33 ⅓: Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle by Selena Chambers

So…my 13-year old self just swooned through the future to fall into my 39-year old arms as a major dream has come true… 

I will be writing the 33 ⅓ series installment on the band that changed me forever–Babes in Toyland–and their seminal album Fontanelle! 33 1/3 Books made the announcement this afternoon, revealing their next 15 picks from an open call of 400 submissions earlier this year.

Coming Fall 2022, here’s a short summary of what you can expect:

Babes in Toyland was one of the most influential and forgotten bands of the 1990s. Despite creating a unique brand of sisterhood that inspired fans to create Riot Grrl and legendary bands such as 7 Year Bitch, Bikini Kill, and yes, even Hole, the Babes’ story seems to only exist as footnotes to other more famous figures. The all-girl band rode the wave of the Minneapolis grunge scene crafting a unique sound composed of self-taught instrumentation and unabashed banshee raging vocals. Their stage presence was enigmatic, their lyrics vitriolic, and their Kinderwhore fashion ironic and easy to emulate. But what made them most inspiring was their ethos. 

While all female, the band insisted their music wasn’t a political statement but a personal expression. They would dismiss labeling their act as feminist but their actions sent a positive message of what a matriarchal system within music could look like. But then they let the patriarchy in via their major label contract with Warner Bros., and the unique frission of the Babes would never be the same again. Now, almost 30 years after their most seminal record, Fontanelle was released, the legend of the band is being resurrected and respun to reclaim their proper space and context in the history of music and women in rock.

I’ve been a long-time fan of this series, and getting to share my love of the Babes with the series editors and readers is an amazing opportunity that has left me humble and excited to write again. I am so excited to see the other albums and the wonderful range on display–Maria Callas, Kendrick Lamar, George Michael, and Britney–and really can’t believe I’ll have a contribution among them. I can’t thank 33 1/3 enough for including me!

Publishing Notes: Book Notes at Largehearted Boy

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This is my mixtape to the world that never jammed with me…or something like that. Actually, it’s a playlist for my collection, Calls for Submission, which came out last week. Each tale has its own song and in turn its own story.

I had a blast with this one. In some ways, the playlist had formed itself while I worked on the stories over the years. In other ways, a new serendipity formed as brand-new songs, like Chagall’s Sappho would send me back into “Remnants of Lost Empire” and created a more appropriate soundtrack than the music I had used while drafting. I also feel more connected with the work being able to reminisce on their creation in a way that wasn’t solely about words, but about evocation and feeling in a Schopenhauer-way.

I’ve been a longtime reader of Largehearted Boy since its early days, and have always viewed it as the epitome of what a blog can actually achieve with focus and citizenship. Just like LitHub felt like taking communion, having a playlist on Largehearted Boy is a wonderful and rare moment of self-actualization–HOLY CRAP I PUBLISHED A THING!

So, just to go back to riffing on Emmy D, I guess that does make this my mixtape to the world that I hope will take a listen and read back to me.

A thousand thanks to David Gutowski for giving me the space to jam literary with everyone!

You can check out my Book Notes to Calls for Submission, and access the playlist, here.

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“From the dazzling mind of Selena Chambers, we are treated to fifteen provocative stories. Whether in collaboration with other writers, or on her own, her voice shines brightly through each tale.  Although these stories have an underlying darkness within them, they are still gloriously illuminating.”–Ann VanderMeer, co-editor of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories and Sisters of the Revolution.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION can be ordered from the publisher directly: Pelekinesis,

But it is also available from SQUARE and SPD and the following locations:

Prefer an ebook? Yes m’am, we can do that:

Liked what you read? Please leave a review at Amazon & Goodreads! Or share on your social network. The hashtag for the book is #CFSBOOK. You can find me and Pelekinesis on Twitter and Instagram at: @BasBleuZombie & @Pelekinetic.