Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band

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9780812920581: Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band

An eye-opening glimpse inside the world of contemporary rock music describes the discovery of a Minneapolis female band and follows them through the process of signing with a record label, recording a first album, and marketing and promoting their music. 25,000 first printing.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A tour of the contemporary pop music industry with one of America's most promising new bands, whose three members happen to be women. A nail-spitting punk trio of potential long-term influence that reserves the right to be both attractive and assertive, Babes in Toyland is one of the first all-female rock groups to earn widespread renown. Former Rolling Stone editor Karlen documents the Babes' pursuit of both fame and punk rigor; their long nights on the road; their difficulties with record execs, hangers-on, and one another. He also peeks into the world of enigmatic A&R man Tim Carr, who brought the Babes to Warner Music, then struggled to win them attention with a minuscule ad budget in a climate in which MTV's Beavis and Butt-head are the ultimate arbiters of cool. Karlen is sometimes more interested in his subjects' reputation than in their talent, so the content of their music gets scant attention; almost no lyrics are offered, despite the author's assertion that lead singer Kat Bjelland is a poet. But he's lucky- -the three Babes are intriguing women: Lori Barbero, the first female drummer embraced by rock's mostly male establishment; the orphaned, waifish Bjelland, whose performances resemble primal therapy; and Michelle Leon, a brainy 19-year-old whose boyfriend's murder, recounted here, causes her to leave the band. All three (and Maureen Herman, Leon's replacement) are role models for a new generation of female musicians intent on making a place for women in rock 'n' roll. Karlen's hyper-rhetoric sometimes intrudes, but he isn't oblivious to the ironies in Warner's effort to sell the Babes without sacrificing their street credibility. Recommended for moms and dads whose daughters want to grow up to be rock musicians--and (of course) their rockin' daughters. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Minneapolis grunge rockers Babes in Toyland are neither famous nor critically acclaimed, which is why rock journalist Karlen chose them as subjects for this profile of the day-to-day life and career trajectory of a young band whose fate remains uncertain. He follows the band as it appears variously to be on the cusp of either superstardom or disollution in the volatile world of the rock 'n' roll industry, chronicled here at both its most sordid and most exhilarating moments. The Babes's struggles with overbearing record labels, drug-abusing friends, long tours on a shoestring budget and a precarious future represent the experiences of many young bands. Their story is also of interest because they are one of the first all-female bands to play the kind of loud, angry rock 'n' roll which typically has been claimed by male groups. Karlen's often verbatim record of conversations he heard over three years of following the Babes seems occasionally invasive, yet the band members' willingness to reveal themselves so thoroughly to him lends credibility to his account. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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