Ari Up: Thank You, Atypical Girl

Categories: R.I.P.
Hiya Swanhuyser
The Slits' Ari Up at Bottom of the Hill last year.
Ari Up is gone.

The lead singer of the Slits was an energetic, hairy, opinionated, foulmouthed, genuine weirdo, the kind you never ever see in the public eye anymore.

Think of an internationally famous all-woman punk/dub/wtf band, if you can (I can't), and ask yourself if the lead singer isn't blonde, shellacked, and pushing some nebulous brand of faux rebellion at best.

Last year, the Slits show at the Bottom of the Hill attracted powerful, strange women of many kinds, including lady drag queen Kegel Kater, goddess Beth Ditto, and the insane and talented Go-Going-Gone Girls -- we were there to see what Ari Up would wear, because her very shorts beamed power to us.

We were there to see what she'd say, because every word was either a surprise ("Make bird sounds!") or a direct encouragement for independent fem types, ("Can anyone do backing vocals for "Typical Girl?" You? Great, come up here.") We were there to hear what she'd play, she and beautiful Tessa -- what's more inspiring than seeing middle-aged women rocking the fuck out, splendid and adored? Nothing. Not a damn thing. And now Ari Up is gone.

Egalitarian oddballs, let's remember her as hard as we can. Dress crazy for her, speak loud for her, jump around and break bad rules for her, love your strange self for her, and of course, rock way out for Ari Up.

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