Archive for the Stories Category

No……. thank you

Posted in Stories on September 11, 2012 by theadventureclub

I bought my first Bikini Kill Cd’s in 2003 when I was a 17 year old high school student. Prior to this I was listening to the pop-punk/ alternative music of the day. It seemed there were fun bands like Blink 182, or politically conscious bands like Anti-Flag… but as a gay youth I thought, “Where is the punk band with a gay message?” I listened to “CD version” and “The Singles”… They blew my mind! Finally, music with a message I could relate to and that reflected how I felt. Finding Bikini Kill meant validation in a fucked up environment. You guys helped me get through high school and sort of lead me to other great music. Thank you.

Housewife, stripper, school girl, feminist, whatever

Posted in Stories on September 11, 2012 by theadventureclub

Right now, I am taking a break from writing a paper on youth at-risk for my counseling masters program.  I think that all young females are “at-risk,”  we are vaginally marginalized by society at birth, and when we hit adolescents we cease to be taken seriously as humans and many men only see us in terms of dick recepticles who should devote our lives to their ego and comfort.  I think we as women buy into that – or are trained into falling for that. (Read Peggy Orensteins book School Girls, 1994. Gives good insight) I want it to be different for my daughter.  I want her to be as feminine as she wants, to find value and power in that and to define what being a women means on her terms.  I want that for all women.  Bikini Kill has been a voice and a force for all women.
I remember at 18 when my best friend introduced me to Bikini Kill (he is one of those rare spectacularly attractive heterosexual men who truly likes women and appreciates them), he gave me the Bikini Kill- the first two albums cd and told me he knew I would love it.  He was right.  It was a revolution/revelation in a clear jewel case.  I read the essay on the inside cover, over and over. It was a riot indeed.  I think for the first time I felt how all of women were connected, and the way we seperated and bashed on each other was the problem.  Housewife, stripper, school girl, feminist, whatever…we were all the same, living our lives out under the same rules we had no say in.  “Don’t you talk out of line. Don’t go speaking out of your turn. Gotta listen to what the Man says…” no more!   It felt so good to be double dared, to scream it out loud – we don’t need you!  To have a choice, to have a voice, to belong to a sisterhood.  It still feels good.  The freedom to embrace all your girl awesomeness however you define that and be unapologetic about it feels so damn good.  Last year some of my female students and I were talking about bands we like, and I told them how Bikini Kill changed my whole perspective when I was their age.  Some of those girls went out and bought Bikini Kill cd’s and then told me how it blew their minds.  Yeah, it does that!  I still get in my car, put in a Bikini Kill cd – sing right out loud, and feel all that raw awesomeness of being a female that I felt at 18.    
Thank you for the voice, and the music to this soundtrack of change, strength, and power.   
Brandeis

I told you I was a Dork!!!

Posted in Stories on September 11, 2012 by theadventureclub

I love an oldold piece by Kathleen Hanna about Dork vs. Cool. Having been a natural born dork and an occasional cool wannabe, it really helped me embrace and love my dorkiness when my beautiful daughter introduced me to Kathleen’s words when she was in college. I have fantasized about starting a D.O.R.K.S. initiative for years: Do One Real Kindness Secretly as often as possible, at least once a day. This would be a great workplace morale builder.  Maybe we could change our culture. I don’t knowwhat’s been stopping me. Maybe its time to get this party started. See I told you I was a Dork!!!

Sounds like you already are contributing!!!

Posted in Stories on September 11, 2012 by theadventureclub

When I was in elementary school one of my first CD’s was Spice Girls. I used to play with the Spice Girl Barbies.

When I was in High School I had a couple of friends that introduced me to riot grrl, mainly Le Tigre. We’d drive in my friend’s new car and she say “it’s girl power time!”

I didn’t start listening to Bikini Kill seriously until last year, which is crazy to me because I resonate so much with it now. so many songs, including Kathleen Hanna’s spoken word, have given me chills. I bought All American Reject from a local record store in my hometown for less than 5 bucks. It was used. I’d listen to it regularly and it get me pumped and I’d workout and dance around in my room/living room.

On October 30th, 2010 I met the members of Broken Water and Morgan and the Organ Donors. I saw they play live at a house show. I bonded with James M., Sara Pete and Kanako. I mostly stayed in touch with Sara and visited OLY in January 2011.

I helped book a show for Hysterics this summer in San Luis Obispo, where I met those two OLY bands. I still live in SLO county but was traveling when they came to town and I was bummed that I missed it.

I’m mostly a writer, but I jammed with James a couple nights when I was in OLY. Mostly just screaming stuff. He wanted me to meet Tobi and Billy but Tobi was out of town and Billy, well didn’t answer when James decided to throw rocks at his window one night.

Kathleen Hanna’s zine, April Fool’s Day, has helped me stick to being sober. It’s going to be a year next month since I first quit drinking and it’s been a few weeks now since I quit smoking.

Bikini Kill has helped me realize how important it is to express your anger, that it is essential to freeing your creativity. I have a context now. Riot grrl is something that I truly believe in deep down. It helps me get through my daily struggles as a conditioned female.

Also by being activists about sexual abuse and speaking out about it it’s helped me heal tremendously. Reading stories about Kathleen Hanna talking about being date raped all the time, helped me realize “I’ve been date raped too.” That reality has been paramount in my healing process. To have a band, a group of activists, care so much about the world and other people to make such a big difference through their music is totally inspiring to me. I’m just really grateful for all the hard work you have all done.

I hope that I could do something to help contribute to the road you all have already paved.

Posted in Stories on September 11, 2012 by theadventureclub

So, we did a live tribute to “The CD Version of the First Two Albums” in Long Beach, 01/21/12. It’s funny how learning the songs makes you appreciate them in an entirely different way. Anyways, thanks for making such great music.

I just wanted the thrill.

Posted in Stories on September 11, 2012 by theadventureclub

To confess,
I have been to a lot of shows.  Many.  Being olden, I don’t want to even admit my first.   My first shows that have had an impact on me were the Cramps, GBH, Wasted youth, Ramones, Buzzcocks, Circle Jerks and so on.
These shows are still a part of me.  I ended up in China Town/ Los Angeles, and was lucky enough to see Bikini Kill play at Madam Wongs Cafe.  The music was so fucking good.  I knew Bikini Kill was one of my favorite bands, but hearing you live just added to the cool factor.  That was one of the best shows I have ever gone to.  The creep factor was way high for me, being a guy , and old, but I didn’t care.  It was like that.  I just wanted the thrill.

Love from Lu

Posted in Stories on September 11, 2012 by theadventureclub

    So I was 13 going on 14 years old (now 28). I grew up with two older sisters who influenced/introduced to Punk Rock music. I got my hands on my first Bikini Kill album “Reject All American”. I will never forget the way I felt when I listened to this album.
I never discovered Riot grrrl music before.
  It changed my life from then on. Well, how cliche 😉 but I say “it changed my life” because it opened a HUGE door to my life. Something that had true meaning- for once in my life I could realte to. Finally, I felt “understood”. I can’t think of ANY other band that has done that for me; put such a strong impact on my life. So this time… I was introducing MY older sisters to Riot grrl music. I got to pass that gift along. 
   I can’t thank Bikini Kill enough for making me feel Special, for getting me through High school in such a male dominated Punk Rock scene. I felt relieved that I could be strong and listen to myself- My own voice-. That’s truly The most special gift to me.
Most importantly, The biggest thank you forever : Introducing/inspiring me to Feminism for the rest of my life. I Thank ALL of you tremendously. 
   

You’re like totally one of us grrls

Posted in Stories on July 18, 2011 by theadventureclub

It’s Summer, 1991. I hitch a hundred miles and sneak onto two ferry boats in order to be in Oly on a Saturday night. It’s Revolution Summer Grrl Style Now and I can’t stand to miss a single show. I have to get into town, find out where the venue is, and find a place to change before the show. I borrowed, without permission, a dress from a girlfriend. It’s three bucks at the door for grrls, five bucks for boys, and three for boys in dresses. I’m never asked for more than three. After the show, some grrls and I go back to someone’s apartment and we lie on the floor and talk and laugh all night. When the sun comes up we go out to a greasy spoon off of Sleater-Kinney Blvd. Over breakfast we continue talking about feminism and resistance. The grrls are super smart and hella insightful. I start writing some of the awesome stuff the grrls are saying on a paper placemat. “so I can remember” I tell them “I want to make a zine and include some of this stuff.” Then I ask them if they think that it’s OK for me to make a zine. Like a Riot Grrl zine, you know. They say of course it’s OK and that it’s a great idea. One of the grrls doesn’t get where I’m coming from and she asks me why wouldn’t it be OK. I look down, I’m embarrassed when I say “Cuz I’m a boy”. The grrls tell me that just because I’m a boy that doesn’t mean that I can’t be a riot grrl. And one of the grrls adds “Fuck yeah, Zero. You’re like totally one of us grrls”.

PS: I’m no longer a boy. Now I’m a woman and a riot grrl.

PPS: Thanks, BK

“Fuck any kinda power, that means girl power, too!”

Posted in Stories on July 18, 2011 by theadventureclub

In 1993/94, I had the good fortune of seeing Bikini Kill play one of the most memorable shows I’ll ever see. It was at this huge, all ages venue in Hollywood that had all these bouncers, something we weren’t used to then. FYP opened, Spitboy followed, we all danced, no big deal. When Bikini Kill came on, though, things strangely and suddenly shifted. A certain faction of crust punks started screaming sexist slurs one after the other at the band, song after song. Frankly, I was shocked. I considered myself an anarchist at the time, and to see so many kids covered in anarchist-style patches toting boring, stupid epithets just made no sense. The show wore on and things got more hostile: “Fuck any kinda power, that means girl power, too!” These same people, by and large boys, eventually started pushing girls around in the audience. At this point, Kathleen stopped the show and attempted to address things, but the opposing voices got louder, more belligerent. What happened next, though, I will never forget.
Kathleen started asking for one of these kids to approach the stage and speak into the microphone, since they wanted to be heard so badly. There were raised fists and shouts of “bitch, whore,” etc, but no one wanted to actually step up. Finally, Kathleen singled one boy out, saying, “You! You! Come up here. What are you afraid of… a girl?” The boy’s friends then pushed him to the front while Kathleen held the microphone out to him. When he went to speak into it…THUD! she hit him in the head with it.
The whole place pretty much went nuts. A bunch of crust punks rushed the stage, but a host of bouncers seemingly came out of nowhere to hold them back. Just then,“1- 2- 3- 4!” the band starts back up (oh how I wish I could remember what song). Meanwhile, Kathleen starts pulling girls out of the crowd, one by one, on to the stage, to safety. Bikini finished their set that night with 20 – 30 girls dancing on stage with them. Magical.
This stands out in memory to me not just as a successful display of female power, but also as an example of when small, innocuous acts of force can be used skillfully to turn an unacceptable situation on its head.
For what it’s worth, here’s a (horrid) zine page I made about the event.

I started the first queer/straight alliance at my high school

Posted in Stories on May 25, 2011 by theadventureclub

Back in high school, I was overcoming alcoholism, getting myself to come out the closet, and healing from my brother passing away on 9/11. I had this english teacher named Chin-a, who is an amazing womyn of color and was in the riot grrrl scene back in college. While fighting off some of my battles, Chin-a made me a Bikini Kill mix CD. After listening, I felt unstoppable. At 17, I came out of the closet and my parents kicked me out the house various times. I was raised in Brooklyn, so after the arguments, I packed up my bag, stepped out of the door to feel a hard punch of wind from the cold winters’ night. With my head up high, I walked to the subway to ride the trains all night long. I wasn’t scared though, in my headphones I had “For Tammie Rae” on repeat, it reminded me of my brother, my best friend. In my heart, I knew it was badass to be Chicana, androgynous, queer, and wanted to change the world around me. I started the first queer/straight alliance at my high school, and my parents sent me away to gay rehab. I proudly wore my Bikini Kill t-shirt the whole time, and knew I had to keep on going. So, I went off to college at Evergreen, and started a Chicana queer punk band with my best friend. On our first show we played at my friend’s living room in Olympia, on our setlist we covered: “Feels Blind”. I was on vocals, and cried throughout the song + playing the drums at the same time. It was so liberating, and audience felt it too. But then, my dearest band member started her other band “Weird TV” and I left to Oaxaca, MX, focusing on organizing work with LGBTQ communities. Bikini Kill encouraged me to organize, and helped me become a stronger queer womyn of color. Thank you for being part of my revolution. Que la lucha sigue! In solidarity.

Lupe

The Fang Gang

Posted in Stories on May 25, 2011 by theadventureclub

I booked a basement show at the “Fang Gang” house in Madison, WI for Bikini Kill sometime in the early 90s after exchanging some letters with Kathleen. I couldn’t think of any local bands that really seemed right to open for them, so I asked some female friends of mine to do some spoken word. It was
a really great, intimate show and we had a lot of fun. The next morning before the band left, I heard some bass guitar coming from the basement. I quietly walked down the steps and Kathleen was playing by
herself, possibly working on a new song. I walked behind the drumset, picked up the sticks and started playing along. Kathleen smiled and we jammed for a little while. It’s one of those magical
punk moments that I’ll always remember. – Tim

as the mother of twin girls…..

Posted in Stories on March 7, 2011 by theadventureclub

I grew up with a single mother who started being told that her body is an object to be thrown around and assaulted in every way possible since the time she was an infant. She had me when she was fifteen as the result of being raped by the star quarterback’s little burner brother in front of her family’s trailer in the rural Midwest. She tried her best with what she had to work with, but as a model of womanhood she lacked. She showed me that drunk, aggressive, pathetic excuses for men were welcome to come waltzing through my life and take whatever they wanted. That I was to act as a needy co-dependent victim groveling gratefully at the feet of the men who showed up just long enough to destroy any semblance of a stable home, help themselves to mine, my mother’s and my sister’s bodies, and give us just enough of the fatherly love that we had been craving so badly for so long that we would forgive him. We were starved for attention and the way that my mother was showing me how to get it was to be a sexual object and a victim.

There are many ways that a young woman might internalize such a childhood. That “crazy bitch” or “slut” that you know are probably acting out something that they had no opportunity to process earlier in their life. But I turned it inward, and started protecting myself in ways that were ultimately just as damaging. As a teenager, I developed a relationship with painkillers and food that allowed me to wall myself in to a fortress of my own body, one that I felt no one might be tempted by. I ate compulsively to a point that was physically painful, because if anyone was going to hurt me, it was going to be me. I became addicted to painkillers and couldnt remember what it felt like to not hear the fuzzy hum of my own consciousness reverbing itself. I had frequently had dreams of trying to run and finding myself immobile and screaming silently.

Until one day, I heard someone scream. I had spent the day wandering and skateboarding around the city on what I now know to be a ridiculous dosage of Vicadin, and I ended up in a record store. I had a duct-taped together Discman that only worked when I held pressure in just the right spot, and a hooded sweatshirt with a rather concealing front pocket. I was browsing around idly when “Suck My Left One” came on. Between the drugs and the general dissociation with which I tended to live my life I didn’t pick up on it until the very last few riffs, but after that I knew that I had just experienced something that would change my life forever. I asked the guy what that band was and he gave me the standard snotty record store guy attitude with his response of, “uh, Bikini Kill…. “ and wrote me off. It was 1998, so I guess I was a little bit behind schedule. I asked him if he would play it again, and he snubbed me so I went to the Alternative section and stole a copy of “The C.D. Version of the First Two Records.” I didnt stop listening to it until my shitty Discman kicked the bucket for good. I wish I could say that I then picked up a guitar and started a band of my own, but suffice it to say that I eventually found my own ways to scream that did the trick.

Now, as the mother of twin girls I am concerned with presenting a model of womanhood that provides opportunities to scream and ways to get attention that have nothing to do with being a sexual object. I feel pretty good about what has come out of what started as a pretty shitty run, and if you think Im a success, you can thank riot grrl.

We were all getting into punk music

Posted in Stories on March 7, 2011 by theadventureclub

I grew up on the eastern end of Long Island- Hamptons territory- and I was lucky enough to have found a group of strong/witty/creative girl friends in such a secluded part of the country. We were all getting into punk music in high school (1994-ish) and I remember having a hard time relating to a lot of the bands with male singers. I was also struggling with my body image and had pretty cruddy self esteem. One of my friends handed me a copy of Pussy Whipped on a Friday and I listened to it all weekend long. This may seem too magical, but it completely changed the way I viewed the world…like this self loathing veil had been lifted off my face. It was totally empowering to hear girls screaming their truths and making big commanding sounds with their instruments. Bikini Kill lyrics and melodies are always stashed in the back of my head-ready for when I need that reminder to stay strong. I think that every girl in high school should be handed a Bikini Kill album as sort of a survival tool.

Polly Robins

I had a slumber party with Bikini Kill

Posted in Stories on March 7, 2011 by theadventureclub

Hi,

I was a huge Bikini Kill fan and when the band came to Tempe, AZ, I convinced my two friends, Sabrina and Ryan to go with me. I think this was in 1995. After the show the band was looking for a place to stay before leaving for Flagstaff, AZ the next day and my friend Sabrina said, you can stay with us!

The band stayed at my friend Ryan’s place (apartment). In the morning I had to leave early for work, but Sabrina told me that you guys wanted to go to a thrift store. Ryan lived near Savers (thrift store). Sabrina, Ryan, and I all had worked there. It was where we met, actually. Sabrina was so excited about the show she had seen the previous night, she called Savers and asked for Kathleen to be paged. I think she wished the band good luck or something.

Anyway, that is my story. Pretty cool after all these years to think I had a slumber party with Bikini Kill when I was like 23 years old. 🙂

Josette

I was given detention

Posted in Stories on March 7, 2011 by theadventureclub

I went to a very conservative Catholic high school from 2000-2004. There were very few people that were into punk music and barely even anyone who was into punk music that had a political message. My friend Belinda gave me a mixtape of some Bikini Kill songs during my sophomore year in biology class. I was seriously tripping out after I listened to it. It was the same feeling I had when I heard Black Flag for the first time. Towards the end of the year, I made a homemade Bikini Kill shirt. The school’s dean went nuts. She was offended by the words by each word! “Bikini” and “Kill”. I was given detention and I contested it. I lost. Whatever. I still love the band to this day.

On a side note – how would one get a hold of Kathleen? I’ve been working on a zine and I have high hopes of getting an interview with her published!

John Esquivel

Religious Appeal booking
http://www.religiousappeal.com

i used to take my camera to most of the shows i went to

Posted in Stories on January 18, 2011 by theadventureclub

Kathleen,
Here are some photos i took of Bikini Kill performing in Honolulu. i believe this show was in december of ’95. i used to take my camera to most of the shows i went to. i remember there was some tension at the begining of yr set w/some loudmouth boy trying to antagonize for reasons, i assume, to bring attention to himself. i really wish i had better pictures to share with you, but the Fastzone, where the show was at was soooo crowded. The only other time that place has been packed to capacity was for that pop- punk band the Queers (which weirdly was a VERY violent set of shows). i just couldn’t get in the right spots. i hope they’re ok.

i’m also including a scan of an article from a local high school paper. It talks about the show, and they interview Tobi and Kathi (i can’t believe i still had it tucked away!). If you like i can send it to you.

