Today Bikini Kill released a track from the forthcoming reissue of its demo album Revolution Girl Style Now. “Playground,” one of three songs left off the original demo, was recorded in early 1991 at the ABC House in Olympia, Washington, a day after one of the band’s first shows. The reissue, out Sept. 22, was mixed by Guy Picciotto of Fugazi. No, the band won’t be touring behind it (Bikini Kill broke up in 1997 and Kathleen Hanna went on to form Le Tigre and then The Julie Ruin) but plenty of other female-driven ’90s bands are back on the scene.
Sept. 8, Irving Plaza, and Sept. 9, Warsaw
L7’s breakthrough album, Bricks are Heavy, dropped around the same time as Sonic Youth’s Dirty, and was also produced by Butch “Nevermind” Vig. But despite antics like going bottomless on live British tv and hurling a used tampon into the crowd at Reading Festival, the band never quite hit the big-time and stropped touring by 2001. Back in February, a successful Kickstarter campaign raised funds for L7: Pretend We’re Dead, a documentary named after their biggest hit (among the rewards was a seance with the band). Now the “queens of grunge” are hitting the road and bringing back riffy, fuzzed-out anthems like “Wargasm,” “Monster” and (who could forget this one from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack?) “Shitlist.” Want a blast from the past? Check out a young Jon Stewart introducing them, above.
Babes in Toyland
Sept. 17 at Irving Plaza
Fun fact: Babes in Toyland frontwoman Kat Bjelland was in a band with Jennifer Finch before Finch went on to be in L7. The other woman in Sugar Babydoll was, of course, Courtney Love, who would go on to feud with Bjelland over who created the whole “kinderwhore”/”babydoll” look. We’ll never know, but this much is certain: Bjelland was one of the most badass, fired-up frontwomen to ever take the stage in a baby-doll dress or anything else. It’ll be interesting to see if she can still shift effortlessly, a la Kathleen Hanna, from lilting valley-girl drawl to blood-curdling screams. Sure, L7 had a song called “Shitlist,” but it was Bjelland’s shitlist you really didn’t want to be on. Above, watch Sonic Youth and Nirvana rocking out to “Dust Cake Boy,” from the great 1991: The Year Punk Broke.
Oct. 28 at Barnes & Noble Union Square
Sleater-Kinney’s singer-guitarist was nominated for an Emmy for her work in Portlandia and now she’s in an upcoming Todd Haynes flick, Carol, the trailer for which was released today (watch it above). In October, she’ll expand her resume still further by joining Patti Smith and Kim Gordon in the pantheon of feminist rocker-authors. Gordon says Brownstein’s forthcoming memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, “looks inside the Riot Grrrl scene in Olympia from the outside in—from a fan to the stage, and what happens when your dream becomes your nightmare.” Buy a copy via B&N and show proof of purchase for entry.
Dec. 12 at Kings Theater, Dec. 13 at Terminal 5, Dec. 14 at Irving Plaza, Dec. 15 at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Dec. 16 at Market Hotel
S-K needs no introduction, as evidenced by the fact that they’re playing five local shows and only the ones at Terminal 5 and Kings Theater haven’t sold out. I’m not going to get all upset that I’m not one of the, like, five people who’ll get to see them at Todd P’s soon-to-relaunch Market Hotel, because, hey, I got to see them for free in Coney Island, during the second-ever Siren Festival in 2002. No biggie. That said, earlier this year they released a killer new album, No Cities to Love, and Carrie Brownstein can still nail a high-kick, so catching up with them might not be a bad idea.
Dec. 19 and 20 at Webster Hall
If you saw the Pixies during their shows in May, you probably missed bassist Kim Deal, who left them in 2013. No worries, she’s passing through with her own band. The Breeders last toured for the 20th anniversary of their seminal album, The Last Splash (you will, of course, remember “Cannonball”) and now Kim and twin sister Kelley are at it again. Per a recent NME interview, the band has been recording some songs with the legendary Steve Albini, who engineered their debut Pod (#3 on Kurt Cobain’s list of top 50 albums). It remains to be seen when an album will come out, but you can expect to hear new material at Webster Hall.