This song is inseparable for me from an early-’90s weekend I housesat on East Fifth Street between A and B for Daniel Fidler, who I worked with at SPIN magazine. (I was a 17-year-old intern, he was in his twenties and worked in research).
Daniel was really nice, loved Fugazi, and had a mother cat and a bunch of kittens nesting under his sink. I took care of them while he was in Israel. I also listened to the above song over and over at his apartment, and it made me feel better about a recent breakup with my first serious boyfriend. I liked staying there, listening to all his albums, reading his magazines, and pretending his studio was my own. I drank a lot of coffee. I did some light snooping.
Zoning out on a DVR’d Glee, was shocked awake by a close-up of Sam’s guitar case, revealing a Bikini Kill sticker. On the Fleetwood Mac episode?! Well done, propmaster.
Kara, there is a great interview with Corin Tucker on Pitchfork about her favorite albums through the ages. There are a lot of fun moments in it, like when she explains how the B-52s were a big influence on Sleater-Kinney.
About Bikini Kill’s live shows and the song “Rebel Girl,” she says:
I never didn’t cry at their shows. Most of my friends and I would have tears streaming down our faces when they played those songs. It was a really intense time, and they were marking this space for women to say that we are these total natural forces to be reckoned with; we’re sexual beings that are ready to battle for our own territory. There was a sort of cultural battle that took place at their shows, and that’s incredibly dramatic when you’re 20 years old. Everything is heightened to the most dramatic extreme, and it was a really powerful song.
I never listened much to Sleater-Kinney (and I realize this may disqualify me for ’90s-womanhood), but based on this interview I really want to now. Read the whole article here.
Kara, thanks so much for posting that photo from EMP and for the link to those people talking about the panel. And good questions!
I never felt like a cool girl in the 90s. Mainly, I was just trying to have adventures and make out with guys I had crushes on. And I had a lot of crushes. I spent my free time making a lot of mix tapes and reading a lot of books.
Yes, I found a BK fanzine when I was a teenager, but I didn’t find a CD until much, much later.
Meanwhile, Neal scored every single bit of radical feminist, experimental, Kill Rock Stars music that existed, even though he lived in the woods of East Texas. Learning that gave me a lot more respect for the Sam Goody outlets in the Piney Woods and made me think I was pretty lazy in my culture-questing. Continue reading
I’m glad you brought up Marisa’s book, Kara, because it reminds me of a question I was left with after reading it: Why do some feminists make people SO MAD?
One effect of her conflating Riot Grrrl bands + Spice Girls is that you lose the distinction between women who everyone likes, whether or not they’re in power (they’re pretty! whatevs!) and women who scare the shit out of everyone, whether or not they’re wielding power. Continue reading
From BK's archive blog!
Have you heard about this crazy latter-day internet battle raging about a fax about Bikini Kill? Here’s the quick summary:
Seventeen years ago, Nils Berman, then of Sub Pop, sent a fax to some music journalists essentially discouraging them from covering Bikini Kill’s UK tour. Slim Moon recently posted about this on Bikini Kill’s new archive blog.
Music critic Everett True posted about the BK blog post on his blog, and then posted an email from Nils, who then participated in the long comments thread about women calling men rapists at BK shows, being marginalized as a gay man, and talent vs. community. Continue reading
Did Bikini Kill change your life? Kathleen Hanna’s started a site that collects BK testimonies. Details are here. There are also some amazing videos on their YouTube channel. I just sent in my post, and it’s posted here. And I’ll copy and paste it here, too:
In 1993, when I was 17, I was interning at SPIN magazine. One week, right after my first serious boyfriend (a repeat-reader of On the Road) had cheated on and broken up with me, I was cat-sitting for a guy I worked with who later OD’d and died. His apartment, a studio on 5th Street between Avenue A and B, had a pile of zines and comics (and a litter of kittens who slept in a cat bed under the sink). Continue reading