Strange how things are, i’ve been listening to “Pussywhipped” for the past several days and then today my friend points out the wordpress page. I also want to mention that one of the first records i ever ordered was the “New Radio” 7″.

Take care and Happy New Year.

todd.

I wish id been around back when it all first started

Posted in Stories on December 9, 2010 by theadventureclub

Probably 5 or so years ago, I would have been around 14, 15. I went on holidays with a bunch of friends, looking through one of the older small record stores in the are I came across a bikini kill record. The moment I laid eyes on it I had to have it.
I couldn’t quite recall how the name meant something to me. Or if I had listened once before, who knows. I’ve loved everything about bikini kill, and riot grrrl, ever since.
I’ve been re reading “girls to the front” by sara marcus recently. Its so inspiring and totally awesome.
I wish id been around back when it all first started.
LOVE YOU BK

make some noise

Posted in Stories on December 9, 2010 by theadventureclub

Bikini Kill.fucking.rocks. The first time I heard a song by BK I felt so empowered. I truly wish I could have been at the performances in the ’90s to hear the raw sound live and see Kathleen Hanna screaming into the microphone, such energy and grrrl power. All I have are recorded videos from the audience. Kathleen is my role model..cliche? Probably, but its the best way to describe how she has affected my life. As she said, she is a 3-dimensional role model, who isnt perfect, and makes mistakes like any human being, and thats also why she is so, because she has made me realise that to be true to yourself, youve gotta make some noise, go out there, give it all you have and if a mistake is made, so be it. I recently got a portrait of her on my right upper arm and so she is always with me in a sense, a reminder that i CAN do it. I hope one day I can meet her in person to show her this piece of art. Bikini Kill’s songs and zines resonate so much for me, a voice of empowerment, freedom, excitement and anticipation for those of every race,culture, sexuality. I came out as a lesbian a year before i discovered Bikini Kill…if only I had the records back then! I had been missing out! I identify as a feminist, a lesbian, a riot grrrl…and I feel like Ive only just started to discover myself. Bikini Kill has given me strength as a woman that I knew I had, but I now have self-permission to express it how I want to express it.

Rhayven Jane.

PS. I started roller derby this year, and my name is *hopefully* to become Krashleen Hanna!

pps. My blog ‘HAMSTRRR’ is inspired by Bikini Kill, Kathleen and the riot grrrl movement.

“Alien She” was like looking into my own thoughts

Posted in Stories on November 28, 2010 by theadventureclub

Howdy there. I began listening to Bikini Kill about a year ago, around the beginning of my sophomore year of high school. I had just gotten into feminism, and I was (and still am) a trademark angry teenage girl. I can’t remember where I got introduced to BK, but I am very thankful that I found it when I did. Now, Bikini Kill and riot grrrl are nothing short of an obsession for me. It sounds like a huge cliche, but BK and feminism really did change my life in a positive way.

I knew that riot grrrl was once active in DC, I live in suburban Maryland, and it blew my mind when I found out that something so revolutionary and powerful occured less than an hour from my house. Being a teenager was never meant to be easy, but I have always had a sense of loneliness regarding my feminist and liberal beliefs while living in such a manicured place. When I bought all the BK albums, I listened to them, and it was like the sky opened up. Listening to “Alien She” was like looking into my own thoughts, I can’t believe someone actually felt all the confusion between being a “pretty girl” and a feminist like I did. I often find myself singing “Suck My Left One” and bopping my head along to “Finale” when walking to school (even in the cold!)

I proudly wear my Bikini Kill shirt around school and the greatest thing is when a girl I don’t known comes up to me and says “I like your shirt, Bikini Kill rocks!” Sometimes these girls are girls I have never talked to or thought that they could be into punk rock/feminism like me. It makes me feel so good that us feminists are everywhere.

(Oh, I’m sending this email on Nov 11, and Kathleen’s blog says that it is her birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday Kathleen!)

Peace and Love,
Sarah

Discotays Cover Outta Me by BK

Posted in Stories on November 4, 2010 by theadventureclub

Researching Bikini Kill started a real snowball effect

Posted in Stories on October 28, 2010 by theadventureclub

Hey, lemme just say that I am so excited about this site. It’s quite unhealthy actually, how much time I have already spent on here… ¬_¬

Okay, so my Bikini Kill story actually needs a little background. Some of my earliest music memories take place in my Dad’s car, on the way down the A1 back to London after a weekend at his parents’, with whom he was living after divorcing my mum. (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m in the UK! Thought I’d mention that in case there was head-scratching going on across the pond!) First off, he was playing Madonna’s Music album – still a not-so-guilty pleasure, I must admit. Then he was playing No Doubt’s Rocksteady (we’re in the early 2000s by this time, and I have totally missed the whole movement, but bear with me). Then he was playing Led Zepplin’s III, or Pink Floyd’s The Wall or Dark Side of the Moon.
There wasn’t really an inbetween! This continued for years and years, my dad playing these albums to us over and over (I mean, Rocksteady was in the car for a good two years and I still have the casette he made for me! Other side: Holly Valance’s Footprints. I really didn’t have a musical preference at this point…)

When I was 10, the first album I bought myself was No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom. It was £5 and the front cover was broken. That didn’t matter because I loved No Doubt and always will, and upon researching into their history I stumbled across a LOT of good bands and artists. But basically I liked how it was pop but with such attitude… are you starting to see where I’m going here? It was the attitude I was drawn to. (And still am. I’m a HUGE fan of Lady Gaga. Paws up, anyone?)

Then, and oh my God what a year, American Idiot was released. I’m pretty sure that album changed my life. Green Day was the first band that I obsessed over: I loved the songs, of course. I loved the messages. I loved the way I could close my eyes and I was away. I loved their swagger.

And I loved Kathleen on ‘Letterbomb’.

Researching Bikini Kill started a real snowball effect: it didn’t just introduce me to new music (I can’t be the only one who got into music by assosiation!) but a whole new frame of mind. Where Gwen Stefani had sung about the woes of being Just A Girl, Kathleen and Co were actually doing something about it. There’s no such thing as Just a girl… because girls kick ass!

My sister knows all the words to Rebel Girl and she’s never even heard it all the way through, I just sing it so much she’s picked it up! Well, that and Cherry Bomb.

Although I boast quite a diverse record collection – from Nine Inch Nails to Eminem to Taylor Swift to Rancid etcetc – and musical tastes, it is always the 90s punk scene that pulls me in and captivates me.

Shame I was born halfway through! (Well, ’94. Yeah, yeah, we lost Kurt Cobain and gained Justin Bieber, I know. I didn’t have any part in that, I swear.)

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. (This is going to sound like such a cliche, but…) Music is such a huge part of my life that trying to explain it leaves me a little lost for words. It has societal impacts like no other art form and can – and DOES – change the lives of people the world over, myself included.
But Bikini Kill? Well, they are just something of their own. For me when I think of them, I don’t think music I think lifestyle. I’m not sure if that was a goal of theirs or if I’ve read too much into it or whatever.

I guess that’s all I wanted to say.

Oh, and when you’re an out and out feminist at two-weeks-shy of 16, it’s really hard to find a boyfriend. And do you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Katie Epps, 15-and-11 1/2-months
London, UK.

My Bikini Kill Story

Posted in Stories on October 28, 2010 by theadventureclub

Bikini Kill stumbled upon me. I didn’t stumble upon it. It was destined in the stars that I would take to left-of-center, feminist, simplistic-yet-so-complicated music. Hole was my favorite band for a really long time. (I know the history between Kathleen and Courtney. Sorry..Believe me, they are in no means my fav band. I was 11 and mad. She was the only one on the magazines. Mainstream, anyway). So upon discovering Hole, everything else fell into place. L7, Babes In Toyland, Bikini Kill, the Lunachicks, 7 Year Bitch..the list goes on and on.

My father heard me getting ready for school one morning and for some reason, he began to care what I was listening to. “Suck My Left One” was blaring from my tape player (yes, tape player), and he told me I needed to “turn that shit down.” He was drunk or mad, or both, so I gave him the finger and told him to “shut the fuck up.” Then I got scared. I had never done that before. The music gave me to power to stand up to my aggressor. It felt great. Liberating.

I love Bikini Kill.

Now I have a husband and two kids but still have all of my records, tapes, and cds of my favorite music. My husband doesn’t get it. I’m glad he doesn’t. He isn’t supposed to. Maybe my kids will find their mom’s record collection in 15-years and a new generation of listeners will begin to understand. I hope so. It would be a shame if that didn’t happen.

Majesta

In response to your Bikini Kill archive influence post…

Posted in Stories on October 28, 2010 by theadventureclub

I grew up in a small rural town in Australia with 2000 people. Everyone I knew listened to Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys as I was growing up. I was this fucked up kid who cut herself and got picked last for the sports team. I hit puberty and started taping my breasts down because I was ashamed to be turning into a woman. I’d receive taunts from boys and girls about my body changing and I was so fucking ashamed of it. I went from a straight A student to a crying mess. Then when I turned 15 I found my Dad’s guitar and through Grunge fell onto your music. After watching you dance crazily around on Bull in the Heather.
Somewhere on the otherside of the world years before was a woman screaming at me through the speakers telling me it was not only alright that I was a woman, that I had more power than I could ever imagine. It was okay to be angry at the world, and it was okay to be the only person at my school who listened to grunge (for lack of a better word).
Disappointed that Bikini Kill was no more but excited at the prospect of Le Tigre playing at the Big Day Out in adelaide I travelled 900kms and skipped school to come see you play.
And my god I was not disappointed.
I’ve stayed in touch with everything you have been doing since. I graduated top of my class and Im now playing and managing my own band. Starting my own zine, organising my music show as part of a local festival as well as recently travelling overseas to indulge myself in the foreign music culture. Im part of a collective of people who now label ourselfs as Wholesale Meat Music. (being a fan of walking contradictions oddly enough has vegan/vegetarian members and indeed has nothing to do with meat)
We have opened up the first creative commons record store that we know of and host shows around the City of Adelaide Australia.
I would love to interview you as part of our zine! I really want our first edition to have a strong feminist theme.
I just want to thank you for the bottom of my heart. For everything.

Bikini Kill story by David

Posted in Stories on October 28, 2010 by theadventureclub

one of the first jobs i had let me play my cassettes all day while i worked. i found it interesting at how most the men would complain when i would listen to bikini kill. they would ask “why is she so angry”, or they would ask me to turn off my radio. the funny thing is that i would be listening to minor threat, mdc, and lots of loud bands with male singers and not once did they ask why is HE so angry. i decided to experiment for a little over 6 months with these guys by making tapes with one side full of guy singers and the other side with girl singers and see if they would only complain when a woman was singing / yelling. sure enough, they always complained while the girl side of the cassette was playing.
i ended up asking all of them what their issues were with women and how i observed that they only complain about girl bands and never guys, even though the music was similar. they just thought about it for a few seconds and walked away, or they got upset and said a bunch of stupid ass comments about “a womans place” or how ” these girls must be lesbians”
anyways, some of the guys are talking shit about girl singers being too “whiny” (fucking morons). then my boss mariana walks by us and says ” oh my god! is that bikini kill? i fucking love them. i use to see them play in santa cruz”. then she asked me to turn up the radio and if i could play “carnival” for her. all the guys never complained about my music after that.

BK Tumblr

Posted in Stories on October 26, 2010 by theadventureclub

Hi! i decided I wanted to start a bikini kill tumblr, there are all these tumblr blogs created for bands and stuff, but there wasn’t one for bikini kill, i realized there’s actually a lot of people on tumblr who are into bikini kill/interested in a lot of the things going on at the time, and i am also trying to get all info correct (dates of shows from live videos etc) Just wanted to let you know! the site is http://www.fuckyeahbikinikill.tumblr.com

Joey

I was a teen feminist

Posted in Stories on October 26, 2010 by theadventureclub

I just wanted to inform you how influential and amazing you, Kathleen are in my world. I remember just being in a book store and saw this book called “Girls to the Front”. And I thought about how cool it is to have a book supporting women’s rights in an all-girl punk rock theme. I’m currently in the middle of the book now, but as soon as I read about the story of Bikini Kill and the messeges you portrayed I had to be a fan of the music as well. Your music, to me, describes freedom. Freedom in general, and freedom for women. Not to mention it kicks some serious ass. I’m a teen so I dont recall the 90s too well but then again I know so much the influential era because most of my idols are/were from that time. You have inspired me so much with my own music and my beliefs. I was a teen feminist before reading but hearing your story, listening to your music, and knowing what you stand for opened my eyes to a whole new side of things. So thank you so much, Kathleen (not to mention all the Riot Grrrls) for being strong and standing with such power.

Siena

duuude you guys are like my idols

Posted in Stories on October 26, 2010 by theadventureclub

i dunno only recently i started reading kathleen’s blog (interestingly coincided with my exam revision time…) and i had never thought very much about issues like feminism and gay rights and such. Feminists scare me. i have been brought up all my life in a nice middle class neighbourhood in the small town of adelaide, and for my whole life i’ve been like: “gay people? no big deal, i like the opposite sex, they like the same sex, maybe tomorrow i’ll fall in love with a girl… that’s just the way life goes.” i went to a lovely all-girls school that was big on emphasising that “FEMALES CAN DO EVERYTHING” and i dunno if i’m just up myself, but i feel quite intellectually superior to many of the guys my age, i mean i respect them all and love them as friends, but i know girls who are just as good as anyone at ____ and __

what i’m trying to get across is this: I never understood the need for someone to make their sexuality or gender a massive massive deal, because the environment I was brought up in is just so accepting of it all. (or so i think, from my limited experience of pushing the boundaries)

that’s why i’m glad i started reading your blog. it gave me a whole other perspective to it. I’m still conflicted, i’m still thinking – what’s the point in making a big deal out of being female/gay? doesn’t that constitute reverse discrimination or something, where you’re demanding a massive amount of attention just for being something else? But I think the point is, I now understand that there is a whole other perspective to it and it really really intrigues me. in the future, once i kick exams in the butt and get me some life experience, i look forward to understanding fully the necessity to stand up for who you are in the face of opposition and such. part of the reason this email is so fucking long is that i am writing it up for my own benefit (so definitely do not feel like you have to read the whole thing, or post the whole thing, i understand if it feels like i am just rambling shit right now).

i write music. i would be honoured if you could check some of it out: http://www.myspace.com/chewiyourifood
because music is my way of making sense of the world, and music is your way of making sense of the world, and for all our scientists and new developments in medicine and technology, science can never, ever be the answer to proving whether it is ok to be gay, or if females are just as good as men. i think its only through the arts – literature or music or video games or what have you – that people can learn empathy. and that’s where, in my idealistic world, world peace will be achieved…
stay true 🙂

Vicki G.

Your Whole Thing Put Me in Negative Space for Way Too Fucking Long

Posted in Stories on October 12, 2010 by theadventureclub

I discovered Bikini Kill when I was a sophomore in college in 2007. In the past year or so, I had discovered feminism through a women’s history class I took during my freshman year (the professor was a second-wave feminist), and then spent much of my time reading feminist blogs on the Internet. This was one of my main sources of entertainment—I found making friends to be difficult since I had developed some major trust issues after my first boyfriend raped me and (after I broke up with him), my “best friend” started dating him and wouldn’t believe me when I told her what he did. I acted in my campus’ performance of The Vagina Monologues, and met some awesome feminist ladies that way, but was still very afraid to really reach out to them and create real friendships (partially because they were all older than me and I didn’t see myself as being cool enough). In April of freshman year this changed a bit when the campus “pro-life” group posted offensive anti-abortion signs all over the quad (example: “Satan is pro-choice”), and we all banded together to start some dialogue about why this wasn’t okay, and decided that we’d be starting a real feminist group the following fall.

That summer, while stuck at home, I kept on reading the feminist blogs, and waited for school to start back up again so I could actually be part of the movement. I came to the realization that most of the music I listened to offered nothing in the way of female empowerment, and started looking around for feminist music. I discovered The Gossip first, followed by Sleater-Kinney. I had heard of Bikini Kill before, and near the beginning of my sophomore year, I decided to check them out and bought The Singles. “I Like Fucking” soon became my favorite song: in high school I had gotten something of a reputation as being a “slut,” and so that song felt like both a redemption of my identity and as a big “fuck you” to everyone who said that.

There was another song on that CD which I totally identified with, too, though I was afraid to admit it back then: and that one would be “I Hate Danger.” During the end of my freshman year and the beginning of my sophomore year, I’d spend every Friday night hanging out in the basement of the student center of the college that my then-boyfriend went to (different school than mine, but not too far away). He and his friends would be playing Dungeons and Dragons, and I’d sit there with my computer waiting for it to be 1 am so that the center would be closing and we could leave. Some of his friends were nice enough (the girls, mainly), others were jerks. (I could go on a huge tangent about how one of them was a huge sexist prick right now, but he’s not the focus of this.) But there was one guy who was part of the group who my ex did not much like, but still associated with. He worked as a bouncer at parties thrown by the fraternity he belonged to, and was generally a quite rude (as in, if he needed to get by someone whose chair was too close to the wall, he wouldn’t ask “hey, would you mind scooting in?”, he’d just shove his whole body in there, which led to quite a bit of nonconsensual head-crotch contact).

Anyway, on one particular night, September 21st (the last time I ever went along on one of these excursions; from then on I asked my ex to pick me up after all of this was over, though in all honesty I should’ve just dumped him right then)—and the fact that it was mid-September makes this even more painful since I was raped in the middle of September in 2005, so my emotions were extremely heightened that week—Annoying Guy decided that it would be incredibly fucking funny if, when heading into destroy some village or whatever, he started singing “it’s raping time it’s raping time it’s raping time” in a twee little childish voice over and over and over again. I was fucking furious and immediately stalked off to the bathroom to cry. I was gone for maybe twenty minutes (and considered staying there until 1 am, but was afraid that my computer would get stolen, plus bathrooms are pretty boring places to be and I stopped crying eventually). When I came back, no one noticed that I had been gone. I sat at my computer for the next hour or so listening to Bikini Kill and writing angry things on my own blog. When 1 am hit, I left with my boyfriend, and he asked me “did you have fun tonight?” as we walked to his car.

“Sort of,” I responded. “Until about an hour ago.”

“Why, what happened?” he asked.

“You didn’t hear?” I asked. I was incredulous. The fact that he didn’t put an end to it didn’t surprise me—I knew I couldn’t count on him for that kind of thing. But that he didn’t hear anything in the first place made no sense. Annoying Guy—and a couple other people—were singing loudly. He was sitting at their same table. I explained to him what he had heard and he shrugged it off. And when we got to his apartment, and I lay in bed unmoving, he didn’t seem to understand how difficult this was for me, and how little I believed him about “not hearing it.” I still don’t believe him, though I stayed with him for nearly three more years.

It was songs like “I Hate Danger” and other Bikini Kill songs which allowed me to realize that the anger I felt about this situation, about being raped in the first place, about people either not believing me or not wanting to hear about it—that all of that was normal. That it was okay to categorize his behavior as being cowardly and dick-ish, because that’s what it was.

(“It’s a predictable point of view/This group dynamic caters to/It’s a particular point of view/I think you know when it caters to you/(and if you do know don’t act like you
don’t/’cause it’s really annoying/and if you don’t know/well, let’s just say/You’re a lot lot/stupider than I thought.)/I’ll pretend your friends are my friends/But I don’t wanna hear you defend them/In fact that kind of insults me and/I kinda don’t really wanna be here right”)

Peace,

Genevieve

Another Boy Genius Gone…….

