So this is another expansion of the basic mission of this bloggy-thingy. This is, clearly, Bikini Kill playing live during the fall of 1992 at a radio station in Cincinnati, OH. I was on tour with, not in, a band from Dallas and we were a week late in arriving at Cincinnati and ended up playing a show with Bikini Kill. It was a fortuitous foul-up. Bikini Kill were very nice, cool people and really down to Earth. I had not heard them before we meet them but had read a lot about them. While simplistic, their music was passionate, moving, and effective for communicating their message. We ended up being one day ahead of them in the bay area a few weeks later. I went to their show at Gilman St.and they were really cool again. After their set they chit chatted with me and gave me a copy of the new 12″ despite the people thronging them. I will post some pictures of the Gilman show later.
Nerd facts: These pictures are from a set I took and was subsequently used in the documentary about Kathleen Hannah that came out a few years back entitled, The Punk Singer. Also at the Cincinnati show was a lady roadieing for Bikini Kill whose legs had an L7 tattoo made famous in the Pretend We’re Dead video.
“There’s a certain assumption that when a man tells the truth it’s the truth,” she says. “But when I go before the jury to tell the truth, I have to negotiate how I’m going to be perceived. There’s a suspicion around a woman’s truth.”
“My story,” says Hanna in one of the last scenes of the film, “it’s so big, it sounded like too big a can of worms, and I was like, who would believe me? But then I realized, other women would believe me.”
Kathleen Hanna, in the documentary The Punk Singer
Netflix documentaries to watch: The Punk Singer (2013)
The Punk Singer (2013) is probably one of the most empowering documentaries out there. It follows the career of Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna (lead singer of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin) and depicts her struggle with late stage lime disease. The documentary shows how Hanna’s work in Bikini Kill helped changed the entire 90′s punk scene by demanding “girls to the front, boys to the back" in a scene that was and is largely dominated by men. On top of that, this documentary explains the importance of the Riot Grrrl movement by showing how it helped young women feel as if they had a voice in society and were capable stand up for their rights. Watching it really helps one feel empowered and ready to smash the patriarchy. Luckily this excellent documentary can by found on Netflix! So if you want to want to watch a great documentary on feminism and punk music you should totally check it out.