DJ SuperConductor on Riot Grrl and the Contributions of Lady Gaga

Jun 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm
DJ SuperConductor on Riot Grrl and the Contributions of Lady Gaga
Photo by Jon Scorfina

Euclid Records employee Anna Zachritz, better known around town as DJ SuperConductor, has amassed hundreds of records in less than a decade. As a DJ, Zachritz is known for spinning underground hip-hop and electro, but at the heart of her collection is riot grrl - the '90s movement that encouraged girls to make their own place in male-dominated music scenes. We met at the Tower Grove apartment she shares with her girlfriend, Melanie, and discussed the lasting significance of riot grrl while her Boston Terrier, Gus, helped model her split 45 collection.

Last Collector Standing: Do you have a favorite record of all time?

Zachritz: Yes. I have a favorite record of all time. I can 98 percent confidently say that this has been my favorite record probably for the last eight years. So I would say it's probably my favorite record so far. Sleater-Kinney Dig Me Out is [the equivalent of what] Dark Side of the Moon was for my dad. That record to me is probably what made me feel the most connected to music, in the sense that what they were doing when that record came out is completely manifested in the sound that they have on that record along with their lyrics. The melodic pop side of it, yet that punk-y feel that it has... just that blend. I love it. That's my favorite record of all time.

You've been the first collector to confidently answer that question right off the bat.

Really? You know how you go through those phases where you listen to your favorite record and then you stop and you go back to it and it's the best thing ever? I don't have that with that record. I could just listen to that all year round, and I'd be alright. It's my absolute favorite.

There is something so empowering about it. There are a lot of things from that era that I really enjoy, but for whatever reason that is the most universal to me.

How did you first hear Dig Me Out?

The first time that I heard anything by Sleater-Kinney was my first year in college. That was back in 2003. I actually heard it because this guy who was a major feminist on campus was playing it. I thought, "Wow! What is this?" Just Corin Tucker's voice on that record is completely different from any female voice that I've ever heard. That alone made it stand out to me. I started asking him about it and he was actually the one who turned me on to this whole genre of riot grrl, which ended at that time, probably about three years before I had discovered it.

Leading up to that, I always loved music. My father plays music. We've always had music in our lives, whether it was listening it in the living room and having our own family dance parties or him playing a song and us singing along. I just grew up with that, but I will say my choice in music has changed drastically and it wasn't until I heard that record or discovered Sleater-Kinney that I knew what kind of music I liked.

How did you first start collecting music?

When I first started buying records I wanted to mimic the collection of records I grew up with. I was buying all the staple bands. This was just a little bit before I discovered riot grrl and Sleater-Kinney. I was buying Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, T-Rex, Fleetwood Mac. I will say... when I was a kid I hated them. I didn't understand how this black wax was producing [music]. I thought they were so big and garish. Why not have a little CD you could play in your car? The first CD I bought by myself with my own money was Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the double record. I was in Best Buy and showed it to my mom. She looked at it and said, "Do what you want, but you've come such a long way from the Coolio's Gangster's Paradise single." Which was actually the first CD I ever owned. It was a single [Laughs]

Then I started really appreciating the feel of [vinyl]. The aesthetic. It's just so organic and raw. This really was the first way of recording music and producing it to reach a mass level of audience. I just love the history behind it.