Over the past 40 years some of the greatest and most underrated musicians of all time have inspired many of the bands and songs that we know and love today. They have motivated, changed, and pioneered entire generations kicking ass and taking names along the way. Kathleen Hanna is no exception to this, being one of the innovators and leaders in the predominately male dominated arena of Rock and Punk music. Few female musicians, with the exceptions of Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Suzi Quatro and the likes, have shaken up and completely warped the entire music scene with their raw energy and power quite like Hanna has. Thus earning her the very first ever spot on B-Sides Theme of the Week feature.
You’re in Olympia Washington, it’s the yearly 90’s, you have terrible hair, and you’re board. Well, if you’re Kathleen Hanna you casually call up some of your friends and ask if anybody wants to start a musical revolution. Subsequently, a small collaboration started between Hanna and future band mates Kathi Wilcox and Tobi Vail on something called Revolution Girl Style Now. Shortly after, with the addition of guitarist Billy Karren, this collaboration later turned into, in my opinion, one of the greatest Punk Rock bands of all time, Bikini Kill.
Bikini Kill, headed by Hanna on vocals, soon stormed the local and national Punk scene. In the 8 years that the band was together they had the opportunity to collaborate with some of music’s greats including Joan Jett, Kurt Cobain, and Ian MacKaye. They were featured in a documentary entitled It Changed My Life: Bikini Kill in The U.K. The band is also widely accredited for starting the Riot Grrrl Music movement of the 90’s with their feminist themes and political attitudes. Hanna even inspired the infamous Nirvana classic Smells Like Teen Spirit by writing “Kurt smells like teen spirit” on a bedroom wall at a friend’s party. In 1998 shortly after releasing a collection of singles entitled Bikini Kill: The Singles the band dismembered for good. All of its members went on to pursue other projects, including Hanna who produced a solo album under the alias Julie Ruin and eventually joined the wicked awesome New Wave group Le Tigre.
Don’t Need You