2/14/10 Riot Grrrl Cover Show
When I was 15, my cousin Erin and I got Bikini Kill’s “Pussy Whipped” and were blown the fuck away. I remember we had the house to ourselves one night and we blasted it in the living room…jaws dropped, faces melted, palms sweaty.
I’m 30 now and last night I played in a Bikini Kill cover band with my husband, Jeff, and 2 of my best friends, Jason and Alyssa.The show was a benefit in Brooklyn and was a riot grrl/female fronted cover band show with Thee Headcoatees, The Breeders, Sleater Kinney, Stevi Nicks, The Muffs, Submission Hold, The Gits, Le Tigre. When I switched off to sing “I hate danger” I said to the crazy, awesome, sweaty crowd that it was dream come true to play the Bikini Kill set. And i really fucking meant it.
Bikini Kill are one of my biggest and earliest inspirations. They are musically totally underrated . Tobi Vail is one of my favorite, most copied drummers of ALL TIME. I can remember trying to play along to “Carnival” in the basement as a kid on my first drum kit. OVER and OVER and OVER trying to play that roll in the beginning… Their song structure is, to me, totally weird and awesome. I adore Billy’s guitar sound and style. Kathi’s bass lines are solid but totally interesting. A fave is the bass line in “rah rah replica.” It adds a layer of melody that I wish I heard more in punk songs. And Kathleen’s fearless vocals are unmatched. They’re so so versatile. From girly and teenager-y to a terrifying and demonic to desperate and hurting she expresses all sides of what I feel as a human and as a female. They are also occasionally funny. (hopefully saying that wont get me in trouble) I always loved in “alien she” the finger-wagging delivery of “feminiiissst (grunt) dyke whore” followed by the “pretty prettaaayyy” that channels johnny rotten. Its silly and I love it.
Practicing for the cover show was so humbling. It was exhausting to play, but completely exhilarating at the same time. Alyssa and I would keep looking at each other and screaming. Ha! The show itself was inspiring to say the least. 99% of the people up front were girls and they were ALL screaming along to every single word. It was a rad experience that I can only hope to someday repeat. Maybe even with one of my own bands haha!
So now that I look like a psycho, let me GO ON to say that I loved Bikini Kill as a teen, but as i got older and had more “life experience” or whatever the band became way more meaningful to me. I am convinced that “i hate danger” was written specifically with me and some of my past boyfriends in mind. And I’m positive that there are many more people who’d say the same thing. They are a feminist band, for sure, but the writing is so fucking personal that it comes off as universal. Their real experiences that shaped their real lives make the songs real stories and not just feminist manifesto after feminist manifesto.
Long long long story short: thanks and please do a reunion. THE END!