Hi Sorry State readers! Here we are again. I hope you got a chance to read about and hopefully have a listen to Dominic’s staff pick last week, Laura Lee’s Women’s Love Rights. Music is an incredible outlet to seek solace when things are extra fucked up, and right now they are extra fucked up.
I wanted to take this time to just pay general homage to some women who showed me, when I was only a kid, that it was not only OK to push ourselves into spaces traditionally held by men, but that it was absolutely fucking necessary. Bikini Kill was that band for me, and Kathleen Hannah was that voice. She’s still that voice. And I’m about to hear that voice live next month!
Bikini Kill is often the face for the riot grrrl movement, but they didn’t start the movement. It was a subculture developed by a group of women who were tired of the sexism in their local male-dominated punk communities. Riot grrrl started as a DIY foundation that allowed women to have a free space to share their feminist political beliefs through art and zines. Women could publish opinion pieces that would have never seen the light of day in traditional literature. Bands like Bikini Kill and others naturally worked their way into the riot grrrl scene, and of course they were also influenced by predecessor icons like The Slits and Kim Gordon. There’s a lot more to it, but for the sake of brevity, I’m gonna get back to Bikini Kill.
Kathleen was the most bad ass front-woman. She just didn’t give a fuck. She stood up on stage in her underwear completely unbothered, unshaven, hyper-focused on getting their message across, encouraging girls to the front! Great book, by the way. Often heckled and even assaulted by men in the audience, Bikini Kill would not budge. An unapologetic force to be reckoned with, they are an important part of punk history.
I remember being so stoked to find a first pressing of Bikini Kill’s Pussy Whipped from Sorry State a few years ago, which I think is their best album. One of my other favorite Bikini Kill items (also procured at Sorry State) forever ago is the 7” New Radio single, as it has three of the band’s best songs: New Radio, Rebel Girl, and Demi Rep. That’s seven minutes of essential Bikini Kill.
Anyway, we typically stock many Bikini Kill albums, but they’re sold out now, so check back for a restock! And if you’re local, you never know what gems you may find lurking in the bins like I did. And if you’re just starting out on your Bikini Kill journey, I would for sure grab The Singles album to get the most bang for your buck. Pussy Whipped and Revolution Girl Style Now are other must haves!
I found all three songs that comprise the New Radio single if you want to check it out below!
Thanks for reading! Have a good weekend!