Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Evelyn McDonnell

Evelyn McDonnell

Evelyn McDonnell is assistant professor of journalism and new media at Loyola Marymount University. She has been writing about popular culture and society for more than 20 years. She is the author of three books: Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Army of She: Icelandic, Iconoclastic, Irrepressible Bjork and Rent by Jonathan Larson. She coedited the anthologies Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop and Rap and Stars Don’t Stand Still in the Sky: Music and Myth. Da Capo will publish Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways in 2013.

Evelyn has been the editorial director of, pop culture writer at The Miami Herald, senior editor at The Village Voice, and associate editor at SF Weekly. Her writing on music, poetry, theater, and culture has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including the Los Angeles Times, Ms., Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Spin, Travel & Leisure, Us, Billboard, Vibe, Interview, Black Book, and Option. She codirected the conference Stars Don’t Stand Still in the Sky: Music and Myth at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York in 1998. She has won several fellowships and awards, including an Annenberg Fellowship at USC and a fellowship to the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater.

Her 2004 Herald expose of hip-hop cops was awarded first place for enterprise reporting by the South Florida Black Journalists Association and second place in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards. She earned her Master’s in Specialized Journalism, the Arts, from USC, where she was chosen for the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She earned her Bachelor’s in American studies, graduating magna cum laude from Brown University. She leaves in San Pedro with her husband, son, many animals, and a fantastic view of the ocean.

List of articles in the library by artist

Fiona Apple

Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Rolling Stone, November 1997

FIONA APPLE is 20 years and one
 album old, and already she knows the
 bipolar swings of stardom. Thanks to
 one fortuitously placed demo tape, ...

Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear: Huggy Bear: Our Troubled Youth/Bikini Kill: Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah (Kill Rock Stars) ****

Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Rolling Stone, September 1993

PICTURE a punk rocker: Ian MacKaye and Emma Goldman are her heroes. She reads Maximum Rock 'n Roll and plays 'Holidays In The Sun' on ...

Bikini Kill: Sara Marcus: Girls to the Front

Book Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, October 2010

BROOKLYN-BASED writer and musician Sara Marcus deserves a medal just for daring to write a book about Riot Grrrl, the fiercely uncompromising feminist movement of ...

Björk: A New Map to Björk's Music

Report and Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, October 2011

IT'S A SAD IRONY: The digitization of music has impoverished the average listening experience. Not only do compressed files sound meagre compared to the sonic ...

Debbie Harry: Deborah Harry: Debravation (Sire/Reprise)

Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Rolling Stone, October 1993

BACK WHEN Blondie was becoming America's biggest New Wave band, Deborah Harry's deadpan lyric barbs cut the edges around her paper-doll appearance. This is the ...

Marianne Faithfull

Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Interview, April 2009

TALKING TO MariaTALKING TO Marianne Faithfull over the day's first coffee is a bit like waking up for cocktails. She's alert and energetic, but chicly ...

Kim Fowley: Impresario, Svengali, Saint, Devil

Report and Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, April 2012

KIM FOWLEY pulls DVDs, fliers, CDs, a hospital admission slip and more DVDs out of a jumble of media on the mixing board of a ...

Goldfrapp: Music That's Going Places

Report and Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Miami Herald, November 2001

FORMER ENGLISH country lass Alison Goldfrapp could have had a record deal years ago, if she hadn't bothered her pretty head with petty matters like ...

PJ Harvey: P.J. Harvey: 4-Track Demos

Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Rolling Stone, November 1993

THE POP INDUSTRY loves to simulate authenticity, a trick that, like the manufacturing of fake antiques, puts demands on the consumer. It's hard to tell ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: Decoded

Book Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, December 2010

JAY-Z IS A GREAT American artist — and he'd be the first to tell you so. Decoded is an elegantly designed, incisively written bid for ...

Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj: Staples Center, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, June 2011

Haters Go Home: Britney Dominates L.A. Show ...

Prince at the Super Bowl: A Preview

Report by Evelyn McDonnell, Times Herald-Record, February 2007

WHEN PRINCE sat down with the producers of Super Bowl XLI entertainment to make his pitch for playing the halftime show, he had done his ...

Pussy Riot and the Politics of Grrrl Punk

Comment by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, September 2012

I WONDER, as they sit in their separate cells, what songs the three jailed members of Pussy Riot sing to themselves to keep their spirits ...

The Runaways: Girl Power: The Birth of the Runaways

Book Excerpt by Evelyn McDonnell, 'Queens of Noise' (Da Capo), Summer 2013

Reprinted from Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways by Evelyn McDonnell. Available from Da Capo Press, a member of The Perseus Books ...

The Runaways: Wild Thing — How Sandy West Was Lost

Retrospective by Evelyn McDonnell, LA Weekly, March 2010

ON A SUMMER day in 1975, a 16-year-old girl carrying a Silvertone guitar took four public buses from Canoga Park to a two-story house in ...

Ronnie Spector: Life Club, New York City

Live Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Village Voice, The, December 1998

"BRIAN WILSON wrote this song for me," Ronnie Spector said on Wednesday at her annual holiday party at Life, "but because of publishing and contracts ...

Tori Amos: She Walks The Line: Tori Amos: Boys For Pele (Atlantic) **

Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Rolling Stone, February 1996

THE TENSION BETWEEN secular desires and spiritual devotion has fueled rock & roll frenzy since Day One, so to speak, when the fundamentalist-reared Jerry Lee ...

Jack White: With Blunderbuss, Jack White aims for new beginning

Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, August 2012

The former White Stripes leader takes his first solo album through Memphis for soul and Nashville for honky tonk. Many of the album's songs are ...

Yo La Tengo: Jesse Jarnow: Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock (Gotham Books)

Book Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, July 2012

THIS IS AS SCINTILLATING as it gets: The opening and closing anecdotes of Big Day Coming revolve around typos. Shockingly, promoters and newspapers have had ...

List of genre pieces

Ellen Willis: Out Of The Vinyl Deeps – Ellen Willis on Rock Music (University of Minnesota Press)

Book Review by Evelyn McDonnell, New York Times, The, June 2011

WOODSTOCK WAS A RIP-OFF. Creedence Clearwater Revival eclipsed the Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan struggled with identity. Janis Joplin "was not so much a victim as ...

Miami Sound Machine: The Hit Factory Criteria Studio

Report and Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, July 2008

MIAMI – On any given night, as the fabled moon rises over Miami, the densest concentration of pop stars per square foot is likely to ...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's women problem

Comment by Evelyn McDonnell,, December 2011

DO THE MATH: Out of the 11 new members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2012, one — Laura Nyro — ...

back to LIBRARY