An Open Letter to Bikini Kill: We Still Need You!
Dear Bikini Kill,
Do you have any idea how much we've missed you? We just wanted you to know how thrilled we are to hear that you're launching your own record label -- Bikini Kill Records -- and re-issuing your back catalog on CD (we'd love it if you could do some vinyl too, but one thing at a time.)
Has it really been twenty years since you released your amazing self-titled EP? We still listen to it all the time -- "Suck My Left One" is a modern classic, if you ask us. So very much has happened in music since then. But sadly, as we're sure you've noticed, outspoken women playing heavy, angry music have not survived well since you've been gone. No disrespect to Le Tigre or your other projects, but we really miss the level of rage expressed in Bikini Kill's music.
Truthfully, we're not sure how it came to this. We were all so angry in the '90s for not getting the respect we lady music-lovers and performers deserved, but in hindsight, things were actually a lot better back then -- partially, of course, because of you guys, and partially because of how many other brazen, loud-mouthed ladies we had making aggressive noise at the time. Where is this generation's Babes In Toyland? Or L7? Courtney Love is still performing, of course, but the less said about that, the better.
Put simply, there were just more female musicians in aggressive, successful bands back then. And more of those female musicians stood up for fellow females. Something about the 2000s just hasn't worked out well for us. So we're hoping against all hope that your words of female defiance and your abrasive and thrilling music will help inspire a whole new generation of girls to pick up guitars, embrace sisterhood and hit the road.
A couple of rad riot grrrl books have come out in the last few years: Nadine Monem's Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now and Sara Marcus' Girls to The Front: The True Story of The Riot Grrrl Revolution, but they only made us miss you more. When Kathleen Hanna donated all of her Riot Grrrl papers to NYU's libraries in 2010, we were thrilled that she was sharing the love, but scared that it marked the end of everything.
So, what we'd really like to ask for now, is not just reissues, but a reunion tour. C'mon ladies, you know you want to. So many of the girls whose lives you changed forever never even got to see you play live, and your unashamedly feminist message is as relevant as ever.
So thanks, Bikini Kill. Thanks for empowering so many women at such an important time. Thanks for giving rock 'n' roll girls a voice the first time around and getting that voice back out there now in something other than a digital format. Thanks for the unreleased songs, videos and zine material we have coming our way. We still need you, Bikini Kill -- and revolution girl style. Potentially now more than ever.
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