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WEDNESDAY

Rock divas agree: Gender, like pop music, is mostly image. In We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock, Rolling Stone editor and veteran rock reporter Gerri Hirshey traces the journey of women rockers from Ma Rainey to Madonna to Alanis Morissette in a choppy, essentialist overview of women in blues, country, and punk before landing on more familiar glossy-mag ground with some post-Hole and hiphop acts. The book does have some worthwhile surprises, notably the scene-establishing vignettes—an image of Ronnie Spector onstage with her beehive shaken out and black cat-eye makeup running down her sweat-soaked face says more about a black woman making musical history than the rest of the sprawling “Sixties” chapter—and Hirshey’s lengthy, intimate profiles of Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliot, who explains once and for all how she could be so sexy in an inflatable rubber suit. Reminisce about babydoll dresses and combat boots when Hirshey reads at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Mumford Room, Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5502. (Shauna Miller)

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