Kathleen Hanna, the pioneering punk singer, artist, and frontwoman of Bikini Kill & Le Tigre, goes shopping at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. Kathleen Hanna’s new memoir ‘Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk’ is available now from Ecco/Harper Collins.

Check out her picks:

Sugarcubes – Life’s Too Good (LP)

Bruce Springsteen – The River (LP)

Isaac Hayes – Joy (LP)

Frightwig – We Need To Talk… (LP)

Queen Latifah – The Best Of Queen Latifah (CD)

Santigold – Spirituals (CD)

Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (LP)

Selena Gomez – Revival (LP)

Demi Lovato – REVAMPED (LP)

Chris L. Terry & James Spooner – Black Punk Now (BOOK)

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FAR OUT Magazine:
Frightwig: Kathleen Hanna on a “hugely influential band” for Bikini Kill

While Kathleen Hanna is undoubtedly highly respected, it’s clear that she doesn’t receive mainstream acknowledgement for her outstanding contributions to women in music. Serving as the creative powerhouse behind riot grrrl trailblazers Bikini Kill and dance-punk icons Le Tigre, Hanna rightfully takes her place alongside pioneering figures like Poly Styrene and Siouxsie Sioux.

An influential figure in third-wave feminism during the early 1990s and a boundless source of energy on stage, Hanna’s impact endures to the present day. Without her legacy, alongside Bikini Kill and the riot grrrl movement, it’s difficult to assess the trajectory of gender equality.

In Hanna’s own words, “To make riot grrrl move into the future in a new way with a bunch of new names, a bunch of new energy, younger people have to learn about it and apply it to their own lives and own modern conversation. And they are.”

Of course, certain facets of the world have progressed past the need for the more seemingly outdated feminist tropes prevalent in the 1990s. Still, Hanna’s contributions significantly bolstered important conversations and helped many feel confident and valued enough to stand up for what was right. In short, we owe a lot to figures like Hanna for her unwavering dedication to good causes.

Regarding her own influences, Hanna points to Frightwig as a “hugely influential band on Bikini Kill”.

Explaining her appreciation for their seminal album, Faster, Frightwig, Kill! Kill!, Hanna remarked: “There are lots of radical political moments on this album—really feminist, but it was also really funny and really beautiful. There’s this one skit about this fucked-up rich valley girl who loses her Amex checks and is trying to get new ones. There’s also a song on it about hating some stupid groupie who’s fucking around with someone’s boyfriend—stuff probably from the band members’ lives.”

Although Hanna also praises the works of Blondie and Carole King, one artist and album she deems “close-to-perfect” is esteemed rapper and singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill. Hill is largely regarded as one of the best rappers of all time and a defining voice of a generation. Discussing Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Hanna said: “I bought this at [New York hip-hop store] Fat Beats when I turned 30, and it was really inspirational. She does it all—she sings, she raps, she produces. It has all these references to Stevie Wonder and old reggae songs that I love. Again, a close-to-perfect, classic record.”

Overall, Hanna’s influences are a reflection of her commitment to instigating change. As a central figure in a movement advocating for female empowerment, her musical preferences exemplify her distinct style and resilience, solidifying her status as one of the most impactful figures in the music industry.

Originally posted at faroutmagazine.co.uk


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GRAMMY.com: 10 Bay Area Punk Bands To Know: Dead Kennedys, Operation Ivy, Green Day & More

From pioneers the Nuns and Crime, to Pinhead Gunpowder and the Donnas, Hickey and Ceremony, the San Francisco Bay Area holds its own against any other punk epicenter.

Punk was punk before punk had a name and, as such, has many great epicenters. From the Ramones, who rocketed out of New York City to London’s sneering and spitting Sex Pistols, and Detroit rockers such as the MC5 and the Stooges who set the attitudinal tone for the genre, punk is often considered an east-of-the-Mississippi (and across the pond) phenomenon.

But that thinking negates the very prolific West Coast, and generations of California uber alles. The San Francisco Bay Area, specifically, is home to a multitude of punk bands — as well as crucial venues like 924 Gilman and the Mabuhay Gardens, and revered pubs including Search and DestroyCometbus and Maximum Rocknroll, as well as festivals like Mosswood Meltdown — whose music helped define the genre from the late ’70s onward. Detractors best take warning: From pioneers the Nuns, Crime and Flipper, to MDC, Pinhead Gunpowder and Capitalist Casualties, the Donnas, Ceremony and Scary Scare, the Bay’s multifarious scene holds its own against any other punk epicenter.

In honor of a new album from hometown heroes Green Day and major anniversaries of the group’s seminal LPs Dookie (1994) and American Idiot (2004), press play and get in the pit with these 10 essential Bay Area punk bands. Welcome to paradise.


Crucial album: Faster, Frightwig, Kill! Kill!

Precursors to the riot grrrl movement, all-female group Frightwig left a lasting mark on both San Francisco and early ’90s alt-rock/punk. (In fact, Kurt Cobain is wearing a Frightwig t-shirt during Nirvana’s “MTV’s Unplugged” sessions.) Founded in the early ’80s by teen San Franciscians, Frightwig spent over a decade “screaming and shredding their way through glass ceilings and unapologetically leaving behind a pile of shards,” according to their website.

Expectedly, the trio and sometimes quartet received a fair amount of attention for simply being young women in punk. They were known to turn the tables by inviting male fans onstage to dance and be ridiculed while playing “A Man’s Gotta Do What A Man’s Gotta Do.”

“We really wanted to play with what the status quo of womanhood was supposed to be visually and also sonically. That’s part of our mission, to really challenge what people think about what a woman is supposed to look like and to do,” guitarist/vocalist Mia d’Bruzzi later told SFGate.

The group — which experienced a number of lineup changes in its initial 12-year run — played many of San Francisco’s major punk venues and toured with locals Flipper and Dead Kennedys, as well as Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, and Bikini Kill. Raw, noisy, feminist and tongue-in-cheek, the trio recorded two full albums — 1984’s Cat Farm Faboo and Faster, Frightwig, Kill! Kill! two years later — and several EPs before disbanding in 1994.

In 2023, a reconstituted Frightwig (with the expectation of long-time drummer Cecilia Kuhn, who died in 2019), released We Need To Talk. The 11-track album is a more polished, rollicking zip through the life of a 60-something empowered punk, with defiant tracks like “Aging Sux”  and “Ride My Bike,” political takes such as “War On Women,” and a re-recording of their popular “A Man’s Gotta Do.”

Click here to read the full story.

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KQED Arts: The Best Bay Area Music of 2023

Frightwig, ‘We Need to Talk’ (Label 51 Recordings)

Back in 1983, Deanna Mitchell and Mia d’Bruzzi were just a couple of creative teens running amok in San Francisco’s vibrant, underground punk scene. Realizing they had something — well, a lot — to say, they formed Frightwig, a pre-riot grrrl rallying cry to the furious and disaffected women of America. Long acknowledged as influential to bands like Hole, L7 and Babes in Toyland among many others, the band’s decision to reform this year was a nice surprise. That the album that heralded Frightwig’s return succeeded in being caustic, clever and catchy was a legitimate thrill.

We Need to Talk consistently flings eye-rolls and middle fingers directly at bad men, misogynist policies, unchecked capitalism and even to aging itself. Delightfully, the 11-tracker is also imbued with smatterings of side winks and sharp humor. (And we’re not just talking about the fact that there’s a song here called “My Crotch Does Not Say Go.”) We Need to Talk is the unhinged, unfiltered, all-ages punk rock party we didn’t know we needed in 2023. A cathartic treat indeed. — Rae Alexandra

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