The Julie Ruin.
What can I say? I am SO happy this day has come that Kathleen Hanna has new music out there for the world.
If you are/were a fan of Bikini Kill or Le Tigre you will love The Julie Ruin. Things haven’t changed that much – but they have changed enough to make the music very current. Do you remember Julie Ruin? The little project Kathleen Hanna did in her home? The Julie Ruin is a much richer sounding version of that. It’s still shouty, it’s still sugary vocals, it’s still dance inducing, there are still strong messages, there is still diversity amongst the songs.
I can’t think of anyone in music today that has a voice like Kathleen, I don’t just mean singing style either, I just mean about making a stand, not scared to make a statement. Yes, there are women out there being bold (lady gaga to name one) but to me she seems to be doing it to be sensationalist. With Kathleen you know it matters, you know it’s about her life, about your life, about her giving a damn about women having a vocal outlet, about being listened to and being taken seriously, it’s about not being dismissed.
Kathleen has such a rich history behind her and it’s wonderful to see this band out there making waves again, adding to that history.
In my youth Kathleen let me know it was ok to feel different to the other girls around me. To not just accept what was being offered to me. It was exciting times and exciting music. She herself has said she feels the band has more relevance today than in the 90’s where there was a lot of other stuff going on maybe clouding the vision or clouding the messages.
I never got to see Bikini Kill live, something that is a sad thing, but I did get to see Le Tigre many times. The energy from Kathleen and her fellow band mates it amazing, it can barely be contained on the stage and leeches out to the audience in a good way and drags you in, makes you get involved, makes you feel involved.
When Le Tigre were around I was friends with a guy called David (who plays in a band called Comet Gain – if you haven’t heard of them go check them out), anyway, David is friends with Kathleen – they did a lovely intimate gig in a little venue in Camden that was awesome. Comet Gain opened and Le Tigre blew the roof off. That night not only was I introduced to Kathleen (I even danced with her at the Betsey Trotwood), I was also introduced to Ian Svenonious (if you haven’t checked out weird war or the make up then please do!) It felt like a revolutionary time, but I don’t know if it really was, I don’t know how much difference was really made. The fanzine world was dying off and the internet was taking over. There are pluses and minus for both of these things. Today it would seem it is not so weird to be a girl in a band and that in itself is amazing and part of the Kathleen Hanna legacy in my opinion.
The Punk Singer – a documentary about Kathleen Hanna is going to be showing in London in October – if you can get to it you should – and take me with you!!!