metal genre has purpose and renewed integrity.”
Lauren also takes to task the poseurs she sees all over the current punk scene: Kids who shop at Hot Topic and spend more time caring about the style than the substance. In one of her stream-of-consciousness entries, she writes, “...don’t let them fool you just because they act pretentious and wear the clothes that are worn by others in the scene they are not true to themselves they are forcing their personality....”
I gotta love this stuff because it’s what I wanted to do when I was 17. Instead, I wrote shitty record reviews for my high school newspaper, then went about joining adult life.
A few of the entries are teenage-angsty stuff I really can’t relate to, but overall it’s interesting to see Lauren grow both as a writer and a person. One of her first interviews, with a band called Bleed the Dream, is in a standard Q&A format. Over the next couple of years and dozens of interviews, we see Lauren move into a story-telling format, incorporating the band interview responses into readable articles.
I think there is a lot more Lauren has to tell; being a young, attractive female in the testosterone-heavy world of rock 'n' roll cannot be easy. Near the end of the book she broadly mentions the difficulties she faced leaving her home in Las Vegas and moving to California. Single pages, or sometimes, single paragraphs, tell us that she couldn’t find a job, that she started a band, and that she was “on the brink of mirroring [her] mother and attempting suicide.”
If and when Lauren decides to write about her life, I’m sure her story will be nothing short of fascinating. In the meantime, we have “Tattooed, Pierced, and Fucked Up,” a book of raw journalism from the perspective of a young woman starting her career in rock. Check this book out; Lauren Napier could be the next Cameron Crowe.
Today’s music is a random sampling of some of the bands featured in Lauren’s book. To order your own copy, or read some of her newer writings, check out her blog, Another Day...Another Day.
Broken Wings (live).mp3 ~ Bleed the Dream, from the Taste of Chaos compilation
Bad Things to Bad People.mp3 ~ Bullets and Octane, from The Revelry
96 Quite Bitter Beings.mp3 ~ CKY, from Camp Kill Yourself, Vol.1
Bleed You Dry.mp3 ~ The Confession, from The Confession EP
A Girl I Know.mp3 ~ The Matches, from Takeover Records 3-Way, Issue #2
pics, from top-to-bottom: The book cover, obviously; Chad Ginsburg, from CKY; Lauren Napier.