Kathleen Hanna Project at Knitting Factory

Last Saturday at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn NYC was a night to honor and appreciate Kathleen Hanna, founding member of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, and an outspoken feminist who was instrumental in shaping the riot grrrl movement through punk rock music and ‘zines since the early 90’s. The sold out show was also being filmed by Sini Anderson for an upcoming documentary about Kathleen. It was a great night of music, spoken word and dance and every band on the bill performed awesome Kathleen Hanna covers. There were so many highlights and early in the night Kaia Wilson (Team Dresch and The Butchies) rocked us with a slow song, “pretty is” by Kathleen’s old band Suture. I think it’s only available on 7″ vinyl and has been long out of print. Toshi Reagon just blew us all away with a passionate, acoustic version of Le Tigre’s “keep on living” which got the crowd singing along. The young, all-girl punk band, Care Bears on Fire, did a helluva job on Le Tigre’s “my my metrocard” and made it look so damn easy. Bridget Everett rocked the house in her bra and panties with “after dark” with the help of Kathleen’s husband, Adam Horovitz a.k.a. Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys on the bass. Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) read from Kathleen Hanna’s riot grrrl manifesto while her husband and fellow band mate Thurston Moore watched from the crowd of people which also included Joan Jett. Men, featuring Le Tigre’s JD Samson, performed a Bikini Kill tune titled “double dare ya.”

The night came to a close with Murray Hill introducing the world premiere of Kathleen Hanna’s new band Julie Ruin which features another Bikini Kill member-Kathi Wilcox! There was a Julie Ruin album out on Kill Rock Stars Records in 1997, but the band never performed live. Kathleen looked and sounded great. She sang a few songs and started up right off the bat with Bikini Kill’s “this is not a test” followed by two Julie Ruin songs: “V.G.I.” and “radical or pro-parental” and ending it off with the Le Tigre song “hot topic.” For an encore she played a brand new song titled, “cookie road.”  It was a memorable night of music which we won’t forget about for a long time.  Keep your eyes open for the documentary, Kathleen Hanna Project which is in production.  Kathleen did mention that a new Julie Ruin album was in the works too. Does that mean more shows?  I hope so!




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