Posted in Stories on August 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

I think of the song and I have to bite my tongue to hold back the tears….breaks my heart every time as I sing the song aloud thru tears and memories of an amazing friend that passed away…..

The one thing i know for sure is that bikini kill came thru for me, my gay friends and every straight boy that was equally fed up in gender roles. It made us all act up, speak up and be queer.

xxxxooo

Renee Racicot

She’s my favorite punk drummer

Posted in Stories on August 3, 2010 by theadventureclub

I was born in ’81, and like many kids my age, grew up listening to “alt rock” like Nirvana, Soundgarden, etc. One day during my high school years, a female friend suggested I listen to you guys. She said “hey, you like Nirvana, right? Why don’t you check out this band from Olympia called Bikini Kill? They’re pretty rad.” Unfortunately, this was in the late 90’s when the band was in the process of breaking up. I wish I could have been fortunate enough to attend a Bikini Kill show, but I was not. However, the band left a lasting impression on me. Who could forget tracks like “Carnival”, “Rebel Girl”, and “I Like Fucking”. Also, as a drummer myself, I have to express my admiration for Tobi Vail. She’s my favorite punk drummer, and her bass drum sound is just fantastic. It’s warm and boomy, much different than most drummers in the genre. With all the cookie-cutter pop princesses of today, it’s refreshing to know that there’s music out there made by REAL women who are REAL role models for girls. If I have kids someday, be they boys or girls, they will certainly grow up listening to your great band as well as other awesome women musicians. Thanks so much.

Best Wishes,
Dave

ON HOW KATHLEEN HANNA MADE ME A CHILD OF THE REVOLUTION

Posted in Stories on August 3, 2010 by theadventureclub

This is the face of my revolution. In present times, she is beyond inspiration to me, she is the first woman who kicked the hell out of my brain and made her way to my heart with non sugar-coated words. Kathleen Hanna is the only person I found reliable. She never betrayed me, she never betrayed her beliefs and more importantly she never betrayed women. This piece of text could have been entitled “Dear Kathleen Hanna” but that would have meant I expected something impossible like an answer, a post on her blog, a single word… this is not exactly the aim of this piece. She meant a lot as a riot grrrl, as a person, to many women, to many grrrl, to many punk inspired people and I understand the strength of this feeling, the very essence of it because I felt it too. But what I would like to point out is what more than just inspiration, musical prophet, feminist idol, she has been to me. When I firt listenned to Bikini Kill, I felt like my heart was going to melt as all my senses started to boil and roar as they were going to explode. I looked out for some informations about the band and discovered more than a musical reference, more than a band, more than lyrics, more than style, more than a voice… beyond Bikini Kill, beyond everything that stood around this amazing band, there was a mind. A brilliant mind, indeed. Beyond Bikini Kill, there was the soul of an imperalist emphasis, there was Kathleen Hanna. She changed my life forever, there was no turning back.
I have been overwhelmed with mixed feelings for days as I laid down in my bed trying to get every bit of every word Kathleen Hanna was singing in my ears but in the end, I accepted the forthright truth : I will never capture any bit of Kathleen Hanna’s mind because she will never be a part of my life; because she will never tell those words to me directly. This is an offending conclusion I reached. And I must say, I have been upset ever since about it but this is a fact I had to accept after all. Today remains one great thought in my head, a sort of Kathleen Hanna manifesto I keep writting down in my mind : she built my revolution. And she must know it by now, she is an amazing woman, an unstoppable force, a fierceful power of nature who will never ever stop. Each of her musical steps were successful, meaningful and terribly beautiful. She is slowly finishing what she started and even if, feminism can appear as an endless battle, nothing could be sweeter than knowing that Kathleen is still there. The magnificence of her ideas is still breathing down my neck and is surrepticiously interfering in my present, making every step of my artistic process a delight. There are many many miles between Kathleen Hanna and I right now, and I am just a french girl, just a 2000 generation riot grrrl, just an another fan maybe, but I can feel what revolution means thanks to her and this certainty in my life makes me feel like everything is possible out there. This is, probably, all in all, a priceless gift and I owe it to her, and her only.

Noemie.

WORLD’S BEST DANCE MUSIC

Posted in Stories on August 3, 2010 by theadventureclub

I had known there was band called Bikini Kill since the 5th grade but it wasn’t until last summer that I really listened to them. I downloaded two songs, Rebel Girl And New Radio, off of iTunes and was immeadiately in love. I would blast them every time my parents weren’t home, scream the lyrics at the top of my lungs. WORLD’S BEST DANCE MUSIC!!! I started looking into more of their stuff and eventually, ended up doing a big time school project on Riot Grrrl (I felt pretty cool researching Grrrls when everybody else was looking up Ben Franklin or something like that). At this same time I was the accidental school slut and I hated my dad for reading my diary. Bikini Kill helped me through that by telling me I was normal and right and justified. Bikini Kill gave me confidence. Now, at my school I’m what you might call a fascinating specimen but I don’t care. I am a Riot Grrrl and no one can take that from me. Bikini Kill gave me balls.

Riot Grrrl is not dead

Posted in Stories on August 3, 2010 by theadventureclub

When i was 2, i was molested by my grandfather, and most of my life that left me feeling dirty and worthless. To add insult to injury, i was raised in a Christian family, teaching me that homosexuaity was wrong and that girls are lesser than men and don’t deserve respect. I was raised thinking that i had to be subservient to a man and that my attraction to other girls was evil. One day i was listening to Nirvana, and started researching more 90’s bands. Hole, of course came up, and so did Bikini Kill. After litening to Rebel Girl i was hooked. After listening to Suck My Left One, i was empowered. Riot Grrrl is not dead, and at 16 years old in a small Tennessee town, i’m proud to be a lesbian feminist thanks to Bikini Kill. I now have aspirations to start my own band, write books, and empower young girls like Riot Grrrl did me.

Riolt Grrrl was a life raft

Posted in Stories on July 22, 2010 by theadventureclub

I was still in grade school when riot grrrl came on the scene in the early nineties. During that time, the only semblance of feminism on my pre-teen radar was in the form of the then-popular “girl power” meme, whose watered-down messaging was made popular by babydoll tees sporting slogans such as “girls kick ass” and by such anthems as No Doubt’s “I’m Just a Girl”, or any number of hits by *sigh* the Spice Girls.

During high school in rural Southern Californian suburbia, I struggled to find my subcultural niche. At a school largely dominated by bros, jocks, and cowboys, I found refuge in a motley crew of punks, queers, and ska kids. In my senior year, I became close with the amazing Jackie Marhoff, a zinester a couple years my junior who sewed her own clothes, and had music taste far superior to mine due to the influence of a cool older sister.

I thought this girl was so fucking cool, and eagerly devoured her recommendations and incredible mix cds. My seminal riot grrrl moment occurred upon receipt of one of these epic mixes, which featured songs from Bratmobile, Sleater-Kinney, the Casual Dots, and, of course, Bikini Kill.

I was instantly gripped by the combination of unstructured guitar, frenetic drumming, and most of all, the grown-up grrrl screams like the tightly controlled tantrum I had bottled up inside of me. It felt like a fucking release. This music articulated all the emotions I didn’t yet know how to deal with. It was primal, it was messy, and most of all, it was loud.

I was particularly shook up by the way Bikini Kill’s “Suck My Left One” struck a nerve beneath the skin I no longer felt safe in after years of abuse at the hands of my father. The words resonated in a hauntingly familiar way with the place inside me that was aching, it articulated the injustice I had experienced in a way that was accessible and incredibly validating.

Hearing this song for the first time was my first recognition that the things that were happening to me at home that I couldn’t talk to anyone about were happening to other girls, and this realization was simultaneously heartbreaking, comforting, and enraging.

Riot grrrl was both a liferaft and the catalyst for my self-recovery and resistance to what Bikini Kill so aptly labeled “psychic death”. It led me to feminism, which has helped me de-pathologize the fallout feelings and situate my complicated experience within larger discourses of patriarchy, sexism, and violence.

The only downside of my rapturous love affair with riot grrrl was that by this time it was 2003, and I felt like I had missed the boat on experiencing this phenomenon firsthand. Undeterred, I vowed to move to Olympia anyway, and luckily for me there was an incredible liberal arts college there. In 2006 I packed my bags and tiny Plymouth Neon to study feminist theory at the Evergreen State College and experience what I hoped would be the lingering spirit of riot grrrl, even though I was ten years late.

I almost had a conniption when roll was called on my first day of class and in attendance was none other than Tobi Vail, drummer of Bikini Kill and feminist theorist extraordinaire. I never worked up the nerve to tell her what an impact Bikini Kill and riot grrrl made on me, but I was absolutely starstruck and so fucking excited that she was there, a connection to the lifeline of the movement that had saved my life.

Nowadays, it is almost twenty years since the heydey of riot grrrl, and the music and message is still infusing my personal and political, recharging my psychic batteries, and fueling my workouts. I feel the energy of a fourth wave of feminism coming, and I experience it daily with my own microcosm of strong survivor best friends, DIY everything, and radical acceptance and self-love.

This is the kind of energy that I seek to experience collectively and communally with all the grown-up grrrls of the nineties, to carry the torch riot grrrl, to speak our own truths, to have our own movement.

Where Have All the Riot Grrrls Gone?

Posted in Stories on July 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

The year 1991 was the beginning of a period when young women wanted you to take their tampons and shove it. Anita Hill, a 35-year-old assistant to then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, testified against him for sexual harassment during a Senate hearing. Music journalist Sue Cummings, along with the Feminist Majority Foundation and the all-female grunge band L7, formed Rock for Choice, a concert series promoting abortion rights. Courtney Love gargled whisky and sang of teenage whores and baby dolls with her band Hole in their debut album Pretty on the Inside. Women released their angst through Do-It-Yourself methods, such as photocopying self-published “zines.“ Others formed garage bands, yearning to mosh without being groped. Like angry banshees, they howled their distress in being unappreciated by the men in their lives. It was the Riot Grrrl era where feminists wouldn‘t purr. Instead, they roared and ripped their t-shirts, exposing their breasts and declaring the right to make their own choices with their bodies. Riot Grrrls exchanged zines, which included writings on the sexism that surrounded them. Ultimately, Riot Grrrls rocked to their own beat, uniting their fellow sisters in search of equality.

In spring 1991, a black female police officer attempted to arrest a Salvadorian man for disorderly conduct. The officer ended up shooting the man who, according to various reports, carried a knife. This event caused the Mount Pleasant Riot in Washington D.C. between Hispanics and police officers. Jen Smith of Bratmobile wrote a foretelling letter to future band mate Allison Wolfe, declaring, “We need to start a girl riot.” Kathleen Hanna, a photography student from Evergreen State College, formed the art gallery, Reko Muse, after her school pulled down photos that showcased her struggles with sexism. For three years, aspiring musicians and literary bohemians gathered in local coffee shops and campuses. They created friendships and produced self-made publications for victims of abuse and rape, as well as for those who were ready to wear their Doc Martens and stomp on the society that has rejected them.

Numerous women from Olympia, Washington and Washington, D.C. formed an underground media empire consisting of zines (Girl Germs, Satan Wears A Bra), bands (7 Year Bitch, Babes in Toyland), record labels (Kill Rock Stars, Catcall), concerts, (International Pop Underground Convention) and organizations (N.O.W., H.I.P.S.) around the United States, spreading over to Europe. Their message focused on the many issues that plagued them, such as homophobia and racism. While several women openly embraced their status as a Riot Grrrl, others shunned the spotlight, refusing to speak with press or educate curious men. While the feminine revolution could have lasted, its reign quickly fell.

During this era, Hanna, who became lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill scrawled “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on her friend, Nirvana vocalist Kurt Cobain’s house. Referring to the brand name deodorant for teenage girls, the line was immortalized as Nirvana’s biggest hit, leading to the band’s overexposure and Riot Grrrl’s demise. With bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden also coming out of Seattle’s music scene, the media hungered to learn about what female bands had to offer. Many Riot Grrrl assemblies in D.C. shut down meetings to avoid the press. With time, bands, including Heavens to Betsy and Tattle Tale, broke up. Musicians, like Kristen Pfaff of Hole, died from heroin overdose. Many zines disappeared and females who once proudly labeled themselves Riot Grrrls, weren’t heard from again. By 1999, Riot Grrrl seemed long dead….or was it?

From “Fight Boredom with Feminism!” zine.

Stephanie Nolasco is a New York City-based writer. To learn more about her work, visit www.stephanienolasco.com.

Where is your next show? In Honolulu.

Posted in Photos, Stories on June 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

I first heard Bikini Kill back in 1994 when I was in the 8th grade in
Hawaii. Back then, I was just starting to get into punk rock, mostly
punk bands from the 70’s and early 80’s. I had a cousin who was into
the punk scene and she made me a mix tape that had a couple of Bikini
Kill songs on it. “Blood One” and “Double Dare Ya/Lair” were on the
tape and they were the very first Bikini Kill songs I ever heard.
There are no words that could describe and give justice to what Bikini
Kill did for me as an angry and confused adolescent girl growing up.
Their music gave me a sense of empowerment and made me question the
close minded environment which I was exposed to as a child.

I was fortunate enough to see Bikini Kill play live twice in 1996 when
they played two nights in Honolulu, each at different venues. These
were the first punk shows I ever went to. If memory serves correct,
the first night was at a place called The Groove. I remember The
Groove as being sort of an abandoned warehouse in an industrial part
of town. The main thing I remember about this show was that Bikini
Kill was the opening band for NOFX. Strange band to be playing a show
with and the crowd seemed to be all NOFX fans (which was a band I
wasn’t really crazy for). The mosh pit was filled with drunken army
guys and I remember a small fight broke out. I remember Fat Mike, the
singer for NOFX, and Kathleen had a few unfriendly words. At one
point during NOFX’s set, Fat Mike sarcastically dedicated a song to
her. I don’t recall the name of the song, however.

The second night I remember much more vividly. The show was at a
place called The Fast Zone and Bikini Kill was the featured band.
This venue was much smaller than the previous one and the atmosphere
was much more intimate. When Bikini Kill took the stage, Kathleen
advised all the boys in the front row to move back so the girls could
get up to the front of the stage and get a better view. My friends
and I got to the front and rock out hard! I smiled at Kathleen and
she smiled back. To a 15/16 year old girl, having one of your idols
acknowledging you like that means the world! I’ll never forget that
moment. And I’ll never forget what Bikini Kill did and how much they
meant for me in my life!

I surprisingly came across these pictures that were taken at both shows:

<a href="https://bikinikillarchive.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/bk-012796i_700.jpg”>

You cannot fix what is made to be broken

Posted in Stories on June 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

I saw Bikini Kill play in Missoula, Montana on October 8th, 1994, during their tour with Fitz of Depression. I was 15 years old and in the closet. Growing up in Montana in the 80’s and early 90’s was sometimes downright terrifying. To be queer, feminist, black, female, or engaged in radical politics, meant a life of threats and constant ridicule. Violent rape attacks and queer bashing was a daily event. Bigotry was predominate in every facet of life, including punk shows, which were always ruined by jocks and rednecks showing up and starting fights. This ocassion was no different. But, Bikini Kill brought with them a war that could not be fucked with. It was like someone had finally turned on a light in a room with no windows. They were the first people I had ever seen stand up on stage and tell those fuckers to their faces that they weren’t going to get away with this shit anymore. Totally fearless. Jocks were trying to fight them while they played and they didn’t even care. It was as if they knew that because they were strong enough to stand up to those pricks, so were we. They understood better than anyone that you cannot fix what is made to be broken, you must smash it and rebuild something better. And that one show had an undeniable impact on the social atmosphere of Missoula. Queer youth finally walked with their heads high. At the school I went to (Hellgate Highschool – a very fitting name), I saw more and more that the kids who were always getting fucked with, myself included, had reached this sort of realization that they could rise above and fight back. Women at the University of Montana formed a night watch organization and successfully stopped numerous rape attempts on campus. This amazing band was my inspiration to start playing in punk bands and I’ve been doing it ever since. I can’t even begin to imagine how different my life would be if it weren’t for Bikini Kill and I can’t thank them enough.
-Matt Svendsen.

a far cry from Salt Lake City

Posted in Stories on June 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

Like many-I discovered Bikini Kill a few years after their last record. After dropping out of collage I found myself in Seattle, a far cry from Salt Lake City, Utah! Somehow I ended up in Olympia and this is where I discovered Bikini Kill and the whole host of bands that took off that time-some still playing some not. I had never heard of punk rock bands comprised of girls-and I do think that BK and others were critical in finding out what was important to me. Back in my home town this is who I listened to while feeling completely alienated and not knowing what the hell was going on with my life. A few years later I wrote an essay on “Star Bellied Boy” in a gender/sexuality class. I included a mix tape with it-I think I got a B! Le Tigre came around I had the chance to see them play something like four times in Salt Lake City. I was thrilled to see them play-as I had never seen Bikini Kill.I guess the point is that I now live on The West Coast, free of my hometown-and I still listen to Bikini Kill-and it reminds me what is important and what I love. And sometimes I still scream along to songs-which is always fun and cathartic.
Liz B Jones

Allison trumps Kathleen in secret niceness category

Posted in Stories on June 16, 2010 by theadventureclub

I first became interested in punk rock music at the age of 11. My favorite bands at the time were Green Day, Blink-182, and The Offspring. Since I just got access to the internet at the time (around 1997-1998), I didn’t know of any punk music in the underground and certainly not any women punk rockers. By the time I was 13 (around 1999) and with maturity (and help of the internet and mix tapes of course), I discovered a whole new world of punk rock. I loved Fugazi, The Misfits, NOFX, Bad Religion, Dead Kennedys and a couple of others that really ignited my interest for the scene. Still, I couldn’t believe that no one was mentioning any women in punk bands. I got fed up with this and started searching any types of real rock music that were female fronted. The same year, I finally found out about Hole and Joan Jett (Jett, whom now I still listen to her music on a daily basis). Once I found those two, I couldn’t stop. Now, I have a record store close to me that sells and is knowledgeable about underground rock music. When I told the owner there what I had been listening to lately, he said “First of all, Joan Jett is awesome. Stick with her, but Hole, forget about them, let me show you some real female rock music”. Finally, the answer I had been looking for. He handed me quite a number of CD’s including Babes In Toyalnd’s Fontanelle, L7’s Smell The Magic, and 7 Year Bitch’s Viva Zapata. Not knowing any of these bands at the time, I decided to purchase them because they looked awesome and the song titles sounded killer. The guy goes to me “oh yeah, I almost forgot, here’s a band I think you’ll love more than the rest”. He then hands me a copy of Bikini Kill’s CD Version Of The First Two Records. I get home and put the disc into my CD player. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Real punk music from a radical female fronted band! From “Double Dare Ya” all the way to “Outta Me”, I was hooked. Even though I am a heterosexual male and couldn’t relate to the lyrics a lot, I still cherished the words that Kathleen was singing/screaming because for me it was a complete wake-up call and I could not deny anything that she was saying to be false. Oh yeah, the music was sweet as well, but those lyrics had me. Anyway, I go back to the record store the next week and purchase the rest of the Bikini Kill discs (Pussy Whipped, (which is now one of my favorite punk albums of all-time), Reject All American, and The Singles). I did get a chance to speak with Kathleen recently on Zinecoreradio and she was just the nicest, coolest woman I have ever talked to outside of Tairrie B of heavy metal band My Ruin and Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile. In conclusion, I am still a Bikini Kill junkie and love other riot grrrl bands such as Bratmobile and Sleater-Kinney as well. They will remain one of my favorite bands and Kathleen and company will always be a part of me for the rest of my life.

Rebel Elle

Posted in Stories on June 16, 2010 by theadventureclub

I dont really have a submission, but just a Thank You. What you girls did really opened up alot of doors for a girl like me. It’s because of women like you, I am able to get on stage every weekend and play music I truly love. Riot Grrrl is very much alive in Dallas, TX and it’s because of bands like yours, that inspired me to play music that has a real meaning and we keep everything DIY, we screen our own shirts, press our own cds, record our own music and give it all away for free. I also recently stared a riot grrrl collective group to help other female musicians do the same and give them an outlet to come and share ideas. Since then we have had 2 more grrrl bands emerge and we couldnt have done it without you!

“The Loosies” love you!
We end everyshow w/ Rebel Girl.

Rebel Elle
http://www.myspace.com/theloosies

Tales of Terror

Posted in Stories on June 16, 2010 by theadventureclub

I have a story that was printed in the Spring 2008 Issue of Venus Zine. It was printed in the hard copy and online.

Thank you:)
Tina

“I like Fucking”

Posted in Stories on June 13, 2010 by theadventureclub

i remember exactly when i first heard bikini kill. I was a junior in High school, 16 years old at my best friends, Monica’s house. She was actually downloading some songs off of napster and saw the title, “I like fucking.” We downloaded it and listened. We couldn’t fucking believe it. It was awesome. I was in love. I never heard something so powerful. We listened to it over and over again, and started to look for more songs. I walked to Barns & Noble and bought “Reject All American” I felt like i existed. I love to sing, and been singing since forever. I would sing along as loud as I could, everywhere. I love Bikini Kill. I admire Kathleen Hanna for not being quite….for singing, telling her story….helped me tell my story. If she ever reads this, know that your music, your words saved me. I was a quite dorky girl, and now I found my voice. Oh god, alien she….fucking love it. Pussy Whipped and The Singles are my favorites. I love it all. I play a CD, sing with you, strap on my guitar and jump in the fucking air because I feel free for a good 30 minutes.
Oh- Back in Austin, Texas i saw Le Tigre. Fucking awesome. It was so damn hot and I was so nervous. I danced my ass off. I actually got heat deprived and puked all over outside Emo’s, but I didn’t get to say, “Hi, you , the band, are fucking awesome. I love you, and my best friend Monica, loves you too.”

yours Truly,
Kristen

a psychic break

Posted in Stories on June 13, 2010 by theadventureclub


I first saw Bikini Kill in 1995 or 1996 in San Francisco when the band
was touring with Sonic Youth. Looking back now, I am not even sure if
what I am about to describe happened at the SF show at all, or if I
read about it, or what, but I (think I saw) Kathleen turn around and
show her cellulite, and say something like “this isn’t television. I
have cellulite.” For some reason that gesture and comment created what
can only be called…. a psychic break. I was an Ivy League educated
girl with a masters who had been exposed to a lot of critical theory
and oppositional ideas, but I never really got them in a way until
then. It’s hard to explain…. It was painful. But I realized then
about the oppressive forces acting on me…. All of a sudden, I
realized my own vulnerability and strength…. the powers that be, the
categories I live in… and somehere in there also my own defiance and
ability to have other reality. What a great performer, artist…. what
a great and special mind! I think that is my most special BK memory,
though it may in some sense be apocryphal since I don’t know if I just
read about the cellulite presentation, or if it was at that San
Fran…. show. Thank you Bikini Kill! Thank you Kathleen!

what you mean to me

Posted in Stories on June 13, 2010 by theadventureclub

1st: you’re one of my 2 absolute favourite bands – the other one is Nirvana.

I am 20 now. My youth consisted of humiliation, mental health problems and suicidal thoughts.
I am still struggling a bit to come back to normal. Your music and lifestories help me to live on. Also, the hope of someone understanding me and loving me for what I am. Your music enlightens me in many creative ways and supports me in making my own music and expressing myself. Also, it’s fun and just sounds soooo cool and is good to sing/scream/dance/freak out to and stuff.
When my time of depression was about to end – 1 year ago, Bikini Kill and their thoughts of feminism helped me to rise again, it gave me new hope and something to believe in. It filled my days (I was having one year off) with new constructive ideas and positive anger (on the system and society). Riot grrrl, especially, showed me in those times that I WAS SOMEONE. that I had a right to live and to be happy and that fucking no one had the right to just shit on my head. (I think riot grrrl and part of feminism is about gaining self esteem – DIY is such a fucking perfect way of expressing oneself- I read some zines (not many, cause I only had the opportunity to search some on the internet – cause we don’t have things like that in Austria much.) and always got the massage of support, to be oneself, to celebrate oneself, to be strong – and a feeling that someone understands… feminism and riot grrrl, and being left-wing, is for me not only about getting free from the boy’s, the state’s, the society’s opression, but also about getting free from all kinds of powers that affect you in a negative way – like real hatred, humiliation, feeling not worth anything/inferior… all the things that affect us on a daily basis and appear in human interaction. That’s why politics for me begins not only in the private, like homes and stuff, but also inside of a human being.)
Kathleen, you and co. brought those thoughts to me. I wouldn’t even think about something like this, when I hadn’t listened to Bikini Kill.
At the moment, my “radical” ideas on feminism (that means, that I was FULL of anger) have faided a little, cause I realized that feminism is a difficult and complicated thing, cause the discrimination of women is often so subtle and it’s hard to find the right words if another boy, or girl, asks you “why do you think girls are discriminated? Do you feel discriminated?”…
I sometimes don’t know who I fight against… Sometimes I even believe that we’re all one and all is ok and we’re all happy together… But I always get this feeling that there’s still something wrong.
Whatever, I decided not to think about feminism and gender and boys/girls and justifying myself when I call myself “feminist” so much anymore cause I don’t come to any solution and just to focus on the real important things: Like working against men who beat up their wifes and stuff.

What I wanted to say… You gave me visions of my future – and for a long time I didn’t have those… I just had people in my mind, people torturing me… with what they might think of me and stuff. Now I want to become a psychotherapist and also study “Gender Studies” and do something for women and girls, to support their self esteem, and I also want to go to the Rock n Roll Camp for Girls sometime and be a drums/bass or guitar teacher or be a girl that forms a band myself wooooo-a : D
yeah. thanks for listening- would be GLAD if you wrote back [:

ps: cause I read on your blog, kathleen: … no, most of the people don’t think feminism is cool – at least not in my area. They think it sucks and is annoying and they think of feminists as girls that like to make themselves important…
I guess I’m a bit trough it myself, cause I feel not so concerned by feminist issues anymore (although I still can get really pissed off because of such things at times…), but whatever happens and wherever I end up, I know that I fucking love bikini kill and all riot grrls and boyz (which means for me: just the cool kids with a cool attitude [: )

You also inspired SO SO many bands, like my own!!!! First we wanted to be just like you until we came to a point that that’s just not possible ^^… well……. Now we talk alot about bikini kill and your songs, and love to sing and cover all songs by you [:

well well well, love you guys! lovely cheers, anna

PS check out my band, if you like
not a good site, but we’re working on it… (or at least we have in mind to work on it) and tell me what you think bout it.

MUCH grungy love, cheers and queers,

anna mollie aka mansikka

oh and here’s a video of me and my bandmate wutzi covering suck my left one in the morning after a veeery drunk night
:

Lions and tigers and bears

Posted in Stories on June 11, 2010 by theadventureclub

I blogged about BK today and it occurred to me that maybe I should send my thoughts through to add to the bunch. I never saw BK live – wrong time and place! In the mid-90s I was a kid growing up in New Zealand :-p I didn’t hear BK till I was in my late teens – in the early 00s!

Bikini Kill revealed a world to me that my life is so much the better for.

Nineteen years old, I was confused and depressed and bewildered and pouring half of the attention I was supposed to be giving studying into listening to music and losing myself in thoughts (a familiar story, no doubt!). One day, flicking through discs at one of my favourite stores, I picked up an album by a band I’d heard a little about and been meaning to check out.

My mind was blown the first time I heard Pussywhipped. It was like this incredible, heart-soaring piece of aural evidence that empowering alternatives can and do exist.

I was still a confused, depressed, bewildered nineteen year old, but one that had forever had a part of herself strengthened by the knowledge that it is possible for women and girls to live creative, unapologetic lives despite the shit society gives them.

Just wanted to add my $0.02 🙂

Lions and tigers and bears,
Lissa

=====================

lissaorelse.blogspot.com

Underneath my Anne Taylor Attire

Posted in Stories on June 11, 2010 by theadventureclub

My friend/beloved roommie Jess in college got me hooked on Demirep. She’s an anti-hipster hipster, and I’m a normie. I first heard the song when she prank called this horrible boy I had a crush on; hearing her shrill, angsty voice was the perfect antidote to the boy’s douchery. I made her play the song fo realz and Kathleen Hanna sang it beautifully and perfectly. The song expresses everything that dudes can’t understand about women; it’s raw and powerful and I’ve unleashed it on other unknowing mecs. Mainly a tool in discovering myself freshman year, Jess and I would blast it on a boombox or laptop, subjecting the all-boys dorm down the hall to our feminist chaos. It was wonderful. Thank you, Kathleen Hanna, for giving me this tool in channeling my female rage. I may work in finance, but I am a Bikini Kill devotee and will always have that layer of explosiveness underneath my lame Anne Taylor attire.

~Rachie

I can’t believe that almost twenty years have past

Posted in Stories, Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 by theadventureclub


I saw Bikini Kill for the first time on October 5, 1992. I was singing for the band He’s Dead Jim. We were booked to play with Bikini Kill at the Jumping Turtle in Pomona, but the show got moved to Scripps at Claremont University. We were surprised because there was an all boy band that was playing shows with them, Kathleen insisted that we play right before Bikini Kill because we had two females in our band (myself and our bass player). I was only 21 and so excited to see another band with females in it. We were in awe of them and their beat up touring van. We were also happy that they actually watched us. We played our set.

Then Bikini Kill played. We were completely blown away by their energy, everything about them. Then in the middle of them their set Kathleen thanked us for playing and said that I was the best singer she had seen the whole tour. I am not sharing this compliment now to brag about myself but to show how amazingly generous she was. Our band had only been together for four months. I hardly had any confidence as a front person. So, for Kathleen (this great singer in this touring band) to compliment me, it gave me a big boost. I think that compliment helped solidify my place as the front person. I remember we bought seven inch splits and gave them what money we had in our pockets for gas. A few months later they sent us their full length album, a letter of appreciation, and encouraged us to tour to Olympia. In the next year I would start my first zine (on the rag zine) with my best gal-friend Alicia Lopez. Three years after that I started my own record label, on the rag records. I would not have done these things without the inspiration of Bikini Kill and what they represented (d.i.y. spirit).

I can’t believe that almost twenty years have past. It’s insane. I kept a journal in those early days and wrote that story down. Even if I wouldn’t have journaled it, I would have always remembered it. Kathleen and Bikini Kill were the first female musicians that I had encountered (at the time) in the punk scene who were really “female friendly.” I didn’t have to know that they were feminists to know that they wanted to support other women in punk. They showed it with their words and actions. It was also the first time I ever saw a band hand out flyers with their lyrics and an interview. It was also the first time I received information from a band on women’s reproductive health. Those are things I integrated into all the bands I’ve been in, being influenced by them.

The next time I saw Bikini Kill was when they played the Rock for Choice at the Paladium in Los Angeles. The big surprise was Joan Jett coming out to play Rebel Grrrl with Bikini Kill. Now that is also a memory I will not soon forget. I meet so many girls that never got a chance to see Bikini Kill, let alone play with them. I know for a fact many of the young bands we play with now are influenced by Bikini Kill. They showed females everywhere that they could rock, but more important than that they empowered them with feminism. I love them for that. They really made feminism a part of punk.

Thanks for letting me share my story.

Sincerely,
Renae Bryant,
Ex-He’s Dead Jim
Current-All or Nothing HC
Owner on the rag records & ezine

DJ Lil’ Good Times

Posted in Photos, Stories on April 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

bk dresch
The Bikini Kill/Team Dresch show was in a warehouse in West Columbus-very industrial and dirty. It was full of massive plastic hot tubs that we were jumping around in before the show. The warehouse was so gigantic that people were not packed in, which was a nice change because it would sometimes get hard to breathe at shows.
Team Dresch opened and were amazing in every way. This show was way more queer friendly than 2 years earlier so you could already see changes happening in terms of the audience and the punk scene in general.
My best friend and I talked to Kathleen before the show-she had just started DJing and told us her DJ name was “DJ Lil’ Good Times”-awesome !
We gave her a T-shirt that said “Proof Enough” on it in silver glitter and she wore it onstage.
The music was amazing and Kathleen invited the lead singer of the local opening band, Miss May 66, onstage to sing Rebel Girl with her. I will never forget her singing “Sugar” and just ripping into it-still one of my favorite songs-sums up everything about that time. The biggest thing that impressed me about Bikini Kill
and Kathleen Hanna herself was their generosity-they were so generous and compassionate to all their fans and friends.
I can remember so many people unloading on her about really intense stuff going on in their lives and she never blinked-she always listened.
-Meg

paralell crusades

Posted in Photos, Stories on April 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

poster
From 1992-1995 I did a woman’s music show (the ho show) at KTSB/KVRX
studen radio station in austin texas. I felt like we were leading
parallel crusades, you recording your music and me making sure that
everyone that I could reach knew about what female rock stars were
doing at that time and the overall feminist movement among young women
that was clearly going on. i got to interview so many bands during
that time, and was always so sad that I never interviewed you.

A few random thoughts from one of your still devoted fans, now 37,
with two young kids and living in brooklyn:
I could not get enough music that was coming mainly from the northwest
area, especially from bikini kill. I was and still am inspired by the
music. I used to mail order records from kill rock stars, among other
labels, still have all of my 7 inches from bk.

I vividly remember on of your shows in austin – must have been summer
of 1993 or even earlier – the dates are hazy – but the images of you
guys are clear. Kathleen with the tape recorder – I think a purplish
dress and combat boots – totally inspired me to want to make a change
and a difference. I know I took pictures at that show – of Kathleen
with the tape recorder up to the mike – those I will find and scan in
and send.
anyway the split album you guys did with huggy bear is still one of my
favorite albums.
i am a bit of a packrat, so I will see if I can find any flyers from
your austin shows or any press that I might have saved.

Kathleen – I am glad you are remembering the good stuff about being in
bk, because the music and words you wrote were so powerful, the images
of you guys – all so inspiring to so many, that I am glad to see that
you are remembering more than the negative and tedious aspects of
being in a band.

-april fresh

NEW and REAL

Posted in Stories on April 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

The ways in which Bikini Kill has affected me are nearly infinite, and so are my memories of listening to you.
But the short story is: my heart and body were broken and I was closed and BK cracked me wide open again and made me smile at how quickly my isolation dropped away. You made the world seem NEW and REAL and I felt NEW and REAL every day after the first day I found you.

It’s been at LEAST 18 years since then, and I still feel more sane and settled when I listed to those songs. THANK YOU for a constant sense of renewal!

-maria

I ended up at Bikini Kill’s concert 10/28/95 because I was hiding from the cops.

Posted in Stories on April 19, 2010 by theadventureclub


It always sounds cheesey to say, “It started out one Halloween nite in 1995…” but it did.

I was fresh off a break-up with my first love, in everyone’s life that first break-up is like staring in the co-dependent mirror and I was seeing Ted Bundy stare back. I needed to get out of the house, and in Olympia that nite, October 28, 1995, I ended up in a dance club called Thekla, a Greek name meaning glory of god or something like that. It was Halloween weekend so even the queer Fijian cross-dresser that typically dressed up in some Carmen Mirandan type get-up wasn’t alone; the place was full of queers with no fears and it was a lot of fun.
Continue reading

They act like if you were just sexists…

Posted in Stories on April 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

You kow that girl who wrote ‘how I start listening to BK and more’ , I know her, we go at the same school and we’re both 11(it will be my birthday on 22). We speak french, we go at a french school in mtl and for us, english class means that we LEARN how to speak english even if there’s a lot of us who know how to speak english. Our english teacher asked us to do a presentation with a poster and stuff about our hero… I choosed Kathleen. I did my presentation today, everybody act surprised and crazy and dumb when I put Rebel Girl cuz they say that it’s sexist. I don’t see anything sexist in that song. They were just one girl,wich I always sing Rebel Girl with her, who was really like “You have to do yr presentation NOW,please !” and she told me that she said that just because she wanted to hear Rebel Girl… She’s really cool. I was talking a lot about Bikini Kill and like Riot Grrrl, a bit about rape and when I was talking about rape, the teacher was shaking her head like if she understand everything that I was saying… The rest of the class heard a part of Rebel Girl and some jerks were dancing just because it was music and that they didn’t like that. And I really love candys, like a lot and I always eat candys, okay not all the time but I LISTEN TO BIKINI KILL LIKE I EAT “SUGAR”, I can say that I ALWAYS got my sugar, not like kathleen… GIRLS DON’T WEAR BIKNI CUZ THE BIKINI KILL. We wanna transform REVOLUTION GIRL STYLE NOW! for REVOLUTION GIRL STYLE FOREVER!

Everybody always say “We sold our souls to Rock and Roll” I say “We sold our souls to Riot Grrrl” especially Bikini Kill

It’s okay to be who I am, and if you don’t agree then you can fuck off.

Posted in Stories on April 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

As a freshman in high school four years ago I was anxiously dealing with realizations about my sexuality. I grew up with very open and liberal parents, but live in a society that demonizes what they aren’t willing to understand. That year a queer girl picked me out of the crowd and befriended me. She knew about culture and music, and her love of Le Tigre rubbed off on me. From there I discovered a whole strong community of females on the internet. The next semester I took her to see Le Tigre for her birthday, I still remember my parents giving me money for the tickets and then driving half an hour to drop us off. I was so struck by Kathleen Hanna I began to research her extensively. I learnt about Bikini Kill and ate it all up. The music helped me realize I could be strong. It’s okay to be who I am, and if you don’t agree then you can fuck off.

Today I am a strong queer woman, and feel fortunate to be able to fight for what’s right. Without Bikini Kill/Kathleen Hanna I don’t know when or if I would have realized how inherently oppressed I am. I don’t know if I would have fully embraced myself.

It’s quite often that I’ll say to a friend “…Do you know who Kathleen Hanna is? ……Well, have you heard of Bikini Kill?…..Okay, let me tell you:”

-nina

We went on a road trip recently and were listening to Screeching Weasel when we confessed to each other that punk rock saved our lives.

Posted in Stories on March 27, 2010 by theadventureclub

I got into Bikini Kill around 2000, when I was 12 years old. I quickly got into zines, started my own distro, became a full-fledged feminist, and felt like I could conquer the world. This past year I started dating my current boyfriend, who is 11 years older than me. He lived in Olympia, saw Bikini Kill play in Los Angeles, has met Donna Dresch, did all these things I never got to do because I was just a kid when I discovered riot grrrl. I am not a traditionally jealous girl. I couldn’t care less if he looks at another woman, or even wants to sleep with another woman. Chances are I’d give him a high five and tell him to go for it! Instead, what makes me green with envy is the fact that he got to experience all of this amazing music first hand, while I sat in my parents house picking my nose and wishing I was born 10 years earlier.

We went on a road trip recently and were listening to Screeching Weasel when we confessed to each other that punk rock saved our lives. It’s an almost embarrassing statement, so cliche, but so completely fucking true. And as we drove up the coast of California we talked about how much being a teenager sucked, but how there was this kind of magical quality to it. I am 22 years old now and although I hate myself a lot less, I don’t have that fire in me that I did when I used to write zines and “fuck you” was my motto, that fire that listening to Bikini Kill gave me. I am more level-headed these days. More adult. But when I’m with him, and when I listen to Bikini Kill, I still feel that fire. I know that growing up doesn’t have to mean giving up. I know that riot grrrl saved my life, Bikini Kill saved my life, writing saved my life, zines saved my life and I am connected to all the people who feel the same way. And I am forever grateful.

-Meredith

“How Bikini Kill changed my life”

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 27, 2010 by theadventureclub

tats
Honestly, this should actually be titled, “How Kathleen Hanna Changed My Life,” but it began with Bikini Kill. Actually, it began with my aunt. She was twelve years older than me and ten years younger than my mom, which made our relationship more sisterly than aunt/niece. When I was in the eighth grade my two best friends and I walked out of our Pre-International Baccalaureate (i.e. supposedly high-quality) science class in protest when our teacher, like every other day that year, began handing out worksheets. When my aunt picked me up from school that day, she was blasting “Rebel Girl” and screaming, “This is for you!” From then on I was hooked, and since then I actively seek out other Bikini Kill fans. In high school I was lucky enough to find others, and with them and my aunt I spent many nights at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC listening to Le Tigre, The Butchies, Tami Hart, other Mr. Lady bands, and Sleater-Kinney. Kathleen Hanna inspired me to be fearless, to find my voice and fight for what I believe in.

Currently I am working towards a Master of Arts degree in Comprehensive English Education. Unfortunately my aforementioned aunt took her own life in June of 2009. I celebrate her life daily and hope she is proud of my accomplishments. Attached is a photo my best friend Paige took of our memorial tattoos for my aunt. Mine, on the left, reads: “Rebel grrrl, you are the queen of my world” (of Rebel Girl). Paige’s, on the right, reads: “We can’t hear a word they say / Let’s pretend we own the world today” (of For Tammy Rae).

That is the abridged version of how Bikini Kill and Kathleen Hanna changed my life.

-Britt Garrett

Rebel Girl- A Male Take on Bikini Kill

Posted in Stories on March 27, 2010 by theadventureclub

If you add the square footage of lawns, parking spots, sports fields, and closed big-box stores it may dawn on you that the suburbs are a vacant place. Even modest homes tend to have guest rooms, spacious basements and attics sometimes used minimally for storage. More interesting than these are the rooms left vacant by sons and daughters gone to college that are still filled with their things, preserved like museums of teenage culture. I was 14 and just getting into punk when I explored my then friend Kat’s sister’s room. I had never met Jackie but the stories of her fascinated me. She was mid-20s, bisexual, had a girlfriend (which deeply bothered her conservative parents), and had spent the last several years teaching English in Nicuagra. In my dull and sterile environ she was, on the strength of these facts alone, the most interesting local persona I had ever heard of. Her room was about the same size as mine, but how she used the space! It was a virtual rec-room complete with a TV, free-weight set, guitar, bass, and amps, art supplies, and most importantly, a sound-system with phonograph, cd player, and tapedeck. Her record collection was small but concise– Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Beat Happening, The Runaways are the ones I specifically remember drooling over. L7, wardrobed in grungewear, sneered at me from the poster on her wall.

Kat’s parents were away and I think she was making out with my friend Christian in her room, so for the time I was safely alone. I put on Dirty and sprawled out on Jackie’s bed, careful not to disturb the sheets which were neatly made for her eventual return. For a moment I pretended I was someone else, someone I wanted to be.

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Posted in Photos, Stories on March 20, 2010 by theadventureclub

I got into Bikini Kill far past its day. I was a high school student taking a guitar class in 2004. I was the only girl in a class full of metal heads.

My teacher passed a cd off to me, and I completely fell in love. It shaped the way I thought about myself and how I met my goals. The never say Die attitude taught me everything.

But I have to say the greatest thing Bikini Kill ever brought me was my best Friend Alec Smith. In 2007 I was living in LA, going to school for fashion Design. I was a bit of a misfit.

I was the friendless wonder until I noticed the boy who sat in the front of one of my draping classes. He has “Rah Rah Replica” tattooed on his arm, with the mirror image on the other. A few weeks later, I worked up the balls to say hello. He has been one of my closet friends ever since.

Skinned Teen

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

sticker
Before I saw Bikini Kill I mostly discovered music via the Melody Maker, a weekly music paper that no longer exists, and via the pages of Sassy magazine, which also no longer exists, that my American grandparents had gotten me a subscription to. I listened to bands like the Breeders, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, the Jesus and Mary Chain, went to as many shows as my mum would let me (I was 12-13 years old at this point) I felt like punk had happened, passed me by, and that although I loved the bands I was into, it wasn’t the same as “the olden days”. I always felt like I was missing out somehow. At any rate I read about BK and riot grrrl in Sassy, and immediately wanted to get involved but couldn’t figure out how as it all seemed to be happening in the USA, and I was stuck in London. I sent off for Girls Germs zine, which led to Jigsaw, and the BK zines, and Germ of Youth too-all of which I combed through for info and bands to investigate and other girls to write. THEN there was a piece on Huggy Bear in the Melody Maker, and suddenly, finally there was something happening in my town! London! Me and my friends started to go and see them play whenever we could, and they also made zines and tapes that they would give out/sell at gigs, which got us into other music and ideas , things to read, movies to watch, records to check out… Plus we all became pen pals with them (Huggy Bear) and they would make us tapes and send us letters, and send us letters written by other girls in different parts of the country to write to. We all made our own zines, and started trading them with people. It was rad!
Finally, the inevitable most dreamy thing happened-Huggy Bear and Bikini Kill toured the UK! We all bought tickets and went to every show that we could, and I think my friend Flossy told Kathleen that we were in a band (we weren’t. we had just talked about the fact we needed to do one-I had a guitar but none of us had really played music before…) Kathleen said Blood Sausage and BK were playing a show next week, and would we play?
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September 1992

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 19, 2010 by theadventureclub

setlist
The Bikini Kill/Team Dresch show was in a warehouse in West Columbus-very industrial and dirty. It was full of massive plastic hot tubs that we were jumping around in before the show. The warehouse was so gigantic that people were not packed in, which was a nice change because it would sometimes get hard to breathe at shows.
Team Dresch opened and were amazing in every way. This show was way more queer friendly than 2 years earlier so you could already see changes happening in terms of the audience and the punk scene in general. My best friend and I talked to Kathleen before the show-she had just started DJing and told us her DJ name was “DJ Lil’ Good Times”-awesome !
We gave her a T-shirt that said “Proof Enough” on it in silver glitter and she wore it onstage.
The music was amazing and Kathleen invited the lead singer of the local opening band, Miss May 66, onstage to sing Rebel Girl with her. I will never forget her singing “Sugar” and just ripping into it-still one of my favorite songs-sums up everything about that time. The biggest thing that impressed me about Bikini Kill and Kathleen Hanna herself was their generosity-they were so generous and compassionate to all their fans and friends. I can remember so many people unloading on her about really intense stuff going on in their lives and she never blinked-she always listened.

🙂 meg

BURN HOLLYWOOD BURN

Posted in Stories on March 17, 2010 by theadventureclub


I saw Bikini Kill two times in 1994 – at Gilman in Berkeley, CA and at the Las Palmas Theater in Hollywood, CA. It is the Hollywood show that I’m going to discuss here.

The evening started off spectacular. Prior to the BK show, I met Henry Rollins for the first (and only) time in my life at a meet and greet that he was doing in support of his just released Get In The Van: On The Road with Black Flag book at the Tower Records (R.I.P.) off of Sunset Blvd. I’d been a HUGE Rollins fan since the mid ’80s, so needless to say, it was a very big deal for me to meet him in person and get my picture taken with him, which I still have somewhere.

The main thing about the Las Palmas Theater show and the primary reason why I still remember it vividly 16 years after the fact is because BK (and Kathleen in particular) was BRUTALLY heckled by the audience from the word go. I had never witnessed (and haven’t ever witnessed since) such awful treatment by an audience towards a band. The thing that made it extra nauseating for me though was the fact that the show was taking place in HOLLYWOOD. While I have no doubt that BK has received similar or worse audience treatment in certain other parts of the world, never in a million years would I have expected to see such a thing in Hollywood.

I was fortunate enough to meet Kathi and Billy afterwards, both of whom were incredibly nice to me. I would’ve like to have met Tobi and Kathleen too but Toby didn’t play drums that night and Kathleen, not surprisingly, didn’t come out to meet anybody afterwards.
-Andrew Jacobs

A pep talk from some imaginary awesome older sister

Posted in Stories on March 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

I grew up in a small town in Nebraska, and the thrill of my life was when my mom would drive my sister and I to downtown Omaha on a Saturday. The biggest treat about that field trip was the record store, Drastic Plastic, where they sold our zines. That’s where I bought the Kill Rock Stars compilation LP when it came out. When I got it home and played in on my cheapo turntable, the bottom fell out of my stomach at the first chords of “Feels Blind.” I can still remember getting goosebumps when I heard that song. I would lie on my floor playing it over and over. I had a vivid dream where I was at a punk show being held in a church hall and I got on stage and sang “Feels Blind” with that same amazing force. Later I got my hands on a copy of the Bikini Kill/Huggy Bear split LP. To this day that’s one of my favorite records. When I was finally old enough to drive I recorded some of the songs onto a tape so I could blast “Suck My Left One” in my car.

Being a young woman in the early 90s might seem great in retrospect, because of all the good music we had then. But we NEEDED Bikini Kill and Bratmobile and riot grrrl zines and all the rest just to stay sane. To remember that we were right to demand respect for our bodies and our ideas, even if it seemed like so much of the world disagreed. I remember the way it felt to hear authority figures defending Clarence Thomas and feeling how that reinforced the sexual harassment that was totally normal at school. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Omaha World-Herald about the Anita Hill coverage, giving my opinion. And do you know that although they didn’t print it, some guy at the paper took the trouble to write me an angry letter back and tell me how wrong I was?? I was 14.

Anyway, thank you to everyone in Bikini Kill. Listening to “Jigsaw Youth” felt like getting a pep talk from some imaginary awesome older sister. You were giving me some of my nerve, backing me up that anger was an appropriate response to lots of teenage girl life.
-Jaime Danehey

Really Freaky

Posted in Stories on March 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

I really like this project. Here is my Bikini Kill story:

I never got to see Bikini Kill perform live. The first CD of theirs I got was “The Singles” right after it came out (in… 1997?) I was about 14 or 15 years old. Bikini Kill seemed like this kind of mythic figure in a lot of ways. They seemed “untouchable”.
Around this age (I think I was 15) I started realizing that I was queer. I had been getting a lot of harassment at school and just in public in general, for looking, essentially, like a faggot. It was really freaky and I had a hard time reconciling this with my identity. Like, “Was I really this awful thing that deserved to be screamed at and beaten up all the time?” One thing that really struck me was the song “RIP” from “Reject All American”. It was so sweet, and normal, and loving, and I was really moved by it. At 15, I considered myself asexual, was nowhere near ready to admit that I might be queer, but had an inkling. And this song really spoke to me. It was like, a friendly, sad song about about loving a queer boy and missing him when he was gone.
Also around this age I started doing a lot of mail order, like with KRS, and writing a lot of fan letters. I lived in a suburb and didn’t know many punk kids yet, so letter-writing was a real lifeline for me. Some. There was one point in the mailorder catalog, they posted that Kathleen had moved to NYC and had a PO Box. I wrote her a fan letter thanking her for the song “RIP”. And she wrote back! It was so cool! It was, like, proof that she was a real person. That generosity had a big impact on me. I was and remain a super fan.

-Max

“You looked like a riot girl.”

Posted in Stories on March 16, 2010 by theadventureclub

Taking the bus home from school in grade 7, a girl tapped me on the shoulder. She handed me a tape that had cute stickers of ladybugs and dinosaurs on it and said she thought I’d like it. Then she got off the bus. The tape had Bikini Kill, Pussy Whipped on it, amongst a few others like Huggy Bear and Babes in Toyland. This tape changed my life! I listened to it every single day and finally convinced my Dad to buy me a guitar. Still playing to this day, 15 years later. I met the girl again about 3 years ago and hugged her, thanking her for giving me that tape. She said “you looked like a riot girl”. We are still friends.
-Katie

Pussywhipped

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 7, 2010 by theadventureclub

yellow shirt
I’ve heard their name thrown around, but only came across their music for the first time while I was traveling in Paris, France, in 1995. In a used record store I found and bought “Pussywhipped” – an album which, till today, remains one of my favorites.
Their music was very angry, emotional and messy compared to most of what I’d heard until that point. The lyrics really stuck a chord, and the intensity of this short album was something I could never grow tired of.
Until this day I seek music related to members of the band, and have yet to be disappointed. But it’s Pussywhipped that’ll remain one of those albums that made me pick up a guitar and dedicate my life to music.

Oren Siegel
Snaganubbin bandmate/co-host of the Jekyll and Hyde Show on 106FM Jerusalem

Dayton, Ohio, September 1992

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 7, 2010 by theadventureclub

dayton
Bikini Kill had been touring the US in a big green van with a broken tail-light when they stopped to play Newspace in Dayton, Ohio in September of 1992. I was part of a group of about twenty teenage girls who came from all over to see them play. The show was beyond packed and really hot. As soon as the band started playing, a cadre of bullies started getting violent-pushing and slamming all the young ladies standing up front against the stage. We all had huge bruises on our legs and hips the next day but no one would budge an inch. This went on for about two songs asKathleen repeatedly pleaded with them to stop, but of course it only got worse. So she said: “Any girl who wants to dance without being hurt can come up and dance with me.” Then she reached into the crowd and pulled each of us onto the stage one by one. We all danced in a circle of joy behind Tobi Vail for the rest of show. We were all so happy we were crying and laughing and hugging. Kathleen let the guys out front who were bullying us
really have it. In a way I felt sorry for them-but I was more relieved that we were no longer at their mercy.
A lot of our guy friends (who took the great photos) told us later how jealous they were of our experience. Nine years later I was in Athens, Greece at a speed metal club (it’s huge there) and a teenage girl in the club asked me if I listened to Le Tigre. I spoke no Greek and her English was not awesome but we both knew every word to “Deceptacon!”.

🙂 Meg

Everything seemed so fucked

Posted in Stories on March 5, 2010 by theadventureclub

i was a freshman in college, alone and alienated, and i bought the “cd version of the first 2 records” cd. i was so inspired (esp. by double dare ya) that i wrote a letter to the given address, but i destroyed it because i felt young and stupid. that album was one of a few that kept me going at a time when everything seemed so fucked. thanks!
-Matt McGrath

Badass

Posted in Stories on March 5, 2010 by theadventureclub

I was too young when the Riot Grrl scene was in full swing, so I had no idea it even existed until I found Bikini Kill. I guess I was listening to Joan Jett and made the connection to BK somehow through her. I remember picking up Pussy Whipped and thinking, “What a badass name for a band and an album, I have to get this CD.” And of course once I listened to it I discovered what badass really meant! I then started learning about the Riot Grrl movement, and it opened up whole new areas of music, literature, and most importantly, ideas. So thanks Bikini Kill! Y’all rocked.
-MAC

Revolution grrl-style still!

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 4, 2010 by theadventureclub

zine
I used to do my own zine called “Catch that Beat!” during the period from 1996 and 2002. Early CTB! was a fanzine for German band “Throw that Beat!” which made by four girls. I wanted to write more political issues but other members had no interest in it. Then I decided to do CTB! by myself.

I did an interview with my favorite band, label and people like Le Tigre, Mr. Lady, Minori Kitahara (the sex toy shop owner). I really enjoyed doing the zine and I loved talking with my zine’s readers. I felt that they wanted to share their stories of sexualities, politics with someone. They were awesome.

I got a few mean letters sometimes, “Why do you write such a feminist issues? You should write about your date with a boy!” I got an interview from guys the other day and they asked me my all-time favorite music. I answered “Beat Happening”. They seemed to be dissatisfied with my answer. I thought that they expected to hear (they imagined) typical riot grrrl ideas. They totally disgusted me and lost my drive.

Then, I listened to “White Boy”. Bikini Kill sang, “I’m so sorry if I’m alienating some of you. Your whole fucking culture alienates me”. This phrase cheered me up and encouraged to be myself.

Now I’m 33 years old. I work at the office in a tall building in the business district. I don’t wear a tight t-shirts, jeans and leather wristband at work but still know my favorite “White Boy” phrase. I have been enjoying my life with my style. Revolution grrrl style still!!!
-Yayoi

Something Radical

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 4, 2010 by theadventureclub

sydney
I think Bikini Kill was one of the founding members of my feminism. Sure, I’d been pro-choice and pro-women’s rights since I was small, but BK opened the doors to something radical for me.

The first time I heard them I was about 15 (1995). I was in the car with several other teenage folks, and I remember thinking, this is good. Then I heard the voices of women and themes I could understand and I said, “I must have this! What is it?” Shortly after, I had a supposedly monogamous relationship turn not so monogamous and I was pissed. Not that it was a profound relationship (are they at that age?), but BK definitely helped me through that tough time. I started to feel proud of who I was and demand the right to be heard. I finally wrote about my sexual assault experiences and shared them with friends.
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I skipped trying to sing and started trying to scream.

Posted in Photos, Stories on March 4, 2010 by theadventureclub

man suit
i was born in 1987, grew up in a really small, conservative and catholic village next to not even bigger town and got an older brother born in 1980. as i was fourteen years old i was hanging out in his room while his tv was on and there was ´smells like teen spirit´ by nirvana on the tv. because i thought and said that i found that pretty cool my brother gave to me a cobain biography and went to buy some records with me that he said which have been “important” in the grunge era and could be interesting for me. I also got my first converse shoes what was SO important for me. like all that i grew up in another generation. but whatever. i started reading the biography and because this whole thing was just full with men i started to search out for girls who were like me. i started watching out for them in the small town i grew up but did only find boysboysboys! plus, they thought to be the kings of the highschool and all the teenagers because they were just SO alternative and SO anti. But they weren´t even cool in my eyes. while reading the cobain biography i found out about a band called ´bikini kill´and i started to have a look about articles about them and about their records and EVERYTHING!
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Bikini Kill Territory

Posted in Stories on March 4, 2010 by theadventureclub

I first heard bikini kill around 1995….and i was in 8th grade. i had been listening to other female fronted music and remember when i stumbled into bikini kill terrority.

I laid on my bed in my parents house and put on the cd version of the first 2 records. I remember being a bit scared at first to listen to it..like i was heading somewhere so different from anything else. And i was. The moment i heard that music I knew that i was different, i didnt give a fuck if the girls at school had the best clothes from the gap that i could never afford, i didnt care if boys didn’t like me and i liked girls a bit more than they did me. These lyrics..these anthems…were the soundtrack to my life.

Through the internet i found girls who were just like me. Some of those girls I’m still friends with to this day. Years of mixed tapes, trying to arrange riot grrl meetings, mailing each other zines and even starting a grrrl newsletter that i emailed to a small list of girls I met online. I wonder about some of those girls, people i talked to for years under the name vixenplus. We taught each other about so much, being so far away from one another with only the music of bikini kill to have brought us together.

I can honestly say bikini kill has shaped the person i am today.
– VIXENPLUS (jenelle)

Do your boyfriends write your songs?

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 28, 2010 by theadventureclub

peehelhs
Show Us Your Riffs

I grew up in a punk rock city. Most people think of Oshawa as an automotive town, but blue-collard workers breed an anti-middle class mentality. Cue the combat boots, rebellion and noise.
As an adult I wear dresses, own suit jackets and most often wear feathers in my hair despite Halifax’s high winds. Teenage me had bleach blonde spiked-hair (egg whites, no gel), wore cardigans with thumb-holes, shopped exclusively at Value Village (before it was trendy) and believed in revolution. In retrospect I looked more like a dyke back then when I was hanging out with metal-heads than as a
modern day femme.
Every weekend passed at the Dungeon, an underground all ages bar below Laser Quest. In the early days the venue was home to Kanker Face, The Mark Inside and The Void (now Cuff the Duke).

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Smart, Dirty, & Raw

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 28, 2010 by theadventureclub

mansuit2
Turn that song down
Turn that static up

I can’t remember exactly when I discovered punk rock, or exactly when I declared myself a feminist, but I do remember when the two came together delightfully: Bikini Kill.
Bikini Kill was not of my time or of my generation, but I can imagine they had the same effect on me as the many riot grrrls writing zines and starting bands in the early 90’s. By the time I discovered Bikini Kill, Le Tigre was on the verge of putting out their first album. Either way, I was utterly fascinated.
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Shelter, work, friendship and Love

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

kathleen
In 1993 I was 25 years old and had somehow not before found a culture that made so much real sense to me outside of books and movies and records. I was following the band around the country and videoing them on borrowed cameras and sleeping on friends and friends little sisters and riot girls’ floors and half based in London and half in Sheffield. I made friends with Sister George and Liz Naylor at Bikini Kill shows and they were the first English people I’d met who didn’t think my ideas were “weird” or “extreme”. After screening the video in New York City my heart flew there and a few months later my body followed and there (in the U.S.) I stayed for 5 years. Though “houseless” for a long time I had never before felt so “grounded”, my journal was my portable sense of place and home and the punk rock, feminist and queer communities provided me with shelter, work, friendship and Love for a few exciting years.

I remember Kathi (Wilcox) at the White Horse show in South End Green (North London) saying that Girls continuously telling her she’d changed their life was beginning to freak her out (incidentally it was at this show that i met my first ever real girlfriend). I had met Kathi at the running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain in 1991 and I remember us sitting in a deserted carnival there in the middle of the night and her telling me of exotic things such as Riot Girl, Jigsaw and the International Pop Underground.
I first heard “WE’RE BIKINI KILL AND WE WANT REVOLUTION…GIRL STYLE NOW…” on my walkman lying on my back at Pamplona station waiting for a train that took us to Morrocco.

I’m afraid that meeting you did change my life Kathi. My life would definitely not be as it is had we not met and what I did and experienced in that time has informed my life, creativity and politics in innumerable ways since. It must be strange and scary and amazing to be so influential and I hope that you’ve all gotten used to the idea by now.. it’s all just part of big constellationary chain reactions that life is best all about..

Lots of Love Ladies here’s to the many more things our lives are and will be producing..
xoxoxo Lucy Thane 2010

I still won’t shut up.

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

manshirt 2
somebody recently said, while in a conversation about feminism that riotgrrrl was dead. now, i am an emphatic girl, and sometimes when i am excited, it might sound like i am defensive, but usually i am just being passionate. when this person said that, i actually got tears in my eyes. i simply do not agree. riotgrrrl for me was the perfect way
for me to be a feminist.

i come from poverty, abuse in every single way you can think of. i come from the streets. i come from an angry blistered world, a loud pulsating din of scuzzy raw deals. i had an insane father, who then joined the army and was more insane. he was a racist, a woman and child abuser, and a misogynist. i was a sensitive kid, a hair twirler, a voracious reader, a dreamer. i cried (and still do) when i saw dead
animals on the side of the road, when someone got hurt, when bad things happened to good people. in the world of an abusive man, i became a twisted thing, a strong thing, a dubious thing.

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don’t die

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

tattoo
i first read the april fool’s zine when i was 14 and loved it just because i was obsessed with bk at the time. however, just over a year ago (at age 21), as a drug addict, had become obsessed with the page that said, “baking the cake that says don’t die”. so much so that i decided to get it tattooed on me. i wrote it with a sharpie and told the artist to copy it exactly. it’s just the text for now, but i intend to have it turned into a cake at some point.
just figured i’d share how important what you’ve done has been to me.
-dani

Getting a bad reputation

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

kathleen and billy
I started listening to Bikini Kill as a sophomore in high school. This was definitely the most challenging year for me as far as teenage angst goes. The previous year I had been student council secretary and was the poster child for white, wholesome youth. At the end of my freshman year however, I had started to struggle with depression and began to question a lot about my community and myself. I arrived at school the next year noticeably changed.

At this point I started listening and learning about a lot of female-led music. Bikini Kill kept coming up in things that I would read and it seemed to me that they had the reputation for being the most radical female-led Riot Grrl group. As soon as I could I bought their EP. It soon became the soundtrack for the rest of my sophomore year.

As a young Mormon woman, I had rarely, if ever, seen women expressing themselves the way that Kathleen Hannah and other Riot Grrls did. It truly intrigued me.

My mom was very concerned with the image I was slowly building. One day after seeing me talking with some classmates she disapproved of, she told me that I was risking “getting a bad reputation.” I quietly smiled, remembering lyrics from my favorite Bikini Kill song:

“We’re the girls with the bad reputations, we’re the girls we’re gonna make you paaayy, We’re the girls with the bad reputations, we are gonna have our waaayy…”

As soon as I got home I went downstairs to my bedroom and started playing the song. I felt that there were other girls out there like me when I heard the lyrics. The next morning the words appeared on my bedroom wall, I had written them out to remind me to be proud of who I am, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

I certainly owe a lot to Bikini Kill and other strong female musicians that set a good example for me. To this day I continue to follow my heart and could care less about my reputation.
-Janice Formichella

Their music was angry, and so was I.

Posted in Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

bk in hawaii
“I’m so sorry if I’m alienating some of you. Your whole fucking culture
alienates me”

These lyrics from “White Boy” by Bikini Kill represent exactly how I’ve
felt for the past 8 years. I’ve grown up with an unrelenting feeling of
bitterness, depression and resentment towards a culture that normalizes
rape. Bikini Kill felt this way too. When I discovered Bikini Kill, I
found my voice. Their music was angry, and so was I. But along with the
anger in their music was something that I didn’t have; hope. Bikini Kill
helped me realize that it was possible to be both angry and hopeful at
the same time, and this was extremely important for me. Listening to
Bikini Kill, even to this day, is therapeutic. Their lyrics and music
helped me heal and I am so fucking thankful for that.

Kayla H.

Letter from Kathleen

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

A letter Kathleen wrote to me in response to a letter I had written her when I was 16 or 17:
letterfront
letterback

-Jennifer Weitman

Rebel Girls in the Midwest

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

curvy girls burlesque
Little Mama’s Burly-Q Revue, Columbia, Missouri’s queer feminist burlesque troupe, performed a number to Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” which was an audience favorite for years. The theme of the number was “locker room antics” and the performers went all out to show the spectators their rebellious sides. By the end of the number, each troupe member ripped off her A-shirt to reveal a message scrawled across her midsection in Sharpie marker; messages like “Fat Femme Bitch” or “love yr-self” or “CURVY” which didn’t wash off their bellies for days. One of the main goals of the troupe was to celebrate the beauty of women’s bodies, no matter what size they are. This particular number definitely showcased the feisty feminists with all their glorious curves, and the audience ate it up.
–Sassy McNasty, founding member of Little Mama’s Burly-Q Revue

Big lightning bolt hit my brain and my heart

Posted in Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

I used to be a pale and weak girl with low self-esteem.
I always thought I was a little different from other students at high school. it was a girl’s school. I just couldn’t feel right being there. and i concerned about that. and i also concerned about my sexuality.
but first time I listened to Bikini Kill, Big lightning bolt hit my brain and my heart! and i was like “I haven’t seen people like them before in this school. and three of them are girls just like me!” and I realized that I don’t have to be the same as anybody else and I want to scream like you guys! and I wondered “What does Bikini Kill mean?” “What does Riot mean???”
yeah, I’m Japanese. so at that time I couldn’t understand what Bikini kill sings about? but I could feel the power from your music. It was intense moment for me. ever since i heard this word Riot, I got the word stuck in my head for many years. that means a lot to me.
and I finally made my own jewelry brand called Riot works.
anyway,I was so curious about everything happening around Bikini Kill. and I am still. your music always makes me to think this way like I can do anything I want, even though I am a girl.

I have been dying for having my own band since I me Bikini kill. and i now am 32 years old and finally i started my own band called kodkod with great girls members since 2008. now I scream a lot. I found that screaming is a lot of fun!

oh and one of my regret things the most in my life is that I missed your gig at Heaven’s door in Tokyo. I didn’t have an internet or something like good information tool. so when I found a flyer about the gig, it already finished. I still remember how i was depressed about it.
sorry for my poor English!

love, Rico

Madonna vs. Bikini Kill

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 24, 2010 by theadventureclub

waif 1992
The first time I ever heard Bikini Kill. My life was forever changed!! I loved punk rock, but the first time I heard Kathleen’s voice I knew punk rock loved me back. Every word was about me, my best friend or the girl who sat next to me in math. Bikini Kill gave me a voice, Broadened my horizons. Bikini Kill made me, me. The band I loved more than any other in High school, was the only one I never saw. Some people wish they could see Madonna in 1989, I wish I could have seen Bikini Kill in 1993!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your band has ment a lot to me and it always will!
-Taryn Abeyta

2/14/10 Riot Grrrl Cover Show

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 22, 2010 by theadventureclub

cover band
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.

Continue reading

Weirdo-Cool

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 22, 2010 by theadventureclub

kathleen ing is free
When I was in 9th grade, I hated everyone. It was 1994 and I wanted to be punk and a club kid but my parents wouldn’t let me go to all night parties. I went to all ages shows with a backpack and platform Nikes. I wanted to be cool, but not cool-cool. Weirdo-cool. I became friends with an older girl who played me Double Dare Ya and Alien She and my brain was on the wall, BUT I didn’t wanna lose my “cool” so I was like “oh it’s just okay.” She was like, “borrow these albums and listen.” And I did. And then like a week later I was like, “Dude: Bikini Kill!” and she was like “See? Told ya so.” We went back and forth on what our fave songs were and convinced some dude who was obsessed with us to drive us all over the east coast whenever they played (we lived in Long Island). When I turned 16 or 17 I went to see BK at The Bank in NYC and Kathleen wanted to get rid of her clothes cuz they were touring. She threw out this red leotard with hearts into the crowd and I caught it. I was slightly ashamed of being a sycophant but then was like whatever, fuck it, cuz it was a damn cool leotard and let’s be real: I was a fucking fan. She also threw out her fanzine called April Fools Day, which years later would be one of my motivators to get sober. I’m now in my 8th year of sobriety, still have that leotard, and the fanzine, and a BK t shirt, and everything everything everything. My favorite band of all time. So much gratitude. Oh and my super cool older friend who introduced me? She’s sober too. Bikini Kill runs through my life til this day like thread through a needle, everything I do is stitched in its color.
-Leslie Arfin

The other pieces are out there somewhere

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 22, 2010 by theadventureclub

tobi sinigng
When I started listening to Bikini Kill it was around 2003/4. I was 16/17, starting university and beginning to find music that better represented me as a queer female. It was an overwhelming time filled with so many important bands, Le tigre, sleater kinney, gossip, basically the KRS and K roster. It came at a time when I found feminism both culturally and academically and it drove my learning and still does.

White boy made me feel proud to listen to such an amazing band, and rebel girl made me wanna get up and dance and sing out. Jigsaw is the song/article that sticks with me most. It is to this day one of the most inspirational and affirming things I’ve ever heard/read. At a time when trying to figure out my own sexuality, it helped me realise it was ok to not conform to black and white or binary standards, that I could be fluid in every aspect of my life, that we are not simply stuck as the one person forever. I liked that someone else understood that being a walking contradiction is not weird or wrong. I got a tattoo of a jigsaw piece soon after and whenever I get the oh so common “where’s the rest of it?” I smile because I know the other pieces are out there somewhere, that I’m one part of a whole. Being a sociology/politics student, I loved gender studies and I loved that it was so easy to connect it all into my own life with the lessons I learned from riot grrrl. It helped bridge the gap between academic and real life. I wrote my dissertation on the effects of riot grrrl on third wave feminism and I loved every second of it. Its by far my proudest and most passionate piece of work. BK incite emotions. Sometimes not the ones you think.

I love BK for what they gave the world and more specifically me. Riot grrrl is everything, even in 2010 to a 23 year old student from Glasgow, Scotland who never did see BK, bratmobile, heavens to betsy or team dresch play live. I don’t know who’d I’d be today without that music, that writing and feeling. The herstory of riot grrrl is an inspiration that never did die and never will.
-Nicola Kelly

A Feminist Dude

Posted in Stories on February 22, 2010 by theadventureclub

I was a sophomore in college far from home when I saw Bikini Kill with local band XXY at Le Cafe Shakes in Lincoln, Nebraska, October of 1994. Both bands were great, and I remember Kathleen stepping off the stage during a song, parting the crowd, and doing a cartwheel/walkover thing on the floor right in front of where I was standing. After the show, my buddy and I were outside the place, and Kathleen was sitting there and had what looked like a “receiving line” of fans waiting to talk to her. I was (and still am) a big fan, so I got on the line. I figured I’d say hi, great show, etc., like everyone else. I forced my friend to wait while I stood on the line. By the time the woman in front of me reached Kathleen, I realized I was the only person left on line. I also realized that this woman must have actually known Kathleen. So now I’m standing there like a weirdo, awkwardly loitering near two friends having a long conversation, all the while my buddy asking, Can we go now? Finally, Kathleen notices me there, and politely asks, “were you waiting for something?” I mumbled something about how I read she was working with Joan Jett, and she said she was, but now I was pretty much frightened, and could think of nothing else to say but “is she still with the Blackhearts?” and Kathleen gave a confident “of course.” I finally slinked away, wondering what she could have possibly thought of me, especially since I looked pretty scary back then with my long hair and aversion to “shaving” (picture Jesus in a flannel and a baseball cap). She was very nice to me, though, despite my possible creepiness, and she and the band gave a great performance that night. As a feminist dude and punk rocker, it was one of my favorite moments that I’ll never forget. Thank you, Kathleen.
-Jere Smith

My First Time

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 20, 2010 by theadventureclub

Kathleen performing
The first time I ever saw, or even heard, Bikini Kill was in Denver, Colorado, maybe around 1994? I had just gotten back from a year as an exchange student, and my friends took me to the Mercury Café to see this awesome, female punk band that they just knew I would love. Before the show, I was in the downstairs bathroom, and this adorable girl came in and started putting on make-up. She told me she really liked my dress (I was wearing a super-cute red 1960s mini dress with gold embroidery and my white Doc Martens). I thanked her, and we chatted for just a minute. Low and behold, the adorable girl was the singer, who was a force of nature and even shouted down some jeering heckler. The show was fan-fucking-tastic! My friends were right, this band was right up my alley.

-NLL

bk=so emotional baby

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 20, 2010 by theadventureclub

BK lyrics sheet
listening to “jet ski” at 15 when i broke up with my boyfriend, listening to it at 25 after a breakup with the same guy and it STILL holds true.

singing “alien she” with my best friend annie who i haven’t seen in years.

crying my eyes out with “for tammy rae” just because.

listening to the huggy bear/ bikini kill spit LP so many times that she just doesn’t play like she used to.

I work at an Assisted Living facility and I will sneak yr music to a lot of my residents and they just love it, they really like “distinct complicity” best.

I’ll love you forever and always.

xo rebecca

Claw and Scream

Posted in Stories on February 20, 2010 by theadventureclub

Now 23, I fell in love with Bikini Kill in 8th grade, when an article on Sleater-Kinny referred to them. My curiosity piqued, I went to the Kill Rock Stars site and found their free downloads. I fell in love immediately and bought all their albums, one by one, with what little money I had, as well as the albums of other artists I may not have ever learned about or paid attention to otherwise. (More proof that companies can make more money by releasing some songs for free.)

Now, keep in mind, I am 23, so 8th grade was 4 years after the release of Reject All American.

Bikini Kill was over by the first time I’d ever heard them referred to, and as far as I could tell, the Riot Grrl movement had never really taken off in my area of the Bible Belt anyway. Nonetheless, they helped me through some of the worst years of my life. Continue reading

Muchas gracias!

Posted in Stories on February 20, 2010 by theadventureclub

Hello!

I received and email from BUST magazine that mentioned you are looking for people’s Bikini Kill stories and I could not resist writing you! I tried not to write so much but could not stop myself. So many great memories!

Bikini Kill was a huge part of my teenage years. My first live experience was at the old Vets Hall in Santa Cruz back in, I think, early 1994 at the age of 15. My boyfriend at that time, Ben (now my husband) drove me and some other friends in his beat up ’81 Capri with red vinyl interior the hour or so journey to the show. We listened to cassette tapes of Bikini Kill the whole time there and the excitement escalated with each flip of the tape.

Before the show we went down the street to the liquor store and ran into Kathleen Hanna on the way in the parking lot. I was so damn excited! We took a picture with her as she was eating an astro pop from the liquor store and that photo was proudly displayed in my pink Hello Kitty wallet for years afterward.

When the band started that night, I was in awe. Never had I been to a show like this before. I remember part way through the show Kathleen saying it was time for all of the girls to be up front so I made my way though the sweaty men who had been taking up the front area and continued to have a blast! I was in heaven. I bought my first Bikini Kill shirt after the show and wore it with pride to school the next day.

After that we went and saw them at 924 Gilman in Berkeley. I can not recall how many times or when the shows were, just that we had an amazing time at each one. Ben would take photos at most of the Gilman shows we would go to. I once mailed a color photo from one of those shows we printed in class in high school to Bikini Kill. Not sure if they ever received it or not. It was probably in ’94 or ’95. We have quite a few photos from back in the day that we could probably dig out.

I even remember also once entering a contest through Sonic Death, the Sonic Youth zine I used to get, to win a bag of Bikini Kill van trash! It probably was not real but I gave it a go anyway!

This band meant so much to me and influenced so much of what I was in the ‘90s and I thank them for that. They gave me confidence as a young woman. When we would be at shows back then I would notice that the guys seemed to think twice before giving us girls trouble since they knew we had a voice and were a force to be reckoned with!

Muchas gracias!

xoxo

Elisa Holt

Alameda, CA

Double Dare Ya

Posted in Stories on February 20, 2010 by theadventureclub

Some years ago, when I was in junior high, I walked into my local record store (Siren Records in Doylestown, PA), looking for a Babes in Toyland album. The guy working there told me they didn’t have the album I was looking for, but did I want to try listening to this other band and did I have a record player? I thought of the turntable-speaker combo I had at home, yes, and he handed me a Bikini Kill 7″ told me to give it a try. I took it home, listened to it, and it rocked my 14-year-old world. This was 1994 and I have been a fan ever since. The earnest, driving– yet at times playful– female frontedness of the band was the soundtrack for so much of what I was experiencing as a cynical feminist punk teenager….It just made sense. “Pussy Whipped” was my go-to album. A couple years later when my sister and some of our girl friends started a band, it was only natural that the first songs we played were Bikini Kill songs. In Julia’s living room, we belted out the words to “Feels Blind” and “Double Dare Ya” and that was how our band got started… In fact, one day as we practiced, we were so excited about what we were doing that we ran out front and told the mailman, “Hey, we’re really excited about this! Listen!” and played “Feels Blind” for him. I’m not sure he was as excited about it as we were, but it was a good start.

__________________________________________________

Regards,
Allie Pope Burger

I didn’t get caught, either

Posted in Stories on February 20, 2010 by theadventureclub

My first exposure to Bikini Kill was when I was 14, either 1993 or early 1994. A guy friend of mine talked me into going to the Soul Kitchen in El Cajon, CA. I was grounded, one of few times ever in my life, and I climbed out of my bedroom window to meet my friend around the corner, where he and his parents were going to pick me up in their giant van. I remember I wore a Nirvana t-shirt. Kathleen was sick and couldn’t really sing. I was very intimidated by the crowd, satchels and bowl cuts and cardigans filled the little club. I know that being able to say that I saw Bikini Kill is a big deal and know that I was lucky to have my friend convince me to go. I didn’t get caught, either.

Monika Seitz Vega

First Time Seeing Bikini Kill

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

tobi singing

10/30/94
I ‘m going to see Bikini Kill and Free Kitten tonight at CBGB. Fingers crossed that I’ll get in but unless there’s a line around the corner, I should. I’ve really wanted to see Bikini Kill for a while now. The last time they played (NY) I was in Georgia. It would be really amazing in Joan Jett got up on stage with them.

11/5/94
About Bikini Kill/Free Kitten. I had an incredible time. They were great. Cool thing was when Bikini Kill were playing Kim Gordon was standing to the right of me, Thurston Moore was standing to my left, the guy from Pavement in front of me and the second girl from Free Kitten behind me. It felt pretty cool having all these musicians that I respect standing there, hanging out, not really with me, but relaxed by me watching the show. I talked to Thurston Moore for a while afterwards and he seemed real nice. It was very casual, not a rock star-fan thing. Went out the next night to see 7 Year Bitch & Alice Donut.

-Steve Beckham

My experience with Bikini Kill, ’92-’94

Posted in Stories on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

Way back in the early 90’s I worked in a coffee shop in DC. At that point Bikini Kill was already well known; but not to me, a young woman experiencing urban life and women’s studies stuff for the first time.
In theory, I was drawn to riot-grrl music–the lyrics, the culture, the style, the attitude. However, the provincial world of Washington D.C did not provide a world conducive to open-minded fresh off the boat learning. Instead, it was all about who you knew, who you went to school with, who you fucked, who served you a drink at Food For Thought.
I served coffee to Kathleen Hanna a few times at the coffee shop, she was pleasant, I listened at home to particular angry lady songs. But, every time I went out to shows my feelings at home, and the emotions in my ears were proved wrong by the very particularly cliquesh atmosphere I found at the shows.
I kept listening, however, I just couldn’t help my love for a few of the Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, Huggy Bear songs. A year or so later, I went to a Bikini Kill show in the basement of George Washington University. My excitement was palpable, despite my self-conscious reservations….then, the band came on, they sang the same songs they’d been singing for years, the same girls and guys with the same attitudes rushed the stage.
And I realized that the feminist projections and hopes I’d had all along were my own private ideals pushed onto a very popular phenomenon.
-Jennifer Rogers

What BK Means to Me!

Posted in Stories, Uncategorized on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

Billy and Kathleen making faces
My wife and I used to sing Rebel Girl and Alien She to each other (though secretly, since we didn’t disclose we both had a case of “Love at First Sight”). Now we’re happily “married” (until it’s legal, then we’ll be happily Married). Since we started dating we have put BK songs on our “world famous” LesMixes. We have a daughter (3 years old) and she’ll be hearing our collection of Bikini Kill when she gets old enough to appreciate them as much as we do! : )

– Kristi & Victoria (little Dahlia, too!)

Rah Rah Replica

Posted in Stories on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

That I had to start my own friggin cover band!
I have been in bands playing guitar and singing for over a decade and I started at age 12 in the 90’s in part because of Bikini Kill. They were the best FU to macho hair rock that did nothing but degrade women. They were real and passionate and had a purpose. That has been lacking so much in the music scene here in Baltimore that I started to think all the women just got up and left the city. I wanted to bring back the attitude, the confrontations and the fun and the best way I saw to do it was get together with other BK lovers and show a new younger audience what is possible – you don’t have to just be the girlfriend! You can be the artist!
good luck with whatever you are doing! BK has been such an inspiration to many people I know.
xo, Shawna
http://www.myspace.com/RahRahReplicaBaltimore

On my Casio boombox

Posted in Stories, Uncategorized on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

looking up
Yes!!! I believe it was in 1991. I was 15 years old and living in a suburb of LA. I got a hold of a tape of a tape of a tape from a friend and it blew my mind! I was so inspired by the notion of sisterhood and girl power. Two years later I went to college and declared a Women’s Studies major 🙂

I actually have a VHS taping of them playing at the Hong Kong Cafe in LA. It was probably in 2003 or 2004? It was around the same time as a Yo Yo A Go Go festival, I think.

My favorite memories of seeing Bikini Kill are: the first time at the Jabberjaw in LA; and another time in San Diego. A friend of mine was recently killed by her boyfriend (who was strung out on crack at the time), and I had a nice heart to heart with Kathleen Hanna about it. She dedicated a song to my friend and it meant a lot to me.

I would say Bikini Kill changed the course of my life, and I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t listened to that cassette tape on my Casio boombox…

– Madeline Yang

February 14th, 1991

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub


I remember on Feb. 14th 1991 we (Bratmobile) played our first show ever with Bikini Kill. It was their second show (the first was Satyricon in Portland?) Anyway, we knew they were going to be the best and we couldn’t have been more excited because it wasn’t just our first show as a band, it was our first show IN a band! We had been making up songs for over a year and practicing for a few months in Robert’s (ex-Some Velvet Sidewalk and Snakepit) practice space behind House of Records in Eugene. I can’t speak for Allison but I’m pretty sure we felt the same – like what the fuck are we doing?… but it’s so exciting we can’t not do it! Besides the show being amazing and trans-formative on multiple personal levels one cool memory is that Bikini Kill did ginseng shots before the show. Hilarious. Happy 19 year anniversary BK!
-Molly Neuman

An Empowered Future for Everyone

Posted in Stories, Uncategorized on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

I hardly even have the words. How do you express immeasurable gratitude? When I found Bikini Kill, I was a middle school kid who was beyond frustrated, beyond disappointed that my potential role models were either men or women who complacently accepted their role on the losing end of patriarchy. Even as an athlete, the women I looked up to talked in interviews about how they hid their athleticism from their husbands and boyfriends so as not to emasculate them. They talked about how they were always so happy to leave the “butch” on the field and get dolled up. No thanks. Bikini Kill and riot grrrl was my entry point to a lifestyle that celebrated women, individualism, assertion, and vocal refusal to accept the status quo. To me, they were a voice against violence against women, a voice against oppression, and a voice against misogyny. I’m a social worker now. My sole purpose in life is to work towards social justice and advocate for those who are oppressed. I truly believe that Bikini Kill planted the seed that feminist theory fed that eventually grew into an intense, all consuming desire to fight for an empowered future for everyone.

Kathleen, Kathi, Tobi: Sincerely, thank you. Thank you.

Katie

Blue Hair and Mohawks

Posted in Stories, Uncategorized on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

I forged my mom’s signature and switched to an alternative school where all the kids had blue hair and mohawks. We used to blast bikini kill in the short bus on the way there at 8am. This was the first time I ever listened to Bikini Kill and I became hooked. Bikini Kill inspired me to start my own punk rock band called Padded Hell. I was a shy kid, but being able to scream in front of an audience like kathleen hannah made me come out of my shell. thanks bikini killl! 😉
-Audrey Hell

The music festival was called Summersault

Posted in Stories on February 17, 2010 by theadventureclub

It was a long, long time ago. The music festival was called Summersault. It was one fo the many festivals that jumped up very quickly in the first few years of the Big Day Out, but didnt have the staying power. So I think it would have been 10-15 years ago. Beck was also on the bill and from what I remember he chucked a tanty until they put him on the big stage, even though he wasted it by only having him and a guitar, whilst Rancid worked their arses off bouncing and jumping all over the place on teh smaller side stage. The stage that you were on.

At the time, I could not really call myself a Bikini Kill fan. I had heard of you, and had heard ‘Rebel Girl’, but knew you more as ‘riot grrl’ and ‘punk’ icons as such. Sorry to brand you with such wankitude, but that was all I knew at the time.

So I wander over to the side stage to hear you play, and you were very good. You played ‘Rebel Girl’, and a few others that the suitably alternative girls who made up most of the crowd knew. I was the chubby, scruffy outer suburban 20 year old bloke in a felix the cat T-shirt and shorts. I’m sure you remember me. Anyway, my major memory of that concert is when Kathleen introduces a song with a preamble that I remember to this day. This is not word for word, but it is pretty close:

“This is a new song, and it is about when you, as a woman, are talking about sexism and date rape and sexual assault to your brother, or whatever, and he is all like ‘nah that doesnt happen all the time’ and you have to explain to him and he doesnt understand and stuff like that. But its a new song, and you probably wont be able to understand any of the words anyway.”

You then launched into a blistering screamy type song, which again going with the tone of the show and the band, was very good. But I will be damned if I dont remember the little speech, and the dirty looks I got from the chicks around me for laughing, rather than the song itself.

So, for what it’s worth, theres my Bikini Kill story. I also once met a girl in Geelong who said that she met you at Rock and Roll High School once, but that is not my story, more hers.

I hope this story was usefull, interesting, or at least helped you while away a few pointless minutes reading it.

Don’t stop a-rocking,

Alvin

Jigsaw Youth

Posted in Stories on February 12, 2010 by theadventureclub

BIKINI KILL, live, onstage, were perfect. Kathleen, Kathi, Billy, and Tobi and the crowd were fucking perfect. If you saw them, and I mean really saw them, you would agree. If you don’t agree, then I guess you never really saw them.
Carlos Cañedo
143CC!

my BK story

Posted in Stories on February 12, 2010 by theadventureclub

Bikini Kill was the source of of my “Click”… that moment when feminism first makes sense to you and your own personal life.

I was sitting in my friend’s basement, and she played Suck My Left One. I had never felt so validated and energized before. I felt as though I had always been trying to relate to music that wasn’t really meant for me. Bikini Kill was music that was effortless to relate to. It was really empowering. Their music got me through many hard times in my life. They were my early morning fuel before I faced daily gay-bashings at my high school and abuse from my brother. They gave me strength and they gave me hope. I carry that energy into my writing, projects, healing process, and films I create.

Squish,
Jacquie P.

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 12, 2010 by theadventureclub

one of the coolest shows and greatest experiences of my life was seeing bikini kill play on the roof of a parking garage at drexel university in philly in the spring/summer of 1994. city night skyline off to the side, hanging with my crush at the time, being blown away by how wide-open my little boring suburban life was beginning to feel….it was fucking awesome. bought a $5 t-shirt from one of the band members that i wore for years until holes and rips rendered it unwearable. i still won’t let my wife throw it away, though; it’s in storage, where it will stay the rest of my life.

loved that shirt, loved that show, loved that band, loved that time. thank you.

– mike

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 12, 2010 by theadventureclub

My first, actually, only time to see Bikini Kill live was at one of many reboots of the legendary Antenna Club in Memphis, TN.

I got there early. Not many people yet. (It’s Memphis, so even when the crowd showed up, there was still not many people… ) I noticed a cute girl playing an outdated video game in the corner of the bar. Asteroids, Centipede, something like that. She looked kinda cool. When she finished the game and turned around, I knew that she was Kathleen Hanna.

Did I recognize her face right off? No. This was back in the day when not everyone you knew had the internet, or the internet on their phone.

This was back in the day when Bust Magazine wasn’t available on your local book/music store. This was back in the day when just about the only photos you saw of an indie artist was whatever they included with the cd/album. But I knew it was her. How?

When she turned around, I saw the front of the band t-shirt she was wearing. The band? The Jam.

Even though Memphis has produced some great music, and even though there might be some cool chicks here, none, and I mean NONE of them would be wearing a Jam t-shirt. I still live in Memphis and I still have not seen anyone else here wearing a Jam t-shirt. Boy or girl.

And that’s what I remember about my first Bikini Kill show. Well, that and the fact that they f’n rocked!

David Jett

“Please try not to say the f-word so much.”

Posted in Stories on February 11, 2010 by theadventureclub

Aside from Bikini Kill convincing me that I did not have to look like I could be on Baywatch to be hot, my big Bikini Kill story is this: in high school, I had a boyfriend who fancied himself a bass player, so naturally I used this to borrow his bass and learn how to play myself. The only song I ever really learned was “I Like Fucking.” I hid the tabs in my room, fearful that my mom would yell at me for learning such a “terrible” song. She eventually found the tabs (and lyrics). Her only comment: “Please try not to say the f-word so much.”

Jessie

The tape was called ‘Suck My Left One’

Posted in Stories on February 11, 2010 by theadventureclub

I used to write to a girl when I was a teenager; I was coming out as trans and she was a lesbian, and we would make these really inspiring tapes for each other. She made me a mixed tape of Bikini Kill on one side and 7 Year Bitch on the other, and she made a cover for it with a woman baring her breast. The tape was called ‘Suck My Left One’. Years later I got into the riot grrrl scene in Leeds, UK and they would run a night called this also. It was such a great time full of great people coming together to dance to riot grrrl, swap fanzines and generally get active and creative.
– Neil

how I start listening to bk and more

Posted in Stories on February 11, 2010 by theadventureclub


I remember, in 2004 (because right now, I’m 11 years old), I was 7 and my mom listen to punk music since that she’s 14 so I’m really into it. The first punk band that was my favourite was called “Harum Scarum” and I was 4, it was like political punk rock with female singers. I was really in love with punk bands with female singers and I’m still in. At the age of 6 my favorite band ever was Team Dresch and my hero was Kaia Wilson. My mom was playing a lot of Heavens to Betsy and a bit of Sleater-Kinney. And I didn’t know it but I was in love with a lot of Riot Grrrl bands…. The first time that I’ve heard Bikini Kill was, when my mom was playing Pussy Whipped. I didn’t pay attention to the songs because we had a tons of punk rock/hardcore/metal albums and for me it was just a punk rock record like the others. I start to pay attention to it when Rebel Girl start playing. I was not that good in english at this time cause I speak French, but I knew what “Rebel girl, you are the queen of my world!” means. I liked it, but I thougt it was weird a bit. I didn’t know the name of this record or even the name of the band. I start to love bikini kill when y mom bought Reject All American (I was 8) and for me it was the best record ever released. I remeber that I was sit in the living room and I was
waiting for the song “Reject All American” because I’ve never heard a song who was saying stuff like “Reject All American” “Think he’s cool but really, he’s not”.
And a thing that totally destroy me and that made me stop listening to you is that, one day, I asked to my mom “Mom, can we go one day at a bikini kill show?” and my mom told me something like “Honey, that made a long time that bikini kill broke up !” and I remember crying. But now, I’m REALLY more into Riot Grrrl and Bikini Kill than 2004-05… Like I have a big book with Bikini Kill links on the web, and I check on Ebay everyday about bk, like I’ve paid $40 for 2 bk zines and 2 kathleen zines. And I’m gonna buy a Bikini Kill press cutting collection soon… And I’m wondering everyday if Bikini Kill will do a reunion one day. And at the end of 2009, I’ve met a girl in school and she listen to bikini kill right now cause I was always talking about bk to her. Like right now when someone bother her, she’s like “SUCK MY LEFT ONE!!” or “I don’t need yr atti-fucking-tude boy” and we always sing bk songs together and I’ve made her a mixtape and right now, she say that the best song ever released is Suck My Left One and I’m happy cause I have a friend who understand my love to Bikini Kill. Oh! And one last thing! I was in NYC this summer August 2009 , and my mom wanted to go at the ABC NO RIO for see a band called Witch Hunt cause we both love this band. Their last song was “White Boy” but it was more faster than the original song, so I didn’t know that it was this song. But when I realized it, I was jumping everywhere and screaming the song. I was like a kid with punks everywhere and it was so fucking cool. That’s the first time that I’ve heard a Bikini Kill cover like “live” and that I was there for real. I think that—- No! I’m pretty sure that I’m gonna have a Bikini Kill tattoo one day even if I will be like 14 and everybody will think that I’m too young but Bikini Kill totally changed my life and my ideas of what the music is and was. The last thing that I have to say is GIRLS DON’T WEAR BIKINI CUZ THE BIKINI KILL

Lenora D.

bizarro-world

Posted in Stories on February 11, 2010 by theadventureclub


when bikini kill was touring the uk with huggy bear in 1993, nels bernstein, who was the publicist for sub pop back then, sent a fax on sub pop stationary to most of the rock journalists and editors in the UK, strenuously and obnoxiously arguing that nobody would care about Bikini Kill if they were all men, and that they were getting their publicity “for free” which was confusing, because it gave the impression that sub pop must only get publicity by paying for it. It was also really confusing why he felt so strongly about this that he’d try to talk editors and writers into ignoring BK and stop writing about them, which was what he was asking them to to do. Like some kind of bizarro-world anti-publicist, he had taken it upon himself to use his skills and contacts as a successful press agent to try to reduce the press attention that BK received. Does anybody who is reading this have a copy of his fax, i’d love to see it word for word again after all these years.

slim moon

I saw Bikini Kill once at Gilman St.

Posted in Stories on February 11, 2010 by theadventureclub

I saw Bikini Kill once at Gilman St. They were playing with Tribe 8. Jello Biafra was in the crowd. I was considering running for mayor of Los Angeles at the time, so I got into a long conversation with him about running for mayor, as he had run for mayor of San Francisco years before. I remember that he didn’t care for Bikini Kill at all. I believe I thought they were OK. I got into their music on record later on.

Adam Bregman

I hitched a ride with a fellow backpacker to Olympia

Posted in Stories on February 11, 2010 by theadventureclub

Bikini Kill changed my life. Seriously, it/they/you did. I first
heard Bikini Kill in late 1992 on public radio in Adelaide, Australia.
I had finished university exams the day before and I was basking in
the freedom of a study-less existence. The on-air announcer played
Rebel Girl, and it hit the spot. That Christmas I received a copy of
Pussy Whipped and I played it extensively, both for my own edification
and my friends’. Surprisingly, a number of my friends – who weren’t
as interested in punk rock as I was – also liked the record. Blood
One still ranks as one of my favourite album-opening tracks. Hearing
Bikini Kill led me to other Kill Rock Stars releases, and K Records –
an interest that remains almost 20 years later (both of my hoodies are
KRS, plus a couple of well-worn t-shirts).

In 1994 I travelled through the United States, making a point of
heading to the Pacific North-West to indulge my interest in the
Olympia punk rock scene (I’d long wised up to where the so-called
Seattle sound took its artistic and ideological cues). I read a
listing in a free weekly saying that Bikini Kill was playing in
Olympia – excited to the point of mania, I hitched a ride with a
fellow backpacker to Olympia, only to discover that there was no
Bikini Kill show. After ringing the KRS offices (“there’s some guy on
the phone, with like a wierd accent, who wants to know about a Bikini
Kill show”), I hung around to see a few other bands (including Kicking
Giant) and made it my quest to see Bikini Kill somewhere on the US
tour the band had just undertaken.

Discovering that Bikini Kill was playing in Washington DC around the
time I was expecting to be in that part of the country, I made a point
of orchestrating my travel plans to get there in time. By this stage
I’d hooked up with a university frend of mine (whose interests ran
more to the high end of visual arts, but who was willing to head along
to a punk show – and good on him for being so broad-minded) and we
walked from the hostel to the Black Cat to see the show. That show –
which sold out an hour after we got there – still ranks as my
favourite live show, ever. The line-up – Slant 6, Team Dresch and
Bikini Kill – was brilliant. The sense of community in the audience
was palpable (and the jukebox wasn’t too band either!). I still have
the diary entry I composed the next day, and it still resonates all
these years later.

Later on I saw Bikini Kill play a festival show in Adelaide (the first
ever live review I wrote – it was published on a fan site run out of a
college in New York, probably no long defunct), and a show in Canberra
during my brief tenure there. I actually stood next to Kathleen while
getting a beer before the show and had one of those ‘fuck, I don’t
know what to say’ moments and stood there awkwardly – and have
regretted not conveying my appreciation ever since.

A few years ago I saw a band in Melbourne (where I now live) play a
cover of Rebel Girl, and it was a quality moment. A few weeks ago I
had the opportunity of programming an hour’s music at 3am on Melbourne
public radio – the first song I played was Blood One.

Patrick Emery

Driving Around Aimless Blaring Revolution Girl Style Now

Posted in Stories on February 11, 2010 by theadventureclub

A friend of mine during my freshman year of high school turned me onto Bikini Kill via a cassette mix tape that had been dubbed and passed on many times before getting into my hands circa 1994. Hearing not only a female do what I thought of then as just “punk rock” but also hearing songs that were about actual issues that seemed so much more relatable than the older punk albums I had been listening to was what shaped me into who I am today, 16 years later – and who I’ll be forever going forward. The music appealed to my female, punk loving friends, but also to me, an awkward overweight baby-faced male, because I saw that it was addressing in a broader way issues that involved feeling like a minority. It was music that spoke to me in a way that nothing had before it. Even at that young age could see a larger picture of issues surrounding me in the great big world… that seemed SO much bigger before the internet. It wasn’t too long after that, that I started noticing Bikini Kill in hidden places that I enjoyed, Roseanne, Greg Araki’s Nowhere, etc. – and realized that this wasn’t just some college radio band, but something that would be much much bigger than that. There were many summers that followed of driving around aimless and blaring Revolution Girl Style Now! To this day, I still play my favorite songs off of it every night I dj.
Justin Lawless

Did this really happen?

Posted in Photos, Stories on February 10, 2010 by theadventureclub


I saw Bikini Kill at a farm in Virginia somewhere. I was going to college at JMU and some people I hardly knew were driving out to this show and asked if I wanted to go along. It was Spring, and the ground was wet. I had a weird time. Did this really happen? It seems so surreal now in my thoughts, I find myself doubting that it was Bikini Kill, but something tells me it was.

It was the middle of nowhere, someone’s farm. There was a generator providing power that would go in and out. The show was a mindblower.

JJosh

my art

Posted in Stories on February 10, 2010 by theadventureclub

I discovered Bikini Kill through a friend who was a feminist when I was about 16, I never really had an interest in feminism untill I dated a sexist douchbag, who had the idea that all women even me was a “cum dumpster” to all men.
I started listening to Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and Juile Ruin when I was 18 which was a year ago,if it wasnt for bikini kill i wouldnt have thought outside the close minded box I was told what women were, and Bikini kill and katheen hanna has completey influence most of my artwork and has become one of my favorite bands. and I’ve sent two of my first paintings.

who took the bomp?

Posted in Stories on February 10, 2010 by theadventureclub

This is me with my band doing a cover of liar before we did it, i educated the crowd of like…200 15 year olds about Bikini Kill. and then i was like “hey u guys know that song by le tigre that goes ‘who took the bomp?’ and they all cheered, so adorable, i hope they buy all the BK records as well now. If it wasn’t for Bikini Kill, I would have never had the courage as a queer boy to make music. I wouldn’t have discovered feminism and politics I wouldn’t be who I am. I discovered Bikini Kill in 1996 when i was 11 years old, I am forever grateful. thank you!!!

Love, Joey Koneko

i heard about bikini kill in middle school

Posted in Stories on February 10, 2010 by theadventureclub

i heard about bikini kill in middle school (probably via the infamous newsweek article) but didn’t hear you until college. by that time le tigre was just starting. wish i had taken the time to find the music when i was in high school and involved in a really male-centered punk scene. still, love bikini kill’s energy and music and everything since.

thanks for everything!
Halle

I sheepishly asked my parents to pick up Pussy Whipped for me

Posted in Stories on February 10, 2010 by theadventureclub

When I was 14 I heard about the dreamworld that was the combination of punk rock and feminism. I sheepishly asked my parents to pick up Pussy Whipped for me, giving directions to Record Runner in Ottawa, and exactly where to find it in the store. Despite their distaste of the title, they purchased the album for me that Christmas.

Mind. Blow.

Up until then, I had just begun discovering punk rock, but mostly listened to singer-songwriter, “alternative” (but still, you know, on-the-radio mainstream) music. What I heard listening to Pussy Whipped threw all I “knew” about music out the window. I didn’t know lyrics didn’t have to rhyme. I didn’t know that each chorus didn’t have to sound the same. In short: the visceral, delicious music that Bikini Kill has made opened up a whole world of musical and political possibilities to me.

Lyrics that were unabashedly feminist politicized me in ways I can’t even explain. The words gave a voice to issues I noticed, and to those I had not yet thought about. They validated my feelings, my rage, my frustration. They hit me in that particular gut spot where only the most profound, badass music has a shot.

Until the day I die, you better believe that I, too, will resist with every inch and every breath.

Fucking life-changing.

Sophie

Terraza Jimay

Posted in Stories on February 9, 2010 by theadventureclub


Terraza Jimay…I just Googled it and it looks to still be in existence. This is where I saw Bikini Kill play my one and only time at some obscure Latin dance hall in an area on the outskirts of Los Angeles called Montebello, I want to say Nov. ’95. And what a brilliant and amazing show it was. I’m not exactly sure when I discovered the music of Bikini Kill, perhaps in ’93 or ’94, but I do know it still receives heavy rotation to my ears to this day, only now courtesy of an iPod (which in concept would have utterly nauseated the early nineties version of myself). I think I had been reading about the band in Melody Maker and NME and then finally heard Rebel Girl and I was hooked. My love for the band may have been further fueled by an on and off-again girlfriend at the time who also held them near and dear, but I had never had a chance to see them live in LA (not even at the legendary, beloved and sorely missed Jabberjaw where if my memory serves me, they must have played at least once), until they played that sweat-soaked show at Terraza Jimay. I’ve lived in LA most of my life since and that still counts as the one time I visited Montebello, and thanks to that lasting occasion, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Todd Handelsman

I formed my own All Girl Band

Posted in Stories on February 9, 2010 by theadventureclub


I remember I was dating this guy when I was 13 in like, 1995, and we got really competitive over who knew more about music. Then I bought the first Kill Rock Stars compilation and was like, ‘fuck it, I’ll take my own music for myself.’ I’d discovered Bikini Kill and he couldn’t have them. I bought every 7″ and album I could find, as well as anything else the band members were in (The Frumpies, Suture, The Fakes, etc.). The songs validated every twisted, sticky teenage girl experience I went through and anti-pleasure dissertation was the only thing I needed when said guy betrayed me in the most high school possible way. When I was 15 I wrote a letter thanking Kathleen Hanna, and she sent me back all her fanzines and ‘The Most Beautiful Girl is a Dead Girl’ and a bunch of stickers and a note that said “Don’t let them get you down.” That year I formed my own all girl band, and now I treat adolescent girls who are trauma survivors. It’s always extremely hard for me to stop myself from making them mix CDs starting with White Boy. It’s 15 years later and I still tell people that Bikini Kill is my all-time favorite band. Particularly my clients.

xx Victoria.

my bikini kill story

Posted in Stories on February 9, 2010 by theadventureclub

Bikini Kill….oh what can i say? Unfortunately i was too young to attend any of their shows (lets just say i was starting kindergarten when they were breaking up) but that doesn’t mean i enjoy them any less. I first heard them in the end of my freshman year at high school, when “Rebel Girl” was pretty much mirroring what i was going through. The war cry, “Revolution Girl Style Now!” seemed so awesome to me. Their music has helped develop me into a strong teen girl, one not afraid to accept her bisexuality and not to use it as an excuse to show off at parties. They opened the door to me for other riot grrrl bands, as well as Le Tigre. I wouldn’t be the person I am today with out them.

Annalee Cappiello

Bikini Kill reveries

Posted in Stories on February 9, 2010 by theadventureclub


I was the world’s biggest Bikini Kill fan as a freshman in high school, circa 1994. I also wanted to be a drummer SO SO bad, saved up money for a used set but couldn’t afford those damned cymbals. I would sit in my room, banging along to Toby’s sick beats on my text books with drum sticks, DIY style. I wrote her a total fangirl letter telling her of my plight as a wannabe chick drummer in a conservative Midwestern town and how I admired her and wanted to someday be as rocking. She sent back a handwritten letter full of encouragement, and it’s been one of my most prized possessions ever since. Bikini Kill was the soundtrack of my adolescence, and it still supplies the backbeat of my life.

lauren gitlin

My sister left to follow the Grateful Dead

Posted in Stories on February 8, 2010 by theadventureclub


In 1994 I was 15 and miserable, my parents just got divorced and we moved to a shitty little condo in a new town. My sister left to follow the Grateful Dead and I did not get that at all. I joined the radio station at my new high school and it expanded my music world a hundred million times. I got a Bratmobile record that blew my mind. Then came Bikini Kill, Excuse 17, Slant 6, etc. That music changed my life, it gave me hope and confidence that I don’t know what I would have done without at that point in my life.

When I took my ACT test in high school the reading comprehension section was based on an article from Time Magazine about “Riot Grrrl”, quoting Kathleen Hannah at least 3 or 4 times. It blew my mind to think that every other square kid in class who didn’t get “it”, was sitting there reading about my punk rock heroes. I loved it. I went on to score pretty high on the test which then qualified me for an amazing college scholarship.

Thanks for all the music,
Carla

Posted in Stories on February 8, 2010 by theadventureclub

My Bikini Kill story is actually a Le Tigre story as well. I was 15 and living in my friend’s parents’ basement and I was just downloading a bunch of music as I was prone to do at the time. The album I downloaded was Feminist Sweepstakes and I was enthralled. It was my introduction to feminism. From there I looked up more feminist music and everything I read pointed me in the direction of Bikini Kill. The first song I listened to was “I Hate Danger” and I knew I had found IT. I fell in love with every song I listened to, it was like for the first time in my life someone understood me. Someone understood why I was angry, and like they were telling me that it was okay to be pissed off. “Alien She” spoke to me, I was in high school and I felt like I was living on a completely different wavelength than my peers. I live in Kansas, and it was just the most empowering feeling to know that someone out there didn’t want to be what was shown to them on tv and in magazines. I don’t know how to put into words how strong I felt after listening to Reject All American. It was like all of a sudden I was told that I wasn’t a freak, that I was part of something bigger than myself. The sense of community I gained from listening to a song alone, in a basement, is more powerful than I think I know how to convey. Because of Bikini Kill I felt like I had a best friend that wanted me exactly as I was, that got why I was angry at commercials, that walked me through situations I hadn’t lived through yet and taught me that I’m good enough. That is my story.

Kate Jones

“white boy, just die” – my kid

Posted in Stories on February 8, 2010 by theadventureclub

I am a 27 year old mom of an 8.5 year old. The first thing that came to mind when I saw that (WTF???!!!! ahhhhhh!!!!!) there was a call for stories about how Bikini Kill, was when my kid was 4 said, “White boy, just die!!!” I have taught her well. 🙂 She continues to like Bikini Kill and many other awesome riot grrrl, queers, and other all/mostly womyn bands. Good, good. Oh, she’s going to Rock n Roll Camp for girls this summer which she has been excited about since she was 4 or 5.

I remember listening to Bikini Kill years ago in high school. A queer friend of mine put in the song, “Carnival” and I was like, wtf? and I totally fucking loved it. We were in fucking Minot, North Dakota and being queer/feminist/punk/riot grrrl in high school there was not a good idea. We were the “Liberty Fags” (The Liberty was the place that we went to shows). Luckily, we went to shows there, so that helped at least. I believe Bikini Kill played in Minot, but unfortunately I was not going to shows yet.

Oh, Bikini Kill. Thank you for helping me find my feminist, myself, my own love for myself, my self-confidence, and the reason to start doing shit. I am a survivor of a 6 year abusive (emotional, sexual, mental) relationship. I listened to Bikini Kill a lot when I was with him and it helped me realize that I am a human being and it is okay to feel that. I remember listening to “Double Dare Ya” and getting chills down my back. The lyrics, “For you can stand up for your rights Rights? Rights? You DO have Rights” God, it felt so fucking good to realize there were other womyn speaking out about their oppression. It’s fucking hard to do that! People don’t want to see/realize they are oppressed and the oppressors don’t want to change their behavior.

Bikini Kill helped me realized that it’s okay to speak about how i feel, speak out about sexism/patriarchy and misgony, speak out against other forms of isms like racism, classism, capitalism, able-bodism, transphobia, heterosexism, and so on. Bikini Kill helped my self-confidence because even when I write for the student newspaper that I write for now about patriarchy, or call men out on sexism, I can not let what they say back to me, bother. The more I let them get to me, the more they have power over me. And fuck that. They can dwell on their being called out for the privilege “boo-hoos” by themselves.

Bikini Kill also helped me embrace my own gender. I’m a womyn and I like to wear dresses and don’t give a shit if my legs are apart or ride a bicycle.

I can see sexism everywhere, all the time, and I call it out. I don’t think I would have been able to do that if I never listened to riot grrrls.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me find myself, love myself, and not give a shit what others think. This stuff carries onto my daughter who tells the boys at school they’re stupid for not letting her play football, calling out gender bullshit, and reading books about strong womyn from herstory. Raising a girl is hard and I am grateful for have found my feminist self through Bikini Kill and other riot grrrl music.

Heather Jackson
27 year old single mom, queer feminist, student in North Dakota

Still Bummed After all These Years

Posted in Stories on February 7, 2010 by theadventureclub

I was so disappointed when you didn’t show up for your show with Sleater-Kinney at La Luna that I wrote the only letter I’ve ever written to a band in my life. I got a note back from Cathy Wilcox, that I still have somewhere, saying someone in the band was sick. You never played in Portland again that I knew of and I’m still sad about it.

toby wickwire

From Cardiff with Love

Posted in Stories on February 7, 2010 by theadventureclub

I’m afraid i didn’t discover bikini kill until 2003. As a teen i was interested in women’s studies but coming from a small town in Somerset, England I didn’t stand too much of a chance to find a lot to inspire me.

So much happens to you when your a hormonal 15 year old and yet i remember this moment so vividly! In 2003 I was sat at my families PC and my older brother walked in the room, looked over and just said, “you need to listen to this” he handed me a copy of Bikini Kill’s The Singles and I truly believe that this is the most important thing i’ve ever been given.

Since that moment i have not looked back i have graduated from a music degree, specialising in women with music and have recently joined the Cardiff based girl/boy band Los Campesinos!

Los Campesinos! recently supported The slits (which was the most amazing thing) and have managed to find a ‘job’ that I not only love, but allows me to be completely submerged in powerful, inspiring women and their work.

I have no doubt that none of this would have happened without Bikini Kill’s music.
If i had my way every 15 year old girl would be handed this record.

Kim Paisey

Posted in Stories on February 6, 2010 by theadventureclub

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). While recovering from my breakup, I just holed up in that apartment and listened to all his CDs and read all his zines, and the one that instantly changed my life was Bikini Kill Fanzine #2. I went straight to the copy store and made copies for me and all my friends. I brought it to my feminism club at school (Stuyvesant High), which was run by the Debbie-Harry-esque school psychologist. We studied it like it was a textbook. I sent a fan letter to the address on the back. I started doing my own zines. And I carried the BK zine around with me in my backpack like it was an amulet that would protect me from the indignities of high school, which in a very real way it did.
-Ada Calhoun

The Power of Punk

Posted in Stories on February 5, 2010 by theadventureclub

i think the first time i experienced Bikini Kill was in the basement of St. Stephens church in Washington, D.C. (unfortunately many D.C. punk shows, often occurred in churches, but i will leave my atheist rants out of this). i’m pretty sure the first couple times i saw them i was so perplexed since i couldn’t decide if i loved or hated their music. This never happened to me before. So, i purchased their tape, listened to it over and over and couldn’t get them out of my head. They were playing so much slower than the other hardcore punk bands i was listening to but i couldn’t turn away. The general message was in alignment to other mediums i was absorbing but the music was different. At this point in my life i was 16 years old, playing in a band with my childhood friends, we were called Smooch (we were also an oddball band amongst our peers). Anyway, i got a couple of Kathleen’s Bikini Kill ‘zines and was reading them over and over while listening to their tape. i saw that there was an address provided in the ‘zine, so i decided i should to write a fan letter (a thing i had never even fathomed before) and sent a demo of my band (also something i never done before), just to share what i was doing. i completely forgot that i included my phone number, so you can imagine the shock it was for me when Kathleen called me up and offered my band a show at the Beta Punk Warehouse in north east D.C. with Bikini Kill and Royal Trux. This was Smooch’s first official show, which would lead to many more. Later when i did a band called Meta-matics, Bikini Kill would take us on tour. There are so many stories that conjure up in my cranium that is hard to focus on just one, but this particular memory spelunking reverberates with me strongly, since i hold Kathleen Hanna directly responsible for spearheading my musical career. Kathleen has since told me that i wrote the first ever fan letter to Bikini Kill. This to me has always been the power of punk, direct and open communication.
-chuck bettis
http://www.chuckbettis.com