If you’ve seen the 2013 documentary The Punk Singer, you know Kathleen Hannawas stuck out at sea for a long time when she was creatively paralyzed and overwhelmed by the day-to-day challenges of Lyme disease. One of the harshest consequences of her illness was profound fatigue, something that severely limited her capacity to write or perform music. At times, she found it difficult to even speak.
Lucky for us– oh, and for Hanna too– she’s doing much better these days, so much so that even though her band The Julie Ruin, like, just released their new album, Hanna is making an appearance this week at a speaker store in Soho, of all places, called Sonos.
Grrrl Germs: a Visual History of Riot Grrrl 1990-1997 Various screenings, now through Saturday May 28 at Spectacle: $5.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the Riot Grrrl movement challenged punks everywhere to reexamine their subculture, demanded “girls to the front” at shows, and delineated punk’s physical and intellectual spaces as welcoming to women, but also as zones that were for and by a diversity of voices. Riot Grrrl may have become the victim of sensationalism due to a desperately out-of-touch media trying to figure out what the hell was going on with these tattooed, pierced, and sex-crazed Gen Xers.
Molly Neuman, former drummer for legendary lady-punk outfits like Bratmobile, has been connected to the heavenly bakery Ovenly since before it even began. A decade ago, she was in a supper club with future Ovenly co-owner Agatha Kulaga. Back then, Agatha talked of plans to create baked goods shop that would artfully blend sweet with savory. Eventually, she and her partner Erin Patinkin opened a place that was “inspired by the Eastern European flavors of their youths,” and Ovenly cookies and scones began appearing in cafes like Little Zelda, where Molly lives in Crown Heights.
This week, cash in your change jar because you’re gonna need it for the screening of this lost Riot Grrrl film starring Kathleen Hanna. Also, pick from a bazillion or so documentaries this year at Doc NYC 2015, and more. Read on, friends.
Kathleen Hanna manhandling a motorcycle on a photo shoot (Courtesy of Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill, and the Fales Library & Special Collections, New York University)
A couple weeks back, Bikini Kill reissued their very first demo tape from 1991, Revolution Girl Style Now, via the band’s own record label. You’re probably about dried up after drooling over those three previously unreleased tracks included on the reissue and all the killer old photos of Kathleen Hanna and the band that emerged across the internet as a nod to the occasion. But get ready to salivate anew, coz we did some time travel of our own and rifled around (as gently as possible) the Kathleen Hanna Papers.
Anyone who bemoans feminist discussions for being stuffy, crunchy, woolen affairs is not only looking for a swift punch to the nethers, they’re also dead wrong. A panel held last Thursday at the Brooklyn Museum challenged the Portlandia image of feminism and witnessed several women being their badass selves, see: Lydia Lunch’s impassioned spoken word about race riots and abuse, Narcissister’s short film in which she plays a topless Little Red Riding Hood who “rides” the Hunter, and Johanna Fateman’ trademark Valley Girl diction. Unlike that introductory Women’s Studies course you took as an undergrad, “I Will Resist With Every Inch And Every Breath: Punk Rock And Feminist Art” (named for the Bikini Kill song above) was pretty freaking rad.
This week is your last chance to see The Punk Singer on the big screen, and you should definitely, definitely catch this cool doc about Kathleen Hanna – one of the most visible and outspoken figures of the Riot Grrl movement – before it leaves IFC Center and Nitehawk on Thursday.
The film’s archival footage of Hanna’s band Bikini Kill – not to mention its interviews with Kim Gordon, Hanna’s bandmates in Le Tigre and her husband Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys – filled us with so much nostalgia for the ‘90s (when Courtney Love was so, so much nuttier than she is now) that we were inspired to check out the Riot Grrrl Collection at NYU’s Fales Library. Keep Reading »