Last last Saturday at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn took place a benefit show where twenty bands and the crowd helped Sini Anderson achieve her artistic vision for her in-the-works documentary about Kathleen Hanna. She wanted to create an environment of girl love and energy and inspiration, but her direction wasn't really needed. I caught not a drift of punker-than-thou snobbery, only good vibes, and the audience and artists just fed off of one another's energy and created this giant ball of, uh, energy. Look, there's no poetic way to put it -- it was just really, really cool, and one of the more life-changing experiences I've had, ever. I'll say right now that I don't know much about music, but that wasn't the point.
I wore the FEMINIST FEMINIST FEMINIST sweater Kathleen gave me and hand-me-down vintage skirt. And that would be my glow in the dark Diana which looked really cool in the blacklight and was also used for taking pictures, as one might hope.
Neal Medlyn hosted; I fell in love 74986x.
Coco Gordon-Moore of She Murders can scream like the cast of Scream but more riot grrrl and not scary. What I mean is, she's loud. Her band did Rebel Girl and it was at that point that I kind of lost it and got really wrapped up in the performance and started jumping up and down and got all "THIS IS THE BEST NIGHT EVER!!!!!" There was lots of flailing involved in that last statement.
Also, her X-Girl tshirt!
I spent most of the night with the Care Bears on Fire girls, Sophie, Izzy, and Jena, who had one of the most invigorating and invigorated performances of the night and were so cool/nice/funny and made me wanna be in a band. I also appreciate the way their collective hairs create a Powerpuff Girls-esque spectrum.
Bridget Everett and the Tender Moments blew my mind. The world needs more Bridget Everetts.
The Roulettes killed it as well.
Kim Gordon read the Riot Grrrl Manifesto from the first Bikini Kill zine and I teared up a bit. I have a soul! You caught me!
The show started to come to a close with MEN's performance of Double Dare Ya, which I can't totally describe so you'll just have to watch the video and then we can babble mindlessly together.
Murray Hill introduced the last group, which is why you may have seen a spark in Murray Hill youtube videos views from a certain IP address (HINT: mine).
And the last group was The Julie Ruin, AND Kathi Wilcox was on bass, AND then we all found out they're writing a new album, and it ended on such a high note where I was actually happy to leave I think because I felt totally satisfied and it was all so good that I knew pushing it would invite bad luck. (There were way more terrific groups, but these were the only ones I got photos of.)
Kathleen has said she's attended shows where people kept looking at her to see if she'd give it her stamp of approval, but approval in general isn't exactly the goal of Riot Grrrl. The varying interpretations of Kathleen's songs performed that night were a testament to this, as the point was the message, not whether the styles or aesthetics were Punk Enough or Riot Grrrl Enough or Kathleen Hanna Enough. Instead of counter-productively trying to meet those standards, the artists made clear Kathleen Hanna's influence by just being loud and DIY and feminist.
And the world doesn't really like to make it easy for people to be any of those things, especially that last one. At the Rah! Rah! Replica show a group of people collectively decided not to wait for the world. A crowd of people decided we want Revolution Girl Style Now.
photos by me, video sources at the